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WE BRING BUSINESS FACE TO FACE WITH BUSINESS

Appetite for food

Chamber offices opened REPRESENTATIVES of 40 firms helped the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce celebrate the opening of its new headquarters in Lockwood. After many years occupying premises at Wakefield Road, Aspley, the chamber has opted for a state-of-the-art stable block refurbishment in Lockwood Park. in Huddersfield. Guest of honour Prof Bob Cryan, vice-chancellor of Huddersfield University, was invited to cut the ribbon. He commented on the chamber’s 155-year history and how its role as the voice of business was as valid and important as the day it was established. Chamber chair man Ed die Rodgers, described the new-look chamber with some of the membership services now on offer to help local companies weather the recession. He said: “Despite the current economic climate, we are making a strong statement about the future of the Chamber and about the future of business in the area.” The chamber has more than 1,000 members across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield..

A GROUP promoting Yorkshire’s food and drinks industry has an appetising idea to boost business. The Regional Food Group will host the third Innovation Forum on January 28, 2009, at Thorpe Park Hotel, Leeds. The event will explore issues surrounding innovation – the lifeblood of successful organisations in good times and bad. The event is being run by the RFG on behalf of Appetising Innovation, a new initiative offering food and drink manufacturers access to innovation, development projects in product and packaging, seminars, workshops, special reports and innovation surgeries. The speakers will include Tracey Hollowood, associate director of sensory and consumer research for Sensory Dimensions; John Kirkby, creative director of design consultancy Design Futures; and Sarah Knapper, RFG director of research and development. Ms Hollowood will focus on how to use sensory and consumer research to build a better product, while Mr

■ TAPED: Huddersfield University Vice Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan (left) cuts the ribbon watched by chamber chairman Eddie Rodgers

Workers resolve to hold onto their jobs

Yorkshire’s Legal People. Chadwick Lawrence delivers a competitive range of expert legal services to commercial clients. Litigation Company Formations Acquisitions & Mergers Employment

Kirkby will packaging innovation and improvements. Said Mr Kirkby: “This Innovation Forum will highlight the opportunities and resources available to businesses in our region. “Innovation is what ultimately sets products apart and in the crowded food market within which companies operate in today, it is more important than ever before to inspire delegates to be more creative and innovative in their approach to meeting the needs of their customers.” Ms Knapper said: “With advice from these industry expert speakers businesses, should be able to embrace i n n ov at i o n a n d u t i l i s e research to result in measurable improvements to their profit margins.” RFG chief executive Jonathan Knight said: “Businesses can become more competitive by embracing innovation, which in turn creates new business opportunities.” Contact Laura Gill on 01937 838895 or visit the website at www.regionalfoodgroup.co.uk

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WORKERS are making a New Year’s resolution to hang onto their jobs, a survey said. Foreign exchange provider Currencies Direct said that 36% of people in full-time employment were restricting their ambitions to staying in work – with just 10% setting their sights on climbing the career ladder. Spokesman Ivars-Lopez said: “This snapshot of employment sentiment offers a revealing insight into people’s concerns about the state of the economy and their

fears about job security. “People’s prevailing attitude is to knuckle down and hope their job survives the recession rather than anything more ambitious in the current climate. “They are focusing on working hard to keep themselves afloat, rather than asking for a promotion or a pay rise.” Fears about job losses are greatest among those aged 35 to 44. In that age group, 44% of people polled are focusing on

their existing job against 12% voicing ambitions to win promotion. Among those aged under 25, some 16% are focusing on keeping their job compared with 33% looking to earn promotion. The survey follows a report by the Citizens Advice Bureau reported that the number of enquiries about redundancy has more than doubled across England and Wales from an average of 189 a day in April to 425 a day in November.

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February, 2009

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Mixed results for region’s law firms YORKSHIRE’S top 10 law firms reported mixed financial fortunes during 2008, a survey has revealed. The survey by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that 2008 was a year of strong fee income growth – although a positive first six months masked a much weaker second half to the year. Average fees per partner for the top 10 firms reached almost £2.9m with the 11-25 group managing an average of £1.8m. More than a quarter of firms in Yorkshire increased fees per partner by above 15%, but one third reported a fall in this statistic. Top 10 firms UK-wide reported an average fee per fee earner

of £360,000 – some 35% higher than for the 11-25 bracket. The average for Yorkshire firms is significantly below this level, at £142,000. Profits per partner for Top 10 firms exceeded £1.1m – almost 28% up on the 2007 figure, while average profits per partner for Yorkshire firms were £536,000. David Thurkettle, of PwC’s P ro f e s s i o n a l Pa r t n e r s h i p s Advisory team in the north, said: “Clearly law firms will not be immune from the effects of the economic downturn. “However, these results are striking in that they highlight how effective financial and operational planning have enabled some firms to move significantly ahead of the competition.”

■ NOT HOME ALONE: Housing e-Academy manager Chloe Weatherhead (left) and Anton Iacono, InLiving project manager with Creative North, demonstrate the InLiving mobile phone tenancy training game

Mobile homes!

A NEW mobile phone game to teach young people about living independently is being launched across the northern England and the Midlands after successful trials in Kirklees. The InLiving game was developed by Kirklees Neighbouring Housing and mobile phone games developer Creative North Studios, based at the media Centre’s Creative Lofts, Northumberland Street, Huddersfield. The game, which is being delivered free across Kirklees, has already got the thumbs up from former housing minister Caroline Flint, who described it as “an example of good practice in

communicating with young people”. Now InLiving is to be promoted more widely following a link-up between Creative North and the Housing e-Academy, an Ilkley-based organisation which encourages greater use of online learning in the UK housing sector. Chloe Weatherhead, Housing e-Academy manager, said: “The partnership with Creative North has allowed us to explore how InLiving can be taken a stage further by linking mobile technology to a planned programme of online learning. “This has resulted in the development of InLiving Progression, an

internet-based tool that gives tenants the opportunity to test their understanding of their responsibilities, raises awareness of the potential pitfalls when living independently and give access to further learning opportunities.” Anton Iacono, InLiving project manager with Creative North, said: “InLiving is an exciting new tool that housing providers can use to help create successful and sustainable tenancies for 16 to 24-year-olds. “Word is spreading like wildfire about InLiving – with several hundred downloads to date.”

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February, 2009

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

COMMENT

by

Henryk Zientek HO would be an economic foreW caster? As we survey the devastation wreaked by

the banking crisis, housing market slump and plunge in consumer spending, who would be brave enough to predict with any certainty where the UK economy will be in another 12 months’ time? Certainly, pundits at the start of 2008 were not predicting the collapse of world markets, the loss of a string of familiar high street names or taxpayers owning a clutch of clearing banks – courtesy of the Government’s multi-billion pound bail-out. In such circumstances, forecasters could be forgiven for taking a pessimistic view of what’s to come. Many believe there must be further painful fall-out – in terms of job losses, personal insolvencies and company closures – before the economy achieves equilibrium. It is difficult to blame them. After many months of avoiding the “R” word – the reality is that Britain and many of the world’s leading economies are in dire straits. Economic experts would do well to focus more closely on how recovery can be encouraged – although, inevitably, there is little agreement on what measures will be more effective. Business people should also consider how easily the edifice was toppled and consider the lessons to be learned.

Read Henryk Zientek's Business reports Monday to Friday in ...

Inside Issues

● Celebrating long service – page 3 ● Law firm in sporting link – page 4 ● Rotajet makes a clean sweep – page 6 ● All the right connections – page 9 ● Myfotowall in US deal – page 10 ● Lagging behind on pay – page 14 ● Ajaz issues rallying cry – page 15 ● Ramsdens in merger deal – page 16 ● New occupant for mill site – page 17 ● Estate agents join forces – page 19

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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

FINANCIAL REPORT

‘Cut in borrowing costs may not benefit all firms’

COMPANIES should check the small print before assuming they will benefit from recent cuts in the cost of borrowing, an accountant has warned. Steven Gash, managing partner of Clough and Co in Cleckheaton, said: “Some business loans will include clauses with a minimum interest rate. This will be buried in the small print in the loan documentation and not every company with a loan may be aware that it exists. “Many small and medium-sized enterprises will assume that they will now benefit from the reduction in interest rates. “However, with a clause in place, the cuts will not be passed on and instead the banks stand to make a tidy margin instead.

■ WARNING: Steven Gash, managing partner of Clough & Company in Cleckheaton, said it was vital that banks pass on the benefits of reduced interest rates to help struggling companies compete

Therefore I’d encourage business owners to check their loan documentation, especially if it’s an old loan.” Despite the warning, there are numerous financial products on the market for businesses to take

advantage of during these times of low interest rates. Hedging products “insure” interest rates and are designed to limit potential losses. For example, an interest rate cap limits the maximum interest rate that

would be paid for a specific loan. Said Mr Gash: “Hedging products do incur a premium. However, they provide a safety net – and with the lowest interest rates since 1951, it is a good time to secure these low rates on existing and new loans.” Following last November’s interest rate cut, the Forum of Private Business said the cut could save small firms £750m in interest payments on loans and overdrafts – if banks passed on the benefits in full. Said Mr Gash: “The government needs to ensure that the measures announced in the pre-Budget report are filtered through to businesses quickly and banks pass on the benefits of reduced interest rates.”

Effective teamwork A TOP team from the Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks has won an international award. The banks’ commercial development and payments team won the category for Most Effective Cultural Transformation – Change Management at the Institute of Financial Services’ Finance Innovation Awards in London. The team overcame competition from banks and building societies across Europe, America and Australia to win the accolade, which was presented by comedian Hugh Dennis. The award recognised the hard work that employees and management have put into developing the team’s culture and morale, which has significantly improved team performance. As a result, the team generated a 21% increase in income, a four-fold increase in the number of employees enjoying flexible working conditions, a 34% improvement in customer satisfaction and a 21% rise in productivity. Peter Myers, head of commercial devel-

opment and payments, said: “It is a great accomplishment to have been recognised, especially against such strong global competition.”

■ WINNERS ALL: Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks' commercial development team receive their national award from comedian Hugh Dennis (left)

Alternative investments

ALTERNATIVE investments are becoming increasingly attractive due to the credit squeeze, a financial expert has claimed. John Chambers, an independent financial adviser and head of Chartford Financial Management in Cleckheaton, said investors were looking for unusual targets as the net return on cash deposit accounts continued to be eroded. Examples of unusual investments included production and distribution of TV programmes and a trading company leasing ambulances, CT scanners and bin

wagons to the NHS. Said Mr Chambers: “It seems that the Government will not stand by and see a British bank fail. As a result, you should be more concerned about the return on your money rather than about your money being returned. “Some investment gurus are now beginning to see signs of the equity markets reaching the bottom of the current cycle. “With the unpredictability of the markets, they see excellent buying opportunities in historically low share prices.

“However, you do not necessarily need to restrict investments to traditional areas of equities, property, fixed interest and cash.” Mr Chambers warned that many alternative investments carried a high risk tariff. But he added: “There are investments which have been structured to be low risk in nature while offering excellent tax advantages and a yield comparable to the gross return of those higher paying deposit accounts that were available earlier this year.”

Whether you are looking at buying a new business or selling your existing one, there are plenty of things to think about including:

• Valuation range and structuring options • Financing arrangements • Tax-planning ideas For truly independent advice and guidance, backed by years of experience, please contact Am Hayer or David Butterworth Tel: 01484 423691 email: am.hayer@wheawills.co.uk www.wheawills.co.uk www.wheawill.co.uk

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23

TOWN TALK Sean Jarvis

Pitching in for the club

S we all know the credit crunch and A recession have made it – and continue to make it – an extremely difficult

climate for businesses. Huddersfield Town is not recession-proof either. However, during the 08/09 season so far the commercial team has continued in an effort to maximise revenues for the club. Credit has to be given to all our department heads, who have worked hard in the club’s centenary year. I would like to place on record my thanks for their continued efforts. However, there is still a long way to go and we as a team look forward to working with our new manager Lee Clark and his team on how we can continue to progress the club. The commercial team will continue to try and push the boundaries and challenge traditional thinking to make the club one of the most innovative and forward thinking football organisations. Our commercial department arguably faces the toughest challenge of all our departments over the coming months due to the economic climate. However, when comparing league game sales to the previous season, we are 4% up over the same period. Advertising sales are up by 41%, which would indicate that more businesses are seeing the benefits of using the club as a platform to a captive audience. The rebranding of the Executive Club to the 1908 Club has also had the desired effect and we are seeing sales 51% up on last year. New revenue streams introduced include a Legends Dinner and Corporate Football Tournament. The outlook for this department remains tough and our desire is to continue to attract new businesses to the fold. To that effect, if your business is interested in getting involved or would simply like to learn more about the benefits of becoming a partner with the Club – and you can do for as little as £10 per week – then please give us a call on 01484 484141. Our promotions department have gone from strength to strength over the past six months and I am pleased to report that the Blue and White Foundation – an exclusive members club – have smashed their all-time record by achieving 2,500 members, making our lottery department one of the most successful in football. Profits from the club’s matchday programme have increased by a massive 185% this season and hits on the club’s official website, www.htafc.com, have increased to over one million per month. The club’s media department is introducing new initiatives to attract new customers to Yorkshire Building Society’s Terriers Account from which our youth academy benefits financially. The past six months have been unchartered territory for the ticket office and to be honest I think they have managed it exceptionally well. To achieve nearly 17,000 season ticket holders is a fantastic effort. Commercially, we have progressed from previous seasons and maximised the centenary so far. I believe this is our chance to build and consequently encourage the local business community that now is the time to get involved with Huddersfield Town. Here’s to a bright 2009! Sean Jarvis is director of business development at Huddersfield Town

■ GLASS SHOW: Ken Woodcock, managing director of Novaglaze Gardner and Newton, receives the best exhibit award on the firm's eyecatching curved glass bridge from Big 5 exhibition director Simona Novelli at the event in Dubai

Glass firm is building bridges on Dubai trip A COMPANY making curved glass made a smashing impression on visitors to a major trade show in the Middle East. Lockwood-based Novaglaze Gardner & Newton was presented with an award for the best exhibit at the region’s biggest construction industry show, The Big 5, held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Managing director Ken Woodcock received the award from exhibition director Simona Novelli Novaglaze – a first time exhibitor – wowed visitors with a stand featuring a curved glass bridge, a curved glass office, a shower cubicle and a curved glass boat. One visitor was so

impressed that he bought the lot for a six-figure sum on the first day! More than 3,200 exhibitors from all over the world showed off their products and services to some 50,000 visitors during the five days of the prestigious show. Company spokesman Gary Smith said: “We were introduced to the Big 5 last year when representatives visited our stand at an exhibition in Birmingham 12 months ago. “We went out with backing from the government’s UK Trade and Investment organisation and we have come back with an award and plenty of leads. “Dubai provides plenty of opportunity for

us. The place is one big building site at the moment – with developers trying to outdo each other to build the biggest buildings. “We will certainly be attending again to strengthen the links we have forged this year.” Novaglaze, which dates back almost 200 years, specialises supplying curved glass for a variety of applications and locations, including royal palaces and stately homes as well as airports, hotels and shopping centres. The company has a 46,000sq ft factory in Lockwood and a 16,000sq ft site in east London as well as a distribution depot in Edinburgh.

