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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
Exporters alert to Latvian trade trip
■ OPPORTUNITY: Steven Leigh, of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
KIRKLEES firms are set to embark on a trade mission to Latvia this autumn – and help boost Britain’s balance of payments. MY Export Hub, the international trade support arm of the Huddersfield-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, is organising the four-day trip in October with support from a market entry firm with expertise in the Baltic States. Steven Leigh, head of policy for the Lockwood-based chamber, said local firms should consider exploring new overseas markets as a route to growth. He said: “Britain’s trade deficit rose to its highest level in six months in June and the UK has the largest goods trade deficit of any EU member state. “Yet new figures produced by the British Chambers of Commerce and DHL show confidence among
exporting companies is at an all-time high and MY Export Hub believes now is the right time for Yorkshire businesses to make the leap and begin exporting.” The trip to Latvia from October 15 to 19 will include pre-arranged meetings and attendance at the Internat i o n a l B u s i n e s s N e t wo r k i n g Conference in Riga. Said Mr Leigh: “Many companies consider the prospect of exporting a daunting proposition, yet huge opportunities await those who dare to make the leap. “The International Monetary Fund predicts the Latvian economy to grow by 4.2% per year in 2013 and 2014, illustrating the significant potential for British companies who seize the initiative. “Support for international trade continues to be strengthened and at Mid Yorkshire Chamber we are
doing all we can to help inexperienced exporters take their first steps in new markets. “Latvia is known as the gateway between Europe and the Baltic States and represents an area with enormous opportunity for Yorkshire firms.” MY Export Hub is also running a free seminar, Explore New Opportunities in Latvia, which takes place from 10am to noon on September 3 at the chamber offices in Lockwood Park. The seminar will introduce companies to the business opportunities available in the Baltic States, provide an overview of key legal and business environment considerations and illustrate how success can be achieved in this market through a case study example. For more information, go to www.myexporthub.co.uk/events
New orders keep company on its metal A METALWORKING company has recorded is best-ever monthly sales figures – after booking £750,000 worth of orders during July. Arkoni, founded in 1991 and based at Armytage Road, Brighouse, designs, manufactures and installs architectural metalwork features such as canopies, balconies, balustrades and staircases as well as fire-rated glazing for commercial construction projects across the UK. Two of the latest orders won are for developments in the heart of London – with Arkoni supplying sets of polished, stainless steel doors for the new, 23-storey BP4 building at Canary Wharf as well as fire-rated glazing over seven floors at the prestigious 7-8 St James Square. Arkoni founder and managing director Mark Prentice said: “July has been our best month ever with a number of high profile contracts filtering through. “It’s further evidence that the UK construction industry is get-
ting back on track.” “Fire-rated glazing appears to be the big growth area with prestigious projects increasingly utilising our metalworking and glazing expertise.” The company’s latest sales success comes after it recently posted a 30% increase in turnover to £4m and recruited an extra 10 workers to take employee numbers up to 50. Arkoni works closely with many of the UK’s leading architects and construction firms to add distinctive features to landmark buildings including offices, supermarkets, shopping malls, housing developments, hotels, hospitals, sports stadia, museums, schools, universities etc. Since its formation, Arkoni has added the finishing touches to many iconic venues, including the 02 Arena, Manchester's Trafford Centre and the Tate Gallery in London. Other venues to feature Arkoni’s products include Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, the
INSIDE Sixth time a winner A MOTOR trader in Huddersfield has landed a top customer service award for the sixth time in a row. Chris and Adam Oddy, of John Shaw & Son (Commercials) Ltd, received the Excellent Customer Service Award from Richard Guthrie, of West Yorkshire Trading Standards. The award scheme is run by trading standards for members of the West Yorkshire Motor Trade Partnership, which helps consumers find reputable businesses in motor vehicle sales, servicing and repairs.
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■ SUCCESS: Mark Prentice, managing director of Brighouse-based Arkoni, and (right) The impressive 23-storey BP4 building (right) at Canary Wharf in London
Parc Prestatyn retail park in Wales, Leicester’s Victorian Silver Arcade and the Met Quarter in Liverpool, which features the largest feature canopy in Europe.
YOUNG entrepreneur Jacob Hill talked business with the Duke of York on a visit to Buckingham Palace. The 20-year-old founder of complete festival kits company The Lazy Camper was invited to talk to Prince Andrew about ways to encourage other young people to get involved in business after becoming one of the winners of the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards.
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Pawnbroker hit by fall in price of gold A CHAIN of high street outlets set up by the UK’s biggest pawnbroker to take advantage of a surge in the price of gold could shut down in the next 12 months after the market slumped. Gold Bar, which is owned by H&T, now has just five sites compared to 55 last year, but has been hit by a crash in the price of the precious metal as well as competition from payday lenders. H&T, which has 193 outlets overall, said its profits slumped by more than a third and were likely to drop further, prompting it to slash its interim shareholder dividend. Its pre-tax earnings in the first half of the year were down 39% to £14.8m compared to the same period in 2012. It also announced it was pulling out of the payday market – which is facing a Competition Commission investigation – to focus its financial services division on a new 12-month product.
Profits at H&T have surged over the last few years after it took advantage of soaring gold prices by opening dozens of Gold Bar sites at shopping centres across the country. The gold price, which tends to increase at times of financial turbulence as investors look for safe havens, was close to $1,800 (£1,160) per ounce last autumn, but has since plunged to near $1,300 (£840). Chief executive John Nichols said it was always intended that the Gold Bar stores, taken on short-term leases, would only be kept open for a limited period while the price was high. Mr Nichols said of the remaining outlets: “It is likely that we will be closing those at some point in time.” He said that this was likely in the next 12 months, although they were currently performing well and if conditions improved it could be that the chain expanded again.
