STEVE DOBROWSKI Appliance of science
Full inter view - Page 3
ANDREW FIRTH Fingerprints and cookies Column - Page 5
An EXAMINER publication
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
Employee shares boosting business A LAW firm in Huddersfield says more of its client companies are offering shares to their employees – and seeing business grow as a result. Baxter Caulfield said the manner in which firms were offering shares differed from the Shares for Rights Scheme, which came into effect this month. HM Revenue & Customs-approved Company Share Option Plans enable a firm to grant share options to selected executive directors and employees over shares with a maximum value of £30,000 at the time of the grant. The board of directors has discretion to choose which employees or directors can participate in a CSOP and only those working at least 25 hours a week are eligible. More typical practice in the experience of Baxter Caulfield, is the use of share options granted under the Enterprise Management Incentives Scheme. This allows the granting of tax advantageous fixed price share options to key employees with a duration of up to 10 years, often triggered by a sale of the business.
Further incentives can be provided by use of a Growth Share Scheme, which offers immediate share ownership with the promise of capital return should the value of the business increase. Employee share ownership share options have been found to boost employee loyalty and research by the University of Bradford found that equity incentives helped lift productivity by about 25%. HMRC itself points to a “clear link between employee share ownership and improvements in productivity”. Baxter Caulfield, which recently reported an additional £100,000 worth of new transactional work in terms of fees over the second quarter of this year, says that its findings tie in with recent statements at a governmental level. Employment Relations and Consumer Minister Jo Swinson said: “Evidence shows that employee-owned companies can be more profitable, create more jobs and were more resilient during the economic downturn. “We are committed to making direct
employee ownership more attractive, cutting red tape for companies and promoting new and more responsible ways of running a business.” Stephen Newman, a partner and company law expert at Baxter Caulfield, said: “We have set up a number of employee share schemes in recent months. “These companies are performing well and although obviously not the whole story, satisfied employees with a real incentive to achieve business growth are having a positive impact. “Share schemes are not limited to certain sectors, but can be embraced by almost any private limited company.” Said Mr Newman: “These schemes are distinct from the Shares for Rights scheme which came into effect on September 1. Employees do not have to lose their protection from unfair dismissal and rights to redundancy pay and flexible working as the price of share ownership”.
the district with events spread across the week delivered in a manner that is convenient for all sectors of business in Kirklees. All venues will be supplied free and all event delegate places will be free. He said: “We really want KBW to be all-inclusive and bring together all types and sizes businesses across Kirklees. KBW is ‘open source’ in the manner that anyone can get involved and make it better for the whole Kirklees business community. “All events are welcome; they will be
listed on the website and will continue to be added right up until October. All we ask is that events are sector-specific and not general networking events.” Jeremy Garside, of principle KBW partner Chadwick Lawrence, said: “Chadwick Lawrence is pleased to again pledge support to KBW. This second business week will offer support and opportunity to local organisations promoting Kirklees as the place to do business. It provides an excellent free platform for business to discuss ideas and collaborate to ulti-
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BATLEY-born Lawrence Tomlinson has welcomed a fellow Yorkshireman and entrepreneur as the inaugural member of his Ginetta Racing Drivers Club. Peter Brook, managing director of both Oracle Finance and Lawton Brook Ltd, was quick to take up the opportunity to join the new-for-2014 club while attending Ginetta’s debut appearance at the annual Salon Privé exhibition.
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■ FAIR SHARES: Stephen Baxter (top) and Jo Swinson
Seminars central to Kirklees Business Week KIRKLEES businesses are set to share their knowledge and experiences at a series of business events. Organisers are gearing up for Kirklees Business Week (KBW), which gets under way on Monday, October 14. KBW promises a full programme of sector-specific seminars run by different businesses and free for all to attend. Danny Matharu, of KBW organisers Hillrich, said the aim was to provide a platform for Kirklees businesses to share their knowledge across
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mately strengthen the Kirklees business community.” Prof Liz Towns-Andrews, of KBW partner Huddersfield University, said: “KBW is here to showcase the knowledge of our businesses. It is a clear message to all that Kirklees is very much open for business and collaboration.” Events run from Monday, October 14, to Friday, October 18 with the annual Kirklees Business Conference on Wednesday, October 16. Visit www.kirkleesbusinessweek.co.uk
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A FIRM supplying safety wear and industrial supplies has made a move to new premises – making way for Huddersfield University to expand on its Firth Street site.
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Centrica shelves gas storage plans BRITISH Gas owner Centrica has dealt a blow to Britain’s energy security plans by shelving two huge gas storage projects at a cost of £240m. The energy giant blamed the Government’s decision not to subsidise new gas storage and “weak economics” for axing the projects in East Yorkshire and the North Sea. The decision will leave the UK increasingly reliant on imported gas, with only about 15 days of gas supply in storage. In March, the prolonged cold spell saw Britain’s stored gas supplies fall dangerously low, with warnings of supply interruptions. The UK also relies on North Sea gas, pipelines from Europe and shipments of liquid gas. Centrica axed its planned £1.5bn conversion of the Baird depleted gas field in the southern North Sea off the North Norfolk coast, which would have held enough gas to meet 13.5
days of peak demand. The project was expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs. It would have become Britain’s second-biggest gas storage site behind Centrica’s Rough facility off the coast of East Yorkshire, which can meet 15 days of peak demand. And it also put on hold indefinitely its much smaller project to convert a depleted gas field at Caythorpe in East Yorkshire into a storage facility. Centrica said: “This decision was taken in light of weak economics for storage projects and the announcement by the UK Government on September 4 ruling out intervention in the market to encourage additional gas storage capacity to be built.” Centrica commissioned two reports on gas storage, which found subsidising it would have added 40p to 80p a year to customers’ bills over 25 years.
■ POWER BASE: Centrica blamed its decision on market conditions
Energy minister Michael Fallon argued that the decision not to subsidise gas will save consumers £750m over a decade. When it announced the decision, the energy department said gas supply is “resilient, with supplies outstripping demand”, adding that the UK has coped well with extreme weather conditions, including the freezing March.
