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JAYNE LEEDHAM A talent for training

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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees

Funding secured for advisory body

A GROUP helping Kirklees manufacturers improve efficiency, productivity and profits has finally secured funding to allow it to continue its work. The future of the Manufacturing Advisory Service in Yorkshire was thrown into disarray last October when regional development agency Yorkshire Forward withdrew funding for new projects in the run-up to its closure.. Since then, MAS has continued to operate while efforts to find alternative funding continued. Robin Watson, MAS regional director, said: “It has been an extremely frustrating period as we have not been able to provide the in-depth expert advice manufacturers are seeking.” Now Mr Watson and his team have secured more than £1m – which gives MAS the green light to carry on operating until the end of the year. The funding will be drawn down from sources including Yorkshire Forward’s remaining limited resources and the European Regional Development Fund. Said Mr Watson: “The MAS service can lead to real and lasting benefits for businesses, including safeguarding and

creating new jobs and increasing turnover and profitability by helping to improve competitiveness, enabling new business to be won. “Now we have the funding in place, one of our priorities will be to advise on operational issues including introducing ‘lean’ techniques and revising factory processes and layout.” Mr Watson added: “From December, the MAS service will be delivered on a national basis. “The team are seeking to play a role in the new contract so that we can continue to use our experience and knowledge of manufacturing improvement techniques, which we have built up over the past eight years of delivering the MAS service in Yorkshire and Humber.” MAS Y&H is a BIS initiative providing hands-on advice and support to manufacturing businesses to improve productivity and efficiency. It is jointly supported by Yorkshire Forward and the ERDF and is managed by YFM Business Development, part of the GLE Group – a not for profit enterprise development company. Firms in Kirklees to benefit from

Joe McLean, partner at Grant Thornton’s recovery and reorganisation practice in West Yorkshire, said: “The rise in corporate insolvencies results from a combination of factors that are dragging economic growth to a snail’s pace. “Rising global commodity prices

Valuable contractor DEWSBURY-based Rixonway Kitchens has been named Manufacturer of the Year by Wates Living Space, one of the UK’s leading affordable housing contractors and a division of the family owned Wates Group. The accolade recognises the efforts of UK suppliers to help Wates achieve best value during times of economic turbulence.

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■ FUNDING SECURE: MAS regional director Robin Watson

MAS advice include Shepley-based motorhomes manufacturer Wellhouse Leisure and Melett Ltd, a

Queen’s Award winning company in Clayton West providing turbocharger components.

Failure rate rises in face of falling demand THE number of troubled companies falling into insolvency in England and Wales rose for the second successive quarter, according to latest figures. Statistics from the Insolvency Service show administrations rose by 22% to 782 in the first quarter of 2011 against the previous three months.


are putting pressure on businesses at the same time that demand is falling. “Of particular note is the volume of distressed retailers we are dealing with. This is unsurprising given the rise in input prices and increase in VAT which comes at the same time as the Government and households

implement austerity measures to reduce their debts.” Among other figures, the number of companies entering liquidation rose by 3.7% to 4,121 during the first quarter of the year compared with the final quarter of 2010. The latest figure is up by 2% on a year ago.

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The sign of four MILNSBRIDGE firm Horizon Signs has invested in its workforce. Four employees have gained CSCS cards, underlying their competence in fitting and manufacturing.

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Solicitors for business inYorkshire Huddersfield | Wakefield | Halifax | Leeds



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Boots striding out with higher profits RETAILER and drugs wholesaler Alliance Boots posted strong growth in annual sales and profits – despite a tough time for baby products and photography in the UK. Sales rose by 15% to £20.2bn in the year to March 31 with underlying profits up by 14% to £1.05bn. Most of the gains came from the pharmaceutical distribution side, where profits jumped by more a third to £320m. Boots UK had a more difficult time as like-for-like revenues rose by 0.5%. Cosmetics sales dipped and lifestyle, which includes photography, also saw sales fall slightly. Higher volumes offset lower prescription charges to lift dispensing revenues by 2.4%. The UK was still the best performer in the health and beauty division overall, with all other countries seeing

lower like-for like sales. Trading profits were 5.5% higher at £767m. Acquisitions boosted the pharmaceutical division’s contribution as growth in both sales and profits was 1.7% on an underlying basis. UK sales rose by more than 5% despite more direct sales to chemists slowing its progress. Last year, the company – which was taken private in an £11.1bn takeover in 2007 – became the third UK retailer to post profits of more than £1bn behind Tesco and Marks & Spencer. The group employs 75,000 staff in the UK, with 2,500 health and beauty stores and 670 opticians. In October, it announced it was cutting more than 900 non-store UK jobs over the next three years. Executive chairman Stefano Pessina,

who led the buy-out of the business with private equity firm KKR, said that pressures seen over the past 12 months were expected to continue. “We are planning for consumer demand to be subdued and expect governments to continue to seek ways to contain growth in healthcare expenditure,” he said. Mr Pessina took back overall executive control of the company in March when former HBOS chief Andy Hornby stepped down unexpectedly as group chief executive. Bottom-line pre-tax profits rose from £460m to £637m while strong cash generation cut borrowings by £546m to under £8bn.. There have been suggestions that the firm may try to float next year to cut debts further.