■ GOLD STANDARD: H&T Pawnbrokers saw earnings fall by 39% in the first half-year
Mr Nichols said: “Trading conditions have been difficult for the group in the first half of 2013. “The competitive environment, reduced volumes of gold in circulation and regulatory pressures have all impacted financial performance.” He said trading was particularly hard hit in the second quarter amid a
25% slump in the price of the precious metal. In response to the challenging conditions, H&T slashed its interim dividend by nearly half from 3.8p to 2.1p and said it was slowing its rate of expansion. H&T said the outlook remained difficult and that profits in the second half would be lower again than the first six months of the year. It also warned that increased competition for the high street alternative credit market in recent years was likely to lead to “a degree of consolidation or rationalisation” in the medium term. Profits from the group’s financial services arm slipped from £1.9m to £1.8m as it cut payday loan applications amid the introduction of a new loan offering it said would be one of the most competitively-priced unsecured products available.
Thames bids to bump up bills
Kidston expansion plan
MILLIONS of households face an extra £29 on their bills after Britain’s biggest water company said it had endured a “tough time” financially. The proposal by Thames Water is likely to spark anger just months after it emerged that the firm, whose revenues rose to £1.8bn in the last financial year, paid no corporation tax. And it comes as families suffer a fall in real earnings while Thames’ bills rose by an inflation-busting 6.7% in the last financial year. If its application to regulator Ofwat is successful, the price rise will apply from next year – although the company has asked if it can
HOMEWARES chain Cath Kidston is to open its largest ever store this year after sales leapt 19% to £105m due to strong UK and overseas growth. The fastest rise for the company’s fashion and homeware products came mainly from Asia, but sales also grew by 21% in the UK, where it launched its latest store at Harrods last Friday. The retailer, founded in West London 20 years ago by English fashion designer Cath Kidston, grew by 33 to 118 shops over the year. Chief executive Kenny Wilson said that despite the potential overseas,
spread out the charge over more than one year to avoid a spike in bills. A spokesman for the firm, which is ultimately controlled by Australia’s Macquarie Group, said: “We have had a tough time financially as a company because of increased costs.” Profits fell 20% in the last financial year, but chief executive Martin Baggs still received a pay rise to £450,000 plus a £274,000 bonus. Thames said it was asking Ofwat to allow the increase in 2014/15 to cover additional spending as well as the bad debts of customers who have failed to pay their bills.
where international sales are up 53%, he remains committed to growing business closer to home. “As a British brand it is very important for us to be successful in the UK,” he said. The retailer has 58 stores across the country after launching eight over the year. Mr Wilson said this expansion is being driven by high demand for its aspirational but affordable products, which range from mugs to handbags. The company opened its first store in China in January and plans to open another in Shanghai this year.
Page 2 Surge in Pru profit INSURANCE giant Prudential has reported more booming growth in Asian economies as it beat expectations with a 22% first-half profits surge. The Pru’s successful pursuit of Asia’s expanding and increasingly-wealthy middle class helped offset a UK market in “flux” as it adjusts to new rules about charging for advice and encouraging staff to join pension plans. The insurer, founded in London in 1848, said the rise in operating profits to £1.42bn from £1.16bn a year earlier showed its resilience amid wobbly stock markets. Shares in the group, which makes almost half of its new life sales in Asia, closed 48p up at 1232p yesterday as it hiked its dividend 16% and said rising demand in Asia will continue to drive growth this year. The group targets rapidly-growing markets including Hong Kong, China, Thailand and the Philippines, which it dubs “sweet-spot” economies, where record life and health insurance sales helped Asian operating profits grow by 18% to £474m. Life sales leapt 42% in Hong Kong in the April to June quarter and were up by 38% in the Philippines. Chief executive Tidjane Thiam said the group traded strongly despite stock markets plunging earlier this year on concerns about an end to money printing in the USA.
SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £48.67 -0.11 Gannett 1672.16 +7.11 Hess Corp £48.48 +0.09 Microsoft £21.23 +0.10 Motors Liquidation 48.46 Wal-Mart Stores £50.00 +0.32 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 500 -10 BAE Systems 4403/8 +1/2 Rolls-Royce 1157 -27 AIM Brady Plc 741/2 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 3461/8 -37/8 BANKS Barclays 285 -21/8 HSBC 7121/8 +21/4 Lloyds Banking Gp 751/2 +3/8 Ryl Scotland 3291/2 +37/8 1 Stan Chart 1612 /2 +251/2 BEVERAGES Diageo £207/8 -1/4 SABMiller £315/8 CHEMICALS Croda £251/4 -1/8 Elementis 98 259 +13/4 3 Johnsn Mat £27 /4 -1/8 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2471/4 +33/8 Costain 284 +83/4 ELECTRICITY
Drax Gp 6831/2 +6 SSE 1560 -17 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 2127/8 -1 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS 5 Alliance Trust 439 /8 -15/8 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 329 -11/2 Cable & Wireless 395/8 -1/2 Comm Colt Group 103 KCOM 851/4 +1 Talktalk Telecom 2527/8 -33/8 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2871/4 -27/8 Sainsbury 3917/8 -31/8 1 Tesco 372 /4 -23/4 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1921 -26 -51/2 Tate Lyle 8141/2 7 Unilever £25 /8 -1/8 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3851/4 -61/4 National Grid 758 -10 Pennon Grp 681 -4 Severn 1763 -18 United Utils 708 -6 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 3811/2 -31/2 ICAP 3861/4 -11/4 London StockExch 1571 -43 5 Man Group 88 /8 -33/4 Provident Financial 1726 -17
Schroders £241/8 Schroders NV 1911 +10 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS REXAM 5061/2 -7 Smiths Grp 1295 -9 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 271/8 +1/8 Carphone Whse 2431/2 -1/4 Dixons Retail 431/2 -11/8 3 Home Retail 151 /4 -35/8 Inchcape 6311/2 -31/2 Kingfisher 3863/4 -21/8 M&S 4703/4 -53/4 Mothercare 433 +4 1 Next £48 /2 -3/4 WH Smith 8251/2 -61/2 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 785 -1 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 1003/8 +1/8 Barrat Dev 3321/2 -51/2 Persimmon 1230 -2 Reckitt Benckiser £451/2 -1/2 Taylor Wimpey 1121/4 -1/4 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 1436 -5 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 1945/8 +15/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 3053/4 +13/4 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 3985/8 -33/8
1961/4 -5/8 2011/4 -1 1232 +48 3 -5/8 323 /4 370 +5 MEDIA BSkyB 846 -4 D Mail Tst 8251/2 -41/2 1 /8 HIBU ITV 1651/2 -1 Johnston Press 165/8 Pearson 1341 +1 Reed Elsevier 814 -121/2 STV Group 1571/2 Trinity Mirror 119 +3/4 Utd Business 712 1 UTV 156 /2 WPP 1178 -12 MINING Anglo American 15671/2 +25 Antofagasta 958 +16 BHP Billiton 19831/2 +20 +43/8 Eurasian Natural 2331/4 Res Fresnillo 1103 +68 Kazakhmys 3031/8 +181/8 Lonmin 348 -21/2 Rio Tinto £317/8 +1/4 VEDANTA 1266 +24 RESOURCES MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 711 -6 Vodafone Group 1961/4 -1/2 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1237 -14 Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life
Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp
375 155 758 £22
+5 +5 -10 +1/4
FTSE closed at
6574.34 Down 9.05 RSA Insurance Gp 1221/4 -1/8 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1206 -5 -3/8 BP 4427/8 3 Cairn Energy 279 /4 +53/4 Royal Dutch Shell £203/4 -1/8 A 3 Royal Dutch Shell £21 /4 -1/8 B Total £343/4 +1/8 Tullow Oil 1064 -3 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1075 -15 Petrofac 1274 -1 Wood Gp(J) 895 -41/2
PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1556 +9 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £323/4 +3/8 GlaxoSmithK XD 21/2 3 Shire £23 /4 -1/8 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 582 -2 Hamrsn 509 -41/2 Intu Properties 315 -27/8 Land Secs 9091/2 -81/2 SEGRO 3067/8 -11/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 4971/4 -11/8 Sage Group 357 -13/4 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 844 -51/2 Bunzl 1349 -12 Capita 1008 -9 De La Rue 980 -23 5 Electrocomp 267 /8 +43/8 Experian 1216 -7 G4S 2441/8 +85/8 Hays 1073/8 -1/4 Homeserve 2491/4 -41/2 Menzies J 7491/2 -1 Rentokil 983/4 +1/8 Smiths News 1831/2 +11/2 Wolseley £321/8 -1/4 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 8861/2 +111/2 Spirent Comms 1373/4 -23/8 TOBACCO
Br Am Tob £341/2 Imperial Tobacco £213/8 LEISURE & HOTELS Bwin.Party Digital 139 Carnival £241/2 Compass Grp 875 easyJet 1328 Enterprise Inns 1493/4 FirstGroup 1145/8 Go-Ahead Gp 1500 Greene King 827 Intercontl Htls 1953 Intl Cons Airl 3121/4 Ladbrokes 1937/8 Mitchells & Butlers 423 Natl Express 2571/2 Rank Org 1561/2 Stagecoach Group 3221/4 TUI Travel 3801/4 Whitbread £313/8
+2 -1/8 -6 -49 +7/8 +33/4 -49 -101/2 -6 -111/4 -51/4 +23/4 -3/8 -33/4 -4 +33/8 -1/4
TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia..................... 1.60 dollars Bangladesh................ 113.51 taka Brazil............................ 3.14 reals Canada...................... 1.52 dollars China ........................... 8.47 yuan Czech Republic .... 27.59 korunas Denmark..................... 8.24 krone Euro.............................. 1.11 euro Hong Kong............... 11.39 dollars Hungary................. 308.96 forints India........................ 82.88 rupees Japan......................... 142.16 yen Mexico ...................... 17.37 pesos New Zealand ............. 1.80 dollars Norway ....................... 8.67 krone Pakistan................ 149.22 rupees Philippines ................ 57.87 pesos South Africa................ 14.22 rand South Korea............. 1501.00 won Sri Lanka .............. 192.08 rupees Sweden....................... 9.64 krona Switzerland................ 1.36 francs Taiwan ..................... 40.47 dollars Turkey...................... 2.78 new lira USA ........................... 1.48 dollars
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Picture-perfect career for Lisa SHE’S photographed football stars David Beckham, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney. Indeed, sport plays a big part in life for self-employed photographer Lisa Dalton. The Holme Valley mother-of-two worked for a number of years snapping the action at England football matches as an official photographer working on behalf of the Football Association. She joined the press photographers pitch side for internationals at iconic venues including Wembley and Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium – as well as taking team pictures, individual player photos and photos of training sessions. She says: “It was the early 2000s and I suppose I was a woman in a man’s world at that time. “I enjoyed covering the matches, but while the press photographers were having a cup of tea at half-time, I was still working because the FA would have children’s events which I had to cover. “There were times when I “As I have always helped my didn’t even know what the running my own business, dad out in the blacksmithing score was at the end of the working around the family. business – he is the fifth match because I had been too Now I photograph weddings, generation of the same busy working! children and family groups as blacksmithing business – and “I also worked for the FA’s well as taking product shots we have always been very official library, which meant for websites.” close and worked extremely finding the images they Lisa’s sitting room doubles well together, we didn’t want to wanted to put on their website, as a studio. “If I’m doing a lose that.” family portrait shoot, Holly leaflets and publicity material. It means Lisa can offer her stands behind me and tries to They would ring up telling us photography clients a framing get the children laughing,” what they needed and we service – but also means she says Lisa. “She’s very good at would have to find it.” gets orders to frame items putting them as their ease.” Lisa, 34, developed a such as football shirts and Alongside her business, passion for photography while sports medals. undertaking an arts foundation Lisa Dalton Photography, she The family connections don’t also runs Memory Framing, a course at Huddersfield end there. Lisa’s duties include picture framing service, which Technical College – now being “official” photographer came about thanks to her Kirklees College. for Hade Edge FC, where Ben father, Keith Hollingworth. The former Honley High plays for the under-10s – a “My father was a blacksmith School and Greenhead team coached by his dad. in Honley and he decided to College student gained a BA A number of family go into semi-retirement,” says Hons degree in Fine Art & members are also active on Lisa. “He asked if there was Documentary Photography.at the club’s sub-committee – something he could do to help Stockport College, part of currently overseeing a major the photography business, so Liverpool University, before project to rebuild the changing we decided to set up the she secured a 12-month facilities. framing business using some placement with Moon premises nearby. With daughter Holly a keen Photography in Armitage Bridge and was soon offered a full-time job. “I liked the technical side of things – developing pictures in the dark room,” says Lisa. “I enjoyed the whole process. Now technology has made things much easier. You can see exactly what you’ve shot straight away. I also like the artistic element of composing a photograph.” Lisa married her husband Eddie in 2003. After a career break to have son Ben, Lisa returned to work part-time before the birth of daughter Holly, when Lisa left her job permanently. She says: “I still enjoyed ■ FAMILY ALBUM: Photographer Lisa Dalton with husband photography and I decided to Eddie, children Ben and Holly and pet dog Meg put that to use myself by
horse rider, weekends are always busy. “I have always loved my sport,” says Lisa. “I still play netball and that is my sporting passion.” Lisa plays Goal Attack for Hi-Tech, a team based at Royds Hall Sports Centre at Paddock, which also has fixtures against teams throughout West Yorkshire. At the moment, though, Lisa is recovering from a foot injury, but hopes to be fit in time for the start of the new season in September. Although the injury hasn’t stopped her working, it has put paid to one of her delights, walking the family dog, Meg, in the countryside near the family home at Hade Edge, high above Holmfirth. The family has embraced the rural life – keeping chickens and pigs on land behind their home. And the moors reservoirs, rivers and woods provide ideal material for Lisa’s evocative landscape photos. “I’m always being asked for snow scenes or autumn scenes for the local newsletter,” she says. “Speaking as a photographer, it’s an inspiring place to live.” But she stresses: “I enjoy doing any kind of photography No two days are the same and when I’m not taking photographs, I have my framing side of the business. It means there’s plenty of variety and that keeps me interested.”