Centrica, which is thought to be planning a price hike, will write off money spent on buying Caythorpe and 70% of Baird, as well as engineering costs, resulting in £240m of impairments and provisions. The projects relied on being able to buy gas cheaply in the summer when demand is low and selling it for a profit during the winter when demand soars. Centrica’s decision was influenced by the narrowing difference between summer and winter prices. A Centrica spokesman said: “We believe there’s still a need for new gas storage capacity in the UK, but unfortunately market conditions now do not make that investment possible for us.” Centrica is reportedly planning to add an average £100 to annual bills despite vowing earlier this year to use an earnings windfall from the cold weather to keep a lid on tariffs.
Bosses blighted by cash woes
Firms fail to find finance
MORE than half of owners and senior managers in Yorkshire’s smaller firms say their personal lives continue to be blighted by the economic downturn, according to a survey. And 22% believe the situation as worsened in the past year, said the poll by Close Brothers Invoice Finance. Six years on from the start of the financial crisis, figures drawn from the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer reveal that of those affected, 31% are experiencing more stress, 45% believe their work-life balance has deteriorated and 11% are unable to sleep well.
FEWER than one in five small and medium-sized enterprises have tried to raise finance in the past 12 months – with 40% of applications being rejected. That’s the key finding from a new report by venture capital investor Albion Ventures. The Albion Ventures Growth Report 2013, which examines the challenges and opportunities faced by 450 SMEs with a combined turnover exceeding £1.6bn, revealed a clear divide between stagnant businesses that are borrowing to survive and those that are seeking finance in order to expand in the future.
Regional sales director Lee Hayes said: “Despite recent signs of economic growth, our findings suggest that the difficulties of the last few years are really taking their toll for bosses on a personal level. “More than a fifth of local SME owners confirm that their biggest worry in relation to their business is managing their cash flow, so it’s important that these businesses are aware of the full range of funding options available to them.” Mr Hayes said invoice finance and asset-based lending could provide a cash flow boost to help firms take advantage of growth opportunities.
Of those who have attempted to raise capital in the past 12 months, 28% were looking for long-term development capital while 32% wanted working finance to keep their business going. The largest demand for working finance was from sole traders, accounting for 62% of applications. The research shows that companies with a larger turnover had fewer problems finding access to finance. Northern firms were most likely to see raising finance as a threat to their business while manufacturers were most concerned about the implications of a lack of access to finance.
Page 2 Merger costs SOFT drinks firm AG Barr has revealed a £5m blow from its failed merger with rival Britvic. The Scottish firm, best known for making Irn Bru, said costs of the aborted deal add up to £4.9m, helping knock back profits during the six months to the end of July by 10% to £13.2m. Barr, which also makes Tizer and Rubicon, called time on the £1.4bn merger in July after Britvic – which plans to close its bottled water business in Huddersfield – rejected a revised approach. But Barr said it “successfully navigated” a tough market despite the distraction of the deal. Barr said its brands maintained “strong market positions” as it lifted sales by 5.8% to £128.7m, including 4.2% growth in volumes and price hikes making up the balance. Its fizzy drinks revenues rose by 7% and still drinks rose by 2%. Barr’s growth outstripped a 4.5% rise in the total soft drinks market, which saw volumes up by 3.1% during the half. The heatwave helped the firm more than double market growth in the second quarter compared with the first. The Scottish company also hailed progress on its state-of-the-art new factory and distribution site in Milton Keynes, which is now in production and performing ahead of target. Boss Roger White said Barr had made “good progress across all fronts”.
SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £47.51 -0.69 Gannett 1590.40 -0.62 Hess Corp £48.51 -0.51 Microsoft £20.47 +0.03 Motors Liquidation 46.76 Wal-Mart Stores £47.48 +0.21 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 5261/2 +11/2 BAE Systems 444 -4 Rolls-Royce 1115 +9 AIM Brady Plc 62 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 352 -83/4 BANKS Barclays 2663/8 -71/8 HSBC 6865/8 -25/8 Lloyds Banking Gp 737/8 -23/8 Ryl Scotland 361 -33/8 Stan Chart 1528 -71/2 BEVERAGES Diageo £201/2 +1/8 SABMiller £321/2 -1/4 CHEMICALS Croda £271/4 +1/2 Elementis 98 2501/2 -31/4 3 Johnsn Mat £28 /4 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2753/4 -17/8 Costain 262 +1 ELECTRICITY
Drax Gp 681 -5 SSE 1563 -12 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 2221/4 -45/8 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 4297/8 -41/4 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 3425/8 +1/8 Cable & Wireless 391/2 -1/4 Comm 3 Colt Group 114 /8 -5/8 KCOM 903/4 -1/4 3 Talktalk Telecom 249 /4 +1/2 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2891/4 +3/4 Sainsbury 3951/4 -11/4 Tesco 376 -1/4 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1851 +2 Tate Lyle 770 +31/2 5 Unilever £25 /8 -1/4 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 397 -51/4 National Grid 747 -111/2 1 Pennon Grp 699 /2 -21/2 Severn 1810 -10 United Utils 701 -3 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 3635/8 -21/4 ICAP 3891/8 -21/8 London StockExch 1559 +1 Man Group 86 -13/4 Provident Financial 1670 +8
Schroders £257/8 -1/2 Schroders NV £211/2 -1/4 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS REXAM 4881/8 -13/4 Smiths Grp 1388 -5 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 263/4 -3/4 Carphone Whse 226 -2 Dixons Retail 461/4 -3/4 Home Retail 1645/8 -21/4 Inchcape 602 -121/2 Kingfisher 3921/8 -65/8 M&S 500 -31/2 1 Mothercare 383 /4 -13/4 Next £511/8 WH Smith 818 -7 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 776 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 1241/2 -31/2 Barrat Dev 3161/8 -101/8 Persimmon 1115 -12 Reckitt Benckiser £451/2 -1/2 Taylor Wimpey 1005/8 -13/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 1465 +11 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 1793/4 -23/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 3043/8 +3/4 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 4043/4 -51/8
2001/2 -1/8 193 +11/8 1178 -7 3193/4 -6 344 -43/4 MEDIA BSkyB 874 +5 D Mail Tst 780 +10 1 HIBU /8 ITV 1787/8 -13/8 Johnston Press 141/4 -1/4 Pearson 1284 -17 Reed Elsevier 838 -7 STV Group 2451/2 Trinity Mirror 124 -1/2 Utd Business 7241/2 -31/2 UTV 188 -2 WPP 1270 -23 MINING Anglo American 15731/2 -171/2 Antofagasta 852 +1/2 1 BHP Billiton 1875 /2 1 Eurasian Natural 217 /4 +15/8 Res Fresnillo 1013 -20 Kazakhmys 2901/8 -21/2 Lonmin 330 -2 Rio Tinto £31 VEDANTA 1122 +6 RESOURCES MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 714 +3 Vodafone Group 2091/8 +5/8 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1216 -8
Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life
Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp
401 1751/2 747 £233/4
-43/4 -61/4 -111/2 -1/4
FTSE closed at
6557.37 Down 39.06 RSA Insurance Gp 1237/8 -11/4 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1188 -121/2 BP 4401/4 -17/8 Cairn Energy 2623/8 -53/8 Royal Dutch Shell £201/2 -1/8 A 1 Royal Dutch Shell £21 /2 -1/8 B Total £357/8 +1/4 Tullow Oil 1049 -26 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1108 -2 Petrofac 1405 -13 Wood Gp(J) 8101/2 -161/2
PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1631 +12 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £321/8 -1/2 GlaxoSmithK XD 121/2 1 Shire £25 /4 -3/4 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 584 -41/2 Hamrsn 505 -41/2 Intu Properties 321 -31/2 Land Secs 921 -11 SEGRO 3067/8 +71/2 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 5021/2 Sage Group 3471/4 +5/8 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 875 -101/2 Bunzl 1344 -8 Capita 993 -14 De La Rue 983 -7 Electrocomp 2717/8 +1/2 Experian 1237 -3 G4S 2461/2 -23/4 Hays 1111/2 -11/4 Homeserve 2593/4 -33/4 Menzies J 772 -2 Rentokil 1081/4 +1/4 Smiths News 211 +41/4 Wolseley £331/2 -1/4 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 9921/2 -81/2 Spirent Comms 1243/4 -13/8 TOBACCO
Br Am Tob £331/2 Imperial Tobacco £227/8 LEISURE & HOTELS Bwin.Party Digital 1191/4 Carnival £237/8 Compass Grp 839 easyJet 1288 Enterprise Inns 1413/4 FirstGroup 1171/4 Go-Ahead Gp 1670 Greene King 7811/2 Intercontl Htls 1832 Intl Cons Airl 327 Ladbrokes 1887/8 Mitchells & Butlers 4241/4 Natl Express 2531/2 Rank Org 1611/8 Stagecoach Group 3241/4 TUI Travel 3591/4 Whitbread £30
-1/8 -1/8 -11/4 -161/2 -8 -41/4 -13/8 +10 -8 -20 -15/8 -31/8 +53/4 -37/8 +27/8 -1/4 -15/8 -1/4
TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia..................... 1.61 dollars Bangladesh................ 117.52 taka Brazil............................ 3.17 reals Canada...................... 1.57 dollars China ........................... 8.77 yuan Czech Republic .... 28.07 korunas Denmark..................... 8.40 krone Euro.............................. 1.13 euro Hong Kong............... 11.79 dollars Hungary................. 316.08 forints India........................ 88.29 rupees Japan......................... 151.12 yen Mexico ...................... 18.34 pesos New Zealand ............. 1.78 dollars Norway ....................... 9.03 krone Pakistan................ 159.42 rupees Philippines ................ 59.32 pesos South Africa................ 14.79 rand South Korea............. 1499.00 won Sri Lanka .............. 199.70 rupees Sweden....................... 9.72 krona Switzerland................ 1.39 francs Taiwan ..................... 41.29 dollars Turkey...................... 2.97 new lira USA ........................... 1.53 dollars
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Science provides a perfect solution IT’S chemistry that always gets a reaction. The subject of forensic science has taken hold of the public imagination – thanks in part to slick TV shows such as CSI Miami and the popularity of whodunnits in which experts effortlessly solve baffling cases by interpreting blood splatters and collecting bits of DNA from the crime scene. Dr Steve Dobrowski knows all about the reality of forensic science – based on a distinguished 20-year career in research and teaching and through his current role as director of Castleview Forensics, based at Honley. Steve has lived at Netherton since 1984, but was born in Manchester and later lived in Liverpool before moving to Diggle as a youngster and attending Colne Valley High School. “I was mainly interested in art rather than science, but soon realised I wasn’t really at all arty,” he says. “I enjoyed chemistry. My parents bought me a Lotts No 2 chemistry set and I still have the first chemistry book I was given – Chemistry for Boys and Girls – which had really simple kitchen table-top experiments. My first successful experiment was to build a mound of iron filings and sulphur and put a match to it. It spat ferociously and left the iron filings embedded in the kitchen worktop. It was so fascinating, I wanted to carry on.” Steve left Colne Valley High School in 1972 with A-levels in chemistry, physics and maths and went to Leeds University to study textile chemistry where he worked extensively with polymers. “The department of textile industries was just opposite the students’ union and 60 seconds away from the snooker table,” he says. “That was my mis-spent youth!” Steven went on to gain a PhD and was offered a role working with the International Wool Secretariat examining wool for forensic purposes. He says: “I recall saying at the time that I didn’t think there was any future in forensics in the UK and turned it down!” Instead, he went to work for his father’s metal finishing firm in Oldham before successfully applying for a role as research fellow at Bradford University. He took up an 18-month post looking at the chemistry of polyurethane. “I had been out of the lab for six years by then,” says Steve. “I was interviewed for the post and we spent about an hour-and-a-half talking about chemistry. At the end of the interview, they said they would be in touch. I had hardly got through the door at home when they range offering me the job.” Steve’s work involved research to see how polyurethane molecules were assembled. During the 18 months, Steve also wrote a computer simulation of the process. Steve then got a job as a chemist at Leeds
University’s physics department on a project to make polymers for lithium batteries. After a couple of years, he took a teaching post at Stockport College of Technology, teaching polymer chemistry and thermodynamics. He later moved to Sheffield Polytechnic, now Sheffield Hallam University, teaching the same subject before returning to Bradford in 1990. In 1992, he took on additional responsibility for recruiting undergraduates to the chemical and technology course, where student numbers were falling. “I suggested forensics as a possible ‘hook’ to attract students,” he says. “We worked with the pharmacy department and set up a chemistry with pharmacy and forensic science degree. It was launched a year earlier than expected and from that point student numbers went up. We were the first university in England to have a chemistry-based undergraduate forensics programme.” Since then, forensic science has become hugely popular, fuelled partly by television, but also by the increasing number of graduates who cannot get a job in forensic science – but are getting jobs as teachers and are now “filtering” the subject down to schools. Says Steve: “The TV shows are very dramatic with lots of pretty girls and quick results. But forensic science isn’t glamorous – it’s painstaking. The work can be very
Page 3 Steve Dobrowski
