BRENDA ELSON Gainful employment
Full inter view - Page 3
NEIL WILSON Cutting the red tape? Column - Page 5
An EXAMINER publication
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS 1 9 , Ju n e, 2 0 1 2
The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
Coopers making a coffee comeback tion. They also see the business as being a “totally local” champion, selling locally-sourced food and drink where possible. The coffee blend used in all the espresso-based coffees is the original blend that David created 18 years ago and is named after the Coopers’ eldest son Louie. The award-winning coffee will be supplied by Cooper’s Coffee, which is now based near Clayton West. Denby Dale ice cream producer Yummy Yorkshire is supplying the ice cream and Lindley-based cake maker Proper Maid is supplying a selection of cakes. Mr Cooper said: “Following the sale of Cooper’s Coffee, Jacqui and I took a year out to spend time with our two boys and recharge our batteries. “We’re now raring to go again and looking forward to turning our hand to another local business. It has been something to get our teeth into. “The council had great foresight to launch the concept for The Latte Hut 10 years ago when coffee culture was just beginning to surface in the UK. “A decade later, coffee drinking has become such an integral part of our lifestyle that The Latte Hut has become a firmly established cafe in Huddersfield town centre. “Jacqui and I are looking forward to taking on the ‘big boys’ and turning it into an even bigger success story.”
Nick Brook who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Lockwood, said: “Small firms across Huddersfield will be taking on students throughout this summer. “With the London Olympics putting even more pressure on employers’ summer holiday rotas and work schedules, it could be tempting to pay workers cash in hand to cut costs and avoid paperwork. “But employers who don’t comply with employment law run the risk of both civil penalties and criminal convictions.” He said that for students with income
WORKERS at a Huddersfield engineering firm swapped tools for guns and the shopfloor for wild moorland at a weekend exercise run by the army. Three staff from Lepton-based Reliance Precision took part with other organisations from across the region in a demanding three-day challenge held on Catterick Training Area near Richmond, North Yorkshire.
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■ CUP WINNERS: David and Jacqui Cooper, who have taken over The Latte Hut at King Street in Huddersfield
exceeding £107 a week employers must account for National Insurance, complete forms P11 and P14 for them and include them on their P35. However, they could earn up to £144 per week before any National Insurance or tax had to be accounted for. But provided they were in full-time education, only worked during the holidays and their total income was less than the personal allowance, students could apply for an exemption from being taxed.
Paving the way LANDSCAPE products manufacturer Marshalls plc has turned to a business support and training consultancy as it looks to invest in its 2,400 strong workforce. The group, which supplies paving products for the commercial and consumer markets, has partnered with Mirfield’s Threedom Solutions to support its personal development review process across the business.
Firms face taxing Olympic challenge SMALL business bosses in Huddersfield face an Olympics challenge, it is claimed. Some 33,466 students are expected to be seeking temporary work across Yorkshire this summer, according to university admissions body UCAS. At the same time, many employers face potential staffing issues as the Olympics puts a strain on holiday rotas. Now Huddersfield employers have been warned not to skimp on the paperwork when taking on students to help bridge the holiday gap.
HUDDERSFIELD “coffee couple” David and Jacqui Cooper are back in the beverage business. The husband and wife team who sold Bradley-based Cooper’s Coffee to catering coffee concern United Coffee a year ago for an undisclosed sum have taken over The Latte Hut in Huddersfield town centre. David and Jacqui, who have more than 40 years’ experience in the coffee industry between them, have big plans for the kiosk, which stands on the King Street pedestrian precinct between WH Smith and Peter’s department store. The operation, which celebrates 10 years this month, was launched by Kirklees Council in a bid to bring “café culture” to Huddersfield town centre and lays claim to being the town’s first true street café. David Cooper was involved in the original concept and build through his business Cooper’s Coffee Community, which built mobile coffee carts and kiosks. Over a period of 18 months, he worked closely with the council to develop the idea and get the kiosk up and running. He co-owned if for some years and now owns it outright. Today, The Latte Hut serves more than 200 loyal customers a day. After a year out following the sale of Cooper’s Coffee, David and Jacqui are now going back to their grass roots and have ambitious growth targets in place for The Latte Hut. They have invested £10,000 in refurbishing the kiosk, which includes installing a new canopy covering part of the seating area as well as a new non-smoking sec-
■ PRESSURE: Nick Brook
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Majestic uncorks 15% rise in profits
■ CHEERS: Majestic Wine expects to open more stores after lifting profits and sales
WINE merchant Majestic Wine raised a glass to a 15% rise in annual profits – as strong growth in vintages from Argentina, Italy and Spain helped drive sales. The group, which includes an outlet at Queensgate in Huddersfield among has 181 stores in the UK, said the number of customers who made purchases in the last year increased by 11% to 568,000, while the average bottle price of still wine was up to £7.34 from £6.94 the previous year. Majestic also saw an 18.5% jump in sales of fine wines – priced at £20 per bottle or more – from Burgundy, Bordeaux and New World ranges. The group, which recorded 2.6% growth in like-for-like sales in the year to April 2, reported pre-tax profits of £23.2m against £20.3m the previous year. H o w e v e r, M a j e s t i c s a i d
Vodafone secures CWW votes VODAFONE’S £1bn bid for ailing telecoms group Cable & Wireless has been approved by shareholders after the target’s biggest investor dropped opposition to the deal at the last minute. The blue-chip giant’s bid was in serious doubt after Canadian firm Orbis, which holds a 19% stake in CWW, previously refused to throw itself behind the agreement. But in an unexpected twist, Orbis altered its position and decided to back the 38p a share arrangement, which will see Vodafone become the UK’s second biggest telecoms operator behind BT. In the final count, CWW said 87%
of shareholders who voted backed the deal – beating the 75% required for the arrangement to go ahead. A statement from Orbis said its “opposition would only serve to prolong the process” and would likely lead to CWW adjourning today’s meeting to secure the necessary votes. Earlier, it was still thought Orbis would vote against the deal after it previously said the offer undervalued the firm. CWW shares fell into the red, but after Orbis confirmed its intention to back the arrangement, they rebounded to close 2.7p higher at 37.8p.
like-for-like sales have slowed to 0.6% in the first 10 weeks of the new financial year – reflecting comparisons with the Royal Wedding in 2011 – and warned the trading environment was likely to continue to be difficult. The group said it was confident of being able to expand to 330 stores after opening 16 in the last financial year and a further three in Northallerton, Esher and Edinburgh since the year end. Total group sales were up by 9% to £280.3m as a wide range of wines from New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Portugal and the Loire all performed well. Online sales were up by 8% on last year, representing 10% of total UK retail sales. The average transaction value rose by 1.4% to £144 and the company processed 190,000 orders, up from 175,000 last year.