More companies seek to ‘farm out’ IT function MORE Kirklees businesses are making staff redundant and turning to outsourcing in an attempt to cut costs and survive the economic downturn. Malcolm Pow, Holmfirth-based director for computer support company Ulysses IT, said he had noticed a significant jump in enquiries from local businesses over the past three months. The news coincides with significant IT job losses around the world. Reports say 13,000 IT jobs were cut on one day alone last week. “We are starting to see this global trend

of outsourcing IT properly arrive in Kirklees,” said Mr Pow. “Local businesses are discovering that they don’t really need a full-time IT person when there are plenty of competant support companies out there. “It’s a tough call to make a member of staff redundant but necessary for many businesses to enter 2009 in good shape.” Ulysses IT specialises as an outsourced IT department for its clients. Its staff deal with local businesses across Yorkshire, as well as much of the rest of the UK.

Mr Pow said outsourcing helped businesses save more than just a salary. He said: “Typically, clients find they spend less on IT overall yet have better control of it. “This is because a full-time IT person will create work to keep themselves busy. “Bosses with no technological knowledge will not realise that things are being done that are not really necessary. “A good outsourced IT department will not do these things to try and save clients as much money as possible.”


22

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

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Service with a smile! LONG-SERVING staff at a hotel in Huddersfield celebrated with champagne. Beryl Ramsden, assistant restaurant manager at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, toasted 25 years at the hotel – where she also celebrated her marriage. She was joined by six other members of staff who have helped her clock up a total of 125 years with the hotel. Identical twins Helen and Ann Lodge, who are both kitchen porters, have 19 years service, as has conference and banqueting porter Steven Taylor. Breakfast chef Melissa Moses has 18 years service – having dished up more than 500,000 rashers or bacon and 400,000 fried eggs. Lyndsey Hunter has 12 years service as sous chef while Claire Bevins has been restaurant supervisor for the past 13 years. Beryl, who lives in Newsome, said: “I love my job with a passion as I enjoy working with the general public. The hotel staff are like my extended family. “The past 25 years have flown by. All three of my children have worked here at some point – I even had my wedding reception here in 1976. Little did I know I would end up working here for all these years.” General manager Maria Florou said: “Having such a loyal team to work with is a real privilege and makes a difference to our many regular guests and customers.” The hotel was bought by Cedar Court Hotels – Yorkshire’s largest independent hotel group – from the Hilton Group in 2001. The group has four 4-star hotels in Huddersfield, Bradford, Wake-

On the fast track TRANSLATION company Applied Language Solutions have been listed as one of Britain’s fastest growing private companies. The firm, headed by managing director Gavin Wheeldon, takes 23rd place in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 annual league table, after more than doubling annual sales in the past year. The company reported turnover totalling £5.5m last year against £600,000 in 2004-2005. In the past five years, Mr Wheeldon, of Meltham, has turned the business into an international operation with nine offices worldwide in the UK, USA, India, France, Spain and Bulgaria. Fast Track 100 ranks the top 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over three eyars.

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HTFC 6 A-Side FooTbAll TournAmenT

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN FC A CENTURY OF PRIDE

Wednesday 1st April 2009

You are cordially invited to take part in our inaugural 6 A-Side corporate football tournament taking place at The Zone. 10 Teams 12 Games including final 15 minutes each match Timings: 5.30 until 9.30 pm

Price pe team o r f6 plus t substit wo ute £400 s is +VAT

THe TournAmenT will inClude: field and Harrogate and plans to open a 5-star hotel in York next year. Pictured enjoying their champagne moment at the hotel are

First team Huddersfield Town player as your manager Team PhoTo with your manager Post match Pie & Pea SuPPer PoST maTch PreSenTaTionS with a trophy for the winner and runner up, plus a special wooden spoon for the team who finishes last. we will also have a croSS Bar challenge, which will take place before the final game.

Beryl Ramsden (centre) with (back, from left) Melita Moses, Claire Bevins, Lyndsay Hunter, Ann amd Helen Lodge and Steve Taylor. Supported by

Unwary firms face penalties, expert warns KIRKLEES companies have been warned that late-filing penalties imposed by Companies House are set to rocket from early next year. David Butterworth, of Huddersfield-based accountancy firm Wheawill & Sudworth, said there was already a long-standing penalty regime for limited companies that do not file their accounts on time. But he said: “The level of penalties is increasing significantly from February 1, 2009, and some companies are going to get a major shock. For accounting periods beginning on or after April 6, 2008, two major changes are coming into effect. Firstly, the deadline for filing accounts is shortening to nine months after the period end for private companies from its cur rent 10 months, and to six months for public companies from its current seven

months. The late-filing penalty rates will rise to £150 for a private company and £750 for a public company filing up to one month late – rising to £1,500 fotr a private company and £7,500 for a public company filing more than six months late. Said Mr Butterworth: “These are significant increases compared to the present regime and – where a company is late two years running – the penalties are doubled. “Although Companies House can show leniency in certain circumstances, the deadlines and penalties are well-publicised and lame excuses will not be tolerated by them. “Some companies can take advantage of a web-filing facility on the Companies House website and this can help speed things up.”

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February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

TECH TALK

Safety is key for supplier

Roger Pearson

Predictions for the year

OR many businesses, the past year F has been a challenging one and it is not easy to say what 2009 will bring.

However, there may be some useful guidance in the annual round of last year reviews and next year predictions. So, as the final champagne cork of the New Year celebrations goes “pop” and we all head back to the office, here is a roundup of the IT predictions for 2009. At this time last year, the outlook was fairly good and this has carried through with less than 20% of SME companies responding to The Registers 2008 survey reporting that the credit crunch has had a significant effect on IT projects. This is stunningly close to the surveyed percentage last year, so “gold stars” there. A larger percentage (28%) expect there to be an impact during 2009, although over half (58%) are still not expecting a significant problem. The important point here is being informed and proactive. Knowing how your top line is supported by your technology is absolutely critical. This enables you to seek out optimisation and efficiency within the IT function, which may be possible without impacting upon service delivery to your clients. IT departments can help with this by being proactive about maintaining a lean and efficient IT system. Looking at specific technologies, many of the predictions for 2009 are continuations from the past year. Convergence was predicted to be important in 2008 and it has been so, although for our businesses perhaps not to the extent expected. In many cases, this refers to convergence of IT and telephone systems and this has perhaps been held back by the slow roll-out of BTs new “21st Century Network” or 21CN which is expected to be an enabler for many converged systems. For our businesses, convergence must be related to specific business requirements and this is hinted at in some of the predictions for convergence in 2009. Before deciding on a system, find out how it will improve your business. For example, look for how a system will promote your company and its products and services to new clients and/or how the system will provide a better service to your existing clients. Online applications are again tipped for 2009 with the likes of Microsoft and Google continuing to invest in development. However, how this will become mainstream, business-supporting technology is yet to be seen. Pricing is not always clear and for firms looking to integrate more closely with clients and business partners, moving to a proprietary on-line system may not be the answer. On the face, there are benefits to consider but look carefully at how this will affect your business process. Ending on a happy New Year message, commodity technology costs such as straight forward PCs, broadband connections and hard disks also continue on a downward trend. There have been some price fluctuations relating to the dollar rate changes but the overall trend on these items is expected to be in the right direction. Roger Pearson is a project manager at P2 Technologies Ltd, Lockwood

■ FIT FOR BUSINESS: Tracey Spencer Tootill, head of public relations and marketing at Kirklees Active Leisure, with Neil Wilson, partner and employment specialist at law firm Chadwick Lawrence

Sporting links for Kirklees law firm

A LAW firm in Huddersfield has reported a healthy new contract – acting for sports centre operator Kirklees Active Leisure. Chadwick Lawrence, which has offices at Railway Street in Huddersfield, will provide KAL with employment support services through the company’s Employer Support Pack. KAL is a charitable trust responsible for managing, operating and developing 10 sports centres and swimming pools in Kirklees. The trust also manages the Stadium Health and Fitness Club at the Galpharm Stadium and Spenborough athletics track.

The organisation aims to get “more people, more active, more often, in Kirklees” and provides a wide range of opportunities for affordable sport, leisure and recreational activities for local people. C h a dw i c k L aw re n c e wa s chosen because it is a specialist in employment law, ifor its wider commercial services and because it has several offices across Kirklees. Tracey Spencer Tootill, head of hunman resources and marketing at K A L , s a i d : “ C h a dw i c k Lawrence has extensive experience in employment law, meaning they are always up to date with the latest legislation.

“Kirklees Active Leisure already has a strong in-house HR team, which now has the benefit of specialist legal support via the Employment Support Pack making HR issues much easier to manage.” Neil Wilson, partner and employment specialist at Chadwick Lawrence, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Kirklees Active Leisure. “We enjoy building relationships with clients and supporting them in any way we can, so we see this as a long term partnership and look forward to developing it in the future.”

INSURANCE and risk management company Wilby has helped a national kitchen supplier pass the health and safety test. Halifax-based Wilby Risk Management worked with Alno UK Ltd, part of German-based Alno AG, to pass its annual CHAS assessment. Contractors approved by the Contractors Health & Safety Scheme must not only meet legal health and safety requirements but must also demonstrate excellent management procedures. Mark Dalton, associate director for Wilby Risk Management, works closely with Alno UK Ltd to undertake a programme of construction site inspections across the UK and to implement the company’s health and safety policy. Caren Gamble, operations manager for Alno UK Ltd, said “The CHAS application takes some time to complete, but we consider being a CHAS approved contractor gives a clear message to our clients of the importance we place on health and safety.”

Russian trade routes KIRKLEES firms have been urged to look to Russia in a bid to combat the recession. A trade trip to Moscow and the Rostov region is being spearheaded by Huddersfield University’s Russian-British Business Centre. And centre chief Dr Evgeny Polyakov said the mission provided an opportunity for local companies to target potential new markets at a time when the UK economy is in the doldrums. He said: “The ‘Made in Britain’ brand is still highly regarded in Russia. There is also a lot of investment going into sectors such as construction and transport, particularly in Rostov-on-Don, which is the centre of the South Russia Federal District.” The Russian-British Business Centre plans to take up to 15 companies from across Yorkshire on the six-day mission, which will run from April 19 to 24. It will include two days of business networking and one-to-one meetings with potential customers in Moscow as well as workshops, meetings, networking events and company visits in Rostov. Firms can claim up to 50% off the basic

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February, 2009

cost of £3,120 through UK Trade and Investment’s Targeted Export Support Scheme. The trip is also supported by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward; Chamber International comprising York, Bradford and Leeds chambers of commerce; and the World Trade Centre Hull and Humber. Dr Polyakov said major industries of Rostov included mechanical engineering, food processing, agriculture and coal mining. Products made in the region include cars, helicopters and airplanes, industrial boilers and sewing machines. The region consists of 123 towns and cities and has a population of almost 30m people – making up almost 16% of the total population of the Russian Federation. However, trade with the UK makes up only a small fraction of the total. The Rostov region numbers Ukraine, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Egypt among its principal trading partners. Dr Polyakov said a conference organised by the Russian-British Business Centre at the Galpharm Stadium last summer showed there was keen interest among Yorkshire firms – which the April trade trip

■ DRUMMING UP TRADE: Dr Evgeny Polyakov, head of the Russian British Business Centre at Huddersfield University

aimed to satisfy. “Rostov region has ambitious investment plans between now and 2020,” he said. “They include developing river, road, air and rail transport links, modernising much of the existing industry and training workers areas such as marketing and customer care.” The trip also includes an optional visit to Sochi, chosen as the host for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The deadline to register interest in the trade mission is Friday, February 6. Contact Dr Polyavok on 01484 473107 or email rbbc@hud.ac.uk

PROPERTY FOCUS

Housebuilder more positive A HOUSEBUILDER with sites in Kirklees has hit back at gloomy forecasts for 2009. Miller Homes, which has properties in Huddersfield and Liversedge, said it was now seeing signs of confidence slowly but surely returning to the housing market – aided by a pledge from HSBC to increase the amount available for mortgages by 20% next year. The housebuilder said November’s 1.5% cut in lending rates sparked a rise in enquiries at its developments across Yorkshire – a pattern also reported by househunting websites rightmove.co.uk and smartnewhomes.co.uk. Miller Homes said the trend has strengthened following another rate cut to bring the cost of borrowing to 2% – a level not seen since 1951. Sales and marketing director Sue Warwick said the latest cut was just one item on a long list of initiatives that together were having a positive effect on market confidence. She said: “The number of chartered surveyors who believe the market has bottomed out has increased fivefold, from 4% to 20%, according to a recent survey of members of Chartered Instituted of Surveyors. “The number of transactions recorded by the Land Registry seems to be increasing again – and

there are early indications that large lenders are considering a move to accept builders’ deposits for the first time in months. “Obviously, we need banks to pass the interest rate savings onto customers for the full benefit to be seen – but the cut in rates is a reflection of the economy in general. “Oil prices are coming down and taking food and heating bills down with them. We’ve also seen cuts in VAT and Government reassurances that hardworking homeowners will be protected if they face redundancy – and this is the news that many people have been waiting for.” Miller Homes said that the closing weeks of 2008 have seen a definite increase in sales rates, much of which the business attributes to its MiWay scheme where buyers pay 75% now and 25% later. The company said the initiative – which will be rolled out in 2009 – had already helped the company to sell several hundreds of homes. Ms Warwick said a shortage of housing was underpinning the market, so in the long term demand would grow again. :She added: “We certainly believe the worst has now past and there are calmer waters on the horizon for beleaguered homeowners everywhere.”