Rumours lift Kesa

■ FOOTFALL: Boots lifted annual turnover by 15% to £20.2bn

Asda to take George overseas

LSE defiant over rival bid

SUPERMARKET Asda has unveiled plans to open its first George stores overseas as it looks to turn the fashion label into a major global brand. The chain has set up a team at George’s base in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, to explore entering into franchise arrangements for the first time. George expects to announce its first partner in the Middle East in the next few months, followed by store openings in the first half of 2012. The George label already trades in six overseas countries in stores run by Asda’s US parent company Wal-

LONDON Stock Exchange has vowed to press ahead with a merger with its Toronto counterpart – despite the emergence of a rival Canadian bidder. Maple Group, which is made up of Canadian pension funds and banks, tabled a £1.8bn bid proposal for the Toronto exchange (TMX) designed to keep it in Canadian hands. The LSE unveiled its own merger proposal with TMX in February as part of chief executive Xavier Rolet’s plans to play a central role in the consolidation of international stock exchanges.

mart, but the company now hopes to step up its expansion by opening specialist George outlets in new markets overseas through franchise agreements. George was set up 21 years ago by George Davies, the fashion designer who also invented the Per Una label at Marks & Spencer. Asda said George is now the third best selling clothes brand by volume in the UK, selling through its 364 supermarkets and 27 Asda Living general merchandise stores. Asda has made growing sales of George one of its key targets in an increasingly competitive market.

It said it remained committed to the deal, adding: “The proposed merger offers compelling financial, strategic and operational benefits for shareholders, the full breadth of market participants, listed companies of all sizes, investors and other stakeholders.” TMX has said it will assess the higher offer from Maple but that in the meantime it continued to back its existing merger partner. The Maple bid is likely to have strong local support as politicians and banks in Canada have already voiced opposition to the LSE plans.

A POTENTIAL shake-up in the beleaguered UK electrical retailing sector sparked a surge in the share prices of two of its biggest players. Shares in Comet owner Kesa closed 9.7p higher at 150.7p yesterday, while rival Dixons Retail, which owns PC World and Currys, added 2.3p to 18.4p on hopes it will see some benefit from reduced competition. Yesterday’s rally followed reports that Kesa is considering whether to dispose of the Comet UK electrical goods chain, a move which could provide a boost to the prospects of rivals such as Dixons and Argos owner Home Retail. A disposal would enable Kesa to focus on Darty, its profitable French business, and for its shares to trade only in Paris. Kesa’s management and activist investor Knight Vinke, which owns 18%, are said to want to deal once and for all with the problems at Comet, which sells a wide range of electrical goods from TVs to washing machines. Analysts say the chain is holding back a re-rating of the Kesa share price on the back of the success of its French business Darty. Comet, which has 250 stores, is losing money and struggling to boost revenues in the face of falling consumer confidence and squeezed disposable incomes.

SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £30.90 +0.42 Gannett 898.96 -0.62 Hess Corp £46.59 -0.07 Microsoft 1532.23 -8.93 Motors Liquidation 46.18 Wal-Mart Stores £34.72 +0.41 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 286 +2 BAE Systems 339 -1/4 Rolls-Royce Gp 648 AIM Brady Plc 751/4 -3/4 Dawson Intl 2 Man Brnze 477/8 -1/8 Uniq 793/8 +53/8 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 2093/4 -21/4 BANKS Barclays 2733/4 -5/8 HSBC 6423/4 -43/4 Lloyds Banking Gp 545/8 -1/8 Ryl Scotland 421/4 -1/2 1 Stan Chart 1575 /2 +4 BEVERAGES Diageo 1301 +5 SABMiller £221/2 CHEMICALS Croda 1868 -4 Elementis 98 154 -11/4 Johnsn Mat £20 +1/8 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 3281/8 -3/4 Costain 235 +53/4 ELECTRICITY

Drax Gp 4521/4 -91/2 Intl Power 3295/8 -1/2 Scottish & Sthrn 1334 -1 Energy ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 141 -15/8 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 3783/4 -13/8 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 194 -21/8 Cable & Wireless 487/8 Comm Cable & Wireless 515/8 -11/2 Wwide Colt Group 149 +11/4 KCOM 63 1 -21/8 Talktalk Telecom 129 /4 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 3021/4 -2 Sainsbury 3561/4 -61/2 3 Tesco 417 /4 -13/8 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1058 -7 Tate Lyle 6281/2 +1 Unilever 1972 -14 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3141/4 -31/8 National Grid 616 -31/2 Pennon Grp 669 +1/2 Severn 1495 -2 1 United Utils 622 /2 +1/2 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 2863/8 -1/4 ICAP 492 -3/4 London StockExch 884 +561/2