There was further cheer for shareholders as the group lifted its total dividend by 20% to 15.6p. Commenting on the results, chief executive Steve Lewis said: “Majestic has a clearly differentiated operating model with a focus on delivering exceptional customer service that has proved resilient in a challenging economic environment.” Chairman Phil Wrigley said: “We expect to make further good progress by continuing to invest in the development of internal talent, in the roll-out of the store portfolio and in customer facing technologies. “Whilst we recognise that the trading environment is likely to continue to be difficult, we are well-placed to deal with the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
Tesco pulls out of Japan TESCO is to shell out £40m to exit its Japanese business after admitting defeat in its nine-year push to become a major player in the country. The supermarket giant last year said it would sell its smallest international operation, which has 117 Tsurakame and Tesco stores in the greater Tokyo area, because the business was not “sufficiently scalable”. It has struck a deal with Japan’s biggest retailer Aeon to sell half the business for a nominal sum and inject £40m of restructuring costs into a joint venture prior to its exit. Tesco said it will have no further exposure to the Japanese business
after the £40m injection. Clive Black, an analyst at Shore Capital, welcomed the removal of a distraction for Tesco, although he said having to pay to exit the market was a disappointment. He said: “Given ongoing trading losses of about £30m after approaching a decade in the market, Tesco appears to our minds to have taken the correct approach with a funded withdrawal.” Tesco moved into Japan nine years ago with the acquisition of C2 Network, but struggled to grow the business to a size needed to make it profitable.
Page 2 Nuclear reaction ROLLS-Royce is to upgrade a major UK plant as part of a £1.1bn contract from the Ministry of Defence to build reactor cores for the next generation of the UK’s nuclear-armed submarines. The site at Raynesway, Derby, will benefit from investment worth £500m over the next 11 years, extending its life by more than 40 years and protecting 300 highly skilled jobs. About £600m will be spent producing nuclear reactor cores for the seventh and final Astute class submarine and the next generation fleet, known as the Successor class. No decision will be made about whether to press ahead with the Successor subs until 2016, but they could be used to replace the Vanguard fleet, which retires in the late 2020s, and carries Trident weapons. Shares in Rolls-Royce rose by 1.5%.
Star deal sealed THE owner of beer brands Carling and Coors has closed a deal to buy Staropramen firm StarBev for £2.14bn. Molson Coors first announced the takeover in April and received approval from European regulators last month. Molson Coors UK chief executive Mark Hunterwill serve as chief executive of the new business unit.
SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £35.60 -0.33 Gannett 827.32 -0.64 Hess Corp £27.73 -0.87 Microsoft 1907.69 -8.68 Motors Liquidation 47.88 Wal-Mart Stores £43.54 +0.29 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 3011/2 -10 BAE Systems 2823/8 +31/4 1 Rolls-Royce 839 /2 +171/2 AIM Brady Plc 82 Dawson Intl 11/8 Man Brnze 26 +11/2 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 1773/4 +13/4 BANKS Barclays 196 -43/4 HSBC 5463/4 +1/4 Lloyds Banking Gp 301/8 -11/8 1 Ryl Scotland 235 /4 -121/4 Stan Chart 13681/2 -24 BEVERAGES Diageo 1602 +141/2 SABMiller £243/4 +1/4 CHEMICALS Croda £221/8 +1/8 Elementis 98 1953/4 +3/8 1 Johnsn Mat £22 /2 +1/4 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2793/4 +11/8
206 +51/4 ELECTRICITY Drax Gp 5541/2 Intl Power 4165/8 +1/4 SSE 1373 +9 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 1845/8 -13/8 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 3453/8 +43/8 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 2017/8 +3/4 Cable & Wireless 29 Comm Cable & Wireless 373/4 +23/4 Wwide Colt Group 1237/8 -11/8 KCOM 713/4 1 Talktalk Telecom 168 /4 -31/4 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2787/8 +3/8 Sainsbury 288 +21/4 3 Tesco 303 /4 +25/8 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1229 +10 Tate Lyle 6461/2 +1/2 Unilever £207/8 +1/8 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3095/8 +1 National Grid 6531/2 +4 Pennon Grp 734 Severn 1746 +10 United Utils 661 -2 Costain
GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 1763/4 -3/4 ICAP 3621/4 -31/4 1 London StockExch 973 /2 -91/2 Man Group 743/8 +15/8 Provident Financial 1150 +5 Schroders 1255 -14 Schroders NV 1006 -4 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS Cooksn Grp 6101/2 +7 REXAM 4071/8 +45/8 1 Smiths Grp 997 /2 +101/2 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 213/8 -3/8 Carphone Whse 1391/2 -21/4 5 Dixons Retail 13 /8 +5/8 Home Retail 743/8 +41/2 Inchcape 3311/4 +11/4 Kingfisher 2731/4 +17/8 M&S 326 +43/4 Mothercare 2093/4 -5 Next £311/8 +1/4 1 WH Smith 495 /4 +2 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 6051/2 +2 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 74 +2 Barrat Dev 1361/2 +31/8 Persimmon 590 +10 Reckitt Benckiser £337/8 Taylor Wimpey 461/4 +1/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 835 -4
INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 2097/8 +75/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 2041/2 -91/8 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 2601/2 -8 Lgl & Gen 1193/8 -3/8 3 Old Mutual 152 /8 +33/4 Prudential 705 -4 Resolution 196 -1 Standard Life 2191/4 -5/8 MEDIA BSkyB 669 +71/2 D Mail Tst 379 -57/8 1 ITV 72 /4 -7/8 7 Johnston Press 4 /8 -3/8 Pearson 1188 +4 3 +13/4 Reed Elsevier 481 /8 STV Group 92 +1/8 Trinity Mirror 27 Utd Business 547 +61/2 UTV 145 +71/2 WPP 753 +6 Yell Group 11/4 MINING Anglo American £211/4 Antofagasta 1073 -1 BHP Billiton 1829 +29 Eurasian Natural 4141/8 +17/8 Res Fresnillo 1558 +26 Kazakhmys 7151/2 -7 1 Lonmin 776 /2 +171/2 5 Rio Tinto £29 /8 +1/4
Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp
412 923/4 6531/2 1437
+3/4 -1/4 +4 -6
closed at at FTSE closed
5491.09 Up 12.28 VEDANTA 940 RESOURCES Xstrata 8591/4 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 4741/4 Vodafone Group 1747/8 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1124 RSA Insurance Gp 102 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1231 BP 4203/4 Cairn Energy 2641/2 Royal Dutch Shell A £211/4 Royal Dutch Shell B £217/8
-20 -313/4 -21/8 +11/4 -7 -1/4 -9 -23/4 -61/4
Total £277/8 -1/2 Tullow Oil 1454 -3 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 975 -11/2 Petrofac 1487 +2 Wood Gp(J) 695 -161/2 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1346 +38 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £267/8 +1/4 GlaxoSmithK XD 121/2 Shire 1917 +22 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 4971/4 +33/4 Captl Shop Cent 3187/8 -23/4 Hamrsn 4173/4 +15/8 Land Secs 732 +1/2 SEGRO 2133/4 -3/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 2005/8 +13/4 Logica 1071/4 5 Sage Group 249 /8 +7/8 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 4793/8 -55/8 Bunzl 1029 +12 1 Capita 645 /2 +4 De La Rue 9881/2 +20 Electrocomp 2041/4 +3/4 Experian 9331/2 +81/2 G4S 275 +2 Hays 741/2 -3/4 1 Homeserve 151 /8 -25/8 Menzies J 542 -15
