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NICK GARTLAND Financial futures?

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MARK WEEKS Winter warnings Column - Page 4

An EXAMINER publication

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS 2 1 , Ja n u a r y, 2 0 1 4

The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees

Metalwork firm in big funding boost

Chamber in charge A SERIES of annual business conferences taking place in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield are now being organised by the Huddersfield-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. The chamber has taken over the running of the Hillrich business conferences – with Chrissie Slater joining the organisation to take the popular events forward.

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A COMPANY making architectural metalwork is gearing up for a busy 2014 following a six-figure investment deal. Brighouse-based Arkoni is investing in additional workspace and automated machinery after securing a £250,000 boost. Work got under way before Christmas on an additional 1,600sq metres workshop at the firm’s Armytage Road site. N ow t h e c o m p a ny h a s a l s o i n s t a l l e d high-tech(Computer Numerical Control cutting and glazing machinery in the new work space. The development will lead to the creation of two jobs initially with further appointments expected in 2014. The positive news comes after another record year of growth for the 22-year-old manufacturing business. Partial funding for the development has come from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Business Growth Programme , which is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region LEP, said: “Arkoni has demonstrated that it’s a business experiencing high growth and increasing demand. “The LEP has supported this investment in their manufacturing facility and gives them a foundation from which to maintain this momentum.” Arkoni managing director and founder Mark Prentice said: “The machinery we’ve acquired and the additional workshop space reflects our rapid growth over the past two years and a need to invest in order to cope with demand for our metalwork and fire-rated glazing systems across the UK construction sector. “After 12 months of running at almost 100% capacity, this will give us space to breathe and delivers even more potential for growth and future recruitment.” Arkoni was established in 1991 and specialises in the manufacture and installation of bespoke staircases, balustrades, canopies, entrance areas and fire resistant glazing on behalf of many of the UK's major construction firms and architectural prac-


■ HAPPY NEW YEAR: Arkoni managing director and founder Mark Prentice (right) is looking forward to another year of progress for the Brighouse firm following a £250,000 funding boost to expand its workspace (above) and invest in new machinery.

tices. Recent orders have included ones for developments in the heart of London – with Arkoni supplying sets of polished, stainless steel doors for the 23-storey BP4 building at Canary Wharf as well as fire-rated glazing over seven floors at the prestigious 7-8 St James Square. It has also carried work at locations including Wakefield Cathedral, Bulstrode House in Buckinghamshire and Halifax leisure venue Vue. The company employs 50 at its Brighouse headquarters and reported a 2012 turnover of £4m – a 30% increase on the previous 12 months. Arkoni expects to report a similar level of growth for 2013.


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ACTIVITY in the Yorkshire property sector is set to grow this year, according to an assessment of the key industry trends. Deloitte Real Estate said capital values would continue to grow.

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Fewer firms face financial ‘distress’ GROWTH in levels of business distress was slower in Yorkshire than in any other part of England during the final quarter of 2013, it has emerged. The findings come in the latest quarterly Red Flag Alert research from insolvency fir m Begbies Traynor. In the fourth quarter of last year, the region showed a 2% increase in the number of businesses with financial problems compared with the previous quarter. Across the UK as a whole, levels of early stage “significant” distress increased by 3% during the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months. Year-on-year, however, cases of “significant” business distress in Yorkshire were up by 18% in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter in 2012, against a UK average increase of 16%. Across the UK, 224,579 companies showed instances of “significant” financial problems. A total of 13,842 of these are based in Yorkshire. Yorkshire’s rate of increase in “significant” distress compares favourably with other regions, with London

showing the fastest rate of increase at 5% compared to the previous quarter. Business distress in the North East grew by 4% while the North West, Midlands, South East and South West all saw a 3% increase on the previous three months. Only Scotland, showed a slower rate of increase in distress levels with a growth of 1% compared to the previous quarter. Construction showed the biggest improvement. In Yorkshire, rates of “significant” distress among Yorkshire building sector firms rose by just 2% in the fourth quarter against the previous three months and were up 6% year on year. Across the UK as a whole, distress in the construction sector fell by 3% year on year and rose by 3 % in the fourth quarter compared with the third. Huddersfield man Peter Sargent, partner at Begbies Traynor in Halifax, said: “This quarter’s Red Flag statistics show a welcome slow down in the rate that distress levels are growing in Yorkshire, compared to the rest of

■ ENCOURAGING: Peter Sargent, of insolvency firm Begbies Traynor

England.” Said Mr Sargent: “While this is encouraging, we cannot overlook the fact that there is still a significant number of businesses in the region, which continue to suffer from earlier

Credit brokers face CAB claim CREDIT brokers are preying on cash-strapped borrowers by “posing” as payday lenders and charging unexpected fees for organising loans, according to evidence compiled by Citizens Advice. The debt advice charity said consumers are being charged set-up costs of £70 on top of the expense of taking out a payday loan – and in some cases brokers are siphoning

cash away from people’s bank accounts without their clear permission. The charity warned that borrowers using a broker often believe they are dealing directly with a payday loan company because websites and texts from some brokers do not make this clear. Borrowers are then hit with an unexpected fee for arranging the loan.

