MARCIA HUTCHINSON Primary focus on schools
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Full inter view - Page 3
GRAHAM STACEY Greater heights Repor t - Page 5
An EXAMINER publication
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
University focus of transport summit
A DRIVE to help transport managers “go green” is getting under way in Huddersfield. The town’s university is spearheading efforts to help companies boost business efficiency when it comes to how they operate their fleets of cars and lorries. Huddersfield University is hosting the International Sustainable Logistics Conference on May 27 when a host of high-profile speakers will lead the debate. They include Lincoln haulage boss Dick Denby, who has developed an 83ft long “road train” which he argues will benefit the environment because it reduces the number of journeys made by smaller vehicles. Other speakers will include Ian Stansfield, distribution director of ASDA, on sustainable logistics in retailing; Dave Rowlands, technical services director at Wincantion Group, who will discuss bio-fuels; and a representative from Suffolk brewery Adnams, on the firm’s innovative energy recovery system.
There will also be contributions from European academic experts in the field of logistics and a stimulating contribution by a group of students. The conference is organised by the International Sustainable Logistics Network, formed just over a year ago by a group of universities and higher education institutions in the UK, Finland, Germany and France. Huddersfield University, which is globally-renowned for the study of transport and logistics, represents the UK and now plays hosts to the second network conference. Senior lecturer Christine Corns, who will chair the conference, said: “The event is an opportunity for managers in the fields of freight transport and logistics to learn more about innovative methods of meeting targets to reduce carbon emissions and to share ideas with others in the industry. “Managers will also learn that the gains are economic as well as environmental. “There may be a need for real investment – maybe the introduction of new
technology – so there could be a cash outlay initially. “But generally, the pay back on that is quite substantial in terms of monetary benefit as well as benefit to the environment.” Christine, who has a BSc in transport and distribution, has pursued a variety of operational management role in the logistics industry before joining the transport and logistics department at the university in 2002. She teachers undergraduates in subject areas including logistics and supply chain management incorporating warehousing, transportation and inventory management. She also teaches data management and analysis, economics for business and transport studies and supervises placements and final year project students. The conference will run from 8.30am to 4.30pm and there is no fee to attend. C o n t a c t C h r i s t i n e C o r n s at email@example.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
bars “over-pour” as much as 10cl or 14.3% of a single bottle. A 70cl bottle provides 28 measures at 25ml a shot – and at £2.50 a shot that equals £10 a bottle in lost revenue. That means a pub or bar selling 50 bottles a week could be losing £500 a week or £26,000 a year in revenue. Precise Pour is the first wireless
dispense system designed to give bars the most complete and economical answer to this problem of stock loss from over-pouring. It pours exact measures at any angle and there is no need to turn bottles upright between pours. If required, the wireless connection through the master unit allows sales and stock reports on all dispense activ-
Builders in VAT bid A WEST Yorkshire firm is spearheading a campaign to get VAT on building repairs and maintenance cut to 5%. Property firm Rok is leading the Repairing Britain campaign, which urges people to sign its Downing Street e-petition. The campaign has already attracted several thousand names.
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■ BENEFITS: Christine Corns, senior lecturer in transport and logistics at Huddersfield University
Firm gets the measure of the drinks industry A COMPANY providing drinks dispense equipment is the toast of the industry after developing a new product. Brewfitt Dispense Equipment Ltd, based at Fenay Bridge, has launched Precise Pour, a wireless dispense system which could save pub operators up to £10 per bottle of spirit. Tests have shown that on average,
ity, which can be printed out, screened on a PC or linked to point-of-sale. Brewfitt managing director Curtis Paxman said: “Precise Pour is a revolutionary device which will cut waste levels and boost revenue. “It allows thousands of servings between battery recharge and speeds up service, benefiting both customers and businesses.”
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Waxing lyrical COMIC Ruby Wax will be the headline speaker at an event organised by Yorkshire business networking group Forward Ladies. The event on March 8 at in Leeds also marks International Women’s Day.
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Airport sale racks up losses for BAA AIRPORT operator BAA said its London sites racked up losses of £822m after the sale of Gatwick and one-off pension charges hit the business. The Heathrow and Stansted owner was also hit by a 3.8% fall in passenger traffic, but reported an improved operational performance and higher service standards. The £1.5bn sale of Gatwick in December resulted in a £277m write-down on BAA’s books, while there was also a one-off charge of £217.8m relating to its defined benefit pension scheme deficit, which has increased due to changes in inflation expectations. BAA, which ended 2009 with net debt of £8.58bn, is making annual payments to the pension fund of £70m until 2011. Overall, losses spiralled to £821.9m from £324.2m a year earlier. Adjusted for
exceptional items, the loss improved by 17.5% to £156.5m. Revenues were up by 8.3% to £1.98bn as a result of a strong retail performance and higher airport tariffs. The latest results exclude BAA’s other airports at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Southampton. Chief executive Colin Matthews said the operator planned to invest more than £1bn this year to upgrade its airports. He said: “We expect 2010 to present further economic challenges for the industry as a whole, and we will remain focused on improving our efficiency and the service we offer customers.” The company said Heathrow delivered the most resilient performance of the major European airports after passenger numbers declined 1.5% to 65.9m last year.