Rentokil 693/8 Smiths News 991/4 Wolseley £223/8 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 4905/8 Psion 871/2 Spirent Comms 1591/2 TOBACCO Br Am Tob £313/8 Imperial Tobacco £24 LEISURE & HOTELS Bwin.Party Digital 1187/8 Carnival £221/8 Compass Grp 631 easyJet 511 Enterprise Inns 67 FirstGroup 209 Go-Ahead Gp 1195 Greene King 4951/4 Intercontl Htls 1492 Intl Cons Airlines 1501/4 Gp Ladbrokes 1707/8 Mitchells & Butlers 243 Natl Express 194 Rank Org 119 Stagecoach Group 2457/8 TUI Travel 1633/8 Whitbread 1849 INDEX FTSE 100 5491.09 INDEX FTSE 250 10721.44
-5/8 +1/2 +5/8 +37/8 -1/4 -1/2 +3/8 +1/4 +33/8 +61/2 +31/2 +11/4 -1/8 -15 +91/4 -4 +23/4 +3/4 -1/8 -1 +11/4 -43/8 +22 +12.28 -8.21
TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.47 dollars Bangladesh................. 120.85 taka Brazil.............................. 2.87 reals Canada....................... 1.52 dollars China ............................. 8.91 yuan Czech Republic ...... 28.79 korunas Denmark....................... 8.73 krone Euro............................... 1.18 euro Hong Kong................ 11.55 dollars Hungary................... 322.64 forints India.......................... 76.95 rupees Japan........................... 118.27 yen Mexico ....................... 19.32 pesos New Zealand .............. 1.84 dollars Norway ......................... 8.89 krone Pakistan.................. 138.88 rupees Philippines ................. 56.61 pesos South Africa................. 12.16 rand South Korea.............. 1582.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 195.51 rupees Sweden....................... 10.44 krona Switzerland.................. 1.41 francs Taiwan ...................... 40.89 dollars Turkey....................... 2.66 new lira USA ............................ 1.50 dollars
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS SHE’S worked as a chef and a cinema manager, but Brenda Elson found her forte helping other into employment. Brenda, who set up employment consultancy Work4U earlier this year, grew up in Lepton and was one of the first intake of pupils at the newly-built Shelley High School. “At school, I wanted to be a solicitor, but I ended up training as a chef,” she says. “I worked in the kitchens at Storthes Hall Hospital and later at a number of local restaurants, but when the family arrived it was a job that didn’t suit family life so I decided on a new career. “I became manager at the Classic Cinema in Huddersfield and then I was made responsible for training staff and that is where I got into training and employment. I enjoyed working at the cinema. You had to pay full price for the popcorn and ice cream, but you got to see the films for free! You would get your regular customers, but you got to meet different people every week. School holidays were always fun when the cinema was packed.” Brenda went on to work in the private sector, delivering training and education programmes under government initiatives such as the Youth Opportunities Programme. She later joined Edgerton-based housing association Sadeh Lok to manage its employability programme Up and Working, but was made redundant at the end of March this year after funding for the scheme ran out. “I applied for other positions, but the jobs market is very difficult,” she says. “After applying for several vacancies, filling out lots of application forms – and getting nowhere – I decided to set up on my own. I’ve worked with unemployed people for most of my career, so I thought why not continue and do it for myself? “I am registered as a not-for-profit organisation, so I’m not in this to make money. I see it as something to support the community.” Brenda was able to move into the stable block at Sadeh Lok’s Halifax Road site – the building in which Up and Working had been based. “Sadeh Lok have been brilliant,” she says. “It’s a great building to work in. It’s quiet and that allows me to get on with my work without any distractions.” But she also spends a lot of time out of the office, networking with businesses, local authorities and other agencies as well as pursuing funding to run programmes to help unemployed people improve their prospects. Her work involves helping jobhunters build up their confidence and discover the opportunities that do exist –
That’s just the job! as well as helping them with financial information about banking and living on a budget. Brenda says jobhunters now need much more than a CV and a nice suit for the interview. Unemployed people need more help than ever to find a job or to get involved in training, work experience or volunteering given the economic recession and the likely impact of changes to the welfare system, she says. Many of today’s jobseekers have had little education, Brenda admits “A lot of people struggle with literacy and numeracy,” she says. “But a sympathetic employer may be wiling to address this. If you put someone into a job who cannot read that creates all sorts of issues, not least around health and safety because they cannot read the warning signs. “Some people also have problems about punctuality and attitude. We can address these issues – ideally before they go out to an employer. By ironing out
■ COMMITMENT: Brenda Elson, managing director of Edgerton-based Work4U
any creases, they maintain their employment rather than being back on Jobseeker’s Allowance.” Brenda believes many unemployed people also under-estimate themselves. “A lot of people do not know what they are capable of doing,” she says. “People have skills that can be adapted to an employment situation. “We have women returners with children who say they have no skills – but they can get the family up and to school every morning and that demonstrates organisational skills. They do the shopping, pay and bills and manage the family budget. These are all transferable skills. Many people are lacking in confidence. They think they are going to get another knock-back. Our job is to built them up.” Brenda says employers should not dismiss jobhunters for lack of academic qualifications. “Many employers are looking for experience, but should also be planning for the future, upskilling their existing staff and deciding how they will manage if their business does expand. “Employers need to have a long-term business plan – so they know where they are going and what skill sets they will need.” Brenda is a big supporter of employers providing work experience – and jobhunters being willing to volunteer their time. She believes employers should not be put off from providing volunteering opportunities by adverse publicity surrounding some major companies which were accused of using volunteering as “slave labour”.