Lisa Dalton Role: Proprietor Age: 34 Family: Married to Eddie with son Ben, nine, and daughter Holly, seven Car: Seat Altea Xl Holidays: We have just returned from our first trip to Turkey, which was wonderful First job: Working in a pub kitchen Best thing about job: Meeting different people and the variety of the work involved. No two jobs are the same Worst thing about job: There’s nothing I don’t like about my job Business tip: Take advice from people who have made a success of running their own businesses
Lisa Dalton Photography/ Memory Framing Work: Photography and picture framing Site: Hade Edge Phone: 01484 688689 Email: info@lisadaltonphotography .co.uk and info@memory framing .co.uk Web: www.lisadaltonphotography .co.uk or www.memoryframing .co.uk
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Yorkshire firms take longer to pay up FIRMS in Yorkshire are taking longer to settle their bills, according to latest figures. A survey by business information group Experian showed that companies in the region on average paid their overdue invoices 24.16 days beyond terms in the second quarter of the year against 23.86 days in the first three months of 2013 an 23.72 for the first quarter of last year. Nationally, businesses paid bills on average 24.58 days beyond terms during the second quarter – a slight improvement on the 24.65 days for the first quarter, but worse than the 23.46 days for the same period in 2012. The latest figures show that the UK’s largest companies, employing 501 or more staff, paid their bills 34.19 beyond terms during the second quarter of 2013 against 33.90 for the first quarter and 30.91 in the second quarter of last year. The smallest firms, those with one or two employees paid up 20.78 days beyond terms compared with 20.92 during the first quarter – but 18.96 for the second quarter of 2012. Sectors improving their payment record compared with the first quarter included food retailing, textiles and clothing, chemicals, engineering and mining. Those with a worse payment performance included construction, printing and packaging, media and utilities.
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Taking stock of tax relief NE of the factors a business O looks at in deciding whether to incur significant expenditure
on plant and machinery is the amount of tax relief available to it. In some cases, a business can make a claim to write-off the whole cost of its expenditure against its profit in the year it buys the equipment and from January 1, 2013, the write-off limit was increased from £25,000 to £250,000. This increase being for a two-year period only. However, as the tenfold increase has been introduced part way through the tax year, obtaining the maximum entitlement is not as straightforward as it may seem. For instance, suppose a business with an April 30, 2013, year end bought a machine for £150,000 in January, 2013. The amount it could write-off against its profit would be restricted to only £100,000 (8/12 x £25,000 + 4/12 x £250,000). In such a situation, it may be possible for the business to shorten its year end to December 31, 2012, so that the machine purchase falls wholly into a year where there is no apportionment in the allowance, thus being able to claim relief for the full £150,000 incurred. There are similar complex rules when the limit is reduced back down to £25,000 in 2015 and it would seem that only businesses with a December 31 year end will benefit from the full £250,000 available allowance. The timing of such expenditure therefore needs to be carefully
Firm pa Great T
TAX TALK Colin Barratt
examined to obtain the maximum available allowances. Businesses can also obtain 100% allowances by investing in “green cars”. For example, from April 1, 2013, if a business buys a new car (second hand cars do not qualify) with a Co2 emission not exceeding 95g/km, such as a Volvo V40 D2 (115 hp manual) with a Co2 emission of 88g/km, it will be able to claim a 100% tax write off on the cost of the car against taxable profits in the year the car is bought. The tax write-off reduces to 18% of cost if the Co2 emission range is 96 to 130g/km and reduces further to 8% once the 130g/km level is breached. “Green cars” are also fuel efficient and carry a reduced or, in some cases, no road fund licence charge. If a “green car” is provided as a benefit to an employee of the business, and has a Co2 rating of 75g/km or less (there are currently not many of these, though) it will result in a lower tax bill for that employee as well as a reduced employer’s national insurance cost. A list of cars with low Co2 emission levels can be found at http://car-
fueldata.direct.gov.uk/search-company-car-tax.aspx Capital allowances of 100% are also available to businesses choosing to invest in water or energy saving equipment. As long as equipment meets certain standards, items such as efficient taps and toilets, leakage detection equipment, energy efficient boilers, combined heating and power systems and refrigeration equipment can qualify for the beneficial tax treatment. Where equipment does not in itself qualify for the 100% allowance, but components of it do then the 100% allowance will still be given on the component parts. For guidance on the equipment eligible for enhanced allowances,. go t o https://etl.decc.gov.uk/etl/site.html. It is worth checking with the supplier of equipment to ensure that entitlement to enhanced capital allowances is not missed. Evidence that the expenditure qualifies for 100% allowances will also need to be obtained in case of a HMRC enquiry.