Helped by strong demand from areas such as India and the Middle East, Heathrow’s performance improved as the year progressed, with growth of 0.3% and 1.1% in the third and fourth quarters of 2009 respectively. At Stansted, passenger traffic declined by 10.7% to 20m, but this included an improvement in the final quarter to show a 5.7% decline. In October, BAA announced it had sold Gatwick to US-based investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners, which already owns London City Airport. Earlier in the year, the Competition Commission ruled that BAA must sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh, a decision that BAA successfully challenged on grounds of apparent bias. The Commission is seeking leave to take the matter to the Court of Appeal.
■ FLIGHT PLAN: BAA is to invest £1bn in its airports
AB Foods predicts higher profits
Buyer takes wheel at Red
PRIMARK owner Associated British Foods predicted a jump in half-year profits and said growth should continue throughout the year. AB Foods said its results for the first six months of its financial year to February 27 would show strong sales and profits growth across its business with brands such as Silver Spoon and Twinings Ovaltine leading the way. Primark also produced strong trading, with Christmas sales beating the firm’s expectations. The discount clothing brand is set for further UK expansion in the coming months, with stores planned for Chester, Bury and Blackburn.
THE embattled Red Driving School group has been rescued out of administration in a move that safeguards around 400 jobs. LVG, which owns Red Driving School and Red Instructor Training, has been bought by private equity firm Kelso Place, which has previously backed the Smythson luxury stationery brand. The deal secures the future of the Red brand and Kelso said it had no plans for redundancies. Red Driving School is the third largest in the UK, while the group’s instructor training division is the biggest in Europe, with a network of
Further outlets will be opened in the next financial year after the group bought 10 Bhs properties recently. These will be located in Folkestone, Guildford, Harrogate, Winchester, Bournemouth, Perth, Worcester, Ilford, King’s Lynn and Scunthorpe. Primark, which includes an outlet at New Street in Huddersfield and has 196 stores with 6.1m sq ft of selling space, has also been expanding in its other European centres and the firm plans to open three new stores in Spain in the second half. AB Foods said its grocery division benefited from good results across its UK brands during last year.
22 colleges and a number of instructors in the Huddersfield area. Brighton-based LVG also owns Red Fleet Training, as well as driving instructor accountancy service FBTC, a trade magazine for the driving instructor training industry and Practical Driver Instructor Aids. Kelso said it made a “significant equity investment” in securing the deal. The driving school group collapsed last week due to funding woes, a l t h o u g h a d m i n i s t rat o r M C R stressed that accounts suggested the business was “quite a healthy and profitable operation”.
ALMOST £10bn in losses are expected from the UK’s part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group later this week – as the pair disclose grim results from a year of painful rebuilding. Although the worst of the financial crisis has eased, RBS and Lloyds have been forced to shed thousands of jobs, raise tens of billions in extra capital and make plans to break up their business to soothe European competition concerns. RBS – which is 84% taxpayer-owned – reported a record £24.1bn loss for 2008. Thursday’s figures are likely to reveal a further slide into the red in excess of £5bn last year amid bad debts and write-offs of about £13bn. Lloyds, which acquired HBOS in October, 2008, expects a stronger trading performance this year and in 2011. But retail bad debts reached £3.3bn for the first nine months of 2009.
Solid gold PAWNBROKER Albemarle & Bond posted a 75% leap in profits as sky-high gold prices lured customers through its doors. The group made pre-tax profits of £10.8m in the six months to December 31, driven by its core pawnbroking division and income from its recently introduced gold buying arm.
SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £25.12 -0.10 Gannett 966.42 -24.22 Hess Corp £38.88 -0.41 Microsoft 1854.05 -3.87 Motors Liquidation 48.43 Wal-Mart Stores £34.54 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE BAE Systems 3691/2 +31/8 Rolls-Royce Gp 5251/2 +1 Smiths Grp 1032 -5 VT Group 660 +111/2 AIM Brady Plc 651/2 Dawson Intl 21/4 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 106 -1/2 BANKS Barclays 3161/4 +4 HSBC 6983/4 +73/4 Lloyds Banking Gp 515/8 +11/8 Ryl Scotland 353/4 +11/4 Stan Chart 1541 +27 BEVERAGES Diageo 1060 -11 SABMiller 1744 -10 CHEMICALS Croda 8411/2 +1/2 Delta 1493/4 +21/2 Elementis 98 53 +1/2 Johnsn Mat 1602 +4 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2731/4 -15/8 Costain 223/4 -1/4 ELECTRICITY 3
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Marcia heads a class act! IT’S time to take pride in being British, says Marcia Hutchinson. The Bradford-born managing director of learning company Primary Colours has built a thriving business providing schools with educational packs, teacher training and classroom theatre projects around the issues of cultural diversity. Her Fixby-based business, Primary Colours, helps infant and junior schools across England meet their requirements under the Government’s social cohesion policies to cover what could be seen as “heavy” topics with more than a dash of fun. Taking training courses up and down the country, she has seen the look of panic or suspicion in the eyes of teachers – often at all-white schools in leafy well-to-do suburbs – who expect they’re in for a cross between a stern lecture and “politically correct” brainwashing! Says Marcia: ““I ask them how they would like to live next to someone flying the Union Jack from the window or whether they will be celebrating St George’s Day and they look worried! “But when St George’s Day comes along, don’t hang your head in embarrassment. You should be proud of being British.” And she points out that St George’ is a great example of cultural diversity. St George was reputedly Palestinian and is shared as a patron saint by England, Turkey and several other countries. Marcia recalls: “I was born and bred in Britain, but my mother was Jamaican and I always thought of myself as Jamaican until I went to Jamaica. That’s when I realised I was British because people laughed at my accent and said I walked too quickly to be Jamaican!” Marcia, who grew up on
and attended a local comprehensive school, gained a place at Oxford and studied law. She became a solicitor before making a massive career change and setting up Primary Colours about 12 years ago. “It all started when my daughters were small and I couldn’t find any books with really good images of non-white children. I wanted to restore some sort of balance. “I was really interested in photography and writing, so I decided to make a simple book using pictures of my daughter and her Asian friend. I started the process of looking for a publisher and eventually decided to publish it myself. “Initially, I aimed it at parents, but we decided to focus on schools because schools would buy books, teachers’ packs and CDs in bigger quantities.” Now Primary Colour is a well-established social enterprise supplying books, teachers’ packs and classroom drama sessions for primary schools.The material focuses on cultural diversity, but contributes to other areas of the curriculum, including geography, IT and literacy. One project – piloted at
■ PRIDE: Marcia admires hard-working, risk-taking entrepreneurs
Spring Grove School – involves 300 youngsters across Yorkshire conducting interviews with people who have migrated to Britain. The youngsters also produce online images, maps and captions to accompany their audio interviews. Study books include a series of one-page biographies on famous people such as US president Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Lewis Hamilton and Bollywood film stars. Another book now in preparation focuses on well-known footballers, some of whom were asylum seekers. Another series of posters for display on classroom walls features an A to Z of exotic foods, encouraging teachers and children to talk about them and where they come from. The company has a busy diary of engagements. In the space of a week this month, Marcia or her team members have been to Kent, Nottingham and Sunderland – with much of the firm’s business with local education authorities or individual schools won by word-of-mouth recommendation. The firm’s five-strong team includes creative director Peter Tidy, who has 25 years experience in teaching and Shazia Azhar, a full-time deputy headteacher. The company also draws on a bank of experienced freelance actors, writers and illustrators. Said Marcia: “When I set the company up I had no business training, but I knew I could find people to help me. My legal training has come in useful, but the most difficult part has been getting the marketing right. Anyone can publish books and end up with hundreds of them under the bed. Selling them is the real trick! “We are starting to target
Page 3 Marcia Hutchinson Role: Managing director Age: 47 Family: Married to Peter with daughters Olivia, 16, and Lyla, 14 Holidays: South Africa and France Car: Honda FRV First job: Barmaid at Butlins Skegness Best thing about job: Making a difference and seeing it on the faces of children Worst thing about job: Too much to do Business tip: Do one thing really well
are planning to update our website – as well as getting into social networking – and we are improving our IT systems.” Marcia recognises that her role is changing as the business grows. “When you start a business, you turn your hand to everything,” she says. “At some point, the business gets too big and you have to delegate. In order to grow the business you have to give up some of the fun stuff. “I am very much a manager now. I occasionally go out and do some of the shows because it is great to interact with children. I also do a fair number of teacher training sessions, but really I am becoming more and more a manager.” Planning ahead, Marcia recognises that a squeeze on public sector spending could have ramifications for Primary Colours. She says: “Local authorities get their spending on a three-year basis. Their current funding will run to 2011. We have been spending the past 18 months cutting our overheads and getting our company lean and mean for when the funding cuts come.” However, Marcia is keen to keep the company focused on its role as a one-stop shop for primary schools and has resisted suggestions that she expand to cover the secondary sector. “We work with a great team of primary school teachers and as the only company doing what we do, we have to understand our customer,” she says. When pressures of work allow, Marcia enjoys music, film and watching stand-up comedy, saying: “The importance of laughter is badly underestimated.” She also combines a love for travel with a passion for architecture and design – counting a visit to Venice and the chance to stay at a
castle among her holiday highlights. “I take my hat off to people who roll up their sleeves and get stuck in and work really hard,” says Marcia. “Entrepreneurs are sometimes derided in our society because you get the sort of excesses that caused the economic crash. But the people I have got to know are to be admired for being willing to work hard – not knowing whether or not their efforts will be successful.”