Page 3 Brenda Elson
Role: Managing director Age: 51 Family: Married to Christopher with children Lewis, 31, Lorna, 27, Christine, 23, and Jonathan, 20 Holidays: Sunny beaches, but I plan to go back to Poland after a holiday last year Car: Ford Mondeo First job: Working in the Wimpy bar at the Packhorse Centre on Saturdays Best thing about job: Helping someone who may not be as fortunate as me Worst thing about job: Long hours – but when you’re working for yourself it has to be done! Business tip: Make sure you have a goal and the ambition to achieve it
She says: “Even if they don’t have any vacancies, employers should give people the opportunity to get work experience and learn about the business because in six or 12 months’ time they might have a vacancy – and there is someone who can step into that role. “Being willing to volunteer shows that the jobhunter has commitment. Volunteering is a good way of finding out if a particular jobs is for them. If they don’t like it, they can move on and see what else they want to do.” Brenda has certainly found the job of her dreams. “I am up at 8am because I like my job and I like what I do,” she says. And she’s keen to help others explore the route to self-employment. “I provide training for people who are thinking of going into business for themselves under the Exploring Enterprise scheme,” she says. “It gives people some basic information about what they need to consider when setting up a business – and help them decide whether it is for them.” Away from work, Brenda has discovered a love of the Polish city of Cracow. “I went there for the first time last year and I plan to go again this year,” she says. “I enjoy history and the architecture and history of the old city is wonderful.” Meanwhile, Brenda’s focus is closer to home. She will launch a Work Club on July 24 at the new community room in Greenhead Park. The project is supported by the Community First Neighbourhood Matched Fund programme administered by CDR for
the Office for Civil Society. “It is open to anyone who is unemployed and looking for work,” she says. “People can come along, find out what we are about and get some help and support in looking tor employment.”
Work4U Work: Employment consultant Site: Edgerton Phone: 01484 477129 Email: email@example.com Website: www.work4u consultants.co.uk
Big-names join conference call THREE more big businesses have signed up to sponsor this year’s Women’s Business Forum following record ticket sales. Major sponsor RBS has now been joined by Morrisons, Ernst & Young and BP in backing the event, which is on course to draw a record 650-plus audience when it takes place on October 2 and 3 at Rudding Park, Harrogate. The companies are also supporting the conference by sending some of their most talented people to attend. The forum is the only one of its kind focusing on the positive effect gender balanced boards and workforces can have on business management and performance. Heather Jackson (pictured), Holmfirth-based founder and chief executive of the Women’s Business Forum, said: “It is clear that organisations have recognised that achieving a better gender balance across senior management makes good business sense. “The issue is receiving growing exposure and we have seen unprecedented interest from delegates and sponsors alike.” Speakers at the event will include Allan Leighton, chairman of set-top box manufacturer Pace; Carrie Hindmarsh, chief executive of M&C Saatchi; and Emily Lawson, senior partner with McKinsey & Co.
Business flair we can all bank on! AVING worked with busiH nesses in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield for
over five years now I can wholeheartedly say there is an incredible amount of talent, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation that exists in this area. I’ve visited hundreds of businesses in my role as area commercial director and many have inspired and excited me with their ambitions and plans for the future. More than ever, businesses are talking to my team about their international ambitions and plans to take their business global. At HSBC, this is something we also embrace and we are well-placed to help companies who are trading – or aspire to trade – internationally with our UK export-related business growing by a third last year compared to 13% for the UK economy as a whole. Our strategy is based around international connectivity, with our joined-up structure and global footprint giving UK businesses access to global expertise and support. We have also recruited an increased number of international commercial managers in the region and HSBC’s International SME Fund is also proving attractive to businesses, with more than £1.3bn of the total amount lent in the first quarter. The £4bn fund was established after findings from HSBC’s Global Connections trade forecast predicted that over the next 15 years, the UK is set to increase its international business activity by around 60%.
BANKER’S BLOG Jill Hague
I will be leaving this amazing area next month to move to our head office in London where I will be taking up a new role with HSBC. I’ve met some amazing people and I’ve been proud to work in the manufacturing heartland of Yorkshire, where there are numerous success stories and where exports continue to grow. This is something that we need to continue to maximise opportunities and demand coming from emerging markets. British businesses excel at entrepreneurialism and embracing this region’s entrepreneurial spirit will be key for future business success; both as individual business people continue to start their own ventures, but also for employees in larger corporations which the future necessitates will be required to change at a faster pace, spotting opportunities, adapting and innovating. Historically, Britain has been known as a nation of innovators, with home-grown inventions, but Britain’s innovation skills are not limited to inventions. As times change, so too must business and economic difficulties can act as a wake-up call for businesses.
In times of unprecedented technological change, traditional business and revenue streams will be continually disrupted and so smart business people will need to always have one eye on the future and adapt their businesses to capitalise on this change. This is likely to be good news for British businesses. Qualities that have made the Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield businesses successful in the past can inspire a great British business future. We have a business heritage to be proud of and we are working closely with companies across the UK to continue this story going forward. British businesses are the backbone of society and you should be proud of what you are doing to contribute to this. HSBC looks forward to being with you on this continued journey. My colleague Phil Stephenson will be taking up the reins from me until my successor is appointed. He has a wealth of experience having worked as my deputy for the last three years along with the team. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Hague is HSBC area commercial director for Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield
Six-figure grant for firms KIRKLEES firms have a new opportunity to apply for up to £100,000 grant funding to help their business grow. The funding is open from today for any business that has a product or service that reduces carbon emissions and environmental impact, either in their own company or for their customers. The funding can be spent on anything that will help the company expand, while cutting carbon emissions. This could include improving manufacturing processes, installing new equipment or taking the product to market. All businesses in Yorkshire with fewer than 250 employees, can apply. The funding comes from CO2Sense, the not-for-profit low
carbon expert company, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. In the last five years, CO2Sense has invested about £8m in low carbon businesses and projects, including re-use and recycling services, new recycled products, energy efficiency products and water efficiency devices. Investments have been in companies like Rotajet, which has developed a new waste processing solution, and Crompton Mouldings, a company that produces panelling for temporary buildings. Katie McGuire, principal consultant at CO2Sense, said the group was now looking for more businesses to fund. She said: “£100,000 can make a big difference for a business,
especially when they do not have to pay it back, and it can be spent where they need it most. “Businesses may not think of themselves as being ‘low carbon’, but they do not have to be in the environmental sector to apply. “Many companies offer new products or services that are improving on traditional designs, and use less water, energy or raw materials, and they could qualify for this valuable free cash.” Companies that have had funding in the past have seen their sales increase by as much as £200,000 a year, or have been able to attract further investment into their business. Contact Jan Phillips on 0113 2378419 or visit www.co2sense.co.uk
Make a stand in Birmingham
START-UP firms in Kirklees have been offered a chance to take the national stage. Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell (right) has urged new companies to apply for free space to promote their businesses at this year’s Conservative Party Conference, which will be held from Sunday, October 7, to Wednesday, October 10 in Birmingham. Mr Reevell said: “This year, free space will be given to a group of start-up businesses to present themselves so that they can make helpful connections with local MPs and councillors as well as market their ideas in fron of delegates, national press, company representatives and senior Conservative politicians. “The conference is one of the largest political gatherings in the UK, with an attendance of nearly 13,500 delegates.” A national competition has been launched to find businesses to attend the party conference. The competition is open to any business launched since May, 2010. Twelve finalists will be invited to the conference. Said Mr Reevell: “This competition provides a perfect opportunity for new businesses to market their ideas on a national scale and to make new contacts. I hope some local start-ups will apply and I look forward to seeing them at the conference in October!” Go to /www.conservatives.com The closing date for applications is June 30.