Colin Barratt is tax partner at Wheawill and Sudworth chartered accountants, Huddersfield
Interest rates swap alert
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TIME is running out for businesses that may have been mis-sold interest rate swaps to seek compensation, a Huddersfield law firm has warned. The pilot scheme, which allows claims to be made against banks who mis-sold interest rate swaps to thousands of clients, was reported in January this year – but as yet few businesses have been paid the compensation they are due. The review estimated that the banks mis-sold about £2bn worth of interest rate swaps. The majority of interest rate swaps were sold between 2006 and 2008 and time is now running out for businesses to bring a legal claim against the banks who mis-sold the product.
■ ADVICE: Liz Boardall, of Armitage Sykes John Burnett, of Armitage Sykes Solicitors in Edgerton, said: “Many of the businesses have now
lost any legal right to challenge a review finding if it is financially insufficient or negative. “A claim based on a contract such as these products must be launched within six years of the contract being entered into. “Effectively. this means that businesses sold these products before July, 2007, can no longer challenge the review.” Business Secretary Vince Cable has estimated that the number of businesses being mis-sold interest rate swaps could be up to 100,000 with the FSA’s pilot finding that 90% of cases reviewed had been mis-sold. To date, very few businesses have been paid out after the FSA’s review was launched and there has been scant information with regard to the level of compensation to be made
to businesses. Liz Boardall, of Armitage Sykes, said: “Any business that entered into an interest rate hedging product should take immediate legal advice as there are protective measures that can be undertaken that effectively stop time running out.” The FSA brought in a financial sophistication test to the claim process and with different processing applying to non-sophisticated customers and also those businesses who have gone into administration as a result of the mis-selling. “Given the delays in receiving compensation, it is imperative that all businesses affected by mis-selling of interest rate swaps seek urgent legal advice,” said Liz.
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From festival tent to a royal palace YOUNG entrepreneur Jacob Hill talked business with the Duke of York on a visit to Buckingham Palace. The 20-year-old founder of complete festival kits company The Lazy Camper was invited to talk to Prince Andrew about ways to encourage other young people to get involved in business after becoming one of the winners of the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards. Jacob founded the company in 2011 and was Huddersfield University’s inaugural winner of the award which was presented to 10 entrepreneurs – one from each university in Yorkshire – earlier this year. The Duke was named a patron of Huddersfield University just last month. Now Jacob, who lives at Brighouse, has been asked to lead the efforts to discuss what support the Duke of York’s team can give to the winners to develop their businesses further and examine how the awards can be rolled out nationally. He said: “It was an honour to be asked to go to Buckingham Palace to discuss how those of us lucky enough to be given the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award can make the most of the opportunity it gives us. “Prince Andrew’s team are keen to
■ ROYAL COMMAND: Jacob Hill (left), founder of festival kits firm The Lazy Camper, based in Huddersfield, receives his Young Entrepreneur Award from the Duke of York – and is now helping to find ways to get more young people to set up businesses
support us and see what help they can give to develop our businesses, particularly with potential export opportunities. “I am grateful for the support from the Duke of York and his office and will be meeting with the other nine award winners in September to discuss the next steps for our businesses and how we can help the awards to encourage other young entrepreneurs in the future.” Jacob founded The Lazy Camper while on the enterprise development
Technology on right track A HAULAGE firm in Huddersfield has unveiled a multi-million pound investment in cutting edge technology. H Young Transport, which operates 24 vehicles and has a site at Red Doles Lane, off Leeds Road, said the move would strengthen its position as a “leading player” in the transport sector. The new Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) technology offers an innovative “proof of location” service which pinpoints exactly where customers’ goods have been delivered as well as recording the time and signature of the recipient. Managing director Russell Webster said: “This major investment is transforming the way we work and we are delighted to be able to announce such positive news when many other businesses are having to cut back. Investment like this gives our customers the edge and is great news for the local economy.” H Young Transport is part of the leading UK and European distribution network Palletforce and the investment is a joint venture between the two. The system provides instant updates for customers to track their consignments, which streamlines operations to improve services for clients by giving them all the information they need at their fingertips. Michael Conroy, chief executive of Palletforce, said: “When fuel is so expensive it is efficiencies like this that make us and our members stand out from the rest. Smart technology like this will support our members so they remain competitive in a challenging market.” H Young Transport, founded in 1966, employs 46 people. As well as its Huddersfield depot, it has a site in Hampshire and offers international general haulage services. Mr Webster said: “Deploying this new technology has further speeded up our operations and streamlined all our processes.”
course at Huddersfield University. He is about to go into his third year of studies, yet The Lazy Camper already has a fully staffed office in Huddersfield’s new 3M Buckley Innovation Centre and has landed a contract to be a main sponsor of one of the UK’s leading music events; V Festival. Prince Andrew visited the 3MBC in May to open the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre with the aim of encouraging aspiring businesspeople to take a risk and start their own company.
Agency joins charity effort BIRSTALL-based marketing agency Fantastic Media has joined forces with Huddersfield Town and the club’s charity in partnership for the new season. As well as sponsoring the club, the marketing agency will also work with the club’s charity, the Town Foundation, this season. The charity aims to help improve the quality of life for young people across Huddersfield and West Yorkshire. Fantastic Media managing director Andy Hobson said: “We have identified the revolutionary work being done in the community by the Town Foundation and felt that as well as supporting the club we also wanted to channel our expertise into building the Town Foundation brand and making it a success.” Town commercial manager Mark Jacobs said: “We’re delighted to officially team up with Fantastic Media ahead of the coming season. “Fantastic Media will work closely in partnership with the Town Foundation throughout next season to help raise awareness and funds with several initiatives already in the pipeline. “At the same time, all the team at Huddersfield Town is looking forward to building upon what is already a great working relationship with Andy and his team.”