Primary Colours Work: Learning company Site: Fixby Employs: Five Phone: 01484 421620 Email: info@ primary colours.net
Quake appeal A CLECKHEATON firm supplying office furniture is set to raise cash for the Haiti Earthquake Appeal – by offering chairs in exchange for a donation. Hills and sister company Over2Hills will stage the event from 10am to 4pm this Saturday. Staff will be giving away chairs to members of the public in exchange for a minimum £1 donation to the appeal. Hills has built up a reputation with local charities and non-profit organisations for its Free Charity Open Days – when the company gives away hundreds of pieces of office furniture free of charge. Now the stakes have been raised in hopes that the general public will help them raise money to benefit families and communities affected by the earthquakes in Haiti. Hills is also running a “drop box” service where people can leave children’s toys and clean clothes, which will be sold to raise money for the Red Cross. As well as the chair giveaway, Hills will be holding a tombola and serving refreshments – with all proceeds supporting UNICEF’s appeal for the children of Haiti. Hills spokesman Richard Senior said: “Our company removes redundant office furniture from large organisations such as councils and universities and recycles 98% of each consignment. “Most of the furniture that we remove is in very good condition, which means that instead of breaking it down into its components, as we do with damaged items, we try to give it to people who can make use of it.”
Derby days A MARKET research firm in Huddersfield has won a contract to carry out research for a Midlands local authority. Ask Strategic Marketing & Research, based at the Media Centre, was chosen by Derby Council after a 16-way pitch to research the housing needs of black and minority ethnic communities in Derby, south Derbyshire and the Amber Valley. It will include use of focus groups, mini in-depths interviews and a targeted postal survey. James Brooke, of Ask, said: “‘We are delighted to have been selected to support Derby Council on this strategic research project.”
Partnership is on course
A CLECKHEATON law firm has become an approved training centre for the UK’s largest management body. The Howarth Partnership, which specialises in human resources and employment law, is now able to offer a level 3 qualification in first line management with the Institute of Learning Management. The firm provides legal advice, tribunal representation and human resource training to businesses of all sizes throughout Yorkshire. The five-week ILM course covers areas such as managing the employment relationship, managing conflict in the workplace and problem solving and decision making. The partnership said such a qualification was for all employers as the ACAS Codes of Practice states that “those responsible for using and operating the disciplinary rules, including managers at all levels should be trained for the task”. The Howarth Partnership Ltd is also able to apply for 60% funding towards the cost of the new qualification from the European Enhancement Fund on behalf of businesses in Yorkshire and Humber. Managing director Andy Howarth said: “In times of recession, many
■ CENTRE POINT: Jeanette Stephenson (left) and Tracey Hopkins (right), of The Howarth Partnership, with Lyn Oliver, of the Institute of Leadership Management and the law firm's certificate as an approved training centre
businesses cut back on what they see as non-essential financial commitments such as HR and employment law services. “They see a better financial alternative in training their staff and bringing this very necessary legal requirement in-house.
“The training that we are now able to offer provides evidence that employers have invested in training staff to deal with discipline, grievances, redundancy and how to effectively manage change in the business, which has been required by law since April of last year.”
Firms joining forces TWO professional firms in Huddersfield have joined forces to offer a new service to local businesses. Law firm Eaton Smith and insurance specialist Eastwood and Partners has launched Employment Law Solutions combining employment advice from Eaton Smith and insurance from Eastwood and Partners. The service aims to protect companies from potential claims which may be made under employment law. The service was launched at a series of events attended by representatives of local businesses and hosted by Eaton Smith, which has its offices at High Street, and Eastwood Partners, based at Northumberland Street. Employment solicitor Michelle Shore said: “Although there are similar products elsewhere, a partnership between two Huddersfield firms is unusual. “Eastwood and Partners provides the insurance policy, underwritten by Hiscox, and Eaton Smith provide a full audit of the client’s employment practices. The aim is to reduce the risk of clients facing employment tribunal claims and if a claim is
■ LINK-UP: Michelle Shore (left), employment solicitor at Eaton Smith with (from left) Eaton Smith partner Michael Webb and Sam Linley and Roger Underwood, of Eastwood and Partners, launch the new service
made, the insurance policy will cover the costs of contesting it and any pay-out resulting.” Michelle said ELS would help
small firms that did not have their own human resources department and continue to provide HR support as those firms expanded.
Call up for entrants A GROUP promoting minority ethnic businesses is urging Kirklees firms to take part in its annual awards. The ABDN Business Awards 2010 will be held as part of the organisation’s annual dinner on Thursday, April 1, at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Judges will select the winners in nine categories, including business of the year, SME business of the year, apprentice employer of the year, female entrepreneur and young entrepreneur. The closing date for nominations is Monday, March 1, with shortlisting taking place on Wednesday, March 10. The annual dinner and awards will celebrate the 12th anniversary of ABDN, which helps develop minority ethnic businesses through an active network that shares best practice, creates access to opportunities and represents its members at national level. Chairman Arshad Chaudhry said: “For the past 12 years, the ABDN Business Awards have become the benchmark for excellence in the region. The coveted awards have recognised success and entrepreneurship over the years and many of our past winners are now household names.” For more information on entering the awards, go to www.abdn.org.uk/nominate
Trading spaces KIRKLEES firms are set for a boost to their 2010 trading efforts. The Kirklees branch of the Federation of Small Businesses is staging a mini-trade show tonight to help give member companies a boost in trade early on in the year. And the success of exhibitor bookings has caused the organisers to move the venue to the Galpharm Stadium to accommodate the exhibitors and visitors with better facilities. The event will take place from 7pm to 9pm when more than 30 of the exhibitors will each put on a special offer exclusive to visitors of the show. Exhibitors will include IT experts, accountants, engineering companies, retailers and service providers. Entry and parking are free to visitors and no pre-registration is necessary. Rick Robbins, event organiser, said: “We would urge everyone who lives in Kirklees or does business in the district to come along.”