stage ‘significant’ distress, resulting from funding, management or accumulated debt issues. “As is common at this stage of any recovery process, businesses with inexperienced management teams or limited credit availability are simply unprepared to step up a gear and fund and execute the business strategies required to remain competitive in a growing market. “Such businesses will need to take urgent action to avoid slipping into more critical distress and to ensure they are well placed to take advantage of the economic recovery.” Comparing more serious but less prolific “critical” financial problems by region on a yearly basis, almost all regions across the UK experienced a reduction in distress levels. Scotland, Yorkshire and Wales saw levels of “critical” distress increase year on year – rising by 65%, 12% and 11% respectively. In Yorkshire, a total of 239 companies showed symptoms of “critical” distress in the fourth quarter of last year compared with 214 companies in the same period of 2012.

German bank takes a hit BANKING shares in London came under pressure after Germany’s biggest lender announced a large loss for the final three months of the year. Deutsche Bank racked up a fourth-quarter loss of £989m due to a 16% fall in revenues, as well as one-off expenses and losses on investments it is offloading. The update had been scheduled for

release on January 29, but was brought forward amid recent market jitters about its performance. Shares in firms with investment banking arms were affected by the results. The Frankfurt-based bank’s disappointing fourth quarter performance included a 31% year-on-year drop in revenues from fixed income, commodity and currency trading.

Page 2 Inquiry into audit ACCOUNTANCY firm KPMG is facing a regulatory investigation into how it audited the books of troubled lender Co-operative Bank in the years leading up to its near-collapse. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched an investigation in the wake of a £1.5bn hole in the lender’s finances that was discovered last year. It will cover the way accounts were both prepared by the bank and reviewed by auditors and is likely to extend back to 2009, the year it took over the Britannia Building Society. The financial turmoil at the Co-op bank is widely attributed to the takeover as well as an abortive attempt to buy more than 600 branches from Lloyds. The FRC investigation is likely to take around a year to conclude whether to bring disciplinary tribunal action. The announcement came as the Co-op said it is to keep hold of its car and home insurance division after deciding it no longer needs to sell the business. The troubled mutual put the general insurance arm up for sale as part of plans for tackling the black hole in its banking arm. A rescue for the bank that saw investors exchange £1bn of bonds for new shares in the lender has enabled the Co-op to reconsider its plans. The insurance business employs 1,300 people and has six UK offices, including one in Manchester.

SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £55.39 Gannett 1731.72 Hess Corp £46.96 Microsoft £22.15 Motors Liquidation 45.67 Wal-Mart Stores £46.39 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 6381/2 +2 BAE Systems 4441/8 -1/4 Rolls-Royce 1249 -1 AIM Brady Plc 761/2 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 4055/8 -15/8 BANKS Barclays 2823/4 -53/4 HSBC 673 -43/4 Lloyds Banking Gp 831/8 -3/8 Ryl Scotland 359 -43/4 Stan Chart 1328 -2 BEVERAGES Diageo 1947 +151/2 SABMiller £31 +3/8 CHEMICALS Croda £241/4 +1/8 Elementis 98 2633/8 +13/4 3 Johnsn Mat £33 /4 -1/4 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2981/4 +1/4 Costain 318 +71/2 ELECTRICITY

Drax Gp 807 -41/2 SSE 1329 +9 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 316 +51/4 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 455 -3/4 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 3791/2 -37/8 Cable & Wireless 553/4 Comm Colt Group 128 +2 KCOM 1013/4 +1/8 Talktalk Telecom 3163/4 +11/2 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2547/8 +21/2 Sainsbury 366 -25/8 5 Tesco 329 /8 -11/2 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food £267/8 +1/2 Tate Lyle 7861/2 +4 3 +1/8 Unilever £24 /8 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3213/4 +1/4 National Grid 793 +5 1 Pennon Grp 687 /2 +5 Severn 1651 +6 United Utils 690 +2 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 3981/4 +13/4 ICAP 4323/4 -191/2 London StockExch 1828 -9 Man Group 873/4 Provident Financial 1678 +17

Schroders £253/4 +1/8 Schroders NV 1992 +5 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS REXAM 5121/2 +7 Smiths Grp 1520 -3 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 251/4 Carphone Whse 2793/4 +85/8 Dixons Retail 46 +1/8 3 Home Retail 204 /8 -31/4 1 Inchcape 642 /2 +11/2 Kingfisher 3861/4 -2 M&S 4821/2 -4 Mothercare 289 +17 1 Next £62 /2 +11/8 WH Smith 1016 +23 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 8791/2 +1 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 168 -1/4 Barrat Dev 392 +11/8 Persimmon 1342 +2 Reckitt Benckiser £467/8 Taylor Wimpey 1195/8 +7/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 1551 -4 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 180 -15/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 3177/8 +1/4 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 4771/8 +3/4