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Sports clubs benefit from Olympics legacy
THE number of sports clubs and facilities entering formal insolvency procedures has fallen by 33% in the year since the 2012 Olympic summer, it has been revealed. Figures from insolvency industry body R3 show there were 123 such cases in 2011-12 compared with 82 in 2012-13. By comparison, the total number of UK corporate insolvencies fell by just 12% over a similar period. The decline in the number of failing sporting companies coincides with a remarkable year of sporting success for British athletes and teams that included London hosting the Olympics. Chris Wood, Yorkshire R3 committee member and partner at Clough Corporate
More buyers for housing market MORE buyers are returning to the Yorkshire property market, claims a survey. Latest figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors show a net balance of 67% more chartered surveyors in the region reporting increases in demand last month against 53% in June. Since the start of the year, buyers have gradually been returning to test the market – thanks in no small part to government finance initiatives – yet the amount of would-be buyers seen in July saw a sizeable peak. The number of potential sellers in Yorkshire looking to test the market and put their homes up for sale also increased. Some 38% more respondents in the region reported rises rather than falls in new instructions during July – up from 24% in June. This reading has now been in positive territory for the last four months. However, for the previous three months it has been outstripped by the growth in new buyer enquires. Alex McNeil of estate agency Bramleys, which has offices in Huddersfield, Mirfield and Halifax, said: “We have seen an increased level of activity in recent months, leading to a feeling that a corner has been turned with improved market sentiment which is having a positive impact on local buyers and sellers.” The RICS survey also showed a rise in the number of homes sold in the region – with 47% more surveyors reporting a rise rather than a fall in newly agreed sales against 18% in June. Significantly, this improved market activity was seen in each and every part of the UK as the recovery, initially focused in the South East, spread to regions across the country. The West Midlands and the North East – areas which have suffered more than most since the market crash – experienced the biggest increases in buyer activity in July. Consequentially, prices rose in the country for the fourth consecutive month and grew at their fastest rate since the market peak of November, 2006.
Solutions in Cleckheaton, said: “Regular British sporting success, as well as the feel-good glow of the Olympics, may well have encouraged both children and adults to try new sports, join local teams or keep on going with their gym membership. “Extra interest – and income – will always be a welcome boost for sports clubs and facilities throughout the country.” He said: “The legacy of London 2012 has attracted a lot of attention. It would certainly be a positive Olympic legacy if any burst of grassroots interest in sport were to be sustained and translated into financially healthier sports clubs and facilities.” The research, compiled by R3 using Bureau van Dijk's “Fame” database of company
information, also shows that sports-related insolvencies are now 42% lower than they were five years ago when the UK entered recession. But R3 adds that despite the fall in sporting corporate failures, many sports clubs and facilities are still financially hard-pushed. Mr Wood said: “Since the recession, many people will have cut back on discretionary spending like club memberships or trips to the gym. “Sports facilities, gyms, and clubs are also vulnerable to seasonal changes in weather or lengthy gaps between playing seasons, which can make cash flow tricky to manage. “Expensive space requirements, high insurance costs and finance requirements for new
equipment quickly add up, too. "On top of this, early periods of economic recovery – as we are experiencing now – can be dangerous for businesses on the edge. “Corporate insolvencies have historically increased in this situation. Businesses that cut back on investment to survive the recession may find they are unable to cope with the stresses of expansion and increased demand that economic recovery brings.” Corporate failures uncovered by the research include those of multiple Football League and Premier League clubs, local football clubs, golf clubs, snooker halls, local stables, motor-racing clubs, tennis clubs, and gyms.
Accent on health and safety A DEWSBURY firm is promoting healthy living among its employees by taking part in Kirklees Council’s Better Health at Work project. During the past six months, Rixonway has been running drop-in events for its staff, carried out by ‘Better Health at Work programme advisors. The workshops, held twice a month, provide staff with a range of helpful tips, information and advice on subjects such as healthy eating, alcohol guidance and adult health. Mark Evans, operational system manager at Rixonway Kitchens, said: “The Kirklees Council healthy living initiative has proved invaluable for our employees who are able to benefit from its free advice and share ideas with colleagues on how to achieve better health both inside and outside work. “As the drop-in events are held within working hours, our employees have the chance to find out information they otherwise may not have received.” Rixonway also introduced an internal employee survey to help identify any further advice and information employees would like to gain or implement on health and safety. Feedback indicated healthier vending machine options and additional workshops in manual handling would be beneficial. The Better Health at Work programme, established in 2004 by Kirklees Council, provides free support to businesses and individuals in order to improve health and safety in the work place. As a result of the events, Rixonway hopes to report a reduction in work related accidents and sickness absences.
■ WORK WISE: Rixonway employees Toni Larkin (left) and Kelly Austin (right) with Gemma Seepujak, of Kirklees Council's Better Health at Work initiative
News rules are ‘a hindrance’ NEW building standards announced by the Government will hinder the supply of new housing, it is claimed. Reforms to Part L of the Building Regulations, to be implemented in 2014, will involve a new target for fabric energy efficiency and a 6% improvement on 2010 standards. Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, warned the new standards will hit smaller developers harder and faster than the rest of the industry. He said: “FMB surveys of housebuilders indicate the cost implications for smaller developments will be significantly above those estimated by the Government’s impact
assessments. “In a still fragile housing market, in which homebuyers are not prepared to pay the extra for energy efficiency, these extra costs will continue to come off the bottom line of builders, threatening the viability of many developments and further hindering hopes of a boost in housing supply. “Smaller housebuilders without large banks of prior planning consents will be hit first by these changes.” Mr Berry said: “As well as increased costs, the new fabric energy-efficiency standard will involve complex calculations and a steep learning curve. For those small housebuilders who have not been building recently, the barriers to re-entry will be raised
again.” He said: “The new standards will kick in next year, with a further change in standards already being planned for 2016. Yet very few homes in Britain have been built to the 2010 standards as it is. There is simply too little evidence of how current standards are working on which to base decisions about a further uplift in standards at this point. “We support the idea that ‘zero carbon’ should be the end destination, but the timetable for achieving it must be realistic and deliverable. “The overwhelming feeling in the industry is that policy is running well ahead of the industry’s ability to deliver on these commitments.”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Southdale seals its own Green deal CONSTRUCTION and development specialist Southdale has launched a new division to provide energy efficiency upgrades to homes. As well as delivering eco-funded projects in existing homes, the new Greendale business will also lead Southdale’s first move into offering planned maintenance for home owners and landlords. Greendale is led by Nick O’Connor and Mark Pickles, who have joined the company as directors and have more than two decades of experience in the market between them. They have provided eco enhancements and planned maintenance to more than 13,000 homes across Yorkshire, including 12,000 as part of an enhanced Decent Homes Project for the Wakefield and District Housing Partnership during their seven years together with Keepmoat. Mr O’Connor returns to Southdale after eight years and will lead the operational side of the business, while Mark takes responsibility for the commercial aspects of the firm, which will operate as a distinct unit within the Southdale Group. Southdale managing director Paul Moore (pictured) said: “During the last 25 years, Southdale has established itself as a housebuilder in the affordable homes market to the point where we now have strong operations across the North of England. “The launch of Greendale takes our growth in a new direction, expanding into the growing market which is developing around work covered by eco funding opportunities, as well as into planned maintenance of properties. “This is a very exciting move for Southdale at a time when there is much positivity about what the future holds, as we look to build upon the success of our first quarter of a century.”