Man Group 2455/8 -1/8 Provident Financial 966 +61/2 Schroders 1670 -4 Schroders NV 1371 -2 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS Cooksn Grp 7011/2 -171/2 REXAM 3873/4 -63/4 Smiths Grp 1217 -18 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 211/2 +1 Carphone Whse 390 +1/4 Dixons Retail 183/8 +21/4 Home Retail 2243/4 -23/4 Inchcape 3811/4 -23/4 3 Kingfisher 277 /8 -47/8 3 M&S 397 /4 -3/4 Mothercare 4333/4 +73/4 Next £223/4 WH Smith 4987/8 -1/8 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 687 -31/2 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 114 -2 Barrat Dev 1171/4 -11/2 Persimmon 4895/8 -73/4 Reckitt Benckiser £34 -3/8 Taylor Wimpey 391/2 -3/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING Charter 764 -41/2 IMI 1072 -11 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 4393/4 -171/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 2221/8 +1/4 Forth Ports 1623 -2

LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 434 Lgl & Gen 1151/4 Old Mutual 1291/4 Prudential 730 Resolution 2971/2 Standard Life 2147/8 MEDIA BSkyB 840 D Mail Tst 501 ITV 681/8 Johnston Press 73/4 Pearson 1155 Reed Elsevier 558 STV Group 152 Trinity Mirror 493/4 Utd Business 6061/2 UTV 1321/2 WPP 767 Yell Group 63/4 MINING Anglo American £293/4 Antofagasta 1185 BHP Billiton £237/8 Eurasian Natural 8311/2 Res Fresnillo 1351 Kazakhmys 1242 Lonmin 1518 Rio Tinto £413/4 VEDANTA £211/4 RESOURCES Xstrata 1387 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 618 Vodafone Group 1681/4 NONLIFE INSURANCE

-13/4 -1 -1/2 -5 -1 +1/2 -1/2 -41/2 -11/4 -1/4 -16 -31/2 -8 -1/8 +2 -11/2 +1/2 -3/8 5

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Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp

290 1211/4 616 1878

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Admiral Grp 1754 +3 RSA Insurance Gp 1363/4 -3/8 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1340 +18 BP 4381/2 -33/4 Cairn Energy 4301/4 +7/8 3 Royal Dutch Shell A £21 /8 -1/8 3 Royal Dutch Shell B £21 /8 Total £351/2 -1/8 Tullow Oil 1328 -2 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1171 -4 Petrofac 1475 -4 Wood Group 644 -1/2 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1357 -6 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY

Astrazeneca £317/8 Axis-Shield 3311/4 GlaxoSmithK XD Shire 1935 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 5821/2 Captl Shop Cent 3911/4 DTZ Hldgs 46 Hamrsn 4703/4 Land Secs 754 SEGRO 3153/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Autonomy Corp 1780 Invensys 3193/8 Logica 1435/8 Misys 362 Sage Group 2923/4 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 488 Bunzl 7381/2 Capita 720 De La Rue 8231/2 Electrocomp 290 Experian 810 G4S 2803/4 Hays 1147/8 Homeserve 512 Menzies J 538 Rentokil 981/2 Smiths News 951/4 Wolseley £203/4 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 582 Psion 92 Spirent Comms 1481/8 TOBACCO Br Am Tob £267/8

Imperial Tobacco -83/4 1 /2 -26 -2 -23/8 -2 -21/4 -71/2 -21/8 +46 -71/4 -11/4 -67/8 +3/4

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

1365/8 £26 587 3545/8 881/2 3561/8 1496 4925/8 1277 2461/4

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1483/4 3351/4 267 1503/8 2427/8 2481/4 1646