A WORKER at the Dewsbury branch of Leeds Building Society has been hailed a hero. Anita Firth, assistant manager of the branch, won the society’s annual Community Hero Award, which recognises the member of staff who has made a real difference to a charity or their local community. Anita is pictured receiving her

Property Double success for prizes in prospects

estate agency staff

STAFF at the Huddersfield and Halifax branches of estate agent Your Move Alexanders have triumphed twice in the Estate Agency Awards 2008. Alongside the two gold awards, they were also shortlisted for best small agency in the north and the technological award. The national awards recognise the significant contribution that companies have made in providing exceptional customer service. Your Move Alexanders beat off tough competition to take gold for best financial services and best marketing categories in recognition of the support it offers vendors in selling their property. The awards build on the company’s past successes, including the Daily Mail UK Property Awards 2007, where Your Move won 19 Awards – the most ever won by an estate agent – the Franchise Marketing Awards and this year’s Estate Agency and Lettings Awards. Simon Rowell and Simon

Bentley, directors of Your Move Alexanders in Huddersfield and Halifax, said: “The team are delighted by this great success and feel this will provide added reassurance to customers that they are dealing with a reputable and highly professional agent. “In particular, the award best financial services acknowledges our strength in providing customers with a comprehensive mortgage and remortgage service. “However, it’s not just about working hard to find a mortgage to suit their personal circumstances – particularly in these difficult times – but also the additional support we can offer like advice on filling out application forms and help in processing them and at the same time, ensuring that we follow the regulatory requirement and standards set by the industry.” The awards were presented to Your Move by television presenter Melissa Porter, at a prestigious awards ceremony held in London this month.

quadron’s civilian committee for more than seven years and manages the squadron’s accounts. She has also led fundraising events to enable the squadron to buy a new minibus. Said Anita: “To win the annual community hero award was an inspiration. To be presented with the award by the Duke of York was a once in a lifetime experience.”

award from the Duke of York when he visited Leeds to re-open the society’s refurbished head office. Anita was nominated for the award by Michael Barber, chairman of the civilian committee at 127 Squadron Air Training Corps in Wakefield, for her major efforts to support the organisation over a number of years. Anita has been treasurer of

PROPERTY projects in Kirklees could be in line for a top award in 2009. Entrants are being sought for next year’s Pro Yorkshire Awards run by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The award will celebrate the best property schemes over the past 12 months – and showcase the achievements of property professionals working across the region. RICS operations director Jennifer Welch said: “The 2009 Pro Yorkshire Awards provide a welcome opportunity to celebrate the great work that is continuing in our region despite the turbulent market conditions. “The Awards always attract entries from talented property developers, civil engineers, planners, architects, constructors and surveyors who want to promote their high profile projects and clients – and I’m sure this year will be no different.” The awards will be presented on May 15, 2009 at a gala dinner at the Savils Hall, Royal Armouries in Leeds. Winners last year included a residential development at Victoria Mills in Bradford and an arts building in Hull. The deadline for entries is January 23. There are eight categories, including ones for commercial and residential development, design and innovation, regeneration, community benefit and building conservation. A Project of the Year Award will be selected from the category winners.

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February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

PROPERTY FOCUS

Trevor Fuller

Dangerous cutbacks HE current financial climate is T causing headaches for many companies and it looks as though the UK

Factory finds tenant A NEW tenant has been found for this modern factory in Clayton West. The 18,000sq ft premises at Riverside House (above) in Collier’s Way, have been let to UK Panel Products Ltd, which makes wall panelling for the shopfitting, furniture manufacturing and joinery trades. Joint agents for the deal were Michael Steel & Co in Leeds and Wakefield-based Vickers Carnley. Alec Michael, partner at Michael Steel & Co, said: “Riverside House offered high quality factory space in a convenient location for Huddersfield

and Wakefield, but in particular the motorway network. “While we have had an extended marketing period, our clients have been extremely keen to ensure they secured the right tenant for this building and have little doubt that UK Panel Products Ltd will have tremendous success.” Commenting on the commercial property market, Mr Michael said: “While undoubtedly times are difficult, enquiries are still being received and transactions completed – although vendors and landlords must remain realistic and flexible.”

Sales raise £4.5m ■ HIGH POINT: Solarcentury trainer Brian Evans (left) with Ploughcroft managing director Chris Hopkins at Brighouse-based Ploughcroft’s training and development centre

into electricity – unlike solar thermal panels, which heat water. The tiles fix directly to the roof battens, sitting flush with traditional roof slates. This reduces the likelihood of planning issues associated with traditional “bolt-on” solar panels and means trained and approved roofing contractors can finish the

Forum is building up more support A NETWORKING group for construction sector professionals has reported a 50% rise in membership. The Yorkshire branch of the Forum for the Built Environment holds monthly breakfast events for members including major developers, contractors, consultants and specialist contractors. Regional director Keith Griffiths said: “The rise in members is very encouraging and is a tribute to the growth and importance of the FBE.”

work without the involvement of other trades. As part of the government’s low carbon building programme, householders can apply for grants of up to £2,500 towards the installation of the slates. Grants of 50% are also available for community groups, public and not for profit organisations.

H I G H E R p r i c e d p ro p e r t i e s struggled to attract buyers at the final northern property auction of the year run by property agency Eddisons. Out of 77 lots on offer, 49 were sold during the two-day auction, achieving total sales exceeding £4.5m. Several lots priced at more than £500,000 struggled to find bidders, although Eddisons said a number of acceptable offers were received post-auction on all the bigger ticket items. Auctioneer Tony Webber said: “It was apparent that the uncertainty with funding arrangements dented bidder confidence and the bad weather put a number of people off altogether. “However, it is encouraging that

once finances were in place buyers were prepared to come back with good offers on all the higher priced lots. “In general, bidders are clearly only spending money they have at their immediate disposal rather than relying on external funding. “This is a trend which has been consistent with a number of our auctions this year.’” Highlights of the auction prime residential development land in Mirfield, which was offered with planning permission for five detached dwellings, which sold for £375,000. Eddisons said its next property auction, taking place on on February 19 in Leeds, was already shaping up to be a big sale.

Estate agencies land two accolades STAFF at the Huddersfield and Halifax branches of estate agent Your Move Alexanders have triumphed twice in the Estate Agency Awards 2008. Alongside the two gold awards, they were also shortlisted for best small agency in the north and the technological award. The national awards recognise the contribution that companies have made in providing exceptional customer service. Your Move Alexanders beat off tough competition to take gold for best financial services and best marketing categories in

Celebrate students’ success

RISKY BUSINESS

Brighouse firm is at the top of its profession A BRIGHOUSE roofing and building company has become the first in the country to train its working to install a revolutionary renewable energy product. Six roofers at Ploughcroft Building Services have so far completed training from UK solar energy company Solarcentury to fit its new solar electric roof slates. Ploughcroft managing director Chris Hopkins said: “The new solar slates are very relevant for us because there are so many slate roofs in the area where we work. “In fact, we have already had a number of requests for the product f ro m l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s a n d schools.” Last year, Ploughcroft became the first company in the country to offer certificated National Federation of Roofing Contractors training in the fitting of solar panels on roof tops. Solarcentury provided its first private course for Ploughcroft personnel at Ploughcroft’s purpose-built training and development centre in Brighouse. Following the successful inspection of two installations, Ploughcroft will become an approved roofing contractor of Solarcentury’s C21e systems. Solarcentury product manager Martin White said: “It’s great that roofers are proactively getting involved in solar. “Roofers are best placed to provide C21e insallations and Chris’s forward thinking approach combined with the Ploughcroft team’s strong knowledge of both our product and of solar power in general, made them really receptive and very easy to train. “Solar roof tiles and slates are becoming key to diversifying the roofing trade, as demand is rising for intelligent energy and they’re very simple to install.” The C21e slate converts light

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February, 2009

recognition of the support it offers vendors in selling their property. The awards build on the company’s past successes, including the Daily Mail UK Property Awards 2007, where Your Move won 19 Awards – the most ever won by an estate agent – the Franchise Marketing Awards and this year’s Estate Agency and Lettings Awards. Simon Rowell and Simon Bentley, directors of Your Move Alexanders in Huddersfield and Halifax, said: “The team are delighted by this great success and feel this will provide added reassurance to

customers that they are dealing with a reputable and highly professional agent. “In particular, the award best financial services acknowledges our strength in providing customers with a comprehensive mortgage and remortgage service. “However, it’s not just about working hard to find a mortgage to suit their personal circumstances but also the additional support we can offer like advice on filling out application forms, help in processing them and ensuring that we follow the regulatory requirement and standards set by the industry.”

economy could be in for a rough ride for the foreseeable future. The credit crunch appears to be tightening its grip with business confidence faltering. In order to tackle this uncertain situation, budgets are likely to be squeezed, and it is tempting to see health and safety as an easy target for cutbacks. However, this is a false economy. If an employee were injured or even killed while at work, this could result in prosecution and a large fine or even imprisonment. Indeed, as Nattasha Freeman, president of (he Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, stated recently, one accident could put a company out of business. Accidents and ill-health place a great strain on company budgets, so it is sensible to avoid them. According to HSE statistics, 228 people were killed at work in 2007/08 and nearly half a million people were injured while at work. Thirty-six million working days were lost, 30m due to work-related ill health and 6m due to workplace injury. Legislation states that employers have a duty to provide information, instruction, training and supervision and make sure all their workers can understand it. The higher penalties that can be imposed following the introduction of the Health and Safety Offences Act in January, 2009, means there is an escalating need for ensuring health and safety rather than the reverse, to ensure compliance and avoid penalty. The implications of the Corporate Manslaughter Act, under which organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care, are not yet always well understood by employers, making health and safety awareness even more vital for business. Remember, a lack of money is not a reason – nor a defence – for not ensuring adequate health and safety in your workplace. Management have a significant role to play here, demonstrating their commitment to health and safety by providing information, equipment and training that are essential in maintaining a good safety culture within an organisation. This, in turn, ensures safety is paramount in the minds of workers, and they feel well cared for by their employer. So, ensure you have an up to date Health and Safety Policy that addresses the needs of your business. Ensure you have Risk Assessments are in place for all significant risks within your workplace and all tasks carried out during the course of your working activities – both on and off site. Ensure both of the above are communicated to your staff and encourage staff to comment and improve these. Ensure staff are adequately trained to carry out all tasks they carry out in the workplace. Trevor Fuller is a risk management adviser at Wilby Ltd, based in Halifax

■ HIGH PRESSURE: The familiar figure of the Michelin man (left) with (from left) Matthew Evans, managing director of Leading Edge; Jim Rickard, managing director of Michelin UK; a Michelin marketing official; and Hans Wedel, of Cages

Kirklees firms can really take the pressure!

TWO KIRKLEES companies are pumped up after winning a contract with a world-famous firm. Cleckheaton-based design and display agency Leading Edge and Dewsbury-based compressed air company Cages have designed, manufactured and fitted a tyre inflation complete with promotional display material for Michelin UK. The team won the account thanks to some clever ideas it presented to the tyre manufacturer for its annual road safety awareness campaign. The campaign includes a Fill Up With Air roadshow, which travels around the UK inviting drivers to have their tyre pressures checked and adjusted for free – resulting in safer driving, fuel savings and a cut in carbon emissions. Leading Edge provided Michelin with

a branded vehicle bearing an image of the famous Michelin Man, branded tents, flags, outdoor display units and literature. Cages kitted out the vehicle with a complete compressed air power system to allow Michelin staff to check and adjust tyre pressure for motorists visiting the display. Matthew Evans, managing director of Leading Edge, said: “When we heard that we had won the contract, we were delighted that we could impress such a famous name like Michelin with our ideas.” Shaun Wood, managing director of Cages, added: “Between the two companies, we have a really talented bunch of people, with a totally unique offer – and Michelin loved what we came up with!”

STUDENTS at Kirklees College have celebrated success at two special ceremonies. Awards were presented to outstanding individuals and groups of learners in separate events staged at Dewsbury Town Hall and Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium. Principal Chris Sadler said: “The awards event celebrated the critical role the college plays in Kirklees and the surrounding area in releasing the potential of ordinary people to achieve great things. “Students should feel very proud of themselves and all college staff should be proud of the role they all play in helping thousands of people every year to improve their prospects of having a happy and fulfilling life and contributing to the positive development of the community.” Kirklees College brings together Dewsbury College and Huddersfield Technical College to provide a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications – from NVQ entry level to higher education degrees – in areas ranging from digital design and early years to computer-aided design and manufacture. Commercial property specialist Walker Singleton has appointed Graham Foster as head of its commercial property management department in Halifax. Mr Walker was previously employed for 18 years at Eddisons Commercial in Leeds as head of property management.

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Search starts to find outstanding directors BOARDROOM bosses in Huddersfield have been urged to take part in a competition to find Yorkshire’s most outstanding company directors. The Institute of Directors in Yorkshire is calling for entries to its 2009 Director of the Year Awards. The awards, now in their fifth year, aim to celebrate the achievements of the region’s most hardworking and innovative business leaders and are open to anyone of director level or equivalent status. Categories include ones for directors in the not-for-profit and voluntary sector, business adviser of the year, non-executive director of the year, entrepreneur of the year and young director of the year.

Entrants will compete for the top award of Yorkshire Director of the Year while judge’s special achievement and lifetime achievement accolades will also be awarded. Last year’s winners included Michael Purtill, co-founder and managing director of Leeds-based Q Hotels, who was named Yorkshire Director of the Year award, and Sir Ken Morrison, who received a liftetime award for his 55-year career with Morrisons Supermarkets. This year’s awards will be presented on Thursday, September 10 in Leeds. Entries can be submitted online untill Tu e s d ay, M ay 2 6 . G o t o www.dotya.co.uk

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6

February, 2009

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Rotajet lands supply deal

Football contest right on target for local firms KIRKLEES firms aiming for net gains in 2008 can sign up for an unusual sporting contest. Huddersfield Town has launched a six-a-side football tournament – and is now inviting companies to submit their team by filling in the form on this page. Sean Jarvis, Town’s director of business development, said the aim was to play the tournament on Wednesday, April 1, using the state-of-the-art indoor pitches at The Zone, St Andrew’s Road, Huddersfield. The competition will involve 10 teams, each managed by a Town player or coach, playing a number of game culminating in a semi-final and a final. The event – which has been promoted by Town players Andy Booth, Daniel Codman, Matt Glennon and Nathan Clarke – will also include a pie and pea supper, team photos and a cross bar challenge before the final. Four businesses have already

signed up for the event – Yorkshire Bank, Fantastic Media, The Pink Link and Oval Insurance. Town director of business development Sean Jarvis said the event would provide firms with a chance to get their staff together away from the workplace with an event promising fun and friendly competition.

■ IN THE ZONE: Sean Jarvis, Town’s director of business development

A HUDDERSFIELD law firm with many years experience of providing personal injury advice has received recognition for its work by a national accreditation scheme. The personal injury department at Eaton Smith Solicitors has been admitted to the scheme which is run by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and assesses solicitors according to their expertise, experience and quality client care. Anne Pendlebury (above), head of the department at the High Street firm, said: “We are particularly proud to receive this accreditation as the ‘kite mark’ is an assurance of quality for people who have been injured through no fault of their own and are entitled to claim compensation. “It is a fitting reward to all the team who work so hard to help their clients and to satisfy APIL’s strict selection criteria.”