Opening a window for ‘independents’ INDEPENDENT retailers in Kirklees have been urged to snap a photo of their window displays – and be in with a chance of winning an award. UK Point of Sale is calling on independent retailers from across Britain to capitalise on the summer by designing window displays that will capture the attention of the nation. Debra Jamieson, sales and marketing director at UK POS, said: “Although we work with big name retailers across the country, we also work with a huge number of independent retailers. “UK POS is an official sponsor of Independent Retailer Month and the Support for Independent Retail campaign and we wanted to reward the Independent Retailers that go all out with their window displays to drive footfall. “We pride ourselves on supplying the very best point of sale materials which is why we have chosen to give £250 worth of UK POS products to the winning retailer. We have a range of more than 3,000 products, with 4m items in stock, available for next day delivery.” The Independent Retailers competition is open to retailers in the UK and Republic of Ireland that are classed as “independent”. Entry is via Twitter only and only one entry will be counted per retailer, but multiple photos of the same window display can be sent. The closing date for the competition August 31, 2013. Follow UK POS on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKPOSGroup
Industrial sites are in demand
THE “feel-good” factor is slowly returning to logistics and industrial property occupiers in the West Yorkshire market, according to a survey. The report by property consultancy Knight Frank showed that take-up for the first six months of this year was 1.1m sq ft – marginally above the total of 1.03m sq ft for the second half of last year, but 63% higher year-on-year. However, only one deal involved new-build space – One Stop’s lease of 120,000sq ft at Prologis Wakefield. An increase in design and build as well as speculative developments is expected – albeit on a smaller scale – with units up to 20,000sq ft. Rental levels on sub-5,000sq ft units have increased sufficiently to make development for this size range viable. Owen Holder, logistics and industrial property partner for Knight Frank in West Yorkshire, said: “Headline rents and incentives are consistent with the last six months of last year, with landlords continuing to offer rental discounts to businesses considering relocation. “Third party logistics remains the most active sector, with Norbert Dentressangle l e a d i n g c u s t o m e r e n q u i r y l eve l s presently.” But he said: “There is a severe under-supply of Grade A stock in the Leeds market, particularly for units ranging between 30,000sq ft and 50,000sq ft. As a result good quality refurbished accommodation is attracting healthy demand. “A number of design and build enquiries are currently in the market, ranging in size from 80,000 to 120,000sq ft and primarily along the M62 corridor. Mr Holder said: “Land supply is ample, with over 500 acres allocated in the Aire Valley and further availability in the M62
■ BRILLIANT LOCATION: Bretton Park, near Dewsbury, where Unit 800 is being marketed for sale or lease
corridor between Junctions 30 and 36. “The majority of sites are developer controlled, with limited sites of greater than five acres available for outright purchase by owner occupiers.” Knight Frank is marketing Unit 800 at Bretton Park, near Dewsbury, on behalf of Ernst & Young. Mr Holder said the 204,000sq ft headquarters distribution facility was available for sale or lease, adding: “It’s in a brilliant location and we are already experiencing a good deal of interest in it. “There are a small number of speculat-
ive schemes planned, the most notable by Wykeland, who are planning a trade counter scheme at Junction 32 M62. Several other developers have purchased sites around Leeds. “With respect to investment, yields have hardened in recent months and we expect this trend to continue. “Recently, a 100,000 sq ft secondary warehouse in Wakefield was sold to Northern Foods and is expected to achieve sub 7.5% net initial yield, a marked improvement in yields for Yorkshire.”
Law firm sponsor stands tall A NEW sponsor has stepped forward at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium. Law firm Chadwick Lawrence has signed a deal with Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd to sponsor the south stand – naming it The Chadwick Lawrence Stand. The move was welcomed by KSDL managing director Gareth Davies, who said: “We are pleased to announce this new sponsorship agreement. “As legal partners to the stadium, our relationship with Chadwick Lawrence has steadily evolved. Today’s announcement is the next step in what I see as a long-term partnership.” Chadwick Lawrence, which has offices in Huddersfield and across Yorkshire, is a broad-based law firm providing a wide range of commercial and private services. Jeremy Garside, the firm’s managing partner, said: “We are delighted with this new sponsorship agreement. Since becoming the stadium’s legal partners we have forged an excellent relationship and worked closely with them on a variety of legal issues. “We are very active within the Huddersfield community and pride ourselves on supporting businesses close
■ STANDING ROOM: Gareth Davies (right), managing director of Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd, with Jeremy Garside, managing partner of Chadwick Lawrence to home. “Seen as Huddersfield’s community stadium, our increasing involvement with
the venue has been a natural next step. We hope that this new agreement further cements this partnership.”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Movers and shakers
Sixth successive win for dealership Jeremy Neil
Labtex LABORATORY equipment supplier Labtex has appointed Jeremy Neil to run its service engineering department. Mr Neil (pictured) is a highly qualified engineer holding City and Guilds certificates in both mechanical and electrical engineering. He has extensive experience in both manufacturing and service roles and will ensure that Labtex continues to offer high-level back-up and support. Labtex, based at Fenay Bridge, has wide experience servicing general laboratory equipment, including low temperature baths and circulators, magnetic and overhead stirrers and vacuum pumps.