Ceilings firm in second success A CEILINGS specialist has hit the heights in an industry competition – by winning an award for the second year running. Linthwaite-based Ceilings2 Ltd was among the winners in the annual competition staged by the Association of Interior Specialists. The award was presented at London’s Dorchester Hotel. The company won a silver award for recognised for the quality of its work on a new Mamas & Papas nursery products store on a Nottingham retail park, where Ceilings2 Ltd was responsible for fitting suspended ceilings, plasterboard ceiling, features and all plasterboard walls. The Cowlersley Lane company, which employs in excess of 20 people and had notched up 25 years in business, won a silver award the previous year. Ceilings2 Ltd, headed by managing director Graham Stacey, is a £3m turnover business serving clients in the banking, retail and public sectors. Among other contracts, the company has provided partitioning and ceilings for ward 10 at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and it is currently working with signage firm Atlas Display, based at Old Leeds Road, on a national roll-out of offices for the estate agency Your Move.
■ HIGHLIGHT: Managing director Graham Stacey (front) with the award and colleagues (from left) Sally Crosland, Hayley Slater and Carl Hudson
Creative help for artist ARTS and regeneration agency Loca has been helping creative people broaden their understanding of running a business. The Batley-based body has joined forces with Business Link to offer a series of practical sessions aimed at people just starting up in or new to business in the creative sector in North Kirklees. Those supported by the Starting Blocks programme include Julia Borodina-Cox, a fine art painter from Dewsbury, who wanted help in developing the business side of her work. Julia, who has attended workshops and one-to-one advice sessions around business planning and marketing, said: “The information I’ve gained while taking part in the Starting Blocks programme has been invaluable, helping me to focus on my business skills and giving me practical tips that will help me in promoting my work.” Robin Widdowson, projects manager at Loca, said: “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Business Link in offering the Starting Blocks programme again this year. “There have been a range of creat-
■ SOUND START: Artist Julie Borodina-Cox (second left) with (from left) Pat Coffey, of Business Link; Robin Widdowson, projects manager for Loca; and Jean Kent, also of Business Link
ive people taking part who have received advice and support which will help them survive as new businesses. The programme also gives them the opportunity to network with other creative businesses in the area to share ideas and benefit from the experience of others.” Starting Blocks is part of Loca’s
Creative Business Support Programme which offers support to anyone in North Kirklees who is self-employed or running their own c r e at i v e bu s i n e s s – w h e t h e r well-established or just starting out. Details about the free programme are available from Robin Widdowson on 01924 488844.
Permit rules to change FIRMS in Kirklees have been urged to act now to avoid falling foul of new environmental permit rules. Regional business support programme CO2Sense Yorkshire said that under current rules, small scale users and handlers of waste don’t have to apply for an environmental permit from the Environment Agency to operate. But from April, amendments to the regulations will withdraw a number of permitting exemptions. Rachel Brakes (pictured), project manager for the CO2Sense, said the changes could affect businesses in a range of sectors, including composting, land spreading, land restoration, reclamation and improvement, use of waste for construction, metal recycling, manufacture and treatment of construction materials and timber products and waste management and recycling. CO2Sense Yorkshire is urging businesses to look at the new rules to ensure they meet the requirements of the new revised exemptions. If the revised limits cannot be met, CO2Sense is encouraging firms to apply now for an exemption under the existing regulations. Applying before April will potentially give businesses more time to comply with the new rules or apply for an environmental permit. Businesses can find out if they are exempt under current regulations by using a self-assessment questionnaire for each exempt activity. It can be found at www.co2sense.org.uk/legislation. Said Rachel: “It’s vital that businesses make themselves aware of the changes and how they may be affected. “We’ve put together a simple form which asks a series of questions for the existing exempt activity to see if they are eligible for exemption now. “If the answer to all the questions is ‘yes’ then they can apply – and they should contact us to get free advice about how to get through the application process.”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Improvement in store for retail occupancy THE number of vacant shop premises across Yorkshire is set to fall this year, claims a report. Property agency King Sturge said retail vacancy rates were set to fall from a 20% high in prime shopping centres – and could be as low as 10% or 12% by the end of this year. It said a shortage of new space and continuing flexible leases were helping to encourage occupiers. But the report warned that vacancy rates will remain higher in some centres – such as Barnsley and Wakefield – as the recession continues to expose towns that are failing to implement effective regeneration policies. Jonathan Newns, head of King Sturge’s in-town retail team, said: “The key shake-out among retailers happened a year ago as the start of the recession weeded out weaker players and those exposed to onerous finance structures. “As a result, we will see retail vacancy rates fall as retailers take advantage of flexible and incentivised leases where
they remain available. “Even so, the tough times are far from over. A number of players remain vulnerable and further casualties are expected in the fashion and furniture sectors.” Retail property values are also expected to start to recover by the end of the year. Newns said: “2010 will still be a tenants’ market. Underlying rents are forecast to decline by 3.1% this year and 1.3% in 2011. “While headline rents in Yorkshire and Humber have generally fallen by 20% in prime areas, some of the more secondary locations have seen as much as 50% reductions. “We predict that this decline will slow dramatically in 2010, rental values will bottom out and probably improve slightly towards the end of the year as landlords refuse to increase incentives to occupiers as the economy improves.” Despite the recession, about 3m sq ft of new shopping centre space opened in
Yorkshire last year. But Mr Newns said: “The pipeline will slow to a trickle during the next two years in the wake of financing issues and perceived occupier weakness. “However, the next wave of development is already being lined up for 2012/13, when market conditions will have improved. “Meanwhile, supermarkets will continue to provide some salvation for the retail sector. “In spite of lower price inflation, they remain highly expansive, and will continue to absorb some of the over-supply in bulky goods retail warehousing and fall-out from the high street, as well as increasingly offering ‘anchor’ options for new developments. “Food stores are also the only commercial property sub-sector to see rental growth throughout the recession and this is good news for Yorkshire with two of the big names – Asda and Morrisons – being based here.”