A DEWSBURY firm has completed a six-figure order to install and commission industrial cleaning machines for a firm servicing aircraft around the world. Ro t a j e t S y s t e m s l a n d e d t h e £ 1 5 0 , 0 0 0 - p l u s d e a l f ro m Ve c t o r Aerospace, which provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services for aircraft operators all over the world, including the UK's armed forces. The order is for a series of water-based de-greasing machines that are a vital part of the process to clean aircraft components. The machines ensure environmental compliance by overcoming the problem of using trichloroethylene on site and remove all old oil and greases, short term protection fluids and particle contamination. The contract – Rotajet’s first with Vector, follows Vector’s acquisition of the Fleetlands Rotary Wing and Almondbank Components businesses of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency from the Ministry of Defence. Fleetlands provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services for Chinook, Lynx and Sea King helicopters. Rotajet has had previous contracts to supply its water-based cleaning systems to the UK's armed forces as well as with the Indian Air Force.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, these machines can also help to reduce costs by up to £20,000 for medium-sized companies. Rotajet, which is part of the Richard Alan Group, has more than 30 years experience and is now recognised as a UK leader in the design, manufacture and supply of industrial washing machines. Over the years, Rotajet has manufactured more than 500 machines as well as 70 single stage de-greasing machines for the MoD. They include 50 machines for the RAF, 16 for the army and four for the Royal Navy. Rotajet director Colin Steward said: “We are very excited about this order which marks another milestone for the company. “We are proud of our ‘green’ credentials and our reputation to bring the benefits of water-based cleaning solutions to the aerospace market. “We have overcome the problems caused by using volatile organic compounds such as harmful emissions, the handling and disposal of solvents as well as the fire hazards of solvents. “It is a tribute to the skill of our staff and our technical capability that we won this order from Vector and an honour for us to do business with such a prestigious company.”

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN FC

6asideCorporate FootballTournament

hTFc 6 a-Side FooTBall TournamenT

A CENTURY OF PRIDE

Wednesday 1st April 2009

You are cordially invited to take part in our inaugural 6 a-Side corporate football tournament taking place at The Zone. 10 Teams 12 Games including final 15 minutes each match Timings: 5.30 until 9.30 pm

The TournamenT will include: First team huddersfield Town player as your manager Team PhoTo with your manager Post match Pie & Pea SuPPer

PoST maTch PreSenTaTionS with a trophy for the winner and runner up, plus a special wooden spoon for the team who finishes last. we will also have a croSSBar challenge, which will take place before the final game.

To book your team, complete the form below and return to the commercial department, huddersfield Town Fc, The Galpharm Stadium, huddersfield hd1 6PX or contact the commercial department on 01484 484140 or email commercial@htafc.com

Booking Form Contact Details Mr/ Mrs/ Miss/ Ms

Price pe team o r f6 plus tw o substi tutes i s £400 +VaT

Payment Options First Name

Surname

Company name and correspondence address

Cheque Card

(please tick and post this form to the address below with cheque payment) Card Holder’s name

Card No Email address: Tel no.

Mobile no.

Fax no.

Valid from.

Expiry Date.

Issue no.

Security no. (last 3 digits on the back of your card)

Full address of card holder if different to the one above Invoice address (if different from above) Signed

Supported By

Date

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

PROPERTY FOCUS

Estate agents join forces to boost market ESTATE agents in Huddersfield are banding together under the banner of a new property website. P ro p e r t y S a l e s Exchange.com has been launched in the town to allow estate agents to register their properties – and encourage sellers to view each other’s houses in the hope they can sell to one another. The website has been running for just four weeks – but has already found favour with a string of leading agents in the town, including Boultons, Whitegates, Holroyds, Jane Stocks, Your Move, Ryder & Dutton, Brearley-Greens and Wm Sykes in Holmfirth. A number of agents in Halifax, Sheffield, Wakefield, Leeds and Barnsley have also registered to take part as estate agents seek to increase sales in a stagnant property market. James White, of Ryder and Dutton in Huddersfield, who instigated the initiative, said: “We have 74 estate agency branches on it already. “For he first time in the 20 years I have been in this business, there seems to be a desire

among estate agents to collaborate to help each other.” He said: The basic idea is that agents get together, register all of their properties by uploading in the same way as they do to Rightmove and other portal sites. “The agent then quickly logs into the site and specifies where their client is hoping to move to, and to what type of house. “Property Sales Exchange then marries up sellers’ moving-on requirements and puts each agent in touch with one another to encourage sellers to view each others’ corresponding houses in order to sell to one another.” Mr White said 1,000 houses in Huddersfield were now

registered on the site – while it was hoped to extend the initiative nationwide to more than 20,000 estate ageny outlets through franchising. Said Mr White: “House exchange schemes or house swap schemes have been springing up all over the country, but lack a critical mass of properties in order to get real results for sellers and agents alike. Often they are too labour intensive or costly for agents to be bothered with. “Property Sales Exchange is so simple. With just three or four clicks, an agent can register their vendors’ moving-on requirements, and then corresponding agents will be e-mailed when potential matches occur. “As we move into a unique recession – with rising unemployment and low interest rates – existing home owners will need to ‘downsize’, but others will want to ‘upsize’ as a result of low interest rate deals. “A lack of first time buyers will help fuel the enthusiasm for this service.”

Valley firm is pioneer A COLNE valley firm supp l y i n g e n v i r o n m e n ta l l y - f r i e n d l y bu i l d i n g products is pioneering a greener way to build houses in the UK. Awa rd - w i n n i n g G o lcar-based Green Building Store has launched a new range of products to help build houses that use 90% less energy for heating space than standard UK buildings, Chris Herring The Passivhaus products, which have been developed over the of Green Building Store, past 20 years in Europe said: “Passivhaus design and North America, use a offers the most effective – “ t e a c o s y ” e f f e c t o f and cost-effective – way to super-efficient insulation construct ‘low carbon’ and excellent airtightness homes and cut CO2 emiscoupled with a “comfort sions from buildings. “ Passivhaus design is ventilation” system to create comfortable homes based on the principle that that need minimal heat- reducing heating loss to the minimum is the most ing. Passivhaus can often be cost-effective way of creheatied solely through ating a low carbon buildheat from the sun, cooking ing. “Green Building Store and showering activities and the body heat of the believes the UK’s strategy house’s occupants – and on low carbon homes needs to be urgently pets. Chris Herring, director revised to put greater

emphasis on energy efficiency, airtightness and other Passivhaus design principles and away from expensive bolt-on renewables.” Mr Herring said the company hoped to encourage more housebuilders, self-builders and property renovators to adopt Passivhaus design and construction in the UK. He said: “Passivhaus building design has been widely adopted in Europe and has recently had high level support from the European Parliament. “The UK urgently needs to embrace the Passivhaus approach if we are to respond to the threat of climate change ef fectively and cost-effectively.” Green Building Store’s new Passivhaus range includes thermally-efficient windows and doors in timber or timber and fibreglass composite, airtrightness tapes and ventilation systems.

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February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

PROPERTY FOCUS Car repair shop faces new future A NEW trade park has been created in Leeds with the refurbishment of a former car repair workshop. Southside Trade Park, Gelderd Road, has been created by Leeds-based Ogden Waller Properties – whose portfolio include property in Huddersfield and Batley – after the multi-million pound refurbishment of a former Reg Vardy body shop. The property was refurbished to create the 25,000sq ft trade premises after being acquired speculatively by Ogden Waller Properties early in 2007. The steel portal-framed building was originally to be let as four units but has now been leased by Michael Steel & Co and King Sturge & Co to national tool hire business, HSS Hire Ltd to house one of its Supercentres stocking safety, survey, welding, powered access and lifting equipment. HSS Hire, which has more than 20 branches in Yorkshire, has taken the property on a 15-year lease with five-year break options. HSS Hire branch director David Downie said: “We are delighted to have secured such a prominent location and look forward to improving the range of hire services available to our many customers in the city.”

Online service puts the focus on health

A HEALTH and safety services provider based in Huddersfield has launched a new online service. SM&MS, a leading provider of health and safety services to the property sector, has launched a PropertyPlus to provide a new approach to risk management for property managers and safeguard against prosecution. PropertyPlus is an easy-to-use health and safety compliance data management system developed in consultation with some of the largest property companies in the UK. It has been designed to support the management of compliance reports and actions on multi-site property portfolios. Richard Edwards, director of sales and marketing at SM&MS, said: “As health and safety related legislation continues to increase and become more complex in nature, it has become vital that risk assessments and compliance reports are managed efficiently and effectively, especially in multi-site environments. “This is to ensure that members of the public, clients, contractors and staff are safe and that robust safety systems are in place to safeguard against unwelcome prosecutions. “The system is available in two modules – the Health and Safety Report Manager module, which is ideal for companies with multiple sites requiring ready access to reports, auditability and flexible reporting of when surveys are due. Alternatively, the Health and Safety Monitoring module allows companies to update actions from the health and safety and fire safety risk assessments, and is intended for use by companies with building or site managers, who can work through action plans in a real-time environment. PropertyPlus also allows senior management access to aggregated data showing the overall state

Coral Windows meets grade for energy savings A WINDOW company with a showroom in Huddersfield has achieved a top energy-saving rating. Coral Windows and Conservatories, based in Bradford, gained certification for an “A” rated window after being independently audited by BM TRADA Certification Ltd. The company, established for almost 20 years, makes windows, doors and conservatories at its headquarters in Bradford and also has showrooms in Wakefield, Huddersfield, Otley and York. Pictured receiving the award from Sports Minister and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe (second right) are (from left) senior director Julie Hodgson, financial director Terry Shuttleworth and installations director

Maggie Oates. Coral managing director Mr John Valente said: “We always strive to give our customers the very best service and products and the ‘A’ rated window, together with the ‘B’ and ‘C’ ratings we also achieved means we can offer an energy rated window to suit any budget.” Energy efficient windows save money in reduced fuel bills and also make homes more comfortable. The BFRC Window Energy rating System helps you to select energy efficient windows for your home by comparing windows and their energy rating, so you can select which is the most energy efficient brand – ‘A’ being the best rating down to ‘G’ being the lowest.

■ HEALTH CHECK: health and safety provider SM&MS has launched online service PropertyPlus

of its property portfolio and historical trends, which supports strategic decision-making on investment, resource allocation, legal and policy compliance. SM&MS, based at Bradley, was formed in 1994

7 Town chiefs well-suited with their smart centenary suits February, 2009

and has branch offices in London and Bristol. It employs 80 people nationwide offering services including health and safety risk assessments, fire safety risk assessments, disability access audits, asbestos surveys, environmental management and training.

Symbol of success

BUILDING industry trainers in Kirklees have been awarded the Government’s Disability Symbol to show their commitment to helping people with disabilities get into work. The award was presented to Kirklees Construction Skills Academy, which works closely with colleges in Kirklees to provide construction-related qualifications for 14 to 19-year-olds – including the Young Apprenticeship programme from September, 2009. KCSA, which works closely with Jobcentre Plus disability advisers, also provides construction NVQs, City & Guilds courses in heath and safety, computer training and short construction courses. Helen Balfour, director at KCSA, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to use the symbol. We have introduced excellent practices to uphold the employment rights of disabled people in the company. “I am pleased this achievement recognises our commitment as a responsible employer and also demonstrates our dedication in this field.” The Disability Symbol is awarded to businesses and organisations demonstrating commitment to the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people. For details of the initiative, go to www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk or phone 01484 228017.

UNIVERSITY VIEW Glynis Jones

Proper placement TUDENTS often get bad press and S the typical student image often portrayed is of a young person who

drinks too much, spends much of the day in bed and spends all their student loan at the start of term. I will be the first to admit that some students will reflect some of these traits some of the time! However, my experience of business students at the university is that they work hard as well as play hard. Many are looking for opportunities to engage with local businesses in order to gain some experience which will help them get a foot on the career ladder when they graduate. They are creative, enthusiastic and think outside the box. If you are looking for help to carry out a project, someone with fresh ideas or an extra body in the office to assist you over a busy period, then a placement student from The Business School could be a cost-effective answer. We offer our business students the opportunity to undertake paid work experience placement in their third year. When they return to us they more mature, have developed their skills and have made a positive contribution to the business. Many return to the companies where they undertook their placement. Placement is in effect a year long trial period and offers you the opportunity to see if the person is a good fit with your business. Recently, I have been visiting students out on placement and have received some excellent feedback on their performance. A small internet retailer told me, “We weren’t sure what to expect, but he has really added value to our business and increased sales through the work he has done on our website.” Another commented, “Our student placements are an integral part of our business and they are always full of ideas.” I can hear you saying – yes, but that’s fine for a large organisation! But small firms can get benefits too, as I am sure lots of local companies who have used our placement students can confirm. In the current economic downturn, we realise that many organisations are thinking about shedding staff, rather than taking more staff on. If you don’t think that you could afford a student placement on a full-time basis for a year, then why not share them with another company? Many students are happy to spend half the year with one organisation and then move on to another for the second half of the year. With business, management, marketing and accountancy students available for placement, we have a dedicated placement unit to match the right student to the job and we are able to facilitate interviews for you to choose the placement student to fit into your organisation. So why not help us help you? Placing students with local businesses helps us provide graduates who understand the needs of the work place and can quickly become productive employees. If you think you could use a placement student starting in summer 2009, why not contact our placement unit on 01484 472216. Glynis Jones Department of Strategy and Marketing University of Huddersfield

A TEXTILE company has teamed up with Huddersfield town to produce a special edition Centenary Suit to mark the club’s 100 years of football. Bradley-based fine worsted wool and tailoring manufacturer C&J Antich has designed the suit, which is on sale to fans at the Town souvenir shops and at Antich’s factory shop. Antich, which supplies worsted fabric for the likes of Prada, Armani, Hugo Boss and Marks & Spencer, has only produced 100 of the suits, in keeping with the centenary theme. The company is already Huddersfield Town’s official corporate wear supplier. Managing director, Chris Antich said: “While this sponsorship agreement is about profiling our collection, it is also about giving something back to the town of Huddersfield. Town’s academy will also benefit from the collection as a contribution of profits will be passed on to the youth teams.” Last year, C&J Antich designed a sport suit for Huddersfield Town which has been worn by the team for formal occasions ever since. The Centenary Suit is almost identical – a smart, fitted design and navy in colour. However, it also carries a gold sham hole on the jacket lapels to signify the centenary year and inside, the Huddersfield Town badge and centenary mark has been woven into the label. The suit also comes with an official blue

■ CLOTHES SHOW: Chris Antich (centre), of C&J Antich, presents centenary suits to Dean Hoyle (left) and Ken Davy

and white Huddersfield Town suit bag, personalised with the owner’s surname – just as the players’ suit bags are. Sean Jarvis, head of business development at Town, said: “This suit is an ideal solution

for those special occasions – and knowing that it is worn by the Huddersfield Town team is a great addition to buying a club shirt or a silk tie.” Prices start at £129.