2293/8 -7/8 1925/8 +3/4 1345 -19 3573/4 -21/4 3821/4 -2 MEDIA BSkyB 854 +14 D Mail Tst 982 +181/2 ITV 2053/4 +25/8 Johnston Press 213/4 Pearson 1306 +26 Reed Elsevier 9241/2 -1 STV Group 3351/2 -4 1 Trinity Mirror 205 /2 +1/4 1 Utd Business 722 /2 +6 UTV 244 -13/4 WPP 1353 MINING Anglo American 1393 +2 Antofagasta 845 -11/2 BHP Billiton 18861/2 -31/2 Fresnillo 7761/2 +441/2 Kazakhmys 195 -1/4 Lonmin 3253/8 +91/8 3 Rio Tinto £33 /8 -1/2 VEDANTA 937 +17 RESOURCES MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 7391/2 -5 Vodafone Group 240 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1401 -6 RSA Insurance Gp 1023/8 -5/8 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life

Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp

264 177 793 £221/4


- /4 +23/4 +5 +7/8

FTSE closed at

6836.73 Up 7.43 BG 1348 BP 4941/4 Cairn Energy 2663/4 Royal Dutch Shell £213/4 A Royal Dutch Shell £223/4 B Total £365/8 Tullow Oil 901 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1046 Petrofac 1258 Wood Gp(J) 662 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1500

+31/2 +31/4 -1/2

+1/4 -51/2 +1 -5 +2 -15

PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £391/4 +1/2 GlaxoSmithK 18 7 Shire £29 /8 -1/4 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 6611/2 -21/2 Hamrsn 5191/2 +11/2 Intu Properties 316 +11/2 Land Secs 1034 +4 -3/4 SEGRO 3397/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 5091/2 Sage Group 4113/4 +7/8 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 9441/2 +7 Bunzl 1425 +7 Capita 1056 -1 De La Rue 8451/2 +4 +15/8 Electrocomp 2847/8 Experian 1130 +4 +11/4 G4S 2603/8 Hays 137 +1 Homeserve 2977/8 +53/4 Menzies J 709 -1 Rentokil 1223/4 -1/8 Smiths News 2201/4 -21/4 Wolseley £347/8 +1/4 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 999 +10 Spirent Comms 943/4 +3/4 TOBACCO Br Am Tob £311/4 +1/2 Imperial Tobacco £221/4 +1/8 LEISURE & HOTELS

Bwin.Party Digital 1201/8 Carnival £253/4 Compass Grp 970 easyJet 1673 Enterprise Inns 1631/4 FirstGroup 1363/4 Go-Ahead Gp 1965 Greene King 9111/2 Intercontl Htls £20 Intl Cons Airl 4253/4 Ladbrokes 1663/4 Mitchells & Butlers 4573/8 Natl Express 2931/8 Rank Org 1443/8 Stagecoach Group 3743/4 TUI Travel 4283/4 Whitbread £391/4

+33/4 +51/2 -7 +25/8 -43/8 +20 -2 -13/8 -1/4 +23/8 +61/8 +33/4 +21/2 +1/4 -1/4

FTSE 100

INDEX 6836.73


FTSE 250

INDEX 16227.11


TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia..................... 1.77 dollars Bangladesh............... 120.14 taka Brazil............................ 3.44 reals Canada...................... 1.71 dollars China ........................... 8.88 yuan Czech Republic .... 30.58 korunas Denmark..................... 8.61 krone Euro.............................. 1.16 euro Hong Kong............... 12.09 dollars Hungary................. 327.27 forints India........................ 89.14 rupees Japan......................... 162.91 yen Mexico ...................... 19.39 pesos New Zealand ............. 1.85 dollars Norway ....................... 9.65 krone Pakistan................ 163.03 rupees Philippines ................ 63.42 pesos South Africa................ 16.74 rand South Korea............. 1522.00 won Sri Lanka .............. 202.40 rupees Sweden..................... 10.16 krona Switzerland................ 1.42 francs Taiwan ..................... 43.19 dollars Turkey...................... 3.41 new lira USA ........................... 1.57 dollars



Helping to keep finances afloat HE’S sent navy jets soaring into the sky from the deck of aircraft carriers and helped haul a field gun across the arena at Earl’s Court during the world-famous Royal Tournament. Now former Royal Navy marine engineer James Glasheen is helping clients navigate choppy financial waters as an adviser at Huddersfield-based chartered accountancy firm Sheards. James, 54, joined the firm’s wealth management arm last year after a 26-year career in financial services which saw him work for a number of national accountancy firms, high street banks and independent financial advice practices.. But he’s happy to be in Huddersfield, where he has lived for the past 10 years, and relishes working at one of the town’s best-known firms. “The problem with working for a national company is that it all becomes a bit impersonal,” says James, who lives at Fenay Bridge with partner Jennifer. “Decisions are made solely on a ‘business’ basis rather than a ‘client’ basis. “I wanted to get back into the local community – and this is the community in which I want to live and work. I prefer working for a smaller organisation because you can offer a more bespoke service.” Sheards has been established since 1903, but developed its wealth management arm in 2007 in response to clients’ requests. “It provides an extra level of service,” says James. “It means there’s joined-up thinking between the accountancy business and financial advice.” James hails from Rugby, Warwickshire. His father moved to England from Tipperary in the 1940s. James moved to Yorkshire in 1989 after a career many would envy. Says James: “At school, it was always my intention to join the navy – which is what I did