Co-op Bank lands top prize
THE Co-operative Banking Group has received international recognition at the Financial Times' Sustainable Banking and Finance Awards. The bank was named Europe’s Sustainable Bank of the Year for the second year running at a prestigious ceremony at London’s Landmark Hotel. The highly-contested award recognises leadership and innovation in social and environmental banking. The awards are backed by the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank, and judged by a panel of the world's leading financiers. Now in their seventh year, the FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards are the major global awards for environmentally and socially responsible banking and investment.
Red tape challenge N 2011, the Department Itionfor Business, Innovaand Skills – as part EMPLOYER’S BRIEF of its ongoing “red tape
challenge” – commissioned leading venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft to prepare a report on the future of employment law, with the aim of identifying ways in which the burden of regulation on business could be reduced to stimulate recruitment and growth. The report was published towards the end of May, 2012, although controversy arose when two pages were leaked to a national newspaper in October, 2011. The proposal which has caused most debate relates to dismissals. Mr Beecroft suggested a variety of proposals, including abolishing unfair dismissal laws altogether, increasing the qualifying period for unfair dismissal, streamlining the dismissal process which must be adopted and introducing a system of compensated “no-fault” dismissals. The Government is proposing to restrict “no-fault dismissals” to micro businesses, although there are calls – particularly from the CBI – to widen this scope. The idea has been criticised by many within the Conservative government, however, with one MP suggesting it was simply “bonkers” that a business should be entitled to dismiss an employee it did not like. Further suggestions made by the report include:
● Allowing businesses with fewer than 10 employees to opt-out of various employment rights, including unfair dismissal, flexible working and auto-enrolling employees into occupational pension schemes ● Abolishing an employer’s liability for acts of harassment committed by third parties ● Reviewing the abolition of the default retirement age with a view to reintroducing the provisions put in place in October 2006 ● Introducing a cap on compensation in discrimination cases – currently there is a cap on unfair dismissal compensation, but in discrimination this is unlimited ● Delaying the auto-enrolment pension provisions due to come into force in stages from October, 2012 ● Moving the responsibility for checking the immigration status of workers from employers to a separate agency (possibly back to the UK Border Agency) ● Where there is a transfer of a business, allowing employers to “harmonise” terms and conditions of
employment after one year. Furthermore, the current protection enjoyed by workers where there is a “service provision change” (e.g. where a cleaning contract is moved from one business to another) should be varied ● Reducing the consultation period in large-scale redundancy processes from 90 to 30 days Some of the proposals have been overtaken by Government action already with the qualifying period for unfair dismissal protection increasing to two years in April, 2012, and a consultation having been launched on the idea of removing third-party harassment protection. However, it will not be possible to introduce a cap on discrimination compensation as this is contrary to EU law, and protection for micro-businesses is unlikely to be taken forwards. Further news is expected as the “red tape challenge” continues; businesses will be able to take part in consultation when they open on BIS, and the Government appears keen to legislate quickly where necessary.
Neil Wilson is an employment lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors
Employers cautious EMPLOYERS are becoming more cautious about taking on new staff, according to a survey. A report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG showed a modest rise in permanent placements in May – but at the slowest growth rate of the last five months. The REC report looked at data from 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. But it painted a very different picture for temporary staff recruitment – pointing to a surge in hiring in certain sectors such as financial services. Carmen Watson, managing director of the UK’s biggest temporary recruitment
company with over 200 branches across the UK said: “As the economy continues to slow down, demand for temporary workers is rising, especially in certain sectors such as financial services, energy and logistics. “More and more companies are using temporary staff to help them expand their bandwidth to cater for surges in workload without being saddled with unwanted overheads in fragile economic conditions.” She said: “Some sectors are moving in a counter cyclical trend to the current economic conditions and are on a more permanent growth path such as technology and logistics and it is entirely possible that many of the temporary staff taken on will become permanent positions.”
Search under way to find manufacturing export stars THE search is on to find the UK's stars of exporting. Kirklees manufacturers have been invited to show how they’re boosting sales overseas by entering the EEF/DHL Outstanding Export Award. The export award is part of the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards, which are free to enter and provide many opportunities to win across 10 categories. EEF, the UK manufacturers' organisation, and DHL are launching the international trade award at a time when exports are increasingly important to the growth of manufacturing and the UK economy overall. EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said: “The ‘march of the makers’ is under way and UK manufacturers are leading an exporting renaissance that is crucial to domestic growth and economic recovery. “Companies are opening up new opportunities in emerging markets and
our award will recognise and celebrate their outstanding efforts and achievements.” A recent export survey by EEF and RBS reported export growth among 65% of companies in 2011 – with 70% expecting further expansion this year. Nine out of 10 respondents were active in export markets and a fifth had experienced growth of more than 20% in the past 12 months. Half of respondents expected exports to emerging economies to increase in 2012, with exports to China and India expected to increase by up to half within five years. The EEF Future Manufacturing Awards will be judged in five UK regions. Regional winners will be announced in November and they will then compete for the national awards at a ceremony in London next January. The closing date for entries is July 20. Go to www.eef.org.uk/awards
Welcome for Bank’s loans scheme A LEADER of Yorkshire’s manufacturing sector has welcomed Bank of England moves to generate £80bn of lending to firms and households. Andy Tuscher, EEF regional director, said the cost and availability of credit was holding back viable investments at a time when the economy could least afford it.
He said: “EEF welcomes attempts to improve access to finance and the scale of these new announcements indicates how seriously the government and the Bank view the current situation. But the return on these particular new initiatives, which by their nature are short-term in focus, is highly uncertain.”