Scooped PUBLIC relations companies in Yorkshire have scooped two of the most prestigious awards in the industry. Leeds-based Wolfstar and Saddleworth-based Pelican Public Relations beat off strong competition from firms across the UK to win two ategories at the annual Grand Prix PRide Awards run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. The Grand Prix comprises all the winning entries from the regional PRide Awards. Wolfstar, which won the best small consultancy award, works for clients including Sony Ericsson, Philips and the NHS. Pelican won the Not for Profit category for its “Green is Glam” campaign.

John snaps up awards A HUDDERSFIELD photographer has snapped up two awards for his work. John Woods based at Byram Arcade, Westgate, won gold awards in the pictorial and environmental portrait categories for November in the monthly awards run by the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. The first picture was taken a Carnforth railway station, Lancashire, the setting for the film brief Encounter. The second was taken in a back street in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Now John is hoping to be named one of the society’s photographers of the year. The annual awards are chosen from the 12 monthly print winners in 2008. But John must wait until January and the annual awards ceremony in London before knowing his fate. He said: “It’s the first time I have entered the awards since November, 2001, when I won two categories and was runner up in a third.”

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8

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

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■ PIPE FOR SANTA: Santa meets Peter Long, of contractor Mott Macdonald Bentley on the site of the new Spen Valley pipeline

Santa makes a special delivery FATHER Christmas paid a visit to the Spen Valley – to help deliver a special gift from Yorkshire Water. The company is set to begin work on eight miles of pipeline to help improve the quality of water in the rivers Spen and Calder. The new flow transfer pipe will connect the sewage treatment works at Spenborough and Bierley a new £25m new plant at Mitchell Laithesn near Dewsbury. The pipeline will follow the line of the Spen Valley Greenway – avoiding the need to dig up roads and save the area more than 12 months of major traffic disruption. When it’s finished, neither Bierley nor Spenborough will discharge effluent into the rivers – with all waste treated at the Mitchell Laithes site instead. Yorkshire Water community affairs manager Richard Sears said: “The project does mean we’ll be working on the award-winning Spen Valley Greenway in two sections, the first between Dewsbury

and Heckmondwike from January until the summer with the remainder completed before the spring of 2010. “However, we will be doing everything possible to ensure walkers, cyclists and horses can still follow an end-to-end route by building diversions around the ‘live’ sections, which we'll then leave as permanent additions to the path network. “We’ll also leave crossing points in some areas where we’re working so people who use the Greenway for access won't have to take long detours.” Mr Sears said: “The work is bound to mean some inconvenience and our contractors – Mott MacDonald Bentley and Carillion – will be a familiar sight for the next few months. “But we’d like to assure our customers the Greenway will be fully restored when we’ve finished and hope they’ll agree some short-term disruption is worth enduring in return for an extended path network in the long run.”

In one case, a former ambulance driver succeeded in an unfair dismissal claim against her employer as a result of several failings throughout a badly handled redundancy procedure. The company employed 147 employees and decided to restructure its operation in November, 2006. The employees were given letters explaining the reason for the proposed redundancies and volunteers were sought. The employee missed the resulting consultation meeting as she was on annual leave and was not informed of or invited to the meeting. The trade union was not consulted on the selection criterion that was used until after it had been applied and the process was never explained to any employees. The employee was invited to a further meeting at which she was told she had the second lowest score although she was not allowed to view the redundancy matrix. She attended a further meeting in January, 2007, informing her that she was dismissed due to redundancy. The employee subsequently raised a complaint of unfair dismissal and the matter reached the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that there had been no attempt to consult with the union or employees as to the method of selection, the selection criteria or the process in general. The key criteria that was used for scoring was left to one individual who could not support his purely subjective scores with reference to any other document as appraisals had never been carried out. The tribunal concluded that a fair system had not been operated and thus the dismissal was unfair. The instant case clearly shows the need to operate detailed redundancy procedures and consult with employees at all stages. Trade unions may also need to be consulted depending on the number of employees to be made redundant and whether a trade union is recognised. The tribunal did comment throughout the case that it will not “subject the marking system to microscopic analysis” but it will take an overall view of the fairness of the procedure based on the actions of the company. On a different topic, businesses should be aware that from April, 2009, subject to Parliamentary approval, the standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £117.18 to £123.06 a week and the standard rate of statutory sick pay will rise from £75.40 to £79.15 a week. Separately to this, the annual increase in compensation limits for dismissals taking affect after February 1, 2009, have been announced. The maximum compensatory award will increase from £63,000 to £66,200, a “weeks pay” rises from £330 to £350 and the maximum redundancy payment will therefore increase from £9,900 to £10,500. Neil Wilson is an Employment Lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors

Prominent industrial unit in a main road location off the A62 Leeds Road. Generous secure yard and car parking provision. Close proximity to Huddersfield town centre and junction 25 of the M62 motorway

Joint agent Michael Steel 0113 234 8999

High Street, Royston, Barnsley

TO LET – New instruction 5,569 m² (59,946 sq ft)

Large industrial/warehouse unit 3½ miles east of junction 38 of M1 Substantial yard and car parking provision. Generous eaves height

Unit 1 Ellis Hill, Leeds Road, Huddersfield

TO LET 1,087 m² (11,702 sq ft)

■ MILL WORK: Rachel Sterling, of ESTL, and Paul Bailey, of Jay Tee Group, at Folly Hall Mills, Huddersfield

Prominent frontage to exceptionally busy A62 Leeds Road Modern industrial unit suitable for trade counter uses. Superb access to M62 motorway via junction 25

Training firm is latest recruit to Folly Hall Mills

A TRAINING company is the latest organisations to secure space at historic Folly Hall Mills. ESTL is taking 15,000 sq ft of office space at the restored 19th century mills on the banks of the river Colne at Folly Hall. The iconic Grade II listed building on the edge of Huddersfield town centre is being converted into 60,000sq ft high-quality offices by the Dewsbury-based Jay Tee Group. ESTL, which is presently based at Penistone Road, Kirkburton, has agreed terms to take space in both mills making up the complex as well the extended former boiler house. The company will be taking 6,900sq ft in the small mill – which means it is now fully occupied. ESTL is also taking 3,300sq ft in the boiler house and 3,400sq ft in the main mill. The new premises will provide space for about 100 staff. Rachel Stirling, managing director of ESTL, said the company needed “subtantially” bigger premises, adding: “We are moving to Folly Hall because we have experienced considerable growth in the last 12 months, which is forecast to continue.” She said: “We chose Folly Hall for our relocation for a number of reasons, including its central location, which will enable us to retain existing staff, car parking facilities and the chance of having purpose-built premises with specifically designed spaces. “It is wonderful to be part of an exciting regeneration scheme for Huddersfield and to create new employment opportunities for the local community.” The move will be in three stages. Initially, ESTL will occupy three floors of the small mill, moving in mid-February. In mid-May, the company will occupy the newly instated atrium and existing boiler house. By mid-September, it will occupy half of the ground floor in the main mill. ESTL specialise in training and assessment, operating from offices in West Yorkshire the north-east as well as via a nationwide network of trainers and assessors. Paul Bailey, project director at the Jay Tee Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome

ESTL to Folly Hall Mills, which is a tremendous development for Huddersfield. “It will involve significant regeneration of the riverside area, creating new employment opportunities and raising the profile of Huddersfield as a major office destination in the region. ESTL’s move is a superb endorsement of the development.” He said: “Altogether, there is 40,000sq ft of prime office space left in the main mill over five floors, which can be leased or bought. This space can be divided into office units from 2,000sq ft upwards. “We feel they will prove very attractive to professional services firms of all sizes, as well as to the public sector. We love it so much we are moving here ourselves. The interior of Folly Mill features vaulted ceilings, spiral staircases and exposed beams.” Mr Bailey said: “Phase one of our development has involved the conversion of the first of the two riverside buildings, which is now full. And thanks to this great success, phase two will be launched in February.” The joint agents for the scheme are Eddisons and Michael Steel and Co. Paul Andrew, head of agency at Eddisons, said: “There are a number of prestigious schemes being proposed for central Huddersfield, but Folly Hall will be the first to deliver the high-quality accommodation, so full of character, that is preferred by many modern businesses and organisations.” Alec Michael, Partner at Michael Steel & Co added: “There has been demand for high quality office accommodation in the Huddersfield area for some time and notwithstanding the general economic downturn, the quality of the Folly Hall refurbishment has gone a long way to meeting much of this for both local and regional operations.” Huddersfield-based architects Above & Beyond have already taken two floors in the smaller of the two mills. They are relocating from the Media Centre at Northumberland Street. Folly Hall, built in 1844, operated until 1982, was renowned internationally for the quality of its worsted.

Units D, E and F Ainley Industrial Estate Elland

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The Other Rooms 41- 45 Queensgate, Huddersfield

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17

February, 2009

High specification office accommodation. Ease of access to M62 motorway. Flexible terms available

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16

February, 2009

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Taking stock A LEADING stockbroker will put the focus on the global financial crisis and what it means for local firms when she delivers a free public lecture at Huddersfield University later this month. Morven Whyte (above), of private brokerage firm Redmayne-Bentley, will address an audience of business people and students at 6pm on Wednesday, January 21. David Colley, marketing and recruitment administrator at the university, said: “The lecture will examine the nature of the current crisis and seeks to give a critical understanding of how it developed and where it might lead. “The lecture will be of interest to local business managers and leaders as well as students.” Morven, a past president of the Yorkshire region of the Securities Institute, regularly appears on BBC2’s Working Lunch, Radio 4’s Money Box and Radio 5 Live. To book for the lecture, phone 01484 472129 or e-mail hubs.enquiries @hud.ac.uk

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Ramsdens expands with Halifax merger A GROWING Huddersfield law firm has announced a merger with another firm of solicitors. Ramsdens Solicitors has linked up with Halifax firm Rice Jones in a move which is said to create the largest law firm in the Kirklees and Calderdale area. The newly merged firm will continue to be known as Ramsdens with 13 partners and a combined staff of 140. Under the merger, staff at Rice Jones in Halifax will continue to work from its Harrison Road offices. Ramsdens’ Paul Joyce continues in his role as managing partner, while David Hofton from Rice Jones joins as a partner and Robert Mackenzie becomes a consultant in the newly merged firm. Mr Joyce said: “In light of current market conditions, I am delighted that we have been able to buck the trend and expand our team by joining forces with the well regarded Rice Jones to create the largest firm in Kirklees and Calderdale. “Our merger creates the opportunity to strengthen our team in Halifax while offering clients of the merged firm a broader spectrum of legal services and a greater depth of expertise.” Ramsdens, which was established in the 1870s, has offices in Huddersfield town centre, Edgerton, Slaithwaite and Holmfirth. In recent years, the firm has expanded into Calderdale following mergers with David Garsed & Co in Elland and Jubb Longbothams in Halifax. Ramsdens offers specialist advice to business and private clients in the areas of corporate commercial, litigation, commercial property, employment, conveyancing, family law, personal injury, wills, probate and financial planning.

■ GETTING TOGETHER: Paul Joyce (second let), managing partner of Ramsdens with (from left) consultant Robert Mackenzie, new partner David Hofton and senior partner John Fryer folliowing the merger with Halifax law firm Rice Jones

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■ CERTIFICATES: Richard Alan Engineering Apprentices (from left) Jack Spencer, David Pullen, Hasib Mugal, Thomas Wightman

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A DEWSBURY company has presented certificates to four young apprentices. Richard Alan Engineering runs apprenticeships to recruit candidates every two years in mechanical engineering, fabrication and welding and electrical engineering. Glen Forth, engineering manager, presented the certificates to Jack Spencer, who has completed his first year mechanical engineering apprenticeship; David Pullen, who has completed his second year in mechanical engineering; Hasib Mugal, first year in mechanical engineering; and Thomas Wightman, who has completed his

first year in welding and fabrication. Mr Forth said: “We believe absolutely in the value of proper training and the success of our apprenticeship scheme is a testament to this ethos. “We work closely with Kirklees College to operate the scheme and it is to our benefit and the boys’ long-term employment prospects that this works so well. “Richard Alan Engineering has a second to none track record for its low staff turnover. We have never ‘lost’ any of our apprentices and they go on to play a vital part in the continuing success of the business.”

AN arts agency in Kirklees has launched a new programme of events for entrepreneurs just starting up businesses in the creative sector. Batley-based Loca has joined forces with Business Link Yorkshire to stage the events, which aim to help people get a broader understanding of how to run a business. The events are free to businesses in North Kirklees. Those taking part will include Michael Barratt, who contacted Loca for help developing his Dewsbury-based illustration and graphics business, Emelbi. Mr Barratt said the programme would help him develop a marketing strategy as well as improve his general business skills. Loca projects manager Robin Widdowson said: “I’m delighted to be working in partnership with Business Link, who will be fielding a number of very experienced facilitators and advisers to deliver the workshops for us. “As well as workshops covering business planning, financial control, presentation skills and time management, the programme offers opportunities for people to take part in networking events and one-to-one advice sessions.” Lyn Harrison, partnership manager at Business Link Yorkshire, said: “It is really exciting to be working with Loca and to be able to combine our services to deliver a comprehensive programme of support for the creative sector.” Loca, based at Redbrick Mill, Bradford Road, is part of Kirklees Council's Culture and Leisure Services. For details contact Mr Widdowson on 01924 488844 or go to www.loca.co.uk .

9

Safety measures for Lee A BUILDING contractor is putting safety to the fore. Lee Marsden (right), who heads Huddersfield Contracts Ltd at Southgate in the town centre, has gained accreditation to the Safe Contractor scheme, which recognises building industry businesses for their commitment to health and safety. Lee, who is the son of well-known Huddersfield businessman Joe Marsden, carries out building work, repairs and maintenance and property management for a string of customers, including house builders and shopping centres. Lee, a former soldier who lives at Slaithwaite, draws on a range of sub-contractors which means he can provide work for clients anywhere in the UK. He has joined Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership and has signed up to Kirklees Build, a council-backed group providing support for building sector businesses across the district. Commenting on the Safe Contractor scheme, Lee said: “A lot of big companies will not entertain using a contractor who does not have Safe Contractor accreditation. “It’s especially important in today’s market and when there is continued concern about homeowners falling victim to rogue traders.” The rigorous process to gain accreditation involved Lee submitting information about the company’s health and safety policies, mission statement and insurance documents along with examples of work carried out by Huddersfield Contractors and risk assessments.