routine and not very exciting. You need to be highly motivated and you need to be a good scientist to build up the evidence that will result in putting the villain away.” Steve says hunting for clues at the crime scene may be exciting, but Steve counsels youngsters taking part in CSI events that it’s just the first part of the process which then involves forensic investigation and the presentation of evidence to take to a court of law. Steve’s 10 years at Bradford also saw him appointed director of forensic science and latterly acting head of department. He took early retirement in 2009. Says Steve: “For the next year-and-a-half, every day was a Saturday – which is an interesting place to be when you have spent the past 20 years as I did. I am something of a workaholic!” Steve undertook school visits and led training courses in forensics before deciding in April last year that “I really have to get down to doing something”. That led to him forming Castleview to “communicate forensics information to the profession, to education and to the public”. The company takes its name from the view of Castle Hill Steve gets from the window at his Netherton home. “I am not a natural businessman,” Steve admits. “It is something I have had to learn. Working with my dad’s business meant I picked up some relevant skills, so I am not
■ SCIENCE TEST: Steve Dobrowski n the Honley offices of Castleview
Role: Director Age: 60 Car: BMW – although my first car was a Mini 850 covered in pink flock nylon. It always turned heads Holidays: Just back from Croatia, but I love the Austrian Alps First job: Doing a paper round in Manchester Best thing about job: People Worst thing about job: I don’t like cables and wires because they always get tangled. I’m also no good at delegating. That’s a skill I have never learned Business tip: Join a network. My father said the biggest mistake he ever made in business was not doing enough hand-shaking. Keep in touch with people
Castleview Work: Communicating forensic information to the profession, to education and to the public Site: Queen’s Square Business Park, Honley Phone: 07847 948502 Email: s.a.dobrowski@ castleview.com entirely wet behind the ears. I am not doing this because I want to become a very wealthy businessman – I want to provide a facility for the public to see some of the realities of forensic work and to provide resources for schools and colleges.” The company is also involved in corporate training – offering a variation on the company away-day by using CSI as a vehicle to get people to work together and identify what works well. Local pubs and shops are also interested in Steve staging CSI events along the lines of the popular murder mystery evenings – with participants having to search for clues. Steve has also launched a cleaning business, again drawing on the techniques used to clean up crime scenes in the wake of investigations. When time allows, Steve gets away from work by returning to a boyhood hobby – photography. “I was introduced to photography when I was at high school,” he says. “I had a Russian 35mm camera and I did my own black-and-white photo processing. “But I hadn’t used a camera for years and it only came out for holidays and special occasions. When I took early retirement I knew I needed something else to do, so I joined Holmfirth Camera Club.” Now he is chairman of the group, having served a two-year stint as vice-chairman, and has won several awards for his work. The club meets weekly at the Northlight Gallery in Armitage Bridge.
Apprenticeship drive A CAR dealership with operations in Huddersfield has helped 141 youngsters onto the career ladder. Huddersfield teenager Sheraz Hassan is among the 141 who are undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship in light vehicle mechanics with Arnold Clark. The trainees have completed initial training at the £10m GTG Training Centre in Glasgow and now go on to a placement with local Arnold Clark dealerships to develop vehicle technician skills further.
Tribunal fees raise issues for workers OR the first time, the GovernF ment has introduced a fee structure to the Employment
Tribunal procedures, so that it is now no longer free to bring a claim or submit an appeal in an Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeal Tribunal. This change came into force on Monday, July 29, 2013. In relation to submitting a claim to an Employment Tribunal (on or after July 29, 2013), an “Issue Fee” is now required and then a further “Hearing Fee” is payable before the case is allowed to progress to a final hearing. If a claimant fails to pay the Issue Fee or Hearing Fee then ultimately the claim will not be allowed to commence or continue. There are two fee levels, Type A Claims, and Type B Claims. Type A Claims are the more straightforward/simple claims, such as statutory redundancy payment claims, unlawful deduction from wages claims and breach of contract claims. Type B Claims are the more complex claims, such as unfair dismissal claims, discrimination claims and whistleblowing claims. Type A Claims attract an Issue Fee of £160 and a Hearing Fee of £230 whereas Type B Claims attract an Issue Fee of £250 and a Hearing Fee
EMPLOYER’S BRIEF Neil Wilson
of £950. Employment Tribunals have the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse the fees paid by the successful party. Fees can be paid online or through the Centralised Processing Centre. As an alternative to paying the fees, claimants can make an application for fee remission. Claimant’s whose income is below a certain threshold will be exempt from paying the relevant fee/part of the relevant fee. With the total Tribunal fees for taking an unfair dismissal case to a final hearing being £1,200 a dismissed employee with no savings and/or limited household income is likely to struggle to afford to pay the relevant Tribunal fees. The Government’s aim, when introducing Employment Tribunal fees, was to see a reduction in the number of Tribunal claims submitted. This is likely to be the outcome as a number of claimants will not be able to afford to pay the Tribunal fees and will not be eligible for fee remission. Although this may well achieve the Government’s aim, it is likely to be
done at the cost of making access to justice an expensive luxury beyond the reach of many employees who have been unfairly dismissed. Similar fees will apply to the Employment Appeal Tribunal along with fees being due in relation to applications for reconsideration of a default judgement, applications for reconsideration of a judgement following a final hearing, applications for dismissal following withdrawal of a claim and any employer's counterclaim made as part of the response to the employee's contract claim. There is also a judicial mediation fee of £600 that is payable by the respondent if the case is listed for mediation. The introduction of Tribunal fees is also likely to create an increase in tactic playing when it comes to settling claims before the final hearing, with claimant’s wanting to settle before the Hearing Fee is paid or, if settlement is agreed once the Hearing Fee has been paid, for the settlement amount to be increased by the cost of the Hearing Fee.