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Marshalls puts a focus on training LEADING landscape products manufacturer Marshalls plc has turned to a business support and training consultancy as it looks to invest in its 2,400 strong workforce. Marshalls, which supplies hard landscaping products for the commercial and consumer markets, has partnered with Mirfield-based Threedom Solutions to support the roll out of its personal development review process across the business. Threedom is working with groups of Marshalls’ employees. Birkby-based Marshalls – in conjunction with Threedom – has developed day-long personal review training workshops which are being delivered to teams throughout the UK. Janie Lambeth (pictured, above), a director with Threedom, said: “Many companies have a review process, but all too often it can be, at best, a process and, at worst, a telling off and viewed as an interruption to the day-to-day work. “Marshalls is a forward-thinking company and has recognised that, despite the tough economic times, there is a continued need to invest in their people to ensure their talents are enhanced and that they remain a motivated and engaged workforce. “Such commitment to employees helps to differentiate a company from its competition.” Kevin Hull, group human resources director for Marshalls, said the company wanted to make the reviews a constructive, positive experience for staff. He said: “The team from Threedom have consistently received very positive feedback for bringing the subject to life in an informal, uncluttered and professional way and for making the sessions informative, insightful, supportive and non-threatening. “Just about everyone has said they feel far better equipped to prepare for and deliver a constructive review experience at the end of the session, which is really what we were looking for.” The day-long workshops teach skills which are transferable to all areas of life and work in a fun, interactive and relaxed environment.
Return to render TRAINING courses have been launched to help building industry workers who are out of work or self-employed but struggling to win new business. The field of insulated render has been hit by a shortage of experienced labourers. Now Holmfirth-based rendering contractor Allwall UK is offering intensive courses at its new training centre. Director Sally Kelly said: “The need for contractors to apply external wall insulation looks set to increase as the government launches its new initiative to help households and companies make energy-saving improvements in their homes and businesses. “There is a desperate shortfall of contractors able to apply external render and insulation and yet many construction workers are sitting at home waiting for the market to improve or leaving the industry altogether.”
Smaller property firms are upbeat SMALL and medium-sized property firms across Yorkshire are more positive about the future of the sector than in 2011, according to figures from Lloyds TSB Commercial. Almost a fifth of those polled in its latest quarterly Property Matters report said they expected an increases in market activity in the next six months. The report shows property business owners in London becoming less confident in the UK market – while regions such as Yorkshire are showing a slight swing towards optimism. The report comes at a time when Lloyds TSB Commercial’s lending to UK property SMEs has risen by nearly 12% in Yorkshire. Respondents in Yorkshire were split in their opinions on activity in the region, with 14% expecting activity to slow and 70% predicting that activity will stay at current levels – giving the region a net confidence score of +2. The report looks at the confidence of SME property businesses throughout the UK based on their attitudes to investment and views of
sources of funding. It reveals that even though expectations for the regions have improved, property business owners are more cautious about the recovery of the wider UK market. Some 51% in Yorkshire believe activity will remain static and the rest are split between improvement and decline at 24% each. Ken Davies, relationship director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in Yorkshire, said that while the figures were more positive, “the overwhelming message is that SME business owners are not expecting a massive swing towards a vibrant market”. He said: “This is not surprising with so many wider economic factors still in play. From a bank perspective, while it would be nice if this crucial sector of the property market were confidently expecting 2012 to be significantly better than the latter half of 2011, that isn’t going to happen without far more tangible evidence of movement in the market.
“However, the slight swing towards a belief in an upturn in the market and the fact that fewer people predict a decline is a positive sign. We are working hard to help businesses prepare for and take advantage of any upturn. Our positive lending figures are a further indication that there are businesses doing deals and investing in their own portfolios.” The survey showed that the number of businesses expecting the value of their own portfolios to remains static is 59%. Mr Davies said: “Predicting values is challenging for small businesses as they have seen the values of their assets erode in recent years. “Whether the wider prediction of static values indicates that they believe prices have bottomed out remains to be seen. “What is clear is that whatever decisions property owners take over the next six months will need to be made with caution and guidance to ensure that their fragile optimism isn’t overturned.”
Brownfield site on the market A PRIME brownfield site near Huddersfield has been put on the market. The 50-acre site is owned by Wavin UK, a subsidiary of the global manufacturer of plastic and clayware pipes and fittings for land drainage. Wavin’s Hazlehead site at Crow Edge has been used for the manufacture of clay pipes and related products for over a century under the Hepworth brand. But the site, which includes existing manufacturing and has been part of Wavin’s 130-acre operational facility, is now surplus to requirements. Mike Haigh, of property consultancy Dove Haigh Phillips, the sole marketing agents for the site, said: “There has already been a good deal of interest in this outstanding opportunity to buy quality brownfield land situated on the border of South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. “It is superbly located, with swift access to key towns and cities like Sheffield, Barnsley and Huddersfield. “The land is in a predominantly rural setting and there is potential for a wide variety of uses, subject to planning approval. Wavin will consider phased development proposals, if viable.” Paul Taylor, finance director for Wavin in the
■ FOR SALE: The site at Hazlehead – bounded in red – which has been put on the market by Wavin UK UK, said: “Wavin, and previously Hepworth, is proud of its long association with South Yorkshire and will continue with its presence on the remaining part of the site which has seen significant investment in recent years and will continue to be an important part of
the business. “However, the 50-acre part of the total site is now surplus to our requirements and will provide an opportunity for another business development in this excellent location."