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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS AS a youngster, Jayne Leedham had ambitions to be a show jumper. Now she is helping companies put in a faultless performance as a training and development consultant. Jayne, who lives at The Airedale Heifer pub in Mirfield with partner Mel, has amassed a wealth of experience working for some of the region’s best-known businesses. She launched Bliss Training, with business partner Victoria Deighton in 2010 at a time when the recession meant training budgets were among the first thing companies were cutting! Says Jayne: “It has been a very exciting first 14 months! We launched in March last year and after the first three months we changed the way we operated. Both of us have backgrounds in the large corporate arena, but now we are operating in the SME market. We spent three months getting used to that!” “Training budgets are bigger in large companies, but results are often more measurable with smaller companies. We wanted to skills because they may make a tangible difference have worked in a ‘back to the businesses, so our office’ environment. clients could see that it was “People moving from the worthwhile spending money public to the private sector on training. “ think of their job title and Says Jayne: “A lot of HR think they have to find professionals are accused another job with the same of being too distant from the title! We help them to think business. We can operate about what they do and the with people one-to-one and things they are interested in in groups. And we don’t just rather than their title . develop people in the “We also try to get people company, we also help from the public sector out of people who have been the habit of using jargon and made redundant to find to speak in plain English!” work. Leadership is another key “We ask them where they to business success, says are going and what they Jayne. “If organisations want to do. We get people prepared for the job market. don’t keep training their managers to lead and to “Victoria’s background see where things may be was in in-house recruitment going wrong, they will not be and selection while I have been made redundant twice making the best use of the skilled people working below myself, so I understand the those managers. difficulties – people who Productivity will be down have been out of work for and they won’t know how to long periods and people change that.” who haven’t had to undergo Says Jayne: “At the age of a job interview for 20 years six, I wanted to be a suddenly facing hairdresser and by the time I redundancy and having to was 12 I wanted to be a find a job. show jumper. “The emotional reaction “But I started my can be extreme and some professional working life at people take longer to come the Yorkshire Building to terms with it than others. “But I also know that it can be a blessing in disguise. Redundancy leaves people feeling wretched and worthless, but it is the only time in your life when you can sit back and ask yourself: ‘What do I want to do? What skills do I want to use? People can change direction.” Bliss Training is securing more work with local authorities as public sector job losses pick up pace. “People in the public sector have very transferable skills,” says Jayne. “They often have tremendous analytical and communication skills and good leadership skills. What we don’t see as often ■ KEY NOTES: Jayne Leedham, of Bliss Training are good customer service


Jayne enjoys life of Bliss Society in Dewsbury. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I opened the Yellow Pages at ‘A’ and worked my way through. When I came to ‘B’ and ‘banking’ I thought that sounded interesting. “I wrote 26 letters to the local banks and building societies explaining my skills. I’d worked as a waitress and a barmaid so I had cash handling skills. I got five interviews and was offered three jobs. “I ended up spending 10 years at the Yorkshire Building Society, which is where I got into training and development. I was providing training to the branches – to the cashiers, mortgage advisers and branch managers to help them generate more income. “Right from the start, it was about improving the bottom line.” After being made redundant, Jayne joined Q Hotels. “The company was only a year old and had bought nine hotels, but had no training and development department,” she says, “I was there for 13 months, during which time I worked all over the country from Glasgow to Kent. When they bought out a hotel company which already had a training manager, I moved on. But I had achieved all I wanted to achieve and we had got the culture right.” Jayne worked for Next’s warehousing operations as a consultant on a short-term contract before joining “My role at the airline was to oversee the training – training the trainers. I worked with people at director level to ensure the right training was in place. It was a fantastic experience. It is a great company employing lots of local people. I was there three years, which is as long

Page 3 Jayne Leedham Role: Partner Age: 33 Family Partner Mel Holidays: I love Italy. Car: Renault Laguna First job: Working as a farmhand bottling milk at Fleetwood’s Farm, Upper Hopton Best thing about job: Helping other people realise their dreams Worst thing about job: There are never enough hours in the day to help enough people. I always want to do more Business tip: Be honest

Bliss Training as I had planned to stay before knowing it would be time to move on.” Jayne is a member of the Heckmondwike BNI networking group while colleague Victoria attends BNI meetings in Leeds. “You get to know other businesses and generate business for each other and through word of mouth. But you have to get up early in the mornings! I am assistant director for BNI so I also help another group, which increases my visibility and opportunities to develop the business. “I hate going to networking events where you don’t know anybody. At BNI, you get to know the group because it is the same people every week and you build up trust. It really works for us and it sits very well with our company values, one of which is quality.” Jayne also finds time to help partner Mel run his pub, The Airedale Heifer, at Mirfield. “Mornings can be early with BNI, but in the evenings the pub has darts and dominoes teams to look after – so I’m often making the sandwiches. “I don’t try to ‘sell’ my business in the pub because people go there to socialise, relax and get away from work. But I do train the bar staff! It would be ridiculous having a landlady running a training company and not having the staff well-trained!” Pet dogs Nanuk and Louis also demand attention. “They can’t fit into your business timetable, you have to fit in with them. I go for a walk with the dogs every day, which mans I always get 30 minutes to an hour

to wind down every day. “And it is quite nice working from home. The dogs are always a conversation starter when business clients call and they are happy curling up at my feet while I’m working on the computer.”


Work: Training and development services for individuals and businesses Site: Mirfield Employees: Two Phone: 0781 2023730 Web:www.blisstraining. E-mail: jayne@bliss

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Terriers snapping up the business! BUSINESS people in Huddersfield have helped themselves to £2m in contract wins through membership of a busy networking group. The BNI Terriers, which meets every Wednesday at Lockwood Park, has increased its annual income from £1m to £2m in the past 12 months – despite the impact of the worst recession in living memory. The group – known as the South Pennine Area Chapter – is made up of representatives from 38 local businesses of all sizes and a wide range of categories, who provide business leads and referrals for each other at their meetings. Chapter director and Meltham man Peter Sargent, of insolvency firm Begbies Traynor in Halifax, said: “BNI is a networking group which is very formalised and focused. “Everyone looks after everyone else. We look out for opportunities to refer business to each other and act as each other’s sales force to help provide leads and contacts during these difficult times. “In previous years, our chapter has produced £1m in business for members. This year, we have topped £2m.” Said Mr Sargent: “Besides providing referrals and general networking, members also get training in basic business skills ■ FELLOWSHIP: Peter such as presenting Sargent, chapter director and making a sales for BNI Terriers pitch to potential