Neil Wilson is an employment lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors
Contract boost for firms
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PLANS to make it simpler and easier for smaller businesses in Kirklees to bid for and win work across the public sector have been unveiled. Small and medium-sized enterprises make up 99.9% of the UK’s 4.5m businesses. Now the Government has launched a consultation following recommendations by Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s enterprise adviser, to create a SME-friendly “single market” for public procurement. Suppliers who want to do business with the public sector will be able to expect all organisations to follow a single set of principles when buying
goods and services. The proposals will simplify and standardise how public contracts are advertised, bid for and paid for across the public sector. Cabinet Office Minister Chloë Smith has also written to all MPs in Yorkshire asking them to make sure that local authorities are doing everything possible to support SMEs – and publish their contract opportunities on the Government’s Contracts Finder website. She said: “With £230bn per year spent on goods and services right across the whole public sector, Government wants to seize the
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opportunity to help hard-working SMEs get on by competing for and winning this business.” SMEs have been shut out of government business, she said. In the past bidding for public sector contracts was time-consuming, expensive and overly bureaucratic. “Removing barriers and setting out a consistent, single set of SME-friendly principles for the whole public sector will provide the right support to encourage significant business and growth opportunities for SMEs, and help give the UK a better starting position in the global race.” The consultation proposals include introducing a requirement for all public sector contracts over £10,000 to be accessible on the same site; banning burdensome pre-qualification questionnaires for low value public sector contracts and introducing a single standardised requirement for high value contracts. They also include ensuring suppliers further down the supply chain benefit from the same standard payment terms that public bodies offer prime contractors to ensure prompt payment for public sector work.
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
A town rich in conference facilities
■ DELEGATES: The town now has many and varied conference and meeting facilities
RE you going to be organising a number before you book. conference in the future months ● Set a date and see if your chosen venue is free on that day. Once you have a definite date, or in 2014?
Then take a look at the many and varied conference facilities in and around Huddersfield. You’ll be amazed at the range of options now available for meetings and conferences of all sizes. In more recent years, many conference facilities have come available in the town in business establishments, hotels and in some unexpected venues. Take a look at some of your options in this special Examiner conference guide which gives information on just some of the local choices available. So what do you need to look for when you are organising a conference? ● First of all determine the size of venue. Check how many delegates will definitely be in attendance and try and get a definite final
then you can set about letting everyone know. ● Determine the theme of the conference or meeting and make sure you have all the necessary information to hand. ● Consider your budget and how much you will need to provide any necessary equipment. Also take a look at the number of expected delegates and decide how to cater. Are you going to provide a sit-down or buffet lunch and/or mid-morning or mid-afternoon refreshments? Consider if you need to organise transport for any of your delegates who live outside the area? Make sure they all know details of train times or motorway routes well in advance. Are you having a speaker? If so, it is essential to make sure him or her is booked in good time. Popular speakers do get snapped up in good time and sometimes you have to book
■ CONFERENCE ROOM: A typical scene, ready for delegates arriving for their meeting well in advance. ● Make sure you chosen venue has all the necessary equipment you will need. This includes audio visual equipment which could be vital for any presentations. As an organiser it is important to take a look at your chosen venue well in advance to make
sure it fulfils all your needs? Is there plenty of car parking provision close-by? Does the venue offer food or do you need to make arrangements with an outside caterer for lunch and coffees? Keep a detailed checklist for the event to make everything is ticked off in good time.
KC CONFERENCING I NVEST IN THE FUTURE
KC ConferenCing InVEST In THE FUTURE
Book your event at Kirklees College’s brand new Huddersfield Centre, Waterfront Quarter!
Get a room with an inspirational view Meeting rooms and conferencing suites boasting magnificent views across the Huddersfield landscape and the newly renovated Huddersfield Canal, are now available at the new Kirklees College, Huddersfield Centre. Whether you are looking for a small meeting room or a large 160 seat conference suite, each space comes with an inspirational view and a superior service. Fully equipped with the latest presentation and IT equipment, including an integrated PA system, the air conditioned, flexible
conference space provides everything you need to run a successful event. Just minutes from the M62 and with excellent rail and bus links across the country, the brand new, state-of-the-art facility is perfect for corporate events, private parties or business meetings. With your own dedicated co-ordinator on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly, the focus is on providing you with a superior service which fully meets all your requirements.
Our experienced in-house catering team are supported by our hospitality and catering students, to deliver a range of catering options to fit every budget. For more information on how we can accommodate your meeting and conference needs please contact us on 01484 437000 or email email@example.com You can also visit our website www.kirkleescollege.ac.uk
• • • • • • • • •
Inspiring meeting and conference rooms Superior service throughout the day Up to 160 delegate spaces Rooms fitted with the latest IT and presentation equipment First class catering options See our high quality hospitality and catering students at work Brand new facilities Views over Huddersfield Close to major road routes, train and bus stations
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01484 437000 Web: www.kirkleescollege.ac.uk Twitter: @kirkleescollege
Connecting local businesses with international clients
■ READY FOR DELEGATES: The 3MBI board room, ideal for your event
F you are looking for somewhere a bit different to host your next meeting or conference then why not consider the pioneering 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC).
3M BIC offers the perfect package, having recently invested over £500,000 in the latest AV technology, and with its striking architecture, it has the ‘wow’ factor that will leave a lasting impression with your delegates. It’s meeting and conference spaces cater for all numbers, from 14 up to 100 delegates, and are kitted out with touch screen monitors allowing easy navigation through presentations. Several participants can also wirelessly share content from their laptops and other mobile devices to the rooms’ HD screens. The Board Room boasts a bespoke three-camera TelePresence
facility enabling businesses to communicate with international clients without the need to travel. 3M BIC is a hub for businesses that want to experience dynamic growth through access to new markets, funding support and technology, and acts as a gateway to the University of Huddersfield’s key research centres. For those wanting to be a part of 3M BIC’s ethos but not become a tenant, the centre offers an exclusive Network Membership offering many benefits, including access to its unique ecosystem, discount off room hire, priority booking on events, as well as the opportunity to act as a guest speaker or host their own seminars to reach out to a network of new business connections. 3M BIC is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the University of Huddersfield and Kirklees Council.