Business rate ‘rogues’ warning A PROPERTY consultancy in West Yorkshire has called for tougher action against “rogue business rate selling techniques”. Lambert Smith Hampton has heavily criticised the “underhand sales techniques” of several commercial property rating firms. Business rates are a charge on the use and occupation of non-domestic buildings and since 2008 the government has also charged owners where buildings are empty at full value. The rateable value, which drives liability for business premises, is an opinion of rental value which the ratepayer can challenge through the statutory appeals regime in
England and Wales. As a result of this, a growing number of commercial property rating firms are offering their services to owners to secure a rates reduction on their behalf. Richard Wackett, head of rating at LSH, said: “Business rates are one of the largest outgoings for owners and in recent years some unscrupulous firms have exploited this by saturating the appeals regime with a combination of misleading sales techniques and outright misrepresentation of the facts. “Although most rating operators will offer a genuine no win: no fee service to clients, the system is open to abuse so the unwitting
ratepayer needs to be able to discriminate between the proper professional service and the scatter gun approach of the cowboy operator. “Rogue firms may charge as much as 50% meaning their clients see very little improvement in their business rates liability if any saving is achieved.” Mr Wackett said: “My advice is to never pay anything upfront and be sure that the percentage of any reduction, which will be claimed as a fee, is made very clear. “Some cowboy consultants will even go on to make appeals that end up costing their client rather than achieving a saving.”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Bid to boost investment THE head of a major funding organisation is urging the government to restore tax breaks for pension funds investing in Re a l E s t at e I nve s t m e n t Trusts. Phil Shanks, founder of social housing fund provider SAF Housing, who lives in Huddersfield, wants ministers to encourage investment in REITs as part of a broader economic recovery strategy. He believes greater investment by pension funds could play a key role in easing the credit shortage and stimulating growth. Mr Shanks said: “The government is looking for new ways to meet the affordable housing challenge. One of those is the residential REIT. Since the tax structure surrounding this is under consultation it makes sense to use it as an opportunity to stimulate investment by restoring the tax credit for pension funds investing in REITS. “The government could look at targeting this benefit to work in conjunction with other initiatives. If the response from the investment community is what I’d expect, this measure would more than pay for itself. “Just as importantly, the government would be able to focus other investment sectors where similar benefits could
■ FUNDING: Phil Shanks, founder of social housing fund provider SAF Housing
be restored for investors in areas that drive growth.” With interest rates on borrowing at a record low, Mr Shanks believes the time is ripe for the government to raise a 100-year bond. He said: “The size of that bond should equate to the black hole in the pension funds, both public sector and private sector. The government could then restore the tax credit on dividends. “The logic is not complicated: the purpose of pension funds is to invest money to
obtain a return for their members. In an inflationary environment which discourages holding cash, pension funds are well-motivated to invest. “Additionally, the bond itself would have to be paid for and this could only be done by a fund that stands to benefit.” Mr Shanks said the 100-year bond initiative would be a more effective way of quantitative easing because it would be based on onward investment rather than balance sheet repair. He said: “This scheme would push money out into the real economy, driving big business and providing funds for banks to lend. We have given banks access to cheap money and they have used it to repair themselves. If pension funds provide finance, they will expect returns consistent with onward investment, encouraging banks to lend to the small medium sector. “More than that, though, this would provide us with an opportunity to look more objectively at proposals for the future. The best time to look at retirement age and contribution levels is when we have restored our pension funds. Restoring our pension funds might just be the way of restoring our economy.”
Working brief for students A TRAINING company based in Cleckheaton has landed a significant contract. Students at Brookhouse Training, which provides practical learning in trades such as gas and plumbing, have been offered work placements by Berneslai Homes, an arms length management organisation responsible for managing homes on behalf of Barnsley Council. The work placements are specific to gas training and see students teaming up with Berneslai Homes employees to provide quick response to maintenance and repairs across the housing association’s 19,500 properties. More than a dozen Brookhouse Training students have worked for the Barnsley company already – with many more lined up to learn their trade within this demanding environment. Paul Tolson, operations manager at Berneslai Homes, said: “Our role is to deliver sustainable communities which are safe, healthy and attractive and accessible to all. “For us, the standard of our service is vital in upholding our aims. “Brookhouse Training’s students actually contribute to this success.
AUCTION – Thursday 19 July 2012 7pm pm
At The Cedar Court Hotel, Lindley Moor Road, Huddersﬁeld, HD3 3RH
LOT 1 76 Ashbrow Road
Sheepridge, Huddersﬁeld, HD2 1DF
Stone built cottage requiring full modernisation in popular residential location. Elevated position with superb views. Gardens to front and rear.
Guide Price: In Excess of £35,000
LOT 2 58 Market Street
Milnsbridge, Huddersﬁeld, HD3 4HT
Prominent commercial property in centre of Milnsbridge. Suitable for a variety of uses subject to planning permission. Refurbishment/conversion opportunity with good investment potential.
Guide Price: In Excess of £35,000
LOT 3 42 Manchester Road Slaithwaite, Huddersﬁeld, HD7 5JA
Detached character dwelling in need of modernisation. Semi rural location with excellent views. Suitable for owner occupation/rental purposes.
Guide Price: In Excess of £95,000
LOT 4 25 – 29 Market Street
Huddersﬁeld, HD1 2HL
Substantial town centre commercial property/site opposite Sainsbury’s. Exciting development/conversion opportunity.
Guide Price: In Excess of £95,000
LOT 5 Former Honley Council Offices Eastgate, Honley, HD6 6PA
Prominent landmark building with waterside frontage. Situated close to village centre, offering extensive accommodation on three levels. Planning application submitted for residential conversion.
Guide Price: In Excess of £125,000
LOT 6 Moorlands
Moorlands Road, Marsh, Huddersﬁeld, HD3 3UH
Modern detached three bedroom house in pleasant residential location with good sized gardens, in need of some refurbishment.
Guide Price: In Excess of £100,000
LOT 7 31 Market Street
Heckmondwike, WF16 0EU
Substantial town centre retail/ofﬁce building with secure yard. Upper parts suitable for residential subject to planning permission.
Guide Price: In Excess of £45,000
LOT 8 Dean Bottom Works (rear plot) Storthes Hall, Huddersﬁeld, HD8 0PP
Prominent frontage, excellent parking with secure yard. Site area 0.173 Ha (0.42 Acres).
Guide Price: £80,000 – £90,000
LOT 9 Dean Bottom Works (front plot) Storthes Hall, Huddersﬁeld, HD8 0PP
Secure yard. Site area 0.173 Ha (0.42 Acres).
Guide Price: £80,000 – £90,000
LOT 10 28 Waterhouse Street
Halifax, HX1 1UQ
Town Centre Shop requiring full renovation with residential potential on upper ﬂoors. Close to Yorkshire Bank and Broad Street Plaza.
Guide Price: In Excess of £50,000
LOT 11 11a The Hough
Stump Cross, Halifax, HX3 7AP
4 bedroom secluded detatched property with stunning views over Shibden Valley and park. 3 Reception rooms, double garage.
Guide Price: In Excess of £160,000 ■ TRAINING DAYS: Paul Tolson (left), operations manager at Berneslai Homes, with Tim Rust, gas course student from Brookhouse Training “Their knowledge, skills and whole work ethic is a credit and has been totally supportive of us as a business as well as focusing on the completion of work to the high standards we expect.” Brookhouse Training, which has a state-of-the-art training centre in Cleckheaton, is the only training provider in its field to guarantee all students a managed work placement that ensures real work-based evidence is gathered.
LOT 12 Town Hall Hotel
52 Huddersﬁeld Road, Elland, HX5 9AH
Former public house, 213m2 (2293 sq ft), located close to Co-op supermarket, Berties Banqueting Rooms and La Cachette. Planning consent for extension and change of use to C1 hotel and B1 ofﬁce.
Guide Price: £105,000 – £115,000
LOT 13 Clough Ing Barn
Lumb Lane, Almondbury, Huddersﬁeld, HD4 6SZ
Lofty barn (150m2) with stable block, ripe for residential conversion. Stunning rural location with panoramic views.