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Talkative celebrates a century

MOBILE phones business Talkative has achieved a landmark with one of its key customers. The Liversedge-based company has supplied more than 100 connections to directors and field staff at Huddersfield financial compliance service provider SimplyBiz. These comprise standard handsets, PDAs and laptop cards to enable SimplyBiz staff to have a fully-functioning mobile office. SimplyBiz, launched in 2002, has received several accolades for its service and features in the Sunday Times fast Track 100. Sarah Wood, financial director, said: “SimplyBiz has increased considerably in size in the last six years, but this hasn’t been a problem for Talkative. “They have handled the growth with ease, supplying us with the same high quality service that we have always received. “A large number of our staff work in the field, so need to keep in constant contact with our office. “If there are any problems, we know that we can receive immediate technical support

from Talkative.” SimplyBiz has also upgraded 10 of its phones to enable them to have email on the go. Talkative managing director Richard Winterbottom said: “Increasingly, we are finding that our customers require a mobile office, so we like to educate them on working smart. “It is far more cost-effective to email rather than text if communicating with the office. “We are able to assess our client’s needs and advise them on the right handset for them.” Talkative, set up in 2001, specialises in business-to-business mobile communications and covers areas including bill analysis and account management; mobile devices, car kits and accessories; mobile phones hands-free installations; training; landlines and supplying and installing telepone systems. Other customers include soft drinks supplier Ben Shaws, Meltham-based Lawton Electrical and nursery products firm Babyway.


10

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

ON THE MOVE Kelly is latest recruit

New directors for building society

Back to the college

LEEDS Building Society has appointed Ian Robertson and Bob Stott as non-executive directors. Mr Robertson and Mr Stott join the board – which currently consists of three executive directors and six non-executive directors under the leadership of chairman Robin Smith. Mr Robertson, a qualified accountant, is a member of the Audit Advisory Board to the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body and a non-executive director of the Homes and Communities Agency. He was group chief executive of Wilson Bowden Plc housebuilders and property developers until June last year, when it was sold to Barratts. He was previously financial controller for Northern Foods and Terry’s of York. Mr Stott, who attended Huddersfield College Grammar School and lives in Leeds, has

SOLICITOR Kelly Simpson has joined the e m p l oy m e n t l aw department of Lupton Fawcett in Leeds. Ms Simpson (right), who was born and raised in Hull, joins the f i r m f ro m Ke e b l e Hawson. She gained a degree in biological

MICHAEL Ainsworth has been named marketing and campaigns manager at Calderdale College. Mr Ainsworth, 41, who was brought up in Brighouse, was formerly marketing manager at the Carne-

and medicinal chemistry from Exeter University before studying law at BBP Law School in Leeds.

gie Faculty of Sport and Education at Leeds Metropolitan University. Mr Ainsworth studied BTECs at Calderdale College in Halifax, graduating and from Bradford University.

Bob Stott

Ian Robertson

extensive retailing experience. During his career he has worked for Mars Inc and Geest Plc, in addition to his 25 years in the supermarket sector – latterly at

Morrisons, where he was joint managing director and chief executive. He is also a non-executive director of the Rugby Football League governing body.

Blazing a trail Alan Somers has been appointed to the technical advisory board at Huddersfield-based property compliance specialist BES Consulting. Mr Somers joins the Moldgreen-based company after 25 years in the fire service, where he was a divisional commander and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s performance review officer. He was also seconded to the Home Office as an instructor at the Fire Service College, where he specialised in training for incidents involving hazardous material. In his new role, Mr Somers will ensure that BES services meet the latest fire compliance legislation. He will also be part of the company’s quality team.

US deal for myfotowall ■ AWARDS DAY: Deborah Melluish (third right), of Eaton Smith, presents the award to Alison Cooling (second right) and Gary Cooling (right), of AGC Tools and Fixings, with (from left) Tony Jones and Mark Johnston, of Handelsbanken; Nigel Hill, of The Leadership Factor; and Anne Gerard, of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

Firm enjoys latest fixture A COUPLE who have built up a business supplying fixings, fasteners, sealants and adhesives to the construction trade have won an award. Alison and Gary Cooling set up AGC Tools & Fixings in 2002, running the business from their home and garage in Meltham. Through their drive and determination – and a strong focus on customer service – the business has moved to bigger premises over recent years and is now based at Lockwood Road in Huddersfield. The company was recognised for its success by being named Business of the Month in the competition run by Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith and the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Mr Cooling said: “Our offices are now bigger – as it our product range and workforce. But we have not forgotten our roots

and loyal customers. Nor have we forgotten the qualities on which we established our business in 2002. “We believe in providing a quality and reliable service – one that aims to deliver direct to local sites, by the next day and free of charge. This is why so many companies, big and small, have stayed with us.” Said Mr Cooling: “We are extremely proud to have won such a prestigious award. We think it is great when small businesses receive this type of recognition for developing and growing their business. “This is the second award we have won in 12 months and it feels just as good as the first.” For more details visit the website www.eatonsmith.co.uk or contact – Ian Greenwood at Eaton Smith on 01484 821389.

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February, 2009

A COMPANY providing giant posters via the internet has sealed a trans-Atlantic deal. Award-winning business myfotowall.com has reached agreement to introduce its applications to the world’s largest photo hosti n g w e b s i t e , p h o t obucket.com., based in San Francisco. The move gives myfotowall access to more than 45m potential customers. At the same time, myfotowall has launched a new multi-photo product allowing users to collect a series of images to make up their own poster rather than just a single picture. Customers ordering the multi-photo option get a “peel and stick” self-adhesive colour print which can be used to decorate bedroom or kitchen walls in the home – or brighten up a dull wall in the office. Myfotowall.com, based at New North Road, Edgerton, was launched by managing director Stephen Armitage in 2003 and creates dramatic wall coverings using images from its own extensive library or supplied by the client. The images are ordered

■ POSTER: Stephen Armitage, of myfotowall

online, the print is produced to fit the required space and the picture is delivered by post as wallpaper. The outsize pictures are in demand for car showrooms, reception areas and high street stores as well as among individual customers. The link-up between myfotowall and photobucket will allow customers to choose up to 18 photos from a photobucket album to arrange in a pre-defined grid. Photos can then be cropped, resized or moved, and can be personalised by adding colored borders. The myfotowall collage is then printed on self-adhesive vinyl, enabling easy application on indoor surfaces. The printed myfo-

towall collage is available in 27-inch by 51-inch” portrait or landscape options. Alex Welch, president of photobucket, said: “Photobucket is thrilled to integrate myfotowall onto our site to give users even more creative ways to engage with their photos. “Photobucket is always seeking out new and exciting ways for our users to share and print photos and myfotowall’s innovative wall decor enables our users to enjoy their photos in a very unique way.” Mr Armitage said: “We are delighted to be engaging w i t h P h o t o bu c ke t t o provide a new interactive online design tool. “We look forward to giving Photobucket users an easy, fun-to-use design application to create a unique ‘peel and stick’ wall decoration that captures the spirit of any occasion, for all to see and admire!” P h o t o bu c ke t i s t h e premier standalone photo and video sharing site with m o re t h a n 4 5 m u s e r s around the world linking billions of personal photos, graphics, slide shows and videos daily to hundreds of thousands of websites.

Richard makes smooth move

TAX TALK Colin Barratt

Tackle that tax return HE January 31 tax return filing T deadline for the submission of individual, partnership and trust tax

returns for the year ended April 5, 2008, is fast approaching And for those who have yet to submit their returns urgent attention is required in order to avoid automatic late filing penalties. The penalty for submitting a late return is £100. This is restricted to the lower of £100 or the amount of tax outstanding for 2007/08. For partnerships whose business tax return is not submitted in time, a £100 penalty per partner will be levied which is not restricted. Returns will need to be submitted to the Revenue “online” using their own internet site or commercially approved software. If you intend using the Revenue’s site for the first time, you will need to register with them by January 21 to be able to file meet the filing deadline. The Revenue will no longer accept returns sent in paper form and such returns will, in all but the most exceptional circumstances, attract a late filing penalty. Submitting the tax return in time will stop the automatic late filing penalty, as will making sure any tax due for 2007/08 is paid by January 31. Except for partnership returns where the penalty is payable whether tax is paid by the individual partners or not. Late paid tax will be subject to interest charges with the current interest rate being 4.5%. A 5% surcharge will be added if any tax for 2007/08 remains outstanding at February 28. For businesses struggling to pay their tax due to the effects of the ‘credit crunch’ it may be possible to arrange with the Revenue to pay the tax over an agreed period of time by contacting their ‘Business Payment Support’ telephone centre on 0845 3021435. However, those intent on filing late so as to avoid paying tax should be aware that the Revenue can, with the agreement of the Commissioners, impose a penalty of up to £60 per day for overdue tax returns and it is becoming common for them to take this course of action. If this penalty is charged it will stick even if there is no tax to pay, unlike the automatic late filing penalty, so it is potentially very severe. For some who have a tax liability every year there may also be a requirement to make payments on account of the current year at the same time as the payment for the last year. This is automatically 50% of last year’s tax bill and is payable on January 31 and July 31. If income falls each payment on account can be reduced to 50% of the expected current year’s tax bill. If income goes up and the tax bill will be more, the payments on account do not have to be increased but of course come January 31 next year it will be catch up time, so you may want to put a bit aside to avoid having to raid the piggy bank or get into arrears with the Revenue. Colin Barratt is tax partner at Wheawill and Sudworth, chartered accountants, Huddersfield

■ OUTLOOK: Freeserve founder Ajaz Ahmed says the time is ripe for budding entrepreneurs to get their businesses started – despite the economic gloom

Time to start up in business

THE Huddersfield tycoon who founded internet giant Freeserve has issued a rallying call to the town’s budding entrepreneurs: recession is a great time to start your own business if you’ve got a genuinely good idea. Ajaz Ahmed insisted the increasing number of enterprising individuals with excellent business ideas in the area should not be put off by the economic downturn. “Forget about the current economic climate – it’s a temporary setback,” said Mr Ahmed. “It’s vital that businesses do not let a credit crunch mentality drag down their ideas. Of course, it’s wise to double-check risks but it’s crucial to remain upbeat. “If you are going to start your own business now, then when the economy recovers you will be very

well placed to reap the benefits.” Mr Ahmed said: “Some ideas will obviously not work in a recession, so it’s even more important to have a good idea and have a plan that you can articulate and sell that idea. If you get that right, the finance is still available.” Mr Ahmed said location would be one of the keys to success for new and established businesses during the recession. He is using his position as a board member of the Media Centre complex on Northumberland Street to ensure that local creative individuals and companies have some of the best support in the country right on their doorstep. The Media Centre is already home to 130 high-tech and creative companies and houses Britain’s most environmentally-friendly

business centre building, which was opened by the Queen last year. “I have seen at the Media Centre how establishing a cluster of like-minded businesses and providing high-quality business support is working very well even in these difficult times,” said Mr Ahmed. “We have record numbers of businesses and occupancy rates with firms moving in from Leeds and Bradford to take advantage of lower cost and higher quality office space.” Mr Ahmed was co-founder of Freeserve, which became the UK’s largest internet services provider within three months of its launch in 1998. Less than a year later, it floated with a market value of £1.5bn and was sold for £1.6bn to Wanadoo in 2001.

THE Huddersfield-born c o - fo u n d e r o f f r u i t smoothies firm Innocent has been named as one of Britain’s top businessmen. Richard Reed, who grew up in Kirkheaton and attended Batley Grammar School, is ranked second in the list of Management Today’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs. He shares the position with Innocent co-founders and fellow Cambridge University graduates Adam Barton and Jon Wright. They started out by selling smoothies made from fresh fruit juice at a jazz festival in the summer of 1998. The London-based company has doubled in size in each of the past three years to notch up annual sales of £115m and dominate the market for smoothies with a 72% share. Earlier this year, the company launched in Austria after expanding into Germany, Scandinavia and France. Innocent drinks are sold in 100% recycled plastic bottles, whose labels bear the familiar “halo” logo and distinctive messages, w h i c h h ave h e l p e d make Innocent a familiar consumer brand. The company has won numerous accolades, including ones for Growth Strategy of the Ye a r a n d B u s i n e s s Innovation of the Year at the National Business Awards in 2006. The Top 100 Entrepreneurs list also includes Emma Harrison, founded of Sheffield-based training and employment services firm A4e, who is ranked 48th.

BES lands new pubs deal A CONSULTANCY in Huddersfield has won a second major contract to ensure pubs meet tough energy regulations. Moldgreen-based BES Consulting will carry our surveys of more than 2,000 Marston’s pubs across the country to ensure they comply with rules governing fire safety, asbestos and Energy Performance Certificates. The exact value of the multi-million pound deal has not been disclosed. It comes just days after BES landed a contract with Punch Taverns to provide similar services for all its leased pubs in northern England and Scotland.

BES Consulting will use an online system to store and retrieve relevant documents for the Marston’s contract. The system will also automatically create reminders about re-inspections, which is traditionally a time-consuming process. Marston’s group purchasing manager Christopher Sutton said: “Previously, we had a number of independent suppliers providing compliance services. “This meant we lacked continuity of suppliers across our estate, we had varied service reports, missed the opportunity to benefit from economies of scale and wasted manage-

ment time dealing with multiple suppliers. “BES Consulting’s expertise in property compliance, coupled with its experience of working with major pub chains, will help us better manage our estate – and it will save us money and management time.” BES Consulting, with offices and engineers across the UK, provides risk assessment and statutory compliance services to hundreds of the UK’s top companies. Energy Performance Certificates became a legal requirement for all pubs let or sold from October 1.


14

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

CITY TALK Simon Kaye

Restoring confidence T is clear that the world’s economy has Ieconomies abruptly turned down and many major are experiencing an unusu-

ally sharp period of recession in the wake of the financial shocks of the autumn. What is not yet clear is whether this presages an extended and painful economic decline or whether the concerted policy responses will succeed in generating a turning point some time during 2009. At present, the mood tends towards the gloomier of these possibilities but sentiment is a fallible guide to the future. The autumn shocks in the banking sector and the associated equity market crashes have had direct as well as psychological effects on economic activity, creating a mood akin to post-traumatic shock. Individuals have reacted to an increased fear of unemployment, falls in housing and portfolio wealth and to tighter credit by spending less. Companies have reacted to the fall in demand, the rise in economic uncertainty and the absence of credit finance by cutting back on inventory, employment and investment. These two processes are starting to feed on each other and risk creating a deep and prolonged recession, hence recent worry about a return to the 1930s. The shortage of credit is beginning to be addressed. Banks have raised a total of nearly 1,000bn dollars in new capital, much of it underwritten by governments. This has replaced lending losses and strengthened their balance sheets. However, the high cost of government capital injections has led banks to cut back on lending, in the hope of repaying the expensive capital early. This has been compounded by the uncertain economic outlook, with its associated threat of further bad debts from business and individual borrowers, which has reinforced the banks’ reluctance to lend. So, although cuts in interest rates are filtering through to existing borrowers there is a drought in the new lending markets. On top of the benefit of lower interest rates and capital injections, the Bank of England and other Central Banks are likely to have to offer targeted support for new lending (while ensuring that the banks retain sufficient risk to be prudent) and for trade finance, both of which are essential parts of the world economy’s circulatory system. Although there are genuine structural issues underlying the recent financial crisis, an orderly resolution of these is being prevented by the defensive reactions to the bewildering volatility in financial markets. Faced with an uncertain future, it can make individual sense to save more, cut investment or withhold lending but practised collectively by all the result is economic meltdown. A necessary benign re-balancing of the world economy has turned malignant owing to the general collapse in confidence. When confidence evaporates as comprehensively as it has, the overriding priority is to restore it, hence the recent exceptional measures to boost government spending, cut taxes and pare interest rates close to zero. Once confidence is back, policies can then be focused on enabling the necessary adjustments in global economies to occur in a less disruptive way. To paraphrase St. Augustine “Lord make me thrifty, but not yet”. May 2009 bring brighter times. Simon Kaye is Divisional Director at Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Footprint Bag steps forward

Danielle’s training triumph A TRAINEE at a Huddersfield manufacturing firm has received a certificate after completing her apprenticeship. Danielle Dyson received the award from Ravinder Sokhal, of CMS Training Vocational Training, at the premises of window blinds company Excel Manufacturing Ltd. The presentation was attended by Danielle’s mana ger, Rachael Whitehead. Danielle began her one-year NVQ level 2 apprenticeship in business administration with CMS before applying for a job at Excel Manufacturing, where she is now an administrative assistant. She is also continuing her studies towards the NVQ level 3 advanced apprenticeship. Excel Manufacturing, based at Old Fieldhouse Lane, off Leeds Road, has more than 50 employees and almost 200 trade accounts. Along with its commitment to training, the company has invested in new equipment to automate the roller department and intro- ■ WELL DONE: Danielle Dyson (left) receives her award from duced a bespoke IT system for Ravinder Sokhal (right), of CMS Vocational Training, with office supervisor Rachel Whitehead order input and stock control.