■ SHOP TALK: Jonathan Newns, partner with property agents King Sturge in Yorkshire
Rok leads campaign for VAT cut on building repair To LeT/FoR SALe
Pennine Business Park Bradley, Huddersfield
1 High speciﬁcation ofﬁces 1 372 & 557m2 (4,000 & 6,000 sq ft) 1 Ease of access to J25 of the M62 Rental/Price: on application. Joint Agents: eddisons
Ainleys Industrial estate, elland
1720.4m2 (7,754 sq ft) 1Established location/Within one mile of J24 M62 17m eaves 1Good loading & parking facilities Rental: on application
The Coach House & Stoneleigh 39 Halifax Road, Brighouse
1107.88 – 647.24m2 (1,161 – 6,967 sq ft) 1Two detached ofﬁce buildings 1Open plan & private ofﬁces 1w/c’s, kitchen facilities & all mains services 1Sufﬁcient private car parking provision
FoR SALe/MAY LeT 26 Huddersfield Road Brighouse
1Prominent retail unit 140.28m2 (433 sq ft) 1Edge of Brighouse town centre Price: oIRo £65,000
A CAMPAIGN calling for VAT on building repairs and maintenance to be reduced to 5% is being spearheaded by a West Yorkshire firm. Property firm Rok is leading the Repairing Britain campaign, which is urging people to sign its Downing Street e-petition before the April deadline. The campaign, which is supported by leading industry organisations and employers, has already attracted several thousand signatures – and is aiming for 10,000. A paper petition is also available at Rok’s offices in Commercial Street, Morley, and Calder Park, Wakefield. The e-petition is encouraging a targeted VAT reduction that will save jobs and retain skills in the UK construction sector and encourage householders and businesses to undertake repairs and improvements to properties. The campaign is also designed to raise awareness about the huge number of
properties that could be brought back into use to meet housing demands. During the next two years, 250,000 new homes could be created by refurbishing just 20% of the buildings now lying empty and in disrepair. Martin Donnachie, Rok housing director, said: “The practical benefits of reducing VAT on property repairs and maintenance have gained traction with thousands of people who have already signed our petition. We do want more support and I hope people can log on and show their support for our campaign before the deadline. “Although, officially, the UK is out of recession, the challenges for business sectors like the construction industry are just beginning. Lowering VAT on property repairs and maintenance will provide a stimulus to the industry that bring in more work and help firms retain jobs and skills that are in danger of disappearing.”
Launch date for Mirfield mill A LAUNCH date has ben set for an impressive mill redevelopment in Mirfield. Commercial property developer St James Securities will officially launch its Wheatley Office Park complex on March 10. The developers will unveil the first completed building, The Watermill, and explain their ambitious plans to turn the former woollen mill, previously known as Hopton Mills, into a rural office park. Guests at the launch will include Kirklees businesses and commercial estate agents.