after getting my O-levels. I’m a product of the grammar school system and I remain a strong advocate of it! “It’s a big world out there and joining the navy gave me the opportunity to travel. It was too good an opportunity to miss. One year I was sitting my O-levels, the next I was with the navy attending the bicentennial of American independence in Florida. “My first job was on the aircraft carrier Ark Royal as a marine engineer and I appeared on the BBC documentary, Sailing. While others my age were slogging away at university I was sending Phantoms and Buccaneers off the flight deck. It was thrilling.” James, who later served on the aircraft carrier Hermes, also took part in the gruelling Royal Navy field gun competition at the Royal Tournament – where two teams had to man-haul a field gun and its equipment over and through a series of

■ OBJECTIVES: James Glasheen, of Sheards Wealth Management

obstacles in the shortest time. “It was physically challenging, but also involved being very precise,” says James. After leaving the navy in 1981, James went back-packing “to see a bit more of the world from a different perspective” before a move into financial services. “I was recruited because I was good with people – and financial services is a people industry,” says James. It’s also a subject which should concern everyone, he adds. “Wealth management is how we’re named, but financial services is what we do. Financial planning is not about wealth, it is about helping people whatever their financial situation.” One of his biggest concerns is ‘protection’. Says James: “As a national, we are under-insured. People have no qualms about insuring their iPhone or iPad, but they are strangely reluctant to protect their income and ensure they can maintain their families’ standards of living. In this industry, I see the consequences all too often.” In a world where the only certainties are death and taxes, people should take financial planning seriously, says James. “Financial planning is not about products, it’s about sitting down with clients and finding out their objectives and finding a way to meet them. Retirement for one person means being able to afford a loaf of bread to feed the ducks in the park. To another, it’s being able to afford a 60ft yacht. No two days are the same and no two clients are the same.” Another major issue facing all firms is auto enrolment – which at its simplest means that every employer in the country must enrol their employees into a pension scheme. “We are working with a lot of clients to explain auto enrolment,” says James. “A lot

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James Glasheen

of companies are find it challenging and we are helping them to fill in the gaps and manage the process. “Auto enrolment presents an additional cost to businesses at a time when the economy remains fragile. It is another administrative burden and for the smaller companies, it is not something that’s particularly welcome at this stage in the economic cycle.” It is still too early to say for definite that the economy is improving, according to James. “The FTSE 100 finished the year at an all-time high and the pound is strong against other currencies, but the economy is still in a fragile state,” he says. James shares his views on current issues with other business people at a number of networking events, including 4Huddersfield, the HD8 Network, the Huddersfield Town Enterprise Academy and the Yorkshire Mafia. “Networking can be good simply for the social aspect,” he says. “But you have to know what your objective is.” James has one clear objective in mind this year – and while it involves numbers and targets, it’s nothing to do with finance. “I ran the New York Marathon to mark by 50th birthday,” he says. “I decided I wanted to do another one, so I’m taking part in the Yorkshire Marathon this year. New York is the biggest marathon in the world. It goes through all the boroughs and Central Park and the support from the people in the streets is intense. It’s a huge occasion. “I completed it in three hours, 30 minutes and 16 seconds. I will put a training programme together in the summer for the Yorkshire Marathon and if I manage sub-three hours and 30 minutes I’ll be very happy!”


Role: Independent financial adviser Age: 54 Family: Partner Jennifer Holidays: We like New York and Tenerife Car: Renault Megane Coupé First job: I had a paper round. While I was waiting to join the navy I was a trainee manager at a Price Right store Best thing about job: The people Worst thing about job: The constant unnecessary tinkering by governments who don’t consult the industry Business tip: Be true to your client – your most valuable asset

Sheards Wealth Management Work: Independent financial advice Site: New North Road, Huddersfield Phone: 01484 448019 Email: Web: www.sheardswealth

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Charity’s red alert BUSINESS people have been urged to wear something red to work on Friday, February 14 – and make a donation to CRASH, a charity working with the property and construction industry to provide accommodation for the homeless. Go to


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cautions to prevent burst pipes caused by freezing water. Statistics put the average claim for these incidents at around £6,100 for contents and £19,200 for buildings and over the past two winters “escape of water” claims are estimated to have cost insurers in excess of £1bn. Remember – when water freezes, it expands and can cause damage to the pipes. Wear and tear can make a burst more likely to happen. There are some simple measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of burst pipes: ● Leave your heating on at a minimum of 13°C. This will stop water in your pipes from freezing. ● Check the insulation on your water pipes and the lagging on your cold water tank – if there’s none in place get it sorted as soon as possible. Check plumbing joints and pipes for any signs of freezing. If you spot any damage to the pipes call a plumber. ● Check your boiler has been serviced. ● Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe. Insulate your loft - not only will this keep your home warm, it has environmental benefits too. ● Find out where the main stopcock for your home is - this may help reduce the amount of damage in an emergency. Test it to make sure it can be turned off easily in an emergency. The main stopcock is often where the supply pipe enters your home. In most