■ FOCUS FOR FUNDING: Meg Heath, deputy fund director, and Steve Waud, fund director of Business Enterprise Fund

SME support fund smashes its £1m target

■ MONEY TALKS: Networking group BNI Terriers has achieved more than £2m of business for members in a 12-month period – despite firms suffering the after shocls of the recession

buyers. “There is also the fellowship which comes through membership. “For anyone who has run their own business, it is like running a marathon every day. You are on your own. But BNI means there is a group of people supporting you.” The meetings kick-off at 6.30am at Huddersfield Rugby Union Club. The formal part of the meetings begin just before 7am and the event finishes about 8.30am. Existing members get a minute to give their sales pitch while every week

one member has five minutes to give an extended presentation. New members get two minutes to explain about themselves and their business. Visitors are welcome to BNI meetings and new members can join if their category of business is available. Members range from sole traders to plcs. Mr Sargent said his job as an insolvency practitioner often had negative connotations, but added: “Being with BNI means I’m taking part in something positive and helping businesses to succeed.”

Hey! Heard the news? A MARKETING consultancy in Huddersfield has won a prestigious new client. HEY! Marketing, which is owned and managed by Liz Howe, will act for Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant in Halifax. Holdsworth House is well-known as a leading choice for weddings in Halifax, but is keen to raise its profile as a meetings and conference venue. It has appointed HEY! Marketing to look at its brand positioning and to build awareness among key booking agents and corporate buyers. Liz set up the business in 2010. HEY! Marketing specialises in expanding occupancy and turnover to hotels and venues. This is Liz’s first move into consultancy. She worked in hotels for more than 10 years as director of marketing for

UK-wide groups Paramount Hotels and QHotels. Said Liz: “I am over the moon to be working with Holdsworth House. “It’s a stunning property and oozes features and history. Co-owner Gail Moss and general manager Shane Williams have created a really strong and capable team there. “My role is now to give direction to the marketing and start talking to the meeting and conference market as well as build the restaurant brand. “What happens with so many hotels is that they don’t have time to invest in marketing. “You’ll often see the sales manager or revenue manager or even general manager ‘fitting in’ marketing around their usual day-to-day jobs. “Holdsworth House has seen

that there’s a huge benefit to getting online marketing right and they’re full of really great ideas. “HEY! Marketing is helping them harness the ideas and turn them into all-important revenue.” Liz, 36, worked as director of marketing for Paramount Hotels – now Barcelo Hotels – and QHotels when it was named AA Hotel Group of the Year, Most Improved Meetings Brand and was listed in the Sunday Times Fast Track Top 100. Liz has a BA honours degree from Nottingham Trent University in design studies and holds the Chartered Institute of Marketing post graduate diploma. Liz set up HEY! Marketing in November, 2010, working from home in Outlane.

A FUND providing cash for go-ahead businesses in Kirklees has smashed its one-year target. It is 12 months since Business Enterprise Fund announced that it would commit to lend £1m to small businesses. So successful was the scheme and so supportive were the accountants, solicitors and banks who signed up to it, that BEF beat its target by nearly 50%. Supporters of the scheme included Bradford and Leeds Chambers of Commerce, HSBC, Barclays, Gordons Solicitors, Capital for Enterprise and Naylor Wintersgill Accountants. Steve Waud, fund director, said: “In the grand scheme of things, £1.5m isn’t a lot of money compared to the lending that the banks do. “But when considering the businesses that BEF has helped, one can see that it has gone a long way and done a lot of good.” Thanks to the work of BEF, which includes expert mentoring as part of the loan agreement, 52 new businesses were started, 75 new jobs were created, 159 jobs were sustained and 24 existing businesses received the support they needed to stay open. To celebrate and build upon the results of last year’s campaign, BEF has now announced an intention to repeat its success and commit to lend the SMEs of West and North Yorkshire £1.5m. To help get the message out, a series of social events to encourage renewed support for the Lend a Million campaign will soon be underway. BEF is a not-for-profit funder of businesses and provides loans from £500 to £100,000. It works with banks and intermediaries to support those businesses unable to attract the financial investment they need to meet the business needs. Operating in North and West Yorkshire, BEF has loaned £4.65m in the last six years, supporting 230 businesses. To register support for BEF’s campaign, go to or