Work is well underway on the parkland site, transforming the old buildings which date back to the late 18th and early 19th century, into high-quality modern offices. Work to a second, the 1812 Building, are continuing. Two lettings have already been secured – one to contracts furnishing firm Camira Fabrics and one to interior architectural company Normal TM. The agents for Wheatley Park are Hanson Chartered Surveyors, of Huddersfield, and Michael Steel & Co, of Leeds.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Workloads in sharp decline CONSTRUCTION workloads fell across all sectors in Yorkshire towards the end of 2009, latest figures have revealed. A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said uncertainty over the impending general election and a lack of finance were among the reasons for projects stalling during the final quarter of last year. As a result, the number of chartered surveyors reporting a fall rather than a rise in workloads increased to minus 16% compared with minus 5% for the third quarter of 2009. The survey said this showed that a recovery in the construction sector was even further out of reach, with workloads in decline for the seventh consecutive quarter. Public sector non-housing workloads fell for the first time since the first quarter of 2009 – from minus 16% to minus 21% – indicating a slowdown in planned government capital spending projects. Private housing workloads in the region fell from 4% to minus 13% while construction work in the private
industrial sector slipped from minus 7% to minus 14%. Infrastructure workloads declined from minus 16% to minus 19% with construction work in the private commercial sector down from minus 7% to minus 20%. Consequently, expectations for workloads, employment and profits for the next 12 months in the region are all fairly downbeat. Nationally, current workloads are projected to be slightly higher with 2% more chartered surveyors expecting an increase. But the positive balance is modest and is lower than the third quarter reading of 9%. Meanwhile, the overall view is that jobs will continue to be lost and profit margins squeezed as competition for the limited amount of work on offer intensifies. Significantly, 29% more respondents to the survey still expect profits to drop further than begin to edge back up. Regional RICS construction market spokesman Kevin Wood said: "Despite the recent signs of recovery in the economy, the construction sec-
tor in Yorkshire and Humber is still in for another tough year. The sector was the first into the recession and it looks like it will be the last out. “The region is heavily dependant on public spending and with the general election looming there is a degree of uncertainty about the level of spending cuts on capital projects post election. “Couple this with the lack of funding for private sector clients and there is still a long way to go to bring the sector back to a sustainable level of activity. “Construction tender levels are still tight and falling as contractors strive to secure work and although there has been an increase in tender activity, getting the schemes to site still remains hard. “However, there are some positive signs on the horizon with retail schemes rising from the ashes again and the general level of new enquiries is picking up, so there is hope for a much brighter year.”
Chartered status for 47 FORTY-SEVEN surveyors in Yorkshire have achieved the highly-valued “chartered” status with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. All have successfully completed the RICS’ Assessment of Professional Competence, which is a tough two-to-three year period of structured training that includes practical training,
experience and exams leading to full membership David Varley, RICS regional training adviser for Yorkshire, said: “These new professionals have passed the most challenging of assessments to become chartered surveyors, many of them having already completed a property-related degree.”
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AGENTS CONSULTANT ADVISOR •
TRAFALGAR MILLS LEEDS ROAD HUDDERSFIELD HD2 1YY •
Retail Units To Let Huddersfield Road, Brighouse From 1,117sqft to 2,519sqft Situated in a busy town centre with a main road location. The premises are ideal for various uses (subject to planning) Terms available on application. Contact: Jason Metcalfe/Phil Deakin Hanson Chartered Surveyors 01484 432043
Paul Andrew Walker Singleton 01484 477600
Christine Eccleston MB Services 01484 557102
Titan Works Claremount Road, Halifax 4,052 m² (43,617 ft²) Industrial/warehouse complex Site area 0.97 hectares (2.4 acres) with development land
Premier House Bradford Road,Cleckheaton 40.78 - 260.77 m² (439 - 2,807 ft²) Various office suites Whole building also available for sale
Calder Bank Mills, Dewsbury
■ BAR NONE: French polisher John Wilson working on a restored mahogany bar for Sheffield Railway Station at Andy Thornton Ltd. Ainley's Industrial Estate, Elland
22,043 m² (237,286 ft²) Substantial industrial complex On a site of 3.61 hectares (8.93 acres)
Firm goes for quality A COMPANY designing and fitting out interiors for hotels, restaurants and bars around the world has achieved a top quality standard. Elland-based Andy Thornton Ltd has gained certification to ISO 9001:2008 following an extensive external audit of the company’s management systems during which all areas of operation were carefully scrutinised. Managing director Peter Siddall said: “We are delighted to achieve such an internationally recognised management standard for quality. It confirms what a great team of people we employ and is a fantastic endorse-
ment of the running of the company and the systems we have in place.” Andy Thornton specialises in fit-outs as well as supplying furniture, lighting, interior accessories and architectural antiques to the contract market. The company also manufactures and installs decorative architectural metalwork structures. Mr Siddall said ISO 9001:2008 would provide the firm with more opportunities to win business from the public sector and increase its chances of landing contracts for the hospitality sector in relation to the 2012 London Olympics.
64 Raikes Lane, Birstall 0.06 hectares (0.16 acres) Residential development site Planning granted for 9 two bedroom apartments
Contact Jonathan O’Connor on 01484 533151
Leeds, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow, Huddersfield
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Neil Kendall
Business Doctors MANAGEMENT advice group Business Doctors has appointed Neil Kendall as head of its new West Yorkshire operation. Mr Kendall (pictured) will lead a team offering hands-on expert advice to businesses across Huddersfield, Halifax and Bradford. Mr Kendall has 15 years’ business experience, including 10 years of interim and project management for major financial companies. He has also experience as managing director of a manufacturing and engineering company. He said: “I am very passionate about helping the local economy to grow and firmly believe that helping small and medium-sized companies implement change by putting in place strategies and offering practical, down-to-earth, common sense advice from a position of experience is the way to get the local economy back to where it should be.” Business Doctors, established in 2004, offers advice to SMEs on topics such as sales and profit growth, human resources, finance, training and development as well as helping businesses access funding and financial support.