instances this is under your kitchen sink or in your bathroom. ● If you are away, get your neighbours to check on your property and if you are away for an extended period check that you have adequate insurance cover in place. Most policies will have restrictions and conditions relating to un-occupancy – make sure you know what these limits are. ● Seal any holes that let in cold air. With modern technology, increasing numbers of people have holes in the wall for computer cables or TV links. ● If you’re going away for an extended break, drain your water system (this is compulsory with some insurers). The worst affected group in the last couple of years were over 50s who were spending the winter abroad. ● Check your insurance is up to date and you are covered for the full value of your contents. What you should do if a water pipe freezes? Unfortunately, even if you take precautions you may still suffer from frozen pipes. If so, turn off the stop cock to cut the water supply and use a gentle heat source, such as a hot water bottle, to the internal stop tap until

the pipe thaws. Do not use an open flame or boiling water to thaw them. What to do if you do have a burst pipe? Act immediately. The sooner you can stop the water escaping, the more you reduce the risk of further damage. Turn off the water supply at the main stopcock, turn off the stopcock in your cold water tank (usually found in the loft), switch off the central heating system and any other water heating installations to avoid further damage. If you can, find the source of the burst. If it is the cold water tank, empty it by running all the cold taps and flushing all toilets a number of times. You should also drain the hot water system. First turn off the boiler and immersion heater if you have one then turn off the cold feed pipe to the cylinder and run all the hot water taps to empty the pipes of water. Call a plumber and an electrician. Take a photograph of all damaged items and make a list. Call your broker or insurer – Wilby Ltd clients can call 01422 358 525 to speak to our in-house claims team. Do not touch anything electrical. Call an electrician.

Mark Weeks is a risk management consultant at Wilby Ltd

Partners focus on fire safety FIREFIGHTERS and footballers are continuing to spread the message of fire safety – after Huddersfield Town and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service announced an extension to their partnership. A team from WYFRS, led by District Commander Chris Kirby, visited the John Smith’s Stadium with a branded fire engine to mark the renewal of the partnership. WYFRS has also supported the Town Foundation in the last year and with the help of Barclays Bank raised £3,250 for the charity. The fire service raised £1,750 from its open day for the charity while Barclays Bank, which assisted on the day, committed a further £1,500. Town commercial director Sean Jarvis said: “We’re delighted to have secured the partnership with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for another year. We feel we can play a big part in spreading a very important message across the community. “I hope everyone really embraces the message and helps us to keep our region safe. The WYFRS are

Recogn the trail

THE search is on women – across industries – who new ground thro The First Women Real Business a in association w Group, are now nominations. Last year’s awar of “first women” down barriers to things. They included A founder Morella Hackitt, the first Health and Safet Winners in previ included Laura L UK’s leading net support hubs, M Holly Tucker and who set up Noto Katja Hall, chief CBI, said: “A div which fully harn women is really business succes issue for the CB proud to suppor Awards, which a source of inspira women.” Fiona Cannon, d inclusion directo Group, said: “W about promoting the women we w own employees Our partnership Women Awards identify and cele female talent.” Amy Carroll, gro Deals and Real B “Though cracks appear, there is glass ceiling to b today’s working “We are proud to achievements of pushing ahead a mark in what are male-dominated The closing date April 4, with the taking place on the London Mar Grosvenor Squa information go t http://fwa.realbu


■ FIRE CREW: Town commercial director Sean Jarvis and Town Foundation corporate fundraising officer Mandy Taylor (centre) with the team from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and their branded fire engine heroes in our community because of the life-saving work they undertake and it will be a source of immense pride for the club that our crest will be displayed on their fire engines.” Mr Kirby said the partnership was a great opportunity to get the message of fire safety out to a large number of

people. The partnership would allow WYFRS to deliver key themes throughout the year while Town’s support for fundraising events such as the Huddersfield Fire Station open day helped to draw in visitors.

PARENTS acros urged to act now Child Benefit pa Under new rules about 1.1m fami adult earning mo during the 2012/ repay part of the those earning m need to repay it payments are de earner registerin Assessment and return. Nick Bro Accountants in L families had unt missing the dea automatic £100 f penalties reachi who file more th

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ss Kirklees are being w – or face fines over ayments. s introduced last year, ilies containing one more than £50,000 /13 tax year, must eir child benefit, while more than £60,000 completely. The eclared by the high ng for Self d completing a tax ook, of TaxAssist Lockwood, said til January 31. Anyone adline would face an fine – with further ing £1,600 for those han a year late.