We have been asked to clarify product information given in our front page article on Footprint Bag in the January, 2009, edition of Kirklees Business News. Thee Footprint Bag is designed to hold eight re-usable Footprint bags, not plastic carrier bags as stated in the article. Footprint Bag is a concerted effort by two local mums, Claire Peto-Cook and Hanny Wadsworth, in their bid to do their bit for going green. The bag provides a convenient alternative to using plastic bags available in supermarkets and other retail outlets. Claire said: “We have been really pleased with the response to our Footprint Bag. Sales of our eight-pack have rocketed since we got media coverage with lots and lots of positive feedback from satisfied customers. “We were under no illusions about how difficult it is building a brand from scratch, but already people are recognising the distinctive ‘look’ and name – so things are going well!” Hanny added: “We are just about to launch the four-pack on-line and have been overwhelmed by the demand.”

Kirklees workers lag behind in the is pay league table Agency the top WORKERS in Kirklees are among the worst-paid in Yorkshire, claims a new report. Figures from general union the GMB said the average full-time wage in the district totalled £25,626 – against an average of £27,534 for Yorkshire as a whole and £31,323 for the UK. It means the average worker in Kirklees is earning 82% of the national average wage. Only Barnsley at £24,669 and North East Lincolnshire at £25,181 are below Kirklees in the pay league of 15 Yorkshire and Humber local authority districts. York tops the table at £31,604 followed by Sheffield at £28,841 and Leeds at £28,505. Calderdale is fourth on the list at £28,454 with Wakefield fifth at £27,513. York is the only district in Yorkshire where average earnings exceed the UK average. Yorkshire is ninth in the UK regional pay league – some £5,285 less than the south-east and almost £19,000 below the average wage in London. The survey was compiled in April this year (2008). Tim Roache, GMB regional secretary for Yorkshire, said: “This analysis of pay shows the regions that did go some way to replace the skilled manufacturing jobs that were lost in the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s and those regions and areas still to do so. “Since these figures were taken, the credit crunch, which originated from excesses in the financial sector, has now given rise to a full blown recession and the misery that that entails. We will see if the average pay holds up in 2009.” Mr Roache said: “As well as measures to re-start their economies, governments in the UK and elsewhere need to take steps to deal once and for all with the elements in the financial sector that visited this

11

February, 2009

recession upon us. “We can no longer tolerate a ‘provisional wing’ of capitalism that is allowed to cock a snook at the standards of transparency, disclosure and accountability required of the ‘official wing’ of the financial sector bound by stock exchange rules.” A report by Kirklees Council forecasting the economic make-up of the district in 2010 said that wage levels in Kirklees were below the national average – particularly for women and members of ethnic minorities. It stressed that this was likely to remain the case – given the faster growth in part-time working against full-time employment and the growth of service sector industries. The report compiled by the council’s economic development service, said: “TUC research in early 2002 found that – on average – black and Asian male workers in Great BritainB earn nearly £100 a week less than their white counterparts. “While the gap is less apparent between women workers – women on average earn less than men – Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are worst affected, earning an average £34 a week less than white women. “The factors cited for ethnic imbalances in pay – discrimination, over-representation in low-paid jobs and industries, language problems, concentration in disadvantaged areas are likely to apply in Kirklees in 2010 to a similar extent. “Given the forecast higher than average growth in the Asian population, this suggests a growth in the proportion of people at risk of being income deprived.”

performer A RECRUITMENT consultancy with offices in Huddersfield has been named best performing plc in a national awards scheme. Hays, which includes Hays Accountancy & Finance at Station Street, beat strong competition to win the highly acclaimed category at the Recruitment International Awards 2008. The company showed it continued to performed well despite the current economic climate. The awards were judged by 14 top industry professionals and sector specialists, including analysts and brokers. The ceremony took place at Madame Tussauds in London was attended by more than 200 special guests.

Award-winning agency now joins new franchise network AN award-winning marketing agency has expanded its scope by taking in a new franchise. PM Marketing Group, based at Fenay Bridge, has become the Huddersfield store for international printing business printing.com, which has more than 300 stores worldwide. James Hughes, regional director of printing.com, said: “The ethos of the printing.com brand revolves around high quality, local service by franchisees, competitive prices and quick delivery.” Jamie Hardie, who heads printing.com in Leeds and Bradford, said: “The working methods of PM Marketing Group and the company values strongly mirror our ethos. “The new franchise makes a great addition to their existing range of services.” Steve Green, managing director of PM Marketing Group, said: “We’re very excited to be a part of printing.com.” Printing.com is an international company offering products including business cards, letterheads, leaflets, booklets, postcards, promotional cards and invitations to consumers and small to medium sized businesses. PM Marketing Group is a full-service marketing agency providing services such as design, advertising, corporate

Jill Hague

Controlling cash flow N this month’s article I ask the expert Iwith how to take control of your cash flow strong credit management.

branding, web, public relations and display, exhibition and events. The group was named winner of the category for the most successful launch strategy in the recent inaugural Northern Marketing Awards.

■ FRESH FRANCHISE: Steve Green (right), of PM Marketing, with Jamie Hardie (left), managing director of printing.com Leeds and Bradford; and James Hughes, regional director of printing.com

Prognosis good for medical specialist

A DESIGN and branding agency in Huddersfield has helped one of its clients generate a seven-fold increase in business. Engine Room Design, based at the Media Centre, carried out a re-branding project for client Xiros 12 months ago. Since then, the medical equipment manufacturer has boosted new business enquiries dramatically – and has credited its makeover for helping to achieve that success. Xiros, based in Leeds, was founded in 1985 by medical academic Bahaa Seedhom to develop his ideas for prosthetic ligament procedures to help surgeons repair their patients’ knees and other joints. The business now employs nearly 70 staff, manufacturing its Neoligaments brand of replacement ligaments and is also developing and making other surgical components on behalf of medical firms under the Xiros brand. Following the re-branding exercise, Xiros is now on the radar of an audience that never previously had an awareness of its services. The Engine Room is continuing to work with Xiros to stengthen its image further. Darren Evans, creative director at The Engine Room, said: “We constantly have to be able to prove that design is an investment worth making. “So we have to show proven results. This is an excellent case study for the role design can play in developing business growth.” The re-brand focused on Xiros as an organisation and Neoligaments, an own label branded product that includes one of

BANKER'S BLOG

■ GOOD HEALTH: Darren Evans (left), creative director of The Engine Room, and David Beevers (right), business development director, of Xiros

the world’s leading prosthetic ligament devices. The Engine Room was given the task of distinguishing the two brands by the design of new livery for business communications, new logos, letter heads, compliment slips, commercial documents, brochures, marketing materials and a new website. Dr David Beevers, business development director at Xiros, said: “We invited four design companies to tender for the Xiros

re-brand, which was to be completed in phases. “The Engine Room were not the most expensive or the cheapest but their proposal and presentation gave us the confidence that they would produce the re-brand to the highest quality within the required time frame while providing a design edge that would distinguish our two brands in the marketplace.”

In the current economic climate, keeping cashflow healthy is crucial and monitoring customers and payment dates vital, particularly for small companies. My colleagues at HSBC Invoice Finance, reveal the simple steps that can help you improve your firm's credit management. ● What can I do to make sure our customers pay promptly? Agree payment terms and conditions in advance with all your customers. Be systematic in managing the credit you give them. Ensure that they understand your expectations. Send out invoices promptly. A week before the debt is due, get a member of your accounts team to phone the customer to remind them to pay. If they fail to pay on the due date, get accounts to ring again and send out a written reminder of your terms and conditions. Make sure the letter is directed to the right person - the individual authorised to make payment. ● Is credit checking every new customer worth the time and cost? Credit checking reduces your vulnerability with new customers. It may seem costly to use a credit reference agency every time – but not if you consider the money you could lose if a customer doesn't pay. Using word-of-mouth recommendations as an assurance of a customer's reliability is not failsafe, particularly in these uncertain times. ● Some of our best customers always pay late. Should we charge late-payment interest? While it's important to keep your customers happy, it's also important they pay you under the terms and conditions you've agreed. Consider how important the customers really are to you, compared with the problems they are causing you by paying late. Can you really afford to provide anyone with extended credit? For example, does a customer's late payment mean you have to go to the bank to borrow more money to deal with the cashflow shortage they caused? If it does, then you need to consider if they are really such a good customer. "You are legally entitled to charge late-paying customers interest for each day an invoice is overdue. Payment is officially overdue 30 days after an invoice is issued, unless you specify otherwise in your payment terms. ● Despite our credit management, we still suffer cash shortages. What else can we do? Invoice finance can help by providing up to 90 per cent of the value of each invoice before your customer pays and the remainder, less the invoice finance charge, is released when full payment is received. Invoice Finance collects the debt for you and can chase up payments on your behalf. This can free up your time, allowing your staff to concentrate on maximising sales and profits. Another point worth considering is credit protection - if one of your customers were to fail, have you considered the financial implications for your business? Credit Protection can help to protect your debts and your future turnover, giving you peace of mind when trading on credit terms. ● The firm still needs a bit of help to weather the current financial storms. Can I get any more help? HSBC’s new working capital fund can give SMEs help with their cashflow needs domestically and internationally. Credit is given case by case based on normal lending criteria so speak to me for more details. I would encourage you to let us try to help you. Jill Hague is Head of Commercial Banking for HSBC in Huddersfield


ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Time to make decisions about future education Entrance

Examination

Huddersfield Grammar School Huddersfield Grammar is an independent school for boys and girls aged 3-16 years with an excellent pupil:teacher ratio offering a sense of security and belonging at a local, friendly school.

The Entrance Examination for Huddersfield Grammar Senior School entry in September 2009 is being held on 31st January 2009. For more information please contact 01484 424549 or visit www.huddersfield-grammarschool.co.uk Huddersfield Grammar School Royds Mount, Luck Lane, Marsh Huddersfield HD1 4QX T 01484 424549 F 01484 531835 E admin@huddersfield-grammarschool.co.uk

AS a new year dawns, the thoughts of many parents turn to future education plans for their children. Particularly at this time of year many local independent schools are organising open days and scholarship applications etc, ready for the September intake of pupils. Why not take a look at what local schools can offer you and your child? Rastrick Independent School offers opportunities to the wider community by offering scholarships, awards and bursaries. Welcome to Rastrick Independent School. This is your invitation to apply for our scholarship scheme. Rastrick is a co-educational day school from birth to 16-years offering extended facilities all the year round from 7.30 am. until 6.30 pm., especially considering the needs of working parents. Caring and educating the individual, Rastrick is a family school and boasts excellent relationships with parents. Rastrick is a centre of excellence for children of all abilities; 100% pass rate five or more GCSE A*-C grades including Mathematics and English. Voted one of the Top Preparatory Schools in the Country two previous years running, this year, ‘The Times’ placed us 68th nationally. We offer a full National Curriculum with excellent SATs results. We have a 14 year 100% pass rate to grammar schools and excellent Ofsted and ISA Inspection reports. Annually our children excel in competitions and challenges: Speech and Drama, Dance, Singing, Music, Sports, The Mathematical Challenge and The World Class Tests are to name but a few. Examinations are taken in most extra-curricular activities, and the school does recognise and rejoice in those activities which children enjoy at home. Applications for scholarships for five to 14 year olds are welcomed. Visit www.rastrickschool.co.uk

Happy days ... Batley Grammar School pupils Please contact the headmistress for a personal visit. Telephone 01484 400344. A successful year for Huddersfield Grammar pupils. Huddersfield Grammar School pupils celebrated an outstanding year of achievements at their 13th annual Prize Evening held at the Huddersfield Town Hall in October. Headteacher Mrs Janet Straughan summarised the year in the headteacher’s remarks: “Our GCSE. results were again splendid this year giving us a pass rate of 94% of students achieving at least five A* - C grades. Three pupils merit special mention: Cameron Graley and Ben Wallis, each of whom gained nine A* and 1 A grade, and Jake Ramsden who gained nine A* and 1B grade. Out of a total of 489 grades, 109 were A*, showing the calibre of this year’s entry. My congratulations go to a very hard

working group of young people and to the dedicated and hard working members of staff who teach them. “Perhaps the major events this year have been both of our OFSTED inspections … taking pride in the ‘outstanding’ judgements the inspectors made. It was particularly satisfying to see recognition not just of the academic life of the school, but an acknowledgement of the way in which our pupils respect each other, their teachers and themselves.” The security and sense of belonging which Huddersfield Grammar School c a n o ff e r t h ro u g h a n exc e l l e n t pupil:teacher ratio and small teaching groups for children aged three to 16 years are amongst the most important factors in promoting the happiness and success of pupils through independent education. The Entrance Examination for entry into Senior School will be held on January 31,2009. Application forms and pro-

Wo r r i e d about the 11+ Examinations?