Leeds Building Society LEEDS Building Society has appointed David Egerton as manager of its Huddersfield branch. Mr Egerton (pictured) joins the team at Cherry Tree Centre, Market Street, after 24 years as regional operations manager for Lloyds Banking Group, where he supported the roll-out of key operational projects in the North East region. Mr Egerton, who includes golf, cycling and football among his sporting interests, said: “I want to deliver the best service in the market place to our customers in Huddersfield. “There are many local businesses and organisations that I am looking forward to working with to build Leeds Building Society’s profile in the local area. “I aim to introduce many new customers to the branch who, along with existing members, will benefit from the financial strength and national presence offered by the UK’s fifth largest building society.”
David Keenan & Andy Croasdell
RBS CIB ROYAL Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking has made two senior promotions in West Yorkshire to support strong business demand in the Yorkshire region. David Keenan has been appointed business development director, replacing Andy Croasdell who has been promoted to relationship director. Both are based in the corporate office in Leeds Mr Croasdell joined RBS five years ago. He has worked as credit manager for a year and business development director in the Leeds office for three years. In his new role, he will manage business clients with annual turnovers between £25m and £75m. Mr Keenan spent the last two years as an assistant director in the Leeds CIB team. He joined RBS six-and-a-half years ago and has developed significant business experience working across a range of RBS departments.
A MOTOR trader in Huddersfield has landed a top customer service award for the sixth time in a row. Chris and Adam Oddy, of John Shaw & Son (Commercials) Ltd, based at Leeds Road, received the Excellent Customer Service Award from Richard Guthrie, of West Yorkshire Trading Standards. The award scheme is run by trading standards for members of the West Yorkshire Motor Trade Partnership, which was set up to tackle the increasing number of consumer complaints in relation to motor vehicle sales, servicing and repairs. By choosing a garage that is a member, customers can be certain that the mileage has been verified, that the vehicle is roadworthy and that the history of the vehicle is verifiable.
Each year, members of the scheme are audited and any complaints received reviewed. Those members achieving high levels of customer service receive the award, which dealers display in their premises as reassurance to customers that they are making a reliable choice. Kirklees councillor Andrew Pinnock, who sits on the Trading Standards Committee, said: “It is really positive news to hear that John Shaw’s have won this award for the sixth time and it is encouraging that local garages are working in partnership with Trading Standards to give consumers of West Yorkshire an excellent standard of service and the extra reassurance they are dealing with a reputable trader. Congratulations to them.”
■ SIXTH SENSE: Richard Guthrie, of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, are Chris Oddy (left) and Adam Oddy (centre), of John Shaw & Son (Commercial) Ltd
Allison’s recipe for success A HUDDERSFIELD bakery’s unique Christmas Dinner Cake – which became an overnight sensation when it was featured on BBC2’s Dragon’s Den – has been nominated for a prestigious bakery award. Lindley-based ProperMaid’s festive cake helped company founder and managing director Allison Whitmarsh (pictured) scoop a £50,000 investment from entrepreneur Deborah Meaden in return for a 25% stake on the TV show. Now the mouth-watering concoction has been shortlisted as one of three finalists in the Product Innovation Award category of the Baking Industry Awards 2013. The innovative cake uses all the ingredients of a traditional British Christmas dinner, including carrots, parsnips, cranberries, Christmas spices, chestnuts and even sprouts. It now comes in a distinctive “Bake your Own” kit with step-by-step instructions, measured out ingredients and recipe book. “Our Christmas Dinner Cake was such a huge success, we wanted to take it forward as a business and make the most of the opportunity,” said Allison. “We’ve taken the basic idea and made it into a lovely gift box that people can buy to bake at home or give as a gift for a friend – and we’re delighted it has caught the
attention of the judges at the awards. It’s great to be in the running for a nationally recognised accreditation and is the biggest award we’ve ever been up for.” Said Allison: “It’s been a really exciting six months for us as we’re now finalising a supply contract with a major online grocer and taking the Dinner Cake idea one step further by creating prototypes for our Sunday Dinner Cake, which will be available all year round.” Proper Maid, based in Heritage Mills, has made a name for itself with its out-of-the-ordinary home-baked cakes and loaves, with flavours that have included Courgette & Lime, Beetroot & Chocolate, Liquorice, Dandelion & Burdock – which won a Gold Star at the 2012 Great Taste Awards – and Chocolate Chilli & Fudge, made with real chillies. The 26th annual Baking Industry Awards will be held on September 11 at the Park Lane Hilton in London with more than 800 key industry executives attending.
A HUDDERSFIELD man has travelled 10,500 miles to take up his new job. Graham Steele (pictured), who grew up in the town, has joined KPMG in Yorkshire as a research and development tax director – leading the firm’s innovation reliefs and incentives group across the North – after seven years in Australia working at the firm’s Sydney office. Down Under, Mr Steele advised on R&D across a large mix of industries, from financial services to software and renewable energy to mining. His experiences included working at a remote mine site in the Northern Territories, conducting meetings in the mining town’s only pub. He said: “This is an exciting time to be returning to the UK tax scene – notwithstanding tax being high on the news agenda – because great leaps are being made in innovation policy. “Increasingly, the UK tax system is using new reliefs and incentives to foster innovation and promote the UK economy. The introduction of the new Patent Box regime, the R&D Expenditure Credit and the new Creative Sector Reliefs are prime examples. “They present a great opportunity for the region’s companies which have a rich history of innovation and technological bravery.” The new R&D Expenditure Credit enables companies to claim a taxable credit of 10% of their qualifying R&D expenditure, which is refundable if there are tax losses. This will create a great incentive for businesses to undertake and commercialise R&D as well as encouraging international firms to locate here. Said Mr Steele: “Now is a crucial time for businesses to ensure they are capturing all the entitlements available.”