Challenges still need to be met HE last few months have T been a profitable period for equity investors, with early

summer concerns about the tapering of Quantitative Easing in the US giving way to renewed optimism. Many equity markets finished the year at or close to all-time highs, with the notable exception being Emerging Markets. When the US Federal Reserve finally decided to initiate tapering in December, markets were better prepared, and much of the “hot” money had already departed. Other worrisome factors, such as the political situation in the Middle East or the US government’s budget and debt ceiling wrangling, were, if not resolved, then at least contained for the foreseeable future. As we enter 2014, investors remain positively disposed towards equities, although enthusiasm is tempered by valuations that have run ahead in anticipation of earnings recovery. On February 7, the suspension of the US debt ceiling expires, but recent events in Washington suggest little appetite to peer once again over the fiscal cliff, and we expect minimal disruption. In May, Europe faces European parliamentary elections and there is a threat that right wing parties will garner a large share of the vote in countries such as the UK, the Netherlands and France. While this

CITY TALK Nick Gartland

might not have a direct effect on domestic policies, it might well fragment the vote of mainstream parties and also force these parties to veer away from the centre to attract votes. The UK will also face the referendum on Scottish independence in September. Although current polls suggest a rejection of independence, one can never be sure and the whole process will be an unwelcome distraction for the coalition government. The UK treasury has decided to avoid any potential market disruption by guaranteeing all of Britain’s debt, regardless of whether Scotland votes for independence or not. Markets have recovered strongly from previous concern over Fed tapering of the monthly $85bn of bond purchases. Chairman Bernanke initially postponed the taper in response to weaker housing and employment data, and must also have been

mindful of potential disruption from the US government’s budget negotiations. Markets responded well to this pragmatic approach and also to the subsequent tapering announcement in December, when monthly purchases of assets were reduced by just $10bn to $75bn. Investors now understand that tapering is not tightening, and that subsequent decisions will be dependent upon the strength of the economy. The biggest challenge for 2014 will be to negotiate the ongoing withdrawal of Quantitative Easing. Our belief is that this will only occur as long as there is sustained economic momentum, in which case the removal of liquidity should be offset by stronger growth. It is clear from the reaction in May and June last year that the route will not be straightforward, although the response to the actual taper in December was more encouraging.

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

In the ‘diplomatic’ corps TWO managers from a Huddersfield-based firm have been appointed manufacturing “diplomats. Stuart Bravington, business improvement manager at paving supplier Marshalls plc, and site production manager Stuart Brown were awarded the Diploma in Manufacturing at a graduation ceremony at Manchester University. The diploma is quality assured by the university and delivered by the prestigious Manufacturing Institute. It is designed to help manufacturers fast track their careers and boost productivity and profits in their companies. The pair have been able to apply their studies to improvement projects at Marshalls, which is based at Birkby and has operations at Elland and Brighouse.. Stuart Brown said: “The diploma has proved invaluable to me. It has benefited me personally as I was promoted within the first six months of the course. “We are now planning to

■ GRADUATES: Stuart Bravington (above left) and Stuart Brown (right) at their graduation ceremony at Manchester University when they were awarded the Diploma in Manufacturing implement my diploma project which will lead to a more cost-effective method of manufacturing one of our premium products and will enable us to extend this product range. “The return on investment is expected to take less than three weeks. I couldn’t recommend the course highly enough.”

Mr Bravington said: “The diploma enabled me to look at things through different eyes. Because the modules were work-based, most of them have had a direct impact on the business, which is fantastic. The people development skills I learned were a big win and I was able to apply that back into the workplace.”

Page 5

Seminars for women in business A BUSINESS consultancy is staging seminars to help women get ahead in the workplace. Jenny Kilburn, who owns Synergos Consultancy, has launched a new service that involves working with just women. She said: “More and more women are starting up their own businesses and this is fantastic news for the local economy. “The reasons vary from redundancy, family commitments or a hobby that turned into a business.” But she said that while there were a lot of excellent networking events held on a monthly basis and catering specifically for women, what was missing was a focused structure that would support women week by week to really drive their businesses forward. Said Jenny: “We all have ideas of how successful we want our businesses to be and of course may well have a number of goals, but all too often circumstances get in the way of achieving the results we would hope for.” Jenny’s Women in Business seminars are designed to address those issues by setting weekly objectives to make sure the business moves forward and achieves its goals for 2014. The seminars will be held from 9.30am to 1pm tomorrow at Heritage Exchange, Wellington Mills in Lindley; and 9.30am to 1pm on Monday, January 27, at Waterfront Lodge, Huddersfield Road, Brighouse. Lunch will also be provided. For details, contact Jenny at or telephone 01484 817444.

Firm helping stars to keep their cool LUNCHBOX snack supplier Fruitypot is making sure that the stars of ITV show Dancing on Ice enjoy one of their five-a-day. The business, a subsidiary of Bradley-based Caterers Choice, is supplying its fruit juice and jelly to the celebrities and production staff on the programme. Dancing on Ice, now in its ninth and final series, is fronted by Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley and the celebrities are coached by ice skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Over the course of the show, Fruitypot will be promoting its partnership across all marketing activity including its social media platforms and website. Sarah Booth, managing director of Fruitypot, said: “We are delighted to be a supplier to Dancing on Ice Series 9. “The ultimate aim for the brand is to promote healthy lifestyles and help people achieve their five a day. “The link with Dancing on Ice very much supports this aim as it highlights ice skating as a sport and encourages people to lead an active lifestyle. Over the next few months, we are hoping to encourage the Fruitypot audience to get active and try something new in 2014.”