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Banks ‘failing to provide backing’ THE number of businesses believing that banks are being unsupportive has increased, according to a survey by insolvency trade body R3. The organisation’s quarterly Business Distress Index shows that one in four businesses strongly disagree with the suggestion that banks are being supportive – up by 7% on September, 2010, figures. The Index also shows that one in four businesses are concerned about their debts. Over the last quarter, worry has intensified among businesses who are concerned about their debt – with small businesses particularly vulnerable. Some 43% of businesses concerned about their debts are now worried about bank loans and finance debt. This compares with just 24% in September 2010 – a 19% increase. Chris Wood, Yorkshire R3 committee member and partner at Clough Corporate Solutions in Cleckheaton, said: “The increase in the number of businesses who no longer feel that banks are being supportive

■ EFFORT: Chris Wood, of Clough Corporate Solutions, says supportive creditors are more vital than ever for firms which have used up resources to survive the recession

indicates that a growing proportion of the business community are either struggling to service their existing debts or finding it hard to acquire further lines of credit. “As we have seen in previous recessions, once the economy begins to show signs of recovery, creditors tend to make a more concerted effort to pursue those who are indebted to them and tighten up their lending facilities. “However, we are still in the early stages of recovery and it takes time for this to translate

into tangible relief for businesses. For the many businesses that used all their reserves to survive the recession, supportive creditors are more important than ever.” According to the index, businesses perceive trade creditors to be the most supportive creditors – but less so then they were six months ago. HMRC was perceived to be the most supportive creditor last quarter – they are now second, with the banks being seen as the least supportive creditor. Said Mr Wood: “Insolvency practitioners working with distressed businesses are seeing an increase in the number of Time to Pay applications being rejected. This may well explain why HMRC is no longer seen as the most supportive creditor.” Across the sectors, retail and distribution businesses are most likely to believe creditors to be supportive; although the report indicates that 83% of retail and distribution companies are experiencing at least one sign of distress. This compares to 77% of manufacturing firms and 65% of service firms.

Taking the sustainable option

■ DESIGN: Jill Peel, creative director for brand specialist 10 Associates

BRANDING specialist 10 Associates has completed an extensive branding project with the launch of a new web site for AB Sustain – the UK’s leading consultancy provider of sustainable supply chain solutions. Bradley-based 10 was commissioned by AB Agri Ltd, the agriculture group of Associated British Foods, to develop a brand and supporting marketing material for its AB Sustain division. The brief was to provide branding which would reflect the work done by AB Sustain in designing, developing and delivering sustainable agricultural supply chain networks for clients

such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Jill Peel, 10’s creative director, said: “What AB Sustain do will make a difference to the whole future of global agriculture and ultimately how we interact with nature and the planet, therefore our creative had to look appealing, engaging, and tell a strong story. “We have designed a beautiful website which incorporates elements of animation to bring the animals to life and a suite of literature which not only feels good but looks unique and different. “From conception, the print items were designed as

sustainable pieces of communication and utilised ‘Think Carbon Balanced Paper’ which is endorsed by the World Land Trust.” AB Sustain marketing manager Rachel Larder said: “I’ve worked with the 10 Associates team for the past two years and I have found them not only creative, resourceful and imaginative, but also highly organised and dedicated to each and every project they work on. “The new AB Sustain branding project was no exception and they have delivered a unique, compelling and differentiating design that really echoes the ethos of the business.”

Manifest creates a watertight case MARKETING agency Manifest is sticking with one of its long-standing clients. The company, based at New North Road in Huddersfield, is leading the marketing campaign for client of five years Dunlop Adhesives at its biggest annual event, the National Merchant Buying Society exhibition next week. Manifest is designing the exhibition display material, which includes advertising, exhibition graphics and an online game as part of efforts to

drive sales of Dunlop’s Shower Waterproofing Kit. A public relations and social media strategy will also support the campaign before, during and after the event on Wednesday, May 25. The latest initiative follows a successful on-pack promotion that was managed by Manifest, which ran from October, 2010, to February, 2011 The promotion, hailed the Epic Six Nations Giveaway, offered tradesmen the opportunity of winning tick-

ets to see England verses Scotland during the RBS 6 Nations tournament. The agency’s multimedia, creative, PR and social media teams collaborated to produce a fully integrated campaign. Debi Bailey, brand manager of Dunlop Adhesives, said: “We’ve been attending the NMBS exhibition for several years now and always receive a great response from members when they come to our stand to see what we have on display.”

Awards evening marks success TRAINEES attending a Brighouse-based engineering training provider have passed with flying colours. Kirkdale Industrial Training Services, based at Armytage Road, staged its annual prize presentations evening at the Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield. About 400 people – including award recipients, families and friends, employer representatives and prize sponsors – attended the event to see more than 400 certificates and special awards presented for engineering and motor vehicle apprenticeship achievements. The awards were presented by Nick Wilson, regional director of the National Apprenticeship Service. The Apprentice of the Year Award went to John Roberts who is a Mechanical apprentice with Clyde Union Pumps Ltd. KITS chief executive David Todhunter said: “It was another tremendous evening celebrating the record achievement of Learners and I watch with interest their career development.”