Movers and shakers
Polar supports expedition drive A CAR dealership has helped a group of Holmfirth High School students take a step closer to Africa. Polar Ford, based at St Andrew’s Road in Huddersfield sponsored a balloon race, which raised £1,000. Students Michael Truby and Joshua Garlick released 529 ticketed balloons in the centre of Holmfirth – with some returned from as far afield as Cambridge, Peterborough, Lincolnshire and Essex. The winning balloon travelling about 700 miles to Normandy in France. The money raised will help pay for Joshua and Michael to go on an expedition to Uganda. The expedition takes place in August and will involve 17 pupils and three members of staff from the school. The three-week trip is being organised in
conjunction with the World Challenge Organisation and will involve the students in painting, construction and teaching. Simon Crosland, of Polar Ford, said: “It’s a great cause and will give the boys a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m just happy to be able to support a cause in the local community.” Simon is a former pupil of Holmfirth High School. Said Joshua: “We’ve been working really hard in order to raise the £3,000 each that we need. As well as this event, we also organised a concert and did some work packing bags and washing cars to raise the money needed.” Michael Added: “We would like to thank everyone who has helped us raise money and to Polar Ford for generously sponsoring the event.”
■ AIR TIME: Simon Crosland (third left), of Polar Ford with fundraisers (from left) Alison Truby and her son Michael; Joshua Garlick, his mother Adele and brothers William and Connor
Firm is a comfortable winner!
JOHN Flynn has joined Yorkshire Building Society’s Honley and Meltham branches as their new financial adviser. Mr Flynn (pictured) is a Legal & General consultant who advises on investments, assurance or protection products as well as retirement planning and inheritance tax matters. Mr Flynn, who has more than 20 years experience offering financial advice, joins the Bradford-based society after working for Legal & General for six years. He will divide his time between the Honley, Meltham and Leeds branches. He lives in Methley with his wife and son and manages Carlton Athletic FC in his spare time.
LandSkills A PROGRAMME officer has been appointed to help steer a £3m funding programme in Yorkshire that will help farmers, foresters and growers develop their skills and enhance their profitability. LandSkills Yorkshire and Humber, managed by Lantra sector skills council, has appointed Dr Edward Wallington to work with programme manager Julie Hamilton to help businesses access up to 70% funding towards a wide variety of training activities. Dr Wallington (pictured) is a former programme and business development manager at the Forestry Commission. Before that, he was in academia, researching the use of remote sensing and geographical information systems to support and optimise management decisions in the environmental sector. Since the project began in summer, 2008, almost 3,000 people have benefited from the 70% funding.
■ NIGHT LIGHTS: David Miles (left), ASDA commercial director, with the John Cotton team of (from left) category marketing manager Bronnie Rhodes, group managing director Mark Cotton, business manager Gareth Holmes and sales and marketing director Phil Atherton BEDDING firm John Cotton has won a top supplier award. The Mirfield-based company, billed as Europe’s largest filled bedding manufacturer, was named Supplier of the Year for Availability at the ASDA Supplier Celebration Awards 2010. The annual event, held in Harrogate, recognises the outstanding achievements of suppliers who contribute to ASDA’s award-winning success as the lowest price retailer in the UK. John Cotton, formed in 1916, remains a family-run company with global operations. The firm makes and distributes pillows, quilts and mattress protectors across Europe.
Group managing director Mark Cotton said: “We are absolutely delighted with the award. “The team at John Cotton always works closely with the ASDA trading teams and their operating systems to ensure that we deliver quality products ‘on time, in full’. “We want to keep the shelves stocked! Having traded with ASDA for many years we have an excellent relationship. Our operational team has worked very hard and is extremely proud to be recognised for being the best.” Other nominees for the award included Heinz, Kanes, L’Oreal Suncare and Sony Pictures.
Ruby’s ready to sound off for business CELEBRITY Ruby Wax will be the headline speaker at an event organised by Yorkshire business networking group Forward Ladies. The event on March 8 at The Met Hotel in Leeds – which will be attended by leading Huddersfield businesswomen – will also mark International Women’s Day. Comedienne Ruby Wax (pictured) worked with French and Saunders and reached national fame with her unique interview style. She confronted Imelda Marcos, confounded Donald Trump and got close with Pamela Anderson. Recently, comedy has taken a back seat and she has completed an MSc in psychotherapy and neuroscience. Ruby is now putting these two skills together to run workshops for business leaders on communication. Her workshops combine her unique humour with scientific and theoretical learning and involving practical exercises. Forward Ladies, which is backed by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, is one of the north’s fastest-growing women’s networking and business support organisations. The event, which is sponsored by the hotel and Business Link , will be chaired by YTV presenter Gaynor Barnes. Along with Ruby, other speakers will include Sophi Tranchell, managing director of fair trade chocolate company Divine, and motivational speaker Tee Dobinson. Email email@example.com