Prospects look set to brighten ACTIVITY in the Yorkshire property sector is set to grow this year, according to an assessment of the key industry trends. Deloitte Real Estate said capital values would continue to show strong growth over the first half of 2014, as investors remain firmly in buying-mode and become increasingly comfortable about a move up the risk curve. Overseas demand will remain significant, with the current wave of Far Eastern investors being joined by new entrants such as Taiwanese insurers. Angela Barnicle, assistant director of Deloitte Real Estate in the Yorkshire, said: “It is clear that the flow of overseas capital is not slowing. Indeed, it will continue to be reinforced by new investors from geographies yet to buy into UK real estate in any significant way, but with an appetite to increase their exposure.” Strong activity is being seen in the construction industry, where signs of an impending spike in construction costs are becoming increasingly apparent. Said Ms Barnicle: “With construction

activity now growing and expected to rise further as economic conditions improve, contractors are becoming more selective about which jobs they take on and the price at which they commit to delivering. “We expect that this will soon translate into an upwards shift in the overall construction cost index as margins return to a more ‘normal’ and sustainable level. “This will be seen first in the early stage construction processes such as demolition, groundwork and concrete trades as well as in the smaller, complex jobs that are less attractive to contractors. “However, following the sharp correction we are predicting for early 2014 it is likely that the market will return to a more normalised period of cost price inflation.” Deloitte’s predictions highlight the potential for an improving outlook for the high street in 2014. “It also covers the implications of the rapid growth in e-commerce on demand for urban logistics facilities. Said Ms Barnicle: “Many of the UK’s retailers and e-fulfilment specialists are now


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acutely aware of the need to compete effectively on delivery times and that this often means a requirement for urban distribution hubs. “Demand for smaller, urban warehouses is therefore only set to build as online operations escalate and pressure on delivery times intensifies. “The supply of well-located stock is likely to be far from sufficient, so we expect to see rents on such property rising, and yields being forced down, in 2014.” She said: “2014 will not be without its share of hazards. Rental growth will need to pick up if the high level of returns predicted for the first half of 2014 is to be maintained, while a rise in construction costs will put pressure on development viability. “Nevertheless, with an optimistic economy, new overseas investors adding momentum in the transactions market and a number of structural changes taking place, 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year for commercial property.”

Page 6

Insurance warning over flood dangers LANDLORDS and tenants have been urged to ensure they have adequate insurance cover for their properties in the event of major flooding. Matthew Twigger, associate director at property agency DTZ in West Yorkshire, said: “With the UK being battered by extreme winds and torrential downpours which have caused chaos in recent weeks, leaving hundreds of home owners and businesses devastated and with bills for reinstatement works running into thousands of pounds, the importance of appropriate building insurance and property protection has never been so pertinent. “Landlords and tenants alike need to ensure and maintain adequate insurance for the cost of building reinstatement in the event of a major incident.” Mr Twigger said: “Recent estimates from insurance groups estimate that 77% of buildings are undervalued for insurance purposes and the result is that landlords and owners may not fully recoup the full cost of a building’s reinstatement, leaving them exposed and facing a funding gap. Businesses should also consider that their contents and stock is also adequately insured.” He said: “While there is a need for landlords to drive down ‘unnecessary’ expenditure in terms of the cost of assessments and associated insurance premium increases, the sheer scale of fire and flooding highlights the importance of regular insurance assessments in line with RICS recommendations.”

■ HOUSE CALL: Labour shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds and FMB chief executive Brian Berry

Small builders back Labour’s proposals CONSTRUCTION industry bosses are backing calls from the Labour Party for “an army of small builders” to help tackle the housing crisis. The Federation of Master Builders echoed the call which came from Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds in a speech to the National House Building Council. She said a future Labour Government would require local authorities to allocate more small sites for house building and a commitment to ensure public land will widen opportunities for small builders. Brian Berry, FMB chief executive, said: “Labour’s plans to boost house building by helping small builders enter the housing market is the right step forward. “Over the past 25 years, small house builders have been squeezed out of the market. In 1988, two-thirds

of all new homes were built by SME builders, but that figure now stands at less than a third. This decline has accelerated over the past five years, as large numbers of firms have either gone out of business or have diversified out of building homes altogether.” He said: “Any political party serious about tackling the housing crisis needs to get small house builders back into the market. Two barriers are preventing this from happening – lack of access to finance and lack of access to land. Until these two issues are addressed, small builders will not be able to build the number of new homes that are urgently needed to solve the housing crisis.” Mr Berry said housing was rising up the political agenda and would be a key issue during the general election.



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Movers and shakers

Page 8

Chamber answers the conference call Maariyah Ahmed & Brittany Gaunt

Valli Opticians TWO new apprentices have joined the team at Valli Opticians. Maariyah Ahmed, 17, and 16-year-old Brittany Gaunt (pictured above) have taken up apprenticeship positions in customer service with the firm, which has practices in Meltham, Lockwood, Honley, Almondbury, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd. Ms Ahmed, a former Honley High School pupil who left Greenhead College with AS Levels in law, applied business studies, psychology and health and social care, will work at Valli Opticians’ branches in Honley and Lockwood. Brittany, who attended Holmfirth High School, will work at the Valli Opticians branch in Meltham. The apprenticeship positions were delivered through Woodspeen Training.