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS DTZ secures West Yorks site for nursery company PROPERTY agency DTZ has acquired a new distribution facility in West Yorkshire for nursery products and safety brand Lindam Ltd. The property, U760 at the Thorp Arch Estate, near Wetherby, provides 147,304sq ft of space and will act as a major distribution hub for Lindam in the UK. The company, which is currently based in Harrogate, will create new jobs for the area through this “significant” expansion. Mark Rycroft, managing director of Lindam Ltd, said: “DTZ provided an excellent overview of the market, allowing us to develop a comprehensive premises brief. “We were introduced to over 30 properties and provided with as much detail as required to make the best decision and achieve the best deal for the business.” Mike Baugh (pictured), director of DTZ’s national industrial and logistics team in West Yorkshire, said: “This was a great project to be involved with. However, the brief was a challenging one

given the lack of available large distribution facilities in the Harrogate area. “Through our contacts and market knowledge we were able to identify this facility off-market, securing an excellent deal for Lindam.” DTZ has negotiated a seven-year sub-letting from Capita, which was represented by Capita Symonds, with a significant tenant incentive for Lindam.

Mutuals are set to prosper BUSINESS advisory firm Deloitte says the building society sector is poised for resurgence. Deloitte’s latest Building Societies Update said the sector was likely to thrive in the year ahead – off the back of strong capital levels and robust governance structures now in place at most building societies. Stephen Williams, head of Deloitte’s building societies team and a partner based in West Yorkshire, said: “Societies typically have good levels of capital and financial liquidity. Additionally, societies are competing

against the big players with attractive products in the market.” Deloitte reviewed the capital position of a sample drawn from the largest 40 building societies. Based on this, Deloitte concluded that all the societies sampled would meet cash requirements set out in Basel III in December, 2009. Mr Williams said: “Despite the challenges that new regulation like Basel III can present, societies appear to be well placed to respond to requirements for increased levels and quality of capital, funding and liquidity.”



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Page 6

Supplier prize for Rixonway A COMPANY making kitchens for the affordable housing sector has landed a national award. Dewsbury-based Rixonway Kitchens has been named Manufacturer of the Year by Wates Living Space, one of the UK’s leading affordable housing contractors and a division of the family owned Wates Group. The accolade came at Wates’ inaugural Supply Chain Awards, which recognise the efforts of Wates’ principal UK suppliers to help it provide housing clients with best value during times of economic turbulence. Rixonway recently hit the impressive milestone of producing its five millionth kitchen unit – an achievement made possible by significant capital investment in machinery and the expansion of its manufacturing facility. The company delivers more than 12,000 rigid units a week from its hi-tech, 175,000sq ft plant at Shaw Cross. Rixonway sales and marketing director David Anderson said: “We have a record of consistently introducing innovations and improving our service provision and are able to offer our clients seven to 11 day delivery on orders. “Further, we now have an ‘on-time in-full’ delivery record of 98% of which we’re incredibly proud. This award is recognition of that commitment.” The 450-strong company has continued to defy the downturn – seeing reve nu e s i n c re a s e by 2 3 % i n 2009-2010 to £28.8m and recording earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £5.1m. Dave Oates, supply chain director for Wates Living Space, said: “The awards initiative was largely motivated by our desire to further integrate our suppliers into Wates and for them to see themselves as an extension of our business. “We want our whole supply chain to see how appreciative we are of the

■ SUPPLY LINE: Rixonway Kitchens national accounts manager William Martindale (left) and sales and marketing director David Anderson (centre) with David Oates, supply chain director for Wates Living Space

commitment provided to us and the effort taken to go that extra mile for our clients.” The awards were presented at a ceremony at the Motorcycle Museum in Coventry. More than 45 companies attended the awards ceremony, which also raised in excess of £3,500 for Wates’ nominated charity, Shelter. Rixonway also has a commitment to combating homelessness. Last year, the firm donated a large family kitchen to the Harrogate Homeless Project, which provides accommodation for single adults, supporting them in finding permanent and stable residences. Rixonway, which was formed in 1978, is the only UK kitchen manufacturer working solely in affordable and social housing.

Wates is one of the UK’s largest family-owned construction services and development companies. Established in 1897, it remains privately owned by the Wates Family and employs more than 2,000 people. It posted turnover of £985m in 2010. Wates Living Space is one of the UK’s leading affordable housing contractors. Working with social providers, the firm builds or refurbishes about 30,000 homes for residents each year through the New Build and decent homes programme. The company was named Contractor of the Year at the Housing Excellence Awards and Sustainable Contractor of the Year at the Inside Housing Sustainable Housing Awards in 2009.