Concerned you cannot afford Independent Education or find an alternative suitable school? Rastrick Independent School is here to help...

spectuses are available from the school secretary. Visits can be arranged at anytime to come and see the school in action and meet the pupils and teachers. This is an ideal opportunity to experience a typical day at school, a true insight into the atmosphere and daily activities. The Grammar School Hipperholme, Entrance Examination January 17, 2009 9am to 12 noon. The Grammar School at Hipperholme is a small, caring and well disciplined school that consistently produces excellent examination results for its students: with all students significantly out performing expectations. This achievement is a key part of the school, because each student is treated as an individual and given the opportunity to maximise their particular talents and strengths. Academic achievement is very important but so too is the development of a well-rounded character. Hipperholme excels at providing an excellent environment in which individuals are given opportunities for leadership development and personal enrichment. Visitors often remark on the friendly, calm and purposeful atmosphere which characterises the school, and if you would like your child to be a part of all this then get in touch register them for the entrance examination which is on Saturday January 17, 2009. For further information contact The Grammar School Hipperholme on 01422 202256, e-mail on csummerscales@hipperholmegramm a r. o r g . u k o r v i s i t o u r w e b s i t e o n www.hgsf.org.uk What is so important about the Silcoates School experience? To paraphrase a recent Prime Minister, ‘Co-education, co-education, co-education!’ We teach boys and girls together throughout the school so they learn to communicate clearly, co-operate in teams, solve problems and prepare for life in the real world in the 21st century. Our self-contained, beautifully maintained campus offers our pupils a secure, nurturing environment where they receive an all round education with an academic edge and build memories to last a lifetime. Small is beautiful at Batley Grammar School. Personal shopping, personal banking, personal medical care… … in a world where personalised service makes a world of difference to adults, isn’t it only right that children should also receive the individual attention they need to thrive? Small is still beautiful at Batley Grammar School where the comparatively high ratio of

teachers to pupils means we can truly nurture and care for our boys and girls (aged three to 18) as they grow in confidence and stature to reach their goals. Four illustrious centuries of great teaching combine with latest technology and facilities – including our new state-of-the-art sixth form – to provide a personalised education truly fit for the 21st century. ‘Our thanks to Batley Grammar School for providing our daughter with an opportunity to achieve something we could never have imagined’ (sixth form parent) ‘What sets Batley Grammar School apart from the others is the small class sizes – they enable the teachers to give far more individual attention which really makes a difference’ (pupil) Batley Grammar School: a personal choice. Academic scholarships and bursaries are available for September 2009. Entrance exam: Saturday January 24, 9am. The Girls’ Grammar School, Bradford has always operated on the principle of providing a first class education, and that is just as true today as it was over 100 years ago when the school was first founded. Of course, the pupils of today have many more opportunities and subjects on offer as well as a vast range of activities for enrichment and enhancement; from art to physics, from athletics to synchronised swimming and from drama, via music to Young Engineers. In our Preparatory School we welcome boys and girls from the age of two, and our state of the art nursery is proving to be very popular. We are already planning to expand our provision at this age. Specialist teaching at the top end of the Preparatory School prepares the girls well for their entry to the senior school and they transfer in seamless fashion to continue their education. Excellent teaching leads to first-class examination results where each girl is encouraged to reach her full potential. The school provides something for everyone in a supportive and caring environment that encourages its pupils to participate and achieve. Bursaries are available and some free places. If you would like a tour of the school please telephone Mrs Newman. Remember time is passing and if you want to ensure your child attends the school of your choice, you need to make a decision as soon as you can. Attend open days and find out as much information as you can.

THE SILCOATES SCHOOL FOUNDATION THE FAMILY OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS FOR PUPILS AGED 0 - 18 WRENTHORPE | WAKEFIELD | WF2 0PD | TEL: 01924 291614 www.silcoates.org.uk | Registered Charity No. 529281

• Recent three quarter million pound investment has created additional places, enabling us to reach out the the wider community • Assistance, Bursaries & Scholarships Why choose us? • 100% Pass Rate for 14 consecutive years • 100% Pass Rate at least 5 GCSE A*-C grades including Mathematics and English • Whatever your child’s age 5-14 years you can apply for help • Preparation for life

‘One of Britain’s top schools’. Ranked 68th Nationally – The Times Contact the Headmistress for an informal chat, We are here to listen.

Rastrick Independent School Ogden Lane, Rastrick, Brighouse, HD6 3HF

Tel. 01484 400344

info@rastrick-independent.co.uk

www.rastrickschool.co.uk

Entrance Examinations

Juniors Year 3 - Year 6 | Friday 30th January 2009 Seniors Year 7 - Year 10 | Saturday 31st January 2009

Sixth Form Information Evening Tuesday 10th February 2009 at 7.00pm

Huddersfield Grammar School pupils pictured at the prize evening at Huddersfield Town Hall

Entrance Examination

Saturday 17th January 2009 Hipperholme Grammar School provides an outstanding education for 11 to 18 year olds: • Excellent academic standards • Guaranteed small classes to ensure individual attention • Outstanding pastoral support ensuring each pupil exceeds his/her potential • Strong sense of moral values: pupils are taught self discipline and the difference between right and wrong • Outstanding provision for leadership and personal enrichment • Excellent provision for sport, music, drama and the arts. Give your child the greatest gift, an outstanding education. Register now for our Entrance Examination on 17th January 2009 by calling the Admissions Officer on 01422 202256.

The Grammar School Hipperholme, Bramley Lane, Hipperholme, Halifax. HX3 8JE T. 01422 202256 F. 01422 204592 E. info@hgsf.org.uk W. www.hgsf.org.uk


ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Time to make decisions about future education Entrance

Examination

Huddersfield Grammar School Huddersfield Grammar is an independent school for boys and girls aged 3-16 years with an excellent pupil:teacher ratio offering a sense of security and belonging at a local, friendly school.

The Entrance Examination for Huddersfield Grammar Senior School entry in September 2009 is being held on 31st January 2009. For more information please contact 01484 424549 or visit www.huddersfield-grammarschool.co.uk Huddersfield Grammar School Royds Mount, Luck Lane, Marsh Huddersfield HD1 4QX T 01484 424549 F 01484 531835 E admin@huddersfield-grammarschool.co.uk

AS a new year dawns, the thoughts of many parents turn to future education plans for their children. Particularly at this time of year many local independent schools are organising open days and scholarship applications etc, ready for the September intake of pupils. Why not take a look at what local schools can offer you and your child? Rastrick Independent School offers opportunities to the wider community by offering scholarships, awards and bursaries. Welcome to Rastrick Independent School. This is your invitation to apply for our scholarship scheme. Rastrick is a co-educational day school from birth to 16-years offering extended facilities all the year round from 7.30 am. until 6.30 pm., especially considering the needs of working parents. Caring and educating the individual, Rastrick is a family school and boasts excellent relationships with parents. Rastrick is a centre of excellence for children of all abilities; 100% pass rate five or more GCSE A*-C grades including Mathematics and English. Voted one of the Top Preparatory Schools in the Country two previous years running, this year, ‘The Times’ placed us 68th nationally. We offer a full National Curriculum with excellent SATs results. We have a 14 year 100% pass rate to grammar schools and excellent Ofsted and ISA Inspection reports. Annually our children excel in competitions and challenges: Speech and Drama, Dance, Singing, Music, Sports, The Mathematical Challenge and The World Class Tests are to name but a few. Examinations are taken in most extra-curricular activities, and the school does recognise and rejoice in those activities which children enjoy at home. Applications for scholarships for five to 14 year olds are welcomed. Visit www.rastrickschool.co.uk

Happy days ... Batley Grammar School pupils Please contact the headmistress for a personal visit. Telephone 01484 400344. A successful year for Huddersfield Grammar pupils. Huddersfield Grammar School pupils celebrated an outstanding year of achievements at their 13th annual Prize Evening held at the Huddersfield Town Hall in October. Headteacher Mrs Janet Straughan summarised the year in the headteacher’s remarks: “Our GCSE. results were again splendid this year giving us a pass rate of 94% of students achieving at least five A* - C grades. Three pupils merit special mention: Cameron Graley and Ben Wallis, each of whom gained nine A* and 1 A grade, and Jake Ramsden who gained nine A* and 1B grade. Out of a total of 489 grades, 109 were A*, showing the calibre of this year’s entry. My congratulations go to a very hard

working group of young people and to the dedicated and hard working members of staff who teach them. “Perhaps the major events this year have been both of our OFSTED inspections … taking pride in the ‘outstanding’ judgements the inspectors made. It was particularly satisfying to see recognition not just of the academic life of the school, but an acknowledgement of the way in which our pupils respect each other, their teachers and themselves.” The security and sense of belonging which Huddersfield Grammar School c a n o ff e r t h ro u g h a n exc e l l e n t pupil:teacher ratio and small teaching groups for children aged three to 16 years are amongst the most important factors in promoting the happiness and success of pupils through independent education. The Entrance Examination for entry into Senior School will be held on January 31,2009. Application forms and pro-

Wo r r i e d about the 11+ Examinations?

Concerned you cannot afford Independent Education or find an alternative suitable school? Rastrick Independent School is here to help...

spectuses are available from the school secretary. Visits can be arranged at anytime to come and see the school in action and meet the pupils and teachers. This is an ideal opportunity to experience a typical day at school, a true insight into the atmosphere and daily activities. The Grammar School Hipperholme, Entrance Examination January 17, 2009 9am to 12 noon. The Grammar School at Hipperholme is a small, caring and well disciplined school that consistently produces excellent examination results for its students: with all students significantly out performing expectations. This achievement is a key part of the school, because each student is treated as an individual and given the opportunity to maximise their particular talents and strengths. Academic achievement is very important but so too is the development of a well-rounded character. Hipperholme excels at providing an excellent environment in which individuals are given opportunities for leadership development and personal enrichment. Visitors often remark on the friendly, calm and purposeful atmosphere which characterises the school, and if you would like your child to be a part of all this then get in touch register them for the entrance examination which is on Saturday January 17, 2009. For further information contact The Grammar School Hipperholme on 01422 202256, e-mail on csummerscales@hipperholmegramm a r. o r g . u k o r v i s i t o u r w e b s i t e o n www.hgsf.org.uk What is so important about the Silcoates School experience? To paraphrase a recent Prime Minister, ‘Co-education, co-education, co-education!’ We teach boys and girls together throughout the school so they learn to communicate clearly, co-operate in teams, solve problems and prepare for life in the real world in the 21st century. Our self-contained, beautifully maintained campus offers our pupils a secure, nurturing environment where they receive an all round education with an academic edge and build memories to last a lifetime. Small is beautiful at Batley Grammar School. Personal shopping, personal banking, personal medical care… … in a world where personalised service makes a world of difference to adults, isn’t it only right that children should also receive the individual attention they need to thrive? Small is still beautiful at Batley Grammar School where the comparatively high ratio of

teachers to pupils means we can truly nurture and care for our boys and girls (aged three to 18) as they grow in confidence and stature to reach their goals. Four illustrious centuries of great teaching combine with latest technology and facilities – including our new state-of-the-art sixth form – to provide a personalised education truly fit for the 21st century. ‘Our thanks to Batley Grammar School for providing our daughter with an opportunity to achieve something we could never have imagined’ (sixth form parent) ‘What sets Batley Grammar School apart from the others is the small class sizes – they enable the teachers to give far more individual attention which really makes a difference’ (pupil) Batley Grammar School: a personal choice. Academic scholarships and bursaries are available for September 2009. Entrance exam: Saturday January 24, 9am. The Girls’ Grammar School, Bradford has always operated on the principle of providing a first class education, and that is just as true today as it was over 100 years ago when the school was first founded. Of course, the pupils of today have many more opportunities and subjects on offer as well as a vast range of activities for enrichment and enhancement; from art to physics, from athletics to synchronised swimming and from drama, via music to Young Engineers. In our Preparatory School we welcome boys and girls from the age of two, and our state of the art nursery is proving to be very popular. We are already planning to expand our provision at this age. Specialist teaching at the top end of the Preparatory School prepares the girls well for their entry to the senior school and they transfer in seamless fashion to continue their education. Excellent teaching leads to first-class examination results where each girl is encouraged to reach her full potential. The school provides something for everyone in a supportive and caring environment that encourages its pupils to participate and achieve. Bursaries are available and some free places. If you would like a tour of the school please telephone Mrs Newman. Remember time is passing and if you want to ensure your child attends the school of your choice, you need to make a decision as soon as you can. Attend open days and find out as much information as you can.

THE SILCOATES SCHOOL FOUNDATION THE FAMILY OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS FOR PUPILS AGED 0 - 18 WRENTHORPE | WAKEFIELD | WF2 0PD | TEL: 01924 291614 www.silcoates.org.uk | Registered Charity No. 529281

• Recent three quarter million pound investment has created additional places, enabling us to reach out the the wider community • Assistance, Bursaries & Scholarships Why choose us? • 100% Pass Rate for 14 consecutive years • 100% Pass Rate at least 5 GCSE A*-C grades including Mathematics and English • Whatever your child’s age 5-14 years you can apply for help • Preparation for life

‘One of Britain’s top schools’. Ranked 68th Nationally – The Times Contact the Headmistress for an informal chat, We are here to listen.

Rastrick Independent School Ogden Lane, Rastrick, Brighouse, HD6 3HF

Tel. 01484 400344

info@rastrick-independent.co.uk

www.rastrickschool.co.uk

Entrance Examinations

Juniors Year 3 - Year 6 | Friday 30th January 2009 Seniors Year 7 - Year 10 | Saturday 31st January 2009

Sixth Form Information Evening Tuesday 10th February 2009 at 7.00pm

Huddersfield Grammar School pupils pictured at the prize evening at Huddersfield Town Hall

Entrance Examination

Saturday 17th January 2009 Hipperholme Grammar School provides an outstanding education for 11 to 18 year olds: • Excellent academic standards • Guaranteed small classes to ensure individual attention • Outstanding pastoral support ensuring each pupil exceeds his/her potential • Strong sense of moral values: pupils are taught self discipline and the difference between right and wrong • Outstanding provision for leadership and personal enrichment • Excellent provision for sport, music, drama and the arts. Give your child the greatest gift, an outstanding education. Register now for our Entrance Examination on 17th January 2009 by calling the Admissions Officer on 01422 202256.

The Grammar School Hipperholme, Bramley Lane, Hipperholme, Halifax. HX3 8JE T. 01422 202256 F. 01422 204592 E. info@hgsf.org.uk W. www.hgsf.org.uk


14

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

CITY TALK Simon Kaye

Restoring confidence T is clear that the world’s economy has Ieconomies abruptly turned down and many major are experiencing an unusu-

ally sharp period of recession in the wake of the financial shocks of the autumn. What is not yet clear is whether this presages an extended and painful economic decline or whether the concerted policy responses will succeed in generating a turning point some time during 2009. At present, the mood tends towards the gloomier of these possibilities but sentiment is a fallible guide to the future. The autumn shocks in the banking sector and the associated equity market crashes have had direct as well as psychological effects on economic activity, creating a mood akin to post-traumatic shock. Individuals have reacted to an increased fear of unemployment, falls in housing and portfolio wealth and to tighter credit by spending less. Companies have reacted to the fall in demand, the rise in economic uncertainty and the absence of