Guide Price: £175,000 – £225,000
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Michelle Lewis
Yorkshire Water YORKSHIRE Water has appointed Michelle Lewis as director of corporate communications. Ms Lewis (pictured) joined the Bradford-based company as public affairs manager in 2006 and has been instrumental in raising the profile of the company’s work with MPS and stakeholders. Before joining Yorkshire Water, she spent four years at Asda, lobbying on a range of issues including employment, food and farming and sustainability. Prior to that, she was the government affairs manager for Yorkshire Electricity Group. Reporting to Kelda and Yorkshire Water chief executive Richard Flint, Ms Lewis will be responsible for leading an award winning 24-strong team. Mr Flint said: “I’m delighted to welcome Michelle to her new role at Yorkshire Water. Over the last 18 months, Michelle has overseen the delivery of a number of successful communications, including our ‘Wrap-Up’ winter campaign and our own contribution to shaping the Government's water white paper.” Ms Lewis said: “I’m thrilled to be taking on this new role. The company is entering a very exciting time as we begin our dialogue with customers around our investment plans for the next five years and I’m looking forward to working with such a fantastic team to take our communications on to the next level.”
Waxman Group THE Waxman Group, a leading specialist in the design and distribution of solar photovoltaic systems, has appointed James Shakespeare as business development manager within the renewables division. Mr Shakespeare (pictured), 56, brings with him a wealth of experience having spent more than 20 years working in sales for some major UK and European players, including Viessmann. Richard Waxman, chairman of the Waxman Group said: “As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, James brings with him the passion, drive and knowledge that will help us drive the business forward.” Mr Shakespeare said: “I look forward to joining the Waxman team and working with some of the world’s most innovative brands. “It is a fantastic opportunity to be part of the expanding renewable energy market that is set to grow into an essential part of everyday life, both domestically and commercially.” The Waxman Group specialises in distributing solar PV, biomass, air and ground source heat pumps as well as solar thermal and represents industry giants such as Panasonic, LG, Bosch and Viessmann. As well as renewable energy, the company has recently launched the Waxman Training Academy which provides comprehensive training from its facility in Elland.
Movers and shakers
It’s all done with military precision! WORKERS at a Huddersfield engineering firm swapped tools for guns and the shopfloor for wild moorland at a weekend exercise run by the army. Three staff from Lepton-based Reliance Precision took part with other organisations from across the region in a demanding three-day challenge held on Catterick Training Area near Richmond, North Yorkshire. It involved working in teams on a variety of challenges such as recovering an overturned tanker, launching a search and rescue mission for an RAF downed pilot, abseiling down a sheer drop and crossing a water course to erect a navy signal. The exercise, called Merlin Executive was run itself by fellow work colleagues, who also serve as reservists in the Navy, Marines, Army or RAF in units across Yorkshire and the Humber. The three-day course, organised by reservist unit the 4th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, was designed to give business people the chance to enhance their personal leadership, teamwork and communication skills –, as well as gain a valuable insight into the transferable skills that reservists develop during similar training
■ ARMY GAME: Colour Sgt Chris Marlow (left), of the Royal Marines Reserve, instructs Xavier Bouchard, of Lepton-based company Reliance Precision, during the three-day exercise
exercises. Xavier Bouchard, who works for Reliance Precision, said: “The whole exercise was enormous fun, although incredibly tiring as well! The
environment and challenges y o u ’r e t h r o w n i n t o a r e extraordinary, and you learn so much – about yourself as much as the leadership and teamwork skills.
Party in full swing THE Queen’s Diamond Jubilee may be over, but one group of Kirklees businesses remain in the party mood. The next meeting of the Mid Yorkshire Network – run by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Ramsdens Solicitors, text messaging specialist SMileS SMS and the Media Centre in Huddersfield – will have a jubilee theme. The event, which takes place tomorrow from 9am to 11am at the Media Centre’s Cafe Ollo. Delegates are invited to bring along cakes and savoury snacks to add to the jubilee
feast. The media centre will provide refreshments. Gabby Peace, marketing assistant for Golcar-based SMileS, said: “As always, MYnetwork meet-ups are friendly and informal, making them a relaxing environment for you to network in. The event is free to attend and no registration is required. To find out more about the networking group, join the Mid Yorkshire Network Linked In group, which has more than 1,000 members, or use Twitter @MidYorkshireNET to keep up to date with upcoming events.
Putting for charity A SALES and marketing consultancy in Huddersfield, is putting charity to the top of the agenda by sponsoring a golf day to raise funds for Yorkshire-based Heart Research UK. As well as sponsoring the event, The Miles Group, based at Fitzwilliam Street, will enter a team of four to take part in the Love your Heart Golf Day, which takes place on Thursday at the Howley Hall Golf Club, Leeds. Geoff Dickinson, managing director of The Miles Group, said he wanted to support Heart Research UK after
being fitted with an aortic heart valve last October. Barbara Harpham, national director at Heart Research UK, said: “It’s fantastic that Geoff and the team at The Miles Group have decided to sponsor and take part in Heart Research UK’s first ever Love your Heart Golf Day.” The event includes breakfast, a round of golf and a meal afterwards with prizes donated by Direct Golf in Huddersfield and Howley Hall Golf Club.
“The soldiers around us were simply superb – they looked after us brilliantly, and gave us all an experience we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.” The Merlin Executive exercise saw over 70 staff from organisations across the region taking part, all of which were mixed up and split into seven teams before carrying out a range of tasks and missions. A spokesman for the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association in Yorkshire, said: “The exercise was a great success and enjoyed by all, but there’s also a serious side to the whole event about the benefits a reservist can bring to employers. “The training they receive is the same as the regular forces and besides this preparing them for mobilisation to places like Afghanistan, it also provides them valuable skills in business – motivation, self-discipline, confidence, communication, teamwork and leadership to name just a few. “We want to encourage employers and employees to consider what the Reserve Forces have to offer, and this is one very exciting way of doing that.” G o t o w w w. r f c a - yo r kshire.org.uk
Ramsdens Solicitors RAMSDENS Solicitors has appointed Julia Lees as a partner in its commercial team. Ms Lees (pictured) joined Ramsdens in 2004 having trained and worked in Rochdale and Oldham. She has extensive experience in commercial property and company and commercial matters. Ms Lees specialises in company and business sales and acquisitions and complex commercial property transactions. Managing partner Paul Joyce said: “We are delighted to announce Julia’s appointment to partner. She is a first class commercial solicitor and will play a major part in the growth and the development of the commercial department.” Said Ms Lees: “I look forward to playing a significant role in the continued success and growth of the practice.”
Published on Jun 18, 2012