GMI lands refurbishment contract A BUILDING firm working on several schemes across Kirklees has landed contracts for work across the Pennines. GMI Construction, which is main contractor on the Kirklees College scheme at Chapel Hill in Huddersfield, has been awarded consecutive refurbishment contracts by Town Centre Securities at the prestigious Urban Exchange development in Manchester. The most recent contracts call on GMI as the main contractor to complete refurbishment works to two 19,500sq ft retail units for Marks and Spencer and Pure Gym. Urban Exchange is a 120,000sq ft retail scheme within the Piccadilly

Basin mixed-use development in Manchester city centre. Marks and Spencer and Pure Gym are the latest tenants to join the scheme which is already occupied by food retailer Aldi and Go Outdoors, the UK’s largest outdoor retailer. The works comprise ripping out all existing components in the shell to fully refurbish with new walls, floors and facade alterations. A new main entrance will feature automatic doors with a glazed tint to match the existing units. The finished Marks and Spencer Outlet will also meet the brand’s standards with signage erected in their corporate style. Underground drainage will also be

provided for the Pure Gym unit to accommodate new showers and changing facilities. GMI had previously undertaken the alteration works on the same site to convert the 17,000sq ft former ILVA store for Aldi, as well as constructing new shells to ground and first floor areas covering a total of 55,000sq ft for Go Outdoors, allowing them to showcase 47,000 of their products. GMI Construction, which was formed in 1986, is also working on the Spindlegate mixed-use development at Leeds Road in Huddersfield and has designed and built a new factory for textile machinery firm Sellers Engineers at the town’s Trident Business Park.



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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Topical talk for accountants KIRKLEES accountants are set to get advice to help their client companies fight their way out of recession. A roadshow staged by the auditor and assurance faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales arrives in West Yorkshire next month. The event, covering topics such as service charges, charities, pension schemes and grants, will give practical guidance and updates to chartered accountants – covering key issues affecting their small and medium-sized client firms. The roadshow will take place from 8.30am to noon on Wednesday, June 8, at the Cedar Court Hotel, near Wakefield. Go to to book.

Employment law changes in focus CHANGES to employment law and health and safety matters come under the spotlight at a seminar in Huddersfield this week. Employment law firm Peninsula will host the free update, which starts at 9.30am on Thursday at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top. Peninsula managing director Peter Done said: “The seminar is designed to give businesses a detailed low-down on employment law as well as health and safety “The main aim of the free seminar is to increase employer’s awareness and knowledge of new and existing regulations.”

Movers and shakers

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Company plays its cards right! A SIGN manufacturing firm has invested in its workforce. Four employees at Milnsbridge company Horizon Signs have gained their CSCS cards, which allow them to fit the signs for clients in addition to manufacturing them. CSCS – the Construction Skills Certification Scheme – was set up to help the construction industry improve quality and reduce accidents. CSCS cards are increasingly demanded as proof of occupational competence by contractors, public and private clients. They cover hundreds of different occupations within the general construction industry, including craft, operative, technical, supervisory and management roles. Many projects now demand full compliance with the CSCS

scheme as it provides clients with confidence that contractors have attained trade competence and health and safety requirements. Horizon Signs has won many contracts recently to supply signs to schools and councils across the UK. CSCS compliance means the company can be in control of a contract from start to finish – from manufacture to fitting. Horizon director Ross Ball said: “Having four of the workforce with CSCS cards gives our clients’ greater confidence in our employees’ competence and health and safety awareness. It has added another element to our already highly skilled team and is helping us to continue to secure more contracts.”

■ CARD SHARP: Horizon Signs employees (from left0 Danny Templeman, Mark Craven, Dave McIntosh and Mark Town, who have all gained their CSCS cards

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Helen Beaumont has been appointed as a partner at chartered accountancy firm Wheawill & Sudworth in Huddersfield. Ms Beaumont, who is pictured (centre) receiving a gift of champagne from fellow partners at the firm’s Westgate offices, will provide assurance and accounting advice and support to the firm’s corporate clients across the region. Managing partner David Butterworth said: “We are very pleased to welcome Helen on board as part of our commitment to improve and expand the range of expertise available to clients.”

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ACCOUNTANCY firm Grant Thornton is number one. The company has been named Auditor of the Year in the Large Six category at The FDs' Excellence Awards for the second year running. The accolade is based on responses from more than 900 finance directors who took part in an online vote – the largest annual independent poll of UK finance directors into the services provided by auditors, banks, law and technology firms. The awards, run in association with the Institute of Chartered Accountants

in England and Wales supported by the CBI, recognise the nation's exemplary financial directors and the principal suppliers of services to UK FDs. Jonathan Riley (pictured), Grant Thornton’s managing partner for Yorkshire, said: "We are delighted and extremely proud to be recognised as Auditor of the Year for the second year running. “It is gratifying that the quality and professionalism of work we provide to listed and private companies is recognised and endorsed by finance directors.”

Stephen John

Waxman Group THE Waxman Group has promoted Stephen John to the post of finance director. Mr John joined the Elland-based company in 2009 from KPMG where he was audit manager. Waxman is involved in distributing Japanese flame retardant fibre, mosaic and ceramic tiles and solar photovoltaic panels.

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