Kirklees Guide to Conferencing Next edition April 2014 Do you offer conference facilities? To place an ad in the next conference guide, please contact Anne Joseph on 01484 437745 or e-mail to email@example.com
New face at the National Coal Mining Museum
amantha Melton has recently started as Event Sales Co-ordinator at the National Coal Mining Museum.
She has over 18 years experience in event management having previously worked in London before moving to Yorkshire in the summer. Samantha previously worked as Senior Events Executive at the Tower of London for 11 years where she developed corporate and private events revenue to over £1.4 million and successfully delivered 320 events per year which included gala dinners, receptions, conferences, private tours of the Crown Jewels, concerts and music festivals. Samantha said “I am really pleased to be part of the National Coal Mining Museum which has excellent conference facilities that are already being put to good use by businesses throughout the region and nationally. “My initial agenda is to develop daytime conferences working with our onsite caterers Kudos and Chef/Manager Tom Moorby to provide a quality, simply priced conference offer. “The museum is well located with excellent access and parking and the inclusion of underground mine tours really does give added value to conferences and away days. I also plan to encourage corporate and private evening and weekend events at the Museum. “The purpose built event space coupled with the option to include private access to the museum, bespoke tours and excellent outdoor space
Get down to work NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM
for England A unique conference and events venue with flexible spaces for up to 210 people.
■ SAMANTHA MELTON: New Events Sales Co-ordinator at the National Coal Mining Museum makes the venue very flexible. We have a wedding fayre later in October showcasing wedding suppliers and the venue itself which we hope will encourage use of the museum and outside areas for weddings. “It is an exciting time and I am really looking forward to being part of the team and the future success of the museum”.
• Located close to the M1(J38 or J40), between Huddersfield and Wakefield • Fully-licensed catering packages to suit all budgets • Fascinating 140m underground tour included in your day delegate rate • Unique teambuilding experiences – whatever the weather • Experienced events team providing world class service • Daily delegate rates available Call now to book your conference: 01924 844581 or visit www.ncm.org.uk
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issues come under next meeting of a based business oup. of health insurer WPA, aker at the meeting of ld when topics covered e current state of the ealthcare and advances ment. meeting takes place 0am on Tuesday, he Aspley Table Table, oad. Contact Paula
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Fingerprints on the computer keyboard
ROWSING the internet, you are B likely to have come across cookies.
Cookies are “non-edible” pieces of code that are stored in a person’s web browser when they access 99.99% of websites. In 2009, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) announced a new law to force website owners to ask website users for permission to place cookies on their computers. Though the law came into play in 2011, the ICO advised that website owners would have 12 months to modify their websites in order to become compliant. Cookies form an essential part of a web user’s experience. They vastly speed up web browsing, making logging into accounts and accessing wish-lists far quicker. Cookies are good for both parties, the website owner and the website user, yet the new law proposed to significantly affect the way the internet operates by interrupting browser experience. The result of this was that most
DIGITAL DIRECTION Andrew Firth
website owners chose not to comply. On the day before the law was due to be enforced, the ICO changed the guidelines to suggest that consent could be implied and a permission checkbox didn’t need to be present, so all the fuss was over nothing. In fact, in 2013 the ICO removed explicitly asking for consent from their own website, which essentially gave everybody else the green light follow suit. There are many different types of website cookies. In advertising, cookies remember your search terms and populate advertising space with products and services that you have already searched for or previously viewed. You’ll be familiar with looking at a product online and then on other web-
sites you visit that product follows you. It is easy to take offence with a company when they start to bug you with advertising everywhere you go! All of this has led to website users becoming very wary of cookies; it is now easier for users to switch them off. As a result of this technology, companies have been looking for an alternative, one that enables users to be more in control of the advertising they see, what companies know about them but also importantly one that users can’t turn off. One of these concepts is user fingerprinting, which allows a website to look at the user’s computer (e.g. what software and plugins are installed, device
type and time zone) and create a profile based on the details found. Browsers transmit all manner of information which can be put together to form a unique identity, this can then be used for advertising and be much harder to shake off than a cookie. Companies can use fingerprinting combined with email records to target advertising based on a wider profile than just your search history. So, even though the cookie law was a farce, the irony is an arguably more prohibitive means of tracking is being developed for use by online advertisers and you won’t be surprised to hear that it is Google that are leading this development process.
Andrew Firth is managing director of Ascensor Website Design & Digital Marketing - Twitter @andrewjfirth @Ascensor
Online win for Claire A CHILDREN’S clothing retailer has won a weekly award after impressing business tycoon Theo Paphitis. Kirkburton-based Claire Harper (pictured), founder of IndiaCoco, landed the Small Business Sunday Award, a weekly competition run by the former Dragon’s Den panellist and chairman of Ryman’s Stationery. To enter the competition, people have to tweet Theo Paphitis on a Sunday between 5pm and 7.30pm to pitch their business to them. Each week, Theo reviews the entries and chooses his favourite six businesses and re-tweets to his 386,670 followers. Claire, a former marketing director of Mamas & Papas, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the overnight response and support we have received since Theo’s re-tweet. Winning a SBS award has given a massive boost to our business and helped grow our social media community. “It comes at a great time as we are gearing up to launch our autumn/winter ranges and fast developing a number of offline opportunities to experience IndiaCoco, including our successful partnership with award winning Blacker Hall Farm at Wakefield.”
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Business Jury passes verdict on ‘worsening’ service levels CUSTOMER service levels have fallen “significantly over the past decade”. That’s the verdict of the West Yorkshire Business Jury run by Holmfirth accountancy practice V&A Bell Brown. The Business Jury is made up of 12 business owners and directors drawn from the West Yorkshire area. The jury’s majority verdict was returned by V&A Bell Brown managing partner Amanda Vigar. She said: “I would, without doubt, say that standards of customer service are slipping and that things are only getting worse. “You only have to walk into practically any shop on any high street to be faced with miserable-looking shop assistants who wouldn’t know real polite customer service if it hit them in the face. “Nowadays, customers are invariably treated to a grunt and a look that says ‘God, I don’t really want to be here; why should I bother!’ while being served. “I believe the rot set in around 10 years ago with the pervasive media culture which bleated ‘you too are special; you deserve anything you want now!’ Mike Funnell, of Power Tool Services, echoed Amanda’s views, citing the internet as a reason of this decline. He said: “In today’s age, you don’t seem to be able to communicate directly to people, as they are hiding behind computer screens and phones, which is a result of the internet de-personalising things, as people turn to shopping online.” Stephen Callaghan, owner of Enterprise Print Works, agreed, in the sense that the growth of online shopping has affected the way in which people are dealt with and believes that, unfortunately, it is something that consumers will have to get used to. “With online shopping – and especially with dealing with call centre workers – you sometimes get the impression that they aren’t really interested over the phone, but many shops and businesses have measures in place to provide customers with the service that they expect,” he said. Charles Brook, principal of Brook Business Recovery, believes that there has been a fall in customer service standards and that the need
for immediate results in business has meant that customer service process has been neglected. He said: “I believe that in time, the businesses that go out of their way and positively demonstrate good standards of customer service at the point of delivery are the ones that people will appreciate and remember.” Jon Law, director at Toripops, was one of the few members of the jury who felt that customer service had improved, but feels there are some issues that still need to be addressed. He said: “Overall, customer service has improved, but I think that companies need to take the steps necessary to ensure that any mistakes are resolved by training its staff. However, this can take a long time to implement, so although customer service has improved, there is still some way to go.” Mark Sanderson, director at QED Finance, believes that customer service is neglected by management, especially in call centres. He said: “Customer service, especially in the shape of a call-centre, is to customers one of the most visible and significant aspect of organisational performance and to many organisations, customer service is one of the most challenging and neglected areas of management, including those with modern call-centres.” The co-founder of Juice Learning, Morgan Wilson, believes that if companies are to survive customer service has to be at a high standard, and to achieve this, employers must be able to motivate their staff. He said: “Most organisations recognise that service is about more than just delivering customer satisfaction, this implies doing the minimum to avoid complaints!” David Richter, of Coral Homes UK, said: “I believe it is because of a change in society where we have seen basic manners go out of the window, which reflects in the service we receive. “Please” and “thank you” don’t seem to be said as much, which is maybe because of the speed of texting, Twitter and other forms of social media.” Dot Goodhall, president of The Nerve Centre, said: “It is primarily a problem with the retail sector and they should really be
■ VERDICT: Amanda Vigar (above), of V&A Bell Brown says customer service standards are getting worse, while (below, from left) Jon Law, of Toripops; David Richter, of Coral Homes UK; and Morgan Wilson, of Juice Learning, were among business people who also delivered their verdicts at the latest Business Jury event
looking at initiating a root and branch audit of their customer service procedures. “Customer service assistants are the public face of a business, so it is vital that the friendliest and most polite attitude is presen-
ted. “I believe we have almost come to accept shoddy customer service as a matter of course when it should actually be the exception and not the rule.”
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Safe and sound in new premises
A COMPANY supplying safety wear and industrial supplies has made a move to new premises. Louis France Ltd has transferred operations from its home for the past 23 years at Firth Street in Huddersfield to the town’s Prospect Street Works. The firm is making way for Huddersfield University to expand on the Firth Street site. Company secretary Carolyn Taylor said the move had brought the firm close to its starting point – it was formed i n S e p t e m b e r, 1 9 3 9 , i n premises at nearby Upperhead Row. The firm, which employs six people, now has offices, a warehouse and a trade counter at the Prospect Street site. Said Mrs Taylor: “The move took longer than we had hoped because we needed to
find the right property. We wanted to retain all operations under one roof and stay in the town.” The firm supplies several of Huddersfield’s largest businesses. Said Mrs Taylor: “We have some good loyal customers.” Louis France began as a manufacturer of belting to drive machinery in local textile mills. During the war, the firm also supplied steel helmets and firefighting equipment to the textile trade. Founder Louis France died in 1953 and the company was bought by colleagues Jack Shaw and Joe Taylor. In 1970, Mr Taylor's son Graham joined the company. He progressed to head its sales operation in 1982 and become managing director in 1989. Today, the firm supplies products including First Aid kits and outdoor clothing.
■ BRIGHT PROSPECTS: Managing director Graham Taylor and his wife, company secretary Carolyn Taylor, outside Louis France's new premises in Huddersfield
Page 7 RICS guide gives advice A GUIDE has been produced to help small firms take better control of their finances by managing heir property assets differently. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which has produced the free guide, said property costs such as business rates and rent were one of the most significant expenses incurred by small and medium-sized enterprises and failure to take professional advice as to how to manage them could costs businesses thousands of pounds. The guide covers all aspects of the property process. It has been endorsed by the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Retail Consortium and the Association of Town and City Management. It includes advice on finding the right premises, business rates, tax allowances on property, rent reviews and valuations. Paul Bagust, RICS associate director, said: “Property costs are both one of the biggest overheads and one of the most complex assets to properly manage.” The guide is available at www.rics.org/smeproperty
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Loading doors Off road car parking available EPC Rating: D
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unit/workshop Single storey warehouse/ workshop premises Recently refurbished offices 3 phase electricity EPC Rating: D CROSS CHURCH STREET, HUDDERSFIELD
Retail shop with upper floors 116.87sqm (1,258sqft) Secondary retailing position close to Kingsgate Shopping Centre Sales area 42.73sqm (460sqft)
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Justin Holley & Chris Leach
Orchard Environmental WASTE management firm Orchard Environmental has made two senior internal appointments as it prepares to expand in the North. Justin Holley (above, left), who joined as business manager in 2010, has been appointed operations director and Chris Leach (also pictured), who was recruited as sales manager a year ago will take on the role of associate director of sales. Gareth Henderson, managing director of Elland-based Orchard Environmental, said the promotions followed a string of new business wins for the firm, which manages commercial waste and recycling, including clinical and hazardous waste and washroom services. “Justin and Chris’s new positions will ensure we have the right management team in place to expand and develop our team and secure the long term future of the business,” he said. “Justin’s skills in process and strategy have enabled us to refine our offering and introduce systems to facilitate growth and Chris, who brought with him extensive waste industry and sales management experience, has helped us restructure and expand the sales team. “Together they will be responsible for on-going recruitment and training to enable us to achieve our business growth targets.”
Sarah Parnaby & Ibrar Akram
P2 Technologies TWO employees have been promoted at Lockwood-based IT support specialist P2 Technologies. Sarah Parnaby, who joined in February last year as part of Microsoft’s nationwide apprenticeship scheme, has joined the team full-time as an engineer while Ibrar Akram, who was appointed earlier this year as a senior IT support engineer, becomes service team leader.
Watson Buckle AWARD-WINNING Huddersfield University graduate Sam Riley (pictured) has joined Bradford-based chartered accountants Watson Buckle as a graduate trainee. Ms Riley, joins the firm after gaining a first class honours degree in accountancy and finance. She was awarded the KPMG Prize for the most outstanding final year student and gained the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Prize for best student on audit work. During her time at university, she worked for Watson Buckle as part of her degree. Watson Buckle managing partner Susan Sedgwick said: “We are delighted to welcome Sam back to the firm on a full-time contract.”
Movers and shakers
Lawrence gets a speedy reply
BATLEY-born businessman Lawrence Tomlinson has welcomed a fellow Yorkshireman and entrepreneur as the inaugural member of his Ginetta Racing Drivers Club. Peter Brook, managing director of both Oracle Finance and Lawton Brook Ltd, was quick to took up the opportunity to join the new-for-2014 club while attending Ginetta’s debut appearance at the annual Salon Privé exhibition. Mr Brook, whose businesses specialise in high performance car retail and finance, has driven almost every supercar in production – fuelling his desire to go racing. However, his demanding role left little time for him to commit to a season-long race series. Said Mr Brook: “I’ve been involved in the motor trade for over 25 years now and have been lucky enough to get behind the wheel of almost all sports cars on the market at one time or another. “I always fancied going racing, but never found an easy and non-time-consuming way into the sport, plus, in my line of work, I just don’t have the time to commit to a 10-strong race calendar.” Now the Ginetta Racing
■ RACE DAY: Businessmen Peter Brook (right) and Lawrence Tomlinson talk cars
Drivers Club provides him with a cost-effective route into motorsport – and a viable business opportunity further down the line. Mr Brook said: “When I saw the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club offer at the Salon Privé exhibition, it was obvious this was the route many businessmen like myself have been waiting for. “Not only will Ginetta ‘do all the hard work for me’ as well as provide a great race series which doesn’t overrun the diary, but at the end of it all, I
have my own Ginetta G40, suitable for the racetrack and the road.” He said: “For a low production vehicle, Ginetta has an excellent reputation for build quality and reliability and having previous interactions with Ginetta, I know Lawrence Tomlinson strives for perfection, so I feel very comfortable investing my money in the brand.” Mr Brook will take delivery of his fully taxed and road legal G40 Club Car in early 2014, which signals the start of his
journey towards becoming a fully-fledged racing driver. The all-inclusive package will see Mr Brook join Ginetta for two track days, which include one-on-one instruction in the car, following which he will be guided through the steps to obtain his MSA National B race licence ahead of a four-round Ginetta Racing Drivers Club series in support of the 2014 British GT. Mr Tomlinson, chairman of Ginetta Cars and its parent LNT Group, said: “It’s great to have Peter on board as our first official member of the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club. “He is the epitome of the type of driver we are targeting – someone with a busy schedule, who wants to go racing and be a part of the fantastic social side of motorsport but doesn’t have the time to organise everything himself. “Having supported over 240 entry-level racing drivers over the past five years and having already established clear routes from entry-level racing right through to top level sports car competition, Ginetta are delighted to add Peter Brook to that ever-expanding roll of honour.”
Set to make an impression IMPRESSIONIST Rory Bremner (pictured far right) and home-grown comedian teenage Jack Carroll (right) are set to raise the laughs at a business dinner next month. The two have joined the line-up for the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, which takes place on Thursday, October 17, at the Cedar Court hotel, Ainley Top. Rory is known for his impressions of prominent British politicians, his appearance as a panellist on Mock the Week and his satirical sketch shows. Jack, who attends Brighouse High School, was runner-up in ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent last year. Andrew Choi, executive
director of the Lockwood-based chamber, said: “We’re delighted to announce Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jack Carroll and
laughter to the occasion – which after another tough year for many businesses is sure to be well-deserved. Jack, along with Jacob Hill, our business speaker, is young and ambitious – great for the enterprise theme of this year’s dinner showcasing home-grown Yorkshire talent. “And we’re sure that Rory will end the evening on a high note.” The event, compered by BBC Look North’s Clare Frisby, will be the key evening dinner during Kirklees Business Week, which also features the nationally-recognised Kirklees Business Conference comedian Rory Bremner as to be held on Wednesday, our annual dinner speakers October 16, at Huddersfield’s and evening entertainment. “They’ll both bring a touch of John Smith’s Stadium.
Agency among UK’s top 100
BIRSTALL-based marketing agency Fantastic Media has been named one of the UK’s top 100 digital agencies by influential industry publication The Drum. The list was compiled to celebrate the growing talent base in the digital marketing industry and recognise the
people that are delivering “effective strategies and campaigns”. The Drum say that “whilst setting out to identify the 100 best agencies, we’ve discovered agencies of many sizes and types across the country which are highly rated by their clients, admired by
their peers and performing well across a range of financial assessments. It is great to be able to give recognition to such companies”. Andy Hobson, managing director of Fantastic Media – which was ranked 53rd in the list – said: “We are delighted to be included in this prestigious
list which pitched us against some big national names who produce outstanding work. It really puts our region – and Fantastic Media – on the map.” The list was revealed by The Drum at a breakfast event in London. Agencies topping the poll received certificates to mark their achievement.
Published on Sep 24, 2013