Darren Toms

Eddisons CHARTERED surveyors Eddisons, which has offices at Huddersfield, has appointed Darren Toms (pictured) as client services director of its insolvency insurance services division. Mr Toms, 38, has more than 10 years experience in the insolvency industry, specialising in insolvency insurance, where he has managed a range of complex insurance issues. His key focus will be on expanding the division into key markets and developing relationships with new and existing clients on a national basis. Nick Towns, head of the insurance services division, said: ‘Darren has a wealth of experience along with strong client relationships and is an excellent addition to the team.” The insolvency insurance team provides bespoke property insurance and risk management services to a range of financial institutions and insolvency practitioners. Eddisons entered the UK insolvency insurance market in 2010 in conjunction with Aon and RSA.

Ian Morrison

PwC ACCOUNTANCY firm PwC has appointed Ian Morrison (pictured) as its new Yorkshire and North East regional leader, covering Kirklees. Mr Morrison, audit partner and PwC’s head of assurance in the North, succeeds Ian Green in the role. Mr Green takes up a national role as UK leader for business recovery services. Mr Morrison now leads the firm's Yorkshire and North East business, which includes more than 1,000 partners and staff across its Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Hull offices.

A SERIES of annual business conferences taking place in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield are now being organised by the Huddersfield-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. The Lockwood-based chamber has taken over the running of the Hillrich business conferences – with Chrissie Slater joining the organisation to take the popular events forward. Ms Slater has worked on the Yorkshire Business Conferences previously and brings with her a wealth of sales and project management experience. Chamber executive director Andrew Choi said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the chamber – with the help and expertise from Chrissie – to build on the great success of the annual business conferences in Mid Yorkshire. “The events, branded ‘MY Conferences’ provide a fantastic platform for local companies to get in front of decision-makers and do business together. They offer outstanding connections right on our doorstep, which is what the chamber is all about.” The conferences have combined sem-

centrepiece of the “business week” which also involved a wide range of venues. Ms Slater said: “I am excited to begin the new venture with the chamber and bring some fresh, new ideas. “I’m keen to make sure that each of the business weeks showcase that Mid Yorkshire businesses have a lot to offer.” As in previous years, there will be a series of business-themed activities in the same week as the conferences and local businesses will be at the heart of it all through hosting their own inspirational best-practice events. The chamber is calling on local businesses to think about holding a seminar or workshop on a professional topic or to offer experiential learning to business leaders. ■ PROJECT: Chrissie Slater has joined The first of the 2014 business weeks will the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce held from June 23 to 27 at the Cedar Court to spreahead the running of business Hotel, Wakefield, with the conference takconferences in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield ing place on Tuesday, June 24. Kirklees will follow in October and Calderdale will inars and workshops involving high-pro- take place in November. file business people with exhibitions Contact or featuring a wide variety of businesses. 07764 348782. The conferences have formed the

Nick comes to call

■ DEPUTY DROPS IN: Nick Clegg and Kate Hardcastle (centre) at the Access for All event organised by Huddersfield form Insight With Passion BUSINESS people attending a workshop led by Huddersfield woman Kate Hardcastle got a surprise when Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg dropped by. Kate, who is co-founder of business transformation company Insight With Passion (IWP), was holding the seminar in Leeds for representatives of 10 businesses taking part in IWP Access for All. The scheme aims to help business start-ups and charities by providing expert advice and motivation from the IWP team, which is based at the Media Centre in Huddersfield. Similar sessions have been

delivered throughout the UK to more than 800 businesses as part of the 8,000 hours of time IWP give back to the community every year. Kate said: “The seminar was about giving back to the community, which we see as an essential part of any responsible business. “We are thrilled that Nick Clegg wanted to visit to understand more about how our scheme works and we expect to deliver many more of these workshops throughout 2014.” The 10 businesses had an afternoon of inspiring discussion to “charge up their business” for 2014.

James Roberts & Kris Street

Ryder & Dutton CHARTERED surveyors and estate agents Ryder & Dutton have appointed James Roberts to the board of directors. Mr Roberts (top right) is well known in the local commercial property market and has been an associate at Ryder and Dutton since May, 2012. Director Richard Powell said: “James brings a wealth of expertise and experience to our board and will help us strengthen our offering to the local business community.” The firm, which includes offices in Huddersfield, Holmfirth, Halifax and Oldham, has also announced that Kris Street (also pictured), manager of the Shaw office for several years, as been appointed an associate of the firm. Director James Ebden said: “We are really pleased that Kris has accepted this invitation. He deserves this for his hard work and success over the last few years during a difficult time in the property market and we hope there will now be the opportunity for him to do well in what appears to be an improving market.”

Airport is flying high LEEDS Bradford Airport has been named Best UK Airport at the annual Globe Travel Awards ceremony. The awards recognise excellence in the travel industry – with

votes cast solely by UK travel agents. Comedian James Corden presented the award to James Broughton, sales and marketing manager at the airport.

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