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FTSE 100

CHRIS O’BRIEN Red and true blue!

- 11.61 5795.10

Full inter view - Page 3

AMANDA VIGAR Charity begins at work Column - Page 5

An EXAMINER publication

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS 3 0 , O c t o b e r, 2 0 1 2

The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees

Valley firm proves to be wizard in Oz! from Milnsbridge to the Holme Valley in the next few weeks.” Another recent contract was to supply six 7.5-ton tankers for a drainage contractor in Widnes. The company has also reaped the rewards of attending a major trade show last year – with an order for machinery designed to empty and carry away portable toilet tankers of the kind provided at music festivals and other outdoor events. “We have built one machine for a national company and we are confident of being asked to build 10 in total,” said Karen. Husband and wife Gary and Karen Elsy set up the company more than 10 years ago to manufacture its own range of jetters, van packs, tankers, remote reels and drainage equipment. Other services include installing electrical equipment, fitting out vans in wood and aluminium, service and MoT work on trucks and vans as well as pre-purchase inspections of tankers and jetters. The firm supplies high-pressure draining cleaning equipment and vehicles to customers ranging from sole traders to major companies and local authorities across England, Wales, Scotland, the Channel Isles and Eire.

■ CHARGE: Orchard boss Gareth Henderson

BUSINESS consultant Richard Armeson, of Shelley, has been recognised for his work as part of the team at Leicestershire-based Go MAD Thinking – Go Make a Difference. Richard and his colleagues took the trophy for outstanding training provider at the CMI Management and Leadership Awards. They were chosen to receive the accolade from 50 finalists drawn from all sectors and regions of the UK.

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■ AUSSIE RULES: The GK & N Services team, led by Graham and Karen Elsy, at the firm’s premsies in Milnsbridge. Right – the jet vacuum machine supplied to Drain Solutions of Melbourne pictured undergoing tests by cleaning the playground at Wooldale Infant School prior to being shipped out to the other end of the world

Official opening

‘More action needed on energy transparency’ SMALL firms will get greater clarity from suppliers as a result of a retail review of the energy market by industry watchdog Ofgem, it was said. But concerns have been raised that the consultation may not go far enough to stamp out bad practices in the broker market. Ofgem’s measures are intended to make tariffs easier for consumers to compare and understand and to promote the simplification of bills and statements.

Leading lights

A COMPANY making jetting and drain cleaning equipment has completed an export deal on the other side of the world. Milnsbridge-based GK&N Services has supplied a 10-ton jet vacuum machine to first-time client Melbourne Drain Solutions in Australia – after the company saw a link to the Colne Valley firm’s website on eBay. Karen Elsy, company secretary at GK&N said: “They were searching for an item on eBay and saw the link to our website. “The customer paid three visits to us, having been unable to find anything like our product in Australia. “We have done a little bit of exporting before, but only small stuff to Ireland and the Middle East, but we have never sent a wagon this far!” She said the company, which specialises in bespoke manufacturing of water jetting and vacuum tanker equipment to customers’ specifications, is set to leave its site at Colne Vale Business Park for bigger premises at Lea Mills, Scholes. “We have seen a sharp increase in orders in the past 12 months,” said Karen. ““We have taken on four more employees – there are 13 of us now – and we may also look to take on some more staff. “We are in the process of moving


However, an Elland-based energy consultant said questions remained as to whether the reforms will be enough to tackle the broker market, where mis-selling is still widely reported. Gareth Henderson, managing director of energy management firm Orchard Energy, said that although Ofgem’s determination to introduce transparency was welcome, far greater regulation of the energy broker market was needed. “There are still plenty of

brokers out there who don’t make businesses aware of all the charges they will face and this makes it almost impossible for customers to compare quotes on a like for like basis,” he said. “There needs to be legislation to force brokers to operate with transparency and to follow a strict code of conduct.” Orchard Energy – which has offices in Elland, Bradford, Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle and Bristol – is one of only a handful of UK brokers that has

voluntarily signed up to the Utilities Intermediaries Association code of practice, but Mr Henderson said there were hundreds of firms who had not. He said: “We pride ourselves on the fact that we operate with openness and transparency, but we regularly find ourselves competing against brokers whose quotes appear significantly lower than ours because they have failed to include costs such as distribution charges.”

A TRAINING company has moved to new premises in Huddersfield town centre. Woodspeen Training Ltd has officially opened its offices at King’s Head Buildings in Cloth Hall Street after transferring operations from Lion Chambers at John William Street. Guests at the open event were welcomed by business development and marketing manager Claire Stephenson.

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Random House to pick up a Penguin BOOK publisher Penguin wrote a new chapter in its 77-year history with a deal to merge the business with rival Random House. The new venture, which will be called Penguin Random House, will have an estimated 25% share of the market for English language book sales and generate annual revenues of about £2.5bn. Penguin’s owner Pearson, which also publishes the Financial Times, will have a 47% stake with Random House’s German owner Bertelsmann holding the rest. The deal still requires regulatory clearance and is not expected to complete until the second half of next year. There is also the possibility that a rival party may derail the partnership, with HarperCollins owner News Corporation reportedly interested in making a £1bn offer for Penguin.

Penguin and Random House said the tie-up will deliver “significant benefits” such as shared resources and a greater level of investment in authors and products than would be possible as standalone firms. The combined company would be home to writers as diverse as Random House’s Jack Reacher creator Lee Child and Fifty Shades of Grey’s EL James and Penguin’s long list of classical authors such as Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. London-based Penguin employs 5,500 people worldwide, with around 950 in the UK. Random House has 5,300 staff globally and last year its sales accounted for just under 15% of the UK market, compared with Penguin’s 11%. Penguin is one of the most recognisable brands in the world, having been set up by Allen Lane in 1935.

Wall Street falls victim to Sandy TRADERS in London were left in limbo after Hurricane Sandy forced Wall Street to shut down for the first time since the September 11 attacks. Investors struggled to find direction after it was confirmed that America’s two biggest trading platfor ms –- the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market – would not open as scheduled at 1.30pm GMT yesterday. The markets – home to some of the world’s biggest companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Starbucks – were also expected to be closed today – with fears suspension could run into Wednesday.

Michael Hewson, senior UK market analyst at CMC Markets, said the biggest impact of the shutdown in the US was likely to be a drop in trading volumes – an indicator of a lack of certainty among investors. Amid concerns about the wider global economy, the US shutdown was “yet another reason for traders to remain on the back foot”. Insurers came under pressure with the likes of Hiscox, Amlin and Catlin – major underwriters for the whole industry – falling on the FTSE 250 Index amid fears that the approaching storm would cause damage running into billions of US dollars.

Holiday mood for Britons

The other publishers in the “big six” are Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan. Their power to set prices has been eroded by the boom in digital sales and the rise of Amazon which reportedly controls an estimated two-thirds of American print and ebook sales. Pearson’s chief executive Dame Marjorie Scardino described Penguin as a “successful, highly-respected and much-loved part’’ of the company and said Random House was an almost perfect match in terms of Penguin’s culture, standards and commitment to publishing excellence. Bertelsmann will have five directors on the board of the joint venture, with Pearson able to nominate four. Penguin chairman and chief executive John Makinson will chair the merged firm.

New era for mobile users A NEW era for mobile phone use gets under way today as superfast 4G products and services are made available to millions of consumers in 10 cities across the UK. EE, formerly known as Everything Everywhere, launches its range of 4G products and services in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. The 4G network, which offers speeds up to five times faster than 3G, will be available on the Apple iPhone 5 as well as devices from HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Huawei. The launch comes amid criticism of

EE’s 4G pricing plans, which will hit customers on certain tariffs with additional charges if they exceed download allowances. Long queues were expected at shops across the country as consumers rush to sign up to the new service and get their hands on a 4G device. EE customers in a further six cities – Belfast, Derby, Hull, Newcastle, Nottingham and Southampton – will have access to 4G by the end of the year. The group then plans to roll out the service to further towns, cities and rural areas next year.

TRAVEL firms have been given a boost by a survey suggesting that Britons are more positive about taking a holiday than they were this time last year. The PwC consumer behaviour and travel survey showed that consumers continue to see holidays as an important spending priority – although it remains an area to reduce expenditure, given the prominence of holiday spending in the household discretionary spending budget. Rated by age group, those respondents aged 55 and above were the most positive about spending on holidays next year – with it being their main spending priority. The 18 to 34s said saving for a new home and credit card or loan repayments were top priority for them while the 35 to 54 age group cite mortgage repayments, credit card or loan repayments and home improvements as their spending priority. Gemma Clark, director at PwC in West Yorkshire, said: “Consumers have eased back a little from some of the more radical ‘coping strategies’ they have adopted to reduce holiday spending over the past three years.” Over the next 12 months, those surveyed are likely to spend less on dining out, takeaways and clothing, shoes and accessories rather than cut down on their main holiday or short breaks.”

SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £34.79 Gannett 1045.37 Hess Corp £33.23 Microsoft 1760.59 Motors Liquidation 46.81 Wal-Mart Stores £46.88 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 3161/2 BAE Systems 3111/4 Rolls-Royce 8591/2 AIM Brady Plc 103 Man Brnze 9 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 2041/2 BANKS Barclays 231 HSBC 6107/8 Lloyds Banking Gp 401/2 Ryl Scotland 2761/4 Stan Chart 14971/2 BEVERAGES Diageo 1780 SABMiller £261/2 CHEMICALS Croda £221/2 Elementis 98 2055/8 Johnsn Mat £221/2 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 3111/4 Costain 2331/4

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ELECTRICITY Drax Gp 5581/2 +11/2 SSE 1440 -2 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 214 +11/4 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 370 -1/2 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 2137/8 -31/4 Cable & Wireless 371/2 -1/8 Comm Colt Group 1181/4 -1/8 KCOM 763/4 -1/8 Talktalk Telecom 191 +11/8 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2693/8 -2 Sainsbury 3535/8 -13/8 Tesco 317 -3/8 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1382 -7 -11/2 Tate Lyle 7231/2 Unilever £231/8 +1/8 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3231/8 -1 National Grid 708 +61/2 Pennon Grp 7271/2 -21/2 Severn 1650 +3 United Utils 714 -31/2 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 2183/4 +5/8 ICAP 3221/8 -21/8 London StockExch 9671/2 -1 Man Group 781/2 -33/8

Provident Financial 1414 -1 Schroders 1527 -12 Schroders NV 1221 -3 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS 1 Cooksn Grp 585 /2 +41/2 REXAM 4463/4 +3/4 Smiths Grp 1038 -4 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 261/2 -1/2 Carphone Whse 1701/2 +31/2 Dixons Retail 203/8 -3/8 Home Retail 1121/4 +1/4 5 Inchcape 391 /8 -41/2 Kingfisher 2833/4 -11/4 M&S 395 +3/4 Mothercare 286 +11/2 Next £36 -1/4 WH Smith 626 -4 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 651 -1 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 543/8 -11/8 Barrat Dev 1891/2 +37/8 Persimmon 798 +13 Reckitt Benckiser £371/2 1 Taylor Wimpey 60 /4 +3/4 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 9341/2 +51/2 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 1951/8 -31/4 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 2015/8 -41/4 LIFE INSURANCE

3283/8 1321/2 1701/2 8341/2 2071/4 2821/4 MEDIA BSkyB 716 D Mail Tst 472 3 /8 HIBU ITV 855/8 Johnston Press 111/8 Pearson 1225 Reed Elsevier 603 STV Group 102 Trinity Mirror 551/4 Utd Business 687 UTV 142 WPP 788 MINING Anglo American 1917 Antofagasta 1249 BHP Billiton 1975 Eurasian Natural 3311/4 Res Fresnillo 1887 Kazakhmys 7121/2 Lonmin 480 Rio Tinto £303/4 VEDANTA 1128 RESOURCES Xstrata 9685/8 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 561 Vodafone Group 1691/2 Aviva Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life

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NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1094 RSA Insurance Gp 1111/4 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 13151/2 BP 425 Cairn Energy 2771/8 Royal Dutch Shell A £21 Royal Dutch Shell B £213/4 Total £307/8 Tullow Oil 1385 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1034

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Petrofac 1536 -11 Wood Gp(J) 831 -21/2 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1163 +10 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £291/8 +1/8 GlaxoSmithK 1 Shire 1739 -20 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 5351/2 +4 Captl Shop Cent 3343/4 +5/8 Hamrsn 4757/8 +61/8 Land Secs 811 +41/2 SEGRO 2387/8 +17/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 2273/8 +13/8 Sage Group 3093/4 +55/8 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 565 Bunzl 1028 +7 Capita 7191/2 De La Rue 1073 +1 Electrocomp 2123/4 -1/8 Experian 1073 +8 3 G4S 259 /4 -33/4 Hays 82 -5/8 Homeserve 2217/8 -11/4 1 Menzies J 616 /2 +111/2 Rentokil 87 -1/8 Smiths News 1493/4 -4 Wolseley £27 -1/8 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 6651/2 +9 Spirent Comms 150 -13/8

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

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FTSE 100

INDEX 5795.10


FTSE 250

INDEX 11920.65


TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.47 dollars Bangladesh................. 123.05 taka Brazil.............................. 2.91 reals Canada....................... 1.53 dollars China ............................. 8.96 yuan Czech Republic ...... 28.49 korunas Denmark....................... 8.83 krone Euro............................... 1.19 euro Hong Kong................ 11.82 dollars Hungary................... 315.52 forints India.......................... 76.49 rupees Japan........................... 121.77 yen Mexico ....................... 18.64 pesos New Zealand .............. 1.82 dollars Norway ......................... 8.86 krone Pakistan.................. 144.87 rupees Philippines ................. 56.74 pesos South Africa................. 13.04 rand South Korea.............. 1533.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 196.66 rupees Sweden....................... 10.33 krona Switzerland.................. 1.43 francs Taiwan ...................... 41.05 dollars Turkey....................... 2.71 new lira USA ............................ 1.53 dollars



Team work the secret for Chris years, partly due to Code CHRIS O’Brien believes in their websites and they are Blue Design’s contribution teamwork. turning to us to help build in terms of promotional The director of their e-commerce material, web development Huddersfield-based operations by making their bespoke web development, and exhibition work. websites easier to use, Says Chris: “We have design and print specialist attractive to look at and Code Blue Design – part of secured a large number of easier to find through the Code Blue Group – is blue chip clients on the search engine quick to praise the workers back of some of that work. optimisation.” who have helped build up We are working for Chris was born on the business since he set it government agencies and Merseyside, but left up five years ago. departments, including the Liverpool when he was “We have some fantastic Green Deal. Other clients eight and moved with his staff who are very include the Co-op, Coca family first to Manchester hard-working and loyal,” he Cola and Virgin Atlantic. and then to the White Rose says. “Whenever they are “A lot of our clients come county, where he has lived asked to pull something out to us via word-of-mouth. for 27 years. of the bag, they do. They We are one of He attended Holmfirth work as many hours as Huddersfield’s best-kept High School and now lives required to complete the secrets, but we have in Brockholes with work.” become very successful.” bride-to-be Melissa and It’s not just their work Chris says the past 12 their daughter Charis, who ethic that Chris months have been the is two-and-a-half. appreciates. He has hardest – as the economy His first career was in recently recovered from continues to stall – and catering. “I loved cooking,” serious illness, having had admits: “The start of the he says, “I left school on a a major operation. financial year wasn’t too Thursday and started as a But he says: “During that pleasant, but the business trainee chef the following time, the support I have has invested and 2012 is Monday. I had a job lined had from my business ending on a positive note up at the Birkby Lodge partners and the team has with the company securing Hotel and I ended up being been phenomenal.” good contracts. there for four years. Chris first joined Code “We are working with “They took me through Blue Group’s media arm 10 clients in areas like college and I gained my years ago as a salesman construction, regeneration, NVQs and food hygiene working on its Construction transport and logistics, certificates.” Industry News magazine. warehousing, catering, Chris went on to work at He won promotion as Bagden Hall, before energy and fabrication,” magazine manager, deciding to quit catering. says Chris. “They working on sister title recognise that they have to “I’d lost interest in it,” he FMCG magazine, which says. “I was 21 and while I be better than their went on to break all records competitors in terms of was getting ready to go to for monthly revenue gain. At that point, he sat down with managing director Neil Wheeler to examine further opportunities. He says: “After five years with Code Blue Media, I had developed a customer relationship role and we decided to use what we were doing in-house to provide an external service.” Chris was given full control of the newly-launched Code Blue Design as director and owner – since when the business has gone from strength to strength. Customers include West Yorkshire-based Expect ■ CAPITAL GAIN: Chris O'Brien, of Code Blue Design in Distribution, which has grown significantly in recent Huddersfield, admits he’s a bit of a workaholic

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Chris O’Brien

work, my friends were getting ready for a night out. I was working six days a week and my day off was a Tuesday or a Wednesday rather than a weekend.” He went to work for an aluminium fabricator making doors and windows. Chris started on the shopfloor as a fabricator and worked his way up to become an estimator, senior estimator and then sales adviser. He was working in sales for a local valve company when Neil Wheeler approached him about joining Code Blue Group. Chris admits he is “a bit of a workaholic”. He says: “I run a business, so I am out there driving the business Monday to Friday, 8am to 10pm. I am rarely in the office because I am also the company’s national account manager. I thrive on making the business a success and delivering what the customer wants. “There’s nothing better than a website going live, delivering a contract and getting an email from the customer saying ‘thank you’.” It’s back to team work, he says. “I have a fantastic team behind me and everyone treats each other as an equal. “We work in a relaxed, open plan environment and I can rely on my sales team and design team delivering the goods. We have a business model that gets the best out of people without imposing a hierarchical structure.” Chris might be tempted to draw comparisons with his favourite team sport, football. He played for Upperthong and Wooldale before breaking a leg so badly he was told it would never be

strong enough for him to play again. Instead, he went into football administration, He is chairman of Newsome FC and a former manager of the club alongside friend Rob Laverick, who is now club secretary. Chris is nicknamed Petrocelli, after the US TV lawyer, because he has to deal with disciplinary matters when any players fall foul of the FA. Chris remains true to his Scouse roots. He’s an ardent Liverpool fan and as a season ticket holder gets to most of the games at Anfield. The walls of the training room at Code Blue’s premises in Old Leeds Road are covered with references to the Reds – framed pictured of star players, plaques with the club’s famous Liver bird emblem and a treasured signed shirt from 2007. The arrival of Charis has to be the highlight, however. Best of all are “daddy-daughter days”. Says Chris: “I love having quality time with Charis, going shopping and buying her an ice cream.” Chris says he gets tremendous support from Melissa, his partner for more than 11 years.The couple are due to marry shortly. “Because of the nature of the job, I travel hundreds of miles for appointments and when I come home there are reports to put together. Melissa has been tolerated that for years.” Time together is very valuable. “We don’t live life in the fast lane,” says Chris. “But we make sure we have a couple of nice holidays a year. You have to get the balance right.”


Role: Director Age: 37 Family: Married to Melissa with daughter Charis, two-and-a-half Holidays: Portugal, Greece and the Dominican Republic Car: Land Rover Discovery First job: Water at The Butcher’s Arms, Hepworth Best thing about job: I enjoy everything about my job – working with the team and putting a smile on customers’ faces by delivering what we promise Worst thing about job: Template-based web developers ruining the industry Business tip: Treat everyone as an equal and put the effort in

Code Blue Design Work: Bespoke web development, design and print Site: Huddersfield Employees: 34 Phone: 01484 441414 Email: chris.obrien Web www.codeblue


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Agency joins awards shortlist A DESIGN company in Huddersfield has been shortlisted for one of the industry’s most prestigious prizes. The Engine Room Design Co Ltd is in the running for honours in the Design Effectiveness Awards, presented by The Design Business Association. The awards recognise the role of effective design plays in the in the creation of business. The Engine Room was recognised for outstanding results driven by a brand identity project carried out for Holmfirth-based accountancy firm Balance. Darren Evans, creative director at The Engine Room, said: “A Design Effectiveness Award is the only one we've ever wanted to win and we're delighted that our work has been recognised for the return it delivers, not just on look and feel.” Balance gained a profitability growth of 500% as well as £50,000-plus of new business in the first year after the re-brand. The awards take place in February in London.

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Spotlight turns to social media WHAT’S the future for firms and mobile technology? That was the big question when Birstall-based Fantastic Media hosted a round-table discussion at its Birstall headquarters. A panel of local business people gave their views on how companies – particularly in retailing – needed to embrace the opportunities created by mobile technology such as smartphones to reach existing and potential customers. But participants also warned of the potential pitfalls of using new, unfamiliar technology and how to manage the investment needed to make it work to best advant■ TABLE TALK: Panellists discoss the issues surrounding mobile age. Taking part in the debate were technology in the business world at the Round Table event hosted by Andy Hobson, managing dir- Birstall-based Fantastic Media as part of Kirklees Business Week ector of Fantastic Media and panel members Anthony Hey- from embracing mobile business, new products. wood, of insurance specialist the impact on traditional retailThey also considered consumer Wilby Ltd; Claire Evans, of ing and how far businesses trends which have seen wider and womenswear chain Bonmarché; needed to invest in mobile mar- more frequent use of mobiles to Dave Duffy, of online retailer trawl the internet compared with Stores Direct; Jon Milson, of keting and sales. The panellists discussed how laptops or desk-top computers. website firm Pitchero; Andrew The session, organised as part McCarthy, of customised Land they currently communicate with Rover specialist Overfinch; and their clients and what plans they of the Kirklees Business Week, Rob Watson, of CCTV supplier had to review or change the way was chaired by Henryk Zientek, they keep in touch. editor of Kirklees Business Videcon. They debated the extent to News. The debate considered the Mr Hobson said: “The round implications of mobile internet, which mobile technology was apps and emerging m-commerce being used for business-to busi- table event was a great success on businesses and how the growth ness and business-to-consumer and generated a number of ideas and opinions amongst the of smartphones allowing greater activity. And they commented on how attendees. mobile access to the internet is “Fantastic is always keen to be affecting the way businesses inter- mobile communications could help support high street sales for involved in events within the act with their customers. It questioned whether some retailers and keep valued custom- region and was happy to support companies would be “exempt” ers up-to-date with offers and Kirklees Business Week.”

Business links forged

■ INITIATIVE: Business consultant Philippa Coultish

BUSINESS figures joined students at a Huddersfield college to launch a new initiative to match talented young people with employment opportunities at local firms. Shelley College students attending the breakfast event heard about successful placements where young people have impressed employers so much that they are now being developed with the business. Many of the business people attending the launch of the Entice initiative were invited by local business consultant, Philippa Coultish, who said: “This project is about encouraging students and educating them and their teachers about the fantastic, successful businesses in the area who may be looking for young people with a good attitude and willingness to learn to become part of their team in the future. “It is also about building

relationships with local companies for project work or research to develop their studies and understanding of how companies work and the world of business. “Ultimately, it is hoped that it will also lead to more apprenticeship placements and a better future for the young people.” David Elliott, of Wellhouse Leisure at Shepley, is among employers championing the project, which allows bosses to “try before they hire”. He told how working directly with the college last year enabled his firm to successfully place three apprentices in different departments to suit their abilities and personalities. The scheme is being supported by Kirklees Council and the students will be supported by C&K Training. Go

Bank is rated the best again!

A BANK with operations in Huddersfield has been rated top for customer satisfaction for the fourth year running in an independent survey of British banks’ personal and business clients. Handelsbanken, which has offices at Pennine Business Park, Bradley, increased overall customer satisfaction during a record year of expansion in the UK. Since the financial crisis began four years ago, the Swedish-based bank has more than doubled its British branch network, which serves individual and corporate customers in 136 communities throughout the country. Huddersfield branch staff have full power to advise customers and agree individual product terms and pricing, free from targets, commissions or other bonus incentives. Tony Jones (pictured), manager of the Huddersfield branch, said: “Customer satisfaction is at the heart of everything that we do and it is pleasing to see that our customers continue to recognise and value our efforts.” Handelsbanken’s third quarter results showed a 25% rise in lending and a 53% increase in customer deposits compared with the same quarter last year. Handelsbanken was recently judged the strongest bank in Europe, and one of the strongest in the world by financial information provider Bloomberg. The bank operates about 750 branches in 24 countries worldwide – with the UK representing its fastest-growing market. A team of eight bankers serve customers in Huddersfield, drawing on a combined 220 years of banking experience.

Lessons from Sri Lanka trip

BUSINESS consultant Yvonne Castle will share her insights and experiences spending three months working with small and medium-sized firms in Sri Lanka at a networking meeting next week. Yvonne, of Ainley Top-based YCChange, is the guest speaker during the 40-minute Knowledge Transfer Slot agt the next meeting of Spen Valley group of proNet Business Networking. The event will be held from 7.15am to 9.15am on Tuesday at Healds Hall Hotel, Liversedge. Attendees get 30seconds to present their business to the meeting – so they’re advised to get their script prepared and bring plenty of business cards. Contact chairman Paul Scott by emailing










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It’s time for firms to be charitable! S the old saying goes, A charity begins at home. But why not let it continue at the

workplace? A recent study by employee engagement consultancy LeapCR caught my eye when it found that almost half of UK workers claimed they were more likely to stay with an employer that allowed them to carry out charity work during office hours. Even more surprisingly, one in 10 people said they would take a “significant” pay cut to stay with an employer who encouraged charity amongst staff. Earlier this month I was given the honour of becoming a director at the Nerve Centre, a charity based in Huddersfield. The charity does amazing work for people and families affected by neurological conditions. The charity carries out vital work in providing advice, activities, therapies and support for people suffering from a range of neurological


conditions. The devastating fact is that 8m people in the UK are currently living with such a condition. Personally, I cannot fathom as to why an employer would stop anyone from carrying out charity work under the company name. The personal development benefits to workers are clear; through charitable work they can learn new skills, bond with colleagues and help to boost overall morale in the office. Allowing employees to volunteer

for charity work also keeps them busy and motivated if times are a bit quiet for your business whilst also drawing an association between the company brand and a charity. Numerous companies have seen business bloom after having untapped market segments opened up by their charitable links reflecting positively upon them. Despite this, the charities themselves should not be forgotten. The charitable, or the ‘third’ sector, is experiencing a financial squeeze at the moment and every

Amanda Vigar is managing partner at Holmfirth-based accountants V&A Bell Brown LLP

New subsidiary for camper van maker AN award-winning camper van manufacturer has launched a new subsidiary business geared to producing conversions on Volkswagen’s popular Transporter T5. Wellhouse Leisure, based at Shepley, has set up the new operation following its success converting pre-owned vehicles from Japan and an exclusive tie-up with Hyundai to produce the award-winning i800-based camper. This latest move adds another string to the Wellhouse bow as the UK’s number one specialist camper van maker. The firm’s Volksleisure conversions are already being produced using pre-owned T5s – with prices starting from £28,000. Wellhouse managing director David Elliott said he was entering an already burgeoning market sector, adding: “There are plenty of other companies out there producing conversions on pre-owned T5s. As ever, we just like to think we can do things that bit better.” Volksleisure has also come up with a Ten P-point Plan applicable to anyone thinking of purchasing a camper based on a pre-owned T5. Volksleisure’s campers will be produced under the Aspley and Aspley SE names, boasting key items of equipment from leading suppliers. Prices will be about £28,000 for a standard “spec” vehicle and £30,000 for the SE, based on a 2010 T5 with up to 25,000 recorded miles. Volksleisure will be selling via its own dealers in Yorkshire and via various

assistance, no matter how small, is appreciated. Payroll giving can be an easy way to do this – and it’s tax efficient for both the employer and the charity! A hundred employees giving just £5 a month can make a significant difference to a small local charity like the Nerve Centre. After all, we need to look after charities because we never know when we might need them to look after us or our loved ones.

Law firm is boxing clever A LAW firm is boxing clever with Huddersfield Town. Long-standing club partner Gordons Solicitors is sponsoring Town’s directors’ box at the John Smith’s Stadium this season – which will see the company’s branding feature on seat covers, banners and wall plaques. The successful ‘Gordons Games’ will continue to run this season – an event that sees invited club guests meet and network with delegates from Gordons. Two “Games” will be held – starting with the Birmingham match in January when club ambassador Andy Booth will hold a quiz. The second will be held in March at the Middlesbrough match when an invited guest will take part in “An Audience with...” Town commercial director Sean Jarvis said: “We are delighted that Gordons has not only continued to support the club this season, but also sponsored the directors’ box.” John Holde, of Gordons Solicitors, said: “We are really pleased to be associated with such a great club rooted in the community and going from strength to strength.”

It’s time you got more from your accountant Thinking… outside the books

added value services include… Tailored programme to maximise profitability Tailored tax efficient solutions

Regular updates & support to help your business ■ TRANSFORMERS: Wellhouse Leisure has launched subsidiary Volksleisure to handle its Volkswagen Transporter T-5 camper van conversions “sub-dealers”, starting with AVA Leisure in Surrey and Westward Leisure in Devon, plus Perth-based Big Tree Campers. Mr Elliott started Deepcar Motorhomes with his father in 1995, before going on to set up Wellhouse Leisure in 2002. The company has sold more than 1,200 campers in the past 10 years. A member of the National Caravan Council, Wellhouse is the only authorised converter of Hyundai’s i800 MPV and has won a clutch of industry awards.

FREE use of our facilities for your meeting Support all day, every day

Call Freephone: 08000 32 32 03 and quote KBN /1211 to give us the chance to help you achieve your goals, or contact us through our website at:-

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS A dream appointment TEENAGER Shannon Ellis has realised her dreams. Shannon (pictured), who lives at Batley, has always had a interest in property. Now the 16-year-old has secured a career opportunity through the Government’s apprenticeship scheme with Dewsbury property firm Holroyd Miller. Shannon is studying for an NVQ in business, administration and customer care with the National Business College in Huddersfield. As part of the National Apprenticeship Scheme, she expressed her desire to start a career in the estate agent sector. Holroyd Miller partner Simon Miller said: “It really was a no-brainer for us to take part in the apprenticeship scheme. “Shannon is such a bright, hard-working individual and at such a young age with the ambition she has I’m certain she will become a real asset for our business.”

OT having a builder’s contract with a N customer where no architect or surveyor is working on the job has resulted in

a number of high profile court cases where builders have been pursued for losses. A Court of Appeal case relating to whether a builder was “liable for economic loss”, which we explain below, again raises the question of builders’ contracts. The law will usually imply that work should be done to a satisfactory standard and the build has to comply with modern building standards. It is also a general principle that a builder provides the labour, plant and materials and it is the architect and surveyor that provide the detailed drawings to which the builder constructs the job. In any climate, leaving terms to be implied by the general law does not take into account your cashflow. A formal contract can include a focus on staged payments and other payment terms. This is especially relevant in austere times we live in today. The second area that a formal contract can help is around the work of subcontractors and the quality of their work, making it clear that you are not liable for issues that may arise as a result of their negligence.


395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area 0.13 Hectares (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational residential uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to planning consent

● 49.33sqm (531sqft) 4 RANGE LANE Halifax, HX3 6DLtown centre location ● Prominent FORMER HOSTEL PREMISES 395m2 (4,250ft2) ● 0.13 Opposite railway station Site Area Hectares (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for ● Attractive Graderesidential II listed alternative occupational uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to building planning consent

office premises


395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area 0.13 Hectares (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational residential uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to planning consent


● 105 sqm (1,130 sqft) 4 RANGE LANE Halifax, HX3road 6DLlocation ● Main FORMER HOSTEL PREMISES 2) ● On-street car parking 395m2 (4,250ft

Site Area 0.13 Hectares (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ● Outskirts of Huddersfield ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational residential town centre uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to ● consent Fully centrally heated planning

former garage premises



395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area 0.13 Hectares (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational residential uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to planning consent

Page 6

It’s best to opt for a formal contract

Prominent ground floor office



● 274.78 sqm (2,957 sqft) 4 RANGE LANE Halifax, HX3 6DL ● Good headroom FORMER HOSTEL PREMISES

395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area Hectares (0.33 ● 0.13 2 x inspection pits Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational ● Loading doors residential uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to ● consent Off road car parking available planning


Martin Thompson It is often the case that a builder will undertake work directly for a client and here arguments tend to focus around time over runs, cost over runs and quality of workmanship. It is an unfortunate fact that clients are now significantly more likely to litigate or delay payment in these circumstances. As a result this can lead to additional professional costs and cashflow problems. A contract with a schedule of specifications can help significantly. There have been a number of different rulings in the Courts about the extent of a builder’s liability. The Court of Appeal has, in the most recent ruling come out in favour of the builders. The case centred around a builder who built a house where, after six years and following an inspection of a gas flue by British Gas, it was discovered that the builder had not met relevant

building regulations. The cost of rebuilding the chimney and the flue were £34,000. By the time the defects became apparent the limitation period for a contractual claim had expired. The owners pursued the builder under negligence for economic loss which was rejected by the Court of Appeal. The Court concluded that unless the builder had assumed certain responsibilities the duty of care would not extend this far. Whilst the ruling is in favour of the builder, there is damage to the builders’ reputation through the publicity and the cost to resolve the legal case which could have been avoided with a relatively inexpensive contract. With now three contradictory Court of Appeal decisions, we do see cases continuing.

Martin Thompson, is a partner in Commercial Property at Armitage Sykes in Huddersfield double fronted retail


395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area 0.13 Hectares (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational residential uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to planning consent


● Sales Area 922 sqft 4 RANGE LANE Halifax, HX3 6DL ● Ancillary accommodation FORMER HOSTEL PREMISES

395m2 (4,250ft2) 3,022Hectares sqft Site Area 0.13 (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for ● Finished to a high quality alternative occupational residential uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to ● consent Excellent display frontage planning

development / renovation



395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area 0.13 Hectares (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational residential uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to planning consent

● Residential Development 4 RANGE LANE Halifax, HX3 6DL ● Partially constructed 2 bed FORMER HOSTEL PREMISES

395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area 0.13 Hectares (0.33property Acres) detached freehold ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for with full planningresidential permission alternative occupational uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to ● Plots of land containing 4 garages planning consent

Self Contained Office Building

New North Parade, Huddersfield, HD1 5JP £10,750 p/a


395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area 0.13 Hectares (0.33 Acres) ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational residential uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to planning consent

● 125.8sqm (1,354sqft) 4 RANGE LANE Halifax, HX3 6DL ● Office location FORMER HOSTEL PREMISES

395m2 (4,250ft2) Site Area Hectares (0.33 Acres) ● 0.13 Private car park ■ Vacant possession ■ Suitable for refurbishment for alternative occupational residential ● Town centre position uses or possible complete redevelopment, subject to ● consent Disabled access planning

T. 01484 530361

■ industrial LAND

■ offices OFFICES

■ retail


■ investment


■ land




Page 7

Yorkshire provides ‘big box’ alternative ■ OPEN DAY: Claire Stephenson (right) with staff and apprentices at the opening of the Woodspeen Training offices in Huddersfield

Training on the move A TRAINING company has moved to new premises in Huddersfield town centre. Woodspeen Training Ltd has officially opened its offices at King’s Head Buildings in Cloth Hall Street after transferring operations from Lion Chambers at John William Street. Guests at the open event were welcomed by business development and marketing manager Claire Stephenson. Those attending included representatives of Job Centre Plus and the Connections careers service. Spokesman Ben Thorpe said the move to an open plan

office would increase efficiency and meant the business was more centrally-based. The move follows a programme of refurbishment. The company also has training centres across the UK, including ones in Brighton, Bradford, Bournemouth, Halifax and Wakefield, providing apprenticeships in areas including health and social care, business and administration, customer service, retail, IT, childcare, manufacturing, call centre operations and accounting.

THE Yorkshire property market looks set to capitalise on the continued decline in large new build indust r i a l s p a c e b e i n g d eve l o p e d speculatively across the UK, according to a property consultant in the region. Richard Harris, head of Jones Lang LaSalle’s industrial and logistics team in West Yorkshire, said that in the short term the current economic climate made a return to speculative development on any significant scale highly improbable. Buyer demand, while subdued, had continued to lead to the absorption of prime vacant industrial and logistics space. He said: “Despite a weak start to the year and a slowdown in activity over the summer months, occupiers continue to be faced with lease expiries, consolidation, merger and expansion issues which in turn have led to a fall in available supply of industrial and logistics space. “At the end of September, our research shows that availability of new Grade A space across the UK is


Brook Mill, Crimble, Slaithwaite 3,305 m2 (35,576 sq ft) Large former multi occupied mill complex close to centre of Slaithwaite Total site area 0.81 acres with redevelopment potential (stp)


Re-available following abortive negotiations


eL DU o eT C o AT Io N

Industrial/Trade Warehouse

Automation Works 656 Leeds Road, Huddersfield 639 m2 (6,880 sq ft) Good quality single storey industrial/ warehouse premises with offices located adjacent main A62 Leeds Road next to Hepworth Honda


Will split 2,493 sq ft & 4,395 sq ft


146 Huddersfield Road, Mirfield 133 m2 (1,432 sq ft) Prominent town centre retail unit still fitted as a cafe/deli


Immediately available for occupation

All enquiries to Alec Michael at Michael Steel & Co on 0113 234 8999 or email

■ OPPORTUNITY: Richard Harris, of Jones Lang LaSalle

down 70% on in its pre-recession peak.” Mr Harris said: “Yorkshire currently has a relatively high level of new speculative supply with 2.8m sq ft of large warehouse units available across the region, which accounts

for one third of all UK stock. “Set against a backdrop of an acute shortage of new Grade A space in some other parts of the country, industrial occupiers clearly have the option to look to Yorkshire to satisfy their requirements for existing good quality floor space. “Whilst enquiry levels remain unpredictable, we believe there will be increased take-up of these big box facilities due to limited stock in areas such as the North West and Midlands.” Mr Harris said that manufacturing has been a major driver behind demand for space throughout 2012 – with the automotive sector performing particularly strongly. However, logistics companies took the largest share in floorspace during the first half of the year. “Regionally, whilst demand has been steady rather than spectacular, we have seen good levels of take-up in the big box market of both new and existing stock,” he said. “A lack of new development will however hold the market back.”


Holroyd & Co LAW firm Holroyd & Co has appointed commercial property solicitor Amanda Coward. Mrs Coward (pictured) specialises in landlord and tenant work, buying and selling small businesses, licensing and construction. She joins the Milnsbridge-based firm after eight years at Eaton Smith in Huddersfield, where she qualified as a solicitor in 2006. Mrs Coward previously worked at Aedas Architects in Huddersfield, where she became interested in law as a result of her work reviewing the firm’s construction contracts. Mrs Coward decided to convert her Spanish degree into a law degree and went to Huddersfield University to study law, where she completed a Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course over a two year period while working part time at Aedas Architects.

Emma Lister

Aber Communications PUBLIC relations and social media agency Aberfield Communications has appointed former Rastrick High School pupil Emma Lister as a consultant. Ms Lister (pictured) joins the Leeds-based agency with two years experience working for Opera North and Ros Dawson Media. A public relations graduate, she has worked with clients in sectors including the arts, law, manufacturing, confectionery and technology. In her new role, she will help in managing accounts, implementing media relations activities and working with the agency to positively influence key target audiences.

Lucia Harney Day

Orchard Energy ORCHARD Energy has promoted energy consultant Lucia Harney Day to the role of UK sales manager. Ms Day (pictured) will work closely with the firm’s regional managers at its offices in Elland, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow to generate new business across the UK. She will also work alongside Orchard’s senior management team to progress plans for two new offices in Northampton and Redhill. Managing director Gareth Henderson said her appointment was part of a wider strategy for growth as the business pushed ahead with the next stage of its national expansion programme. He said: “Since joining Orchard in March, 2011, Lucia has demonstrated initiative and leadership, delivering strong sales performance and playing an important role in the internal running of the organisation, assisting with staff training and the implementation of more efficient business systems.

Movers and shakers

Page 8

Research work earns rewards STAFF and researchers at Huddersfield University have been recognised for their “enterprising spirit” working on projects with business. The new award, pioneered by Vice-Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan, was presented during the university’s Research Festival. Prof Cryan said: “A university and its researchers should be actively and productively engaged with society, industry and enterprise. “I am especially glad, therefore, to inaugurate four staff-focused awards that are designed to celebrate, encourage and reward the enterprising spirit of our researchers.” The Award for Early Stage Collaboration went to Dr Andrew Collett and Dr Nik Georgopoulos for a project with Fenay Bridge-based international healthcare company Paxman Coolers. The Award for Sustained Collaboration went to the research team at IPOS – Innovative Physical Organic Solutions – for its collaboration with multi-national corporation Agilent Technologies. It was received by Dr Nick Powles and Dr Matt Stirling. The award for Training or CPD Programme with an External Partner was made to health tutor Val Ely for her work coordinating the CPD provision for the National Health Service. And the Award for Most Promising Opportunity was presented to Prof Gary Lucas for his development of new flow-imaging technology. The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Early Stage Collaboration focuses on the best example of a project where nominees have worked with a partner for the first time and had the chance to develop a case study. Paxman Coolers applied for a Kirklees

■ CONGRATULATIONS: Andrew Collett (left) and Nik Georgopoulos (centre) receive their award from Huddersfield University Vice-Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan

Innovation Voucher during 2011 to work with biologists Dr Collett and Dr Georgopoulos to improve the performance of the company’s scalp coolers, used by cancer sufferers to minimise hair loss during chemotherapy. The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Sustained Collaboration demonstrates how an initial collaboration led to an externally co-funded project. IPOS has special expertise in the analytical chemistry technique of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry and it regularly works closely with Agilent to develop new technologies and methodolo-

gies. The award for a Training or Continuing Professional Development Programme with an External Partner focuses upon the best example of a research-based CPD or training programme that was instigated and applied by a member of University staff. The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Most Promising Opportunity featured the best ex a m p l e o f t h e m o s t p ro m i s i n g research-based opportunity that focuses upon enterprise or Intellectual Property disclosure.

Joining the 99ers club

Consultants secure national recognition

A BRIGHOUSE-based consultancy has become the 30th business to sign up to the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice 99ers fundraising initiative. The 99er Scheme asks businesses to pledge 99p a day to help the Bradley-based hospice meet its annual £2.5m fundraising target. Carl Hopkins (pictured), managing director of business development agency kloog, decided to join the scheme after hearing about it at this year’s Kirklees Business Conference. He said: “We’re proud to have become a Forget Me Not 99er. We hope that our monthly donation will help provide a sustainable source of income and contribute to the annual fundraising target. It is a privilege to support the scheme.” Jason Costello, partnership development manager at the

A BUSINESS consultant living in Huddersfield has been recognised for his work. Richard Armeson, of Shelley, is part of the team at Leicestershire-based Go MAD Thinking – Go Make a Difference – to be named outstanding training provider at the CMI Management and Leadership Awards. The annual awards are run by the Chartered Management Institute to celebrate the achievement and expertise of the UK’s best managers and management teams. Mr Armeson and his colleagues were chosen to receive the accolade from 50 finalists from all sectors and regions of the UK. Mr Armeson, whose clients include Asics, Lloyds TSB, Kraft Foods USA and HomeServe, said: “I am

hospice, said: “It’s great when a respected business such as kloog gets involved with the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.” The hospice hopes to sign up many more businesses to its 99ers scheme and will hold regular networking events once the initial target of 99 members is reached. To find out more about the 99er Scheme, contact Jason on 01484 411040 or visit

delighted that my colleagues and I have been recognised through this national award. “Our vision to help the people we work with to Make A Difference is driving fantastic business results for our customers such as Kraft, where our programme supported them in identifying over £5m in full year savings. The award-winning business improvement consultancy conducted 4,000 hours of research in 1998 – a project which led to the development of the unique Go MAD Framework – a system of support that is now being used successfully by more than 500 companies in 40 countries around the world to deliver millions of pounds in cost savings.

KBN Oct 30 2012  

Kirklees Business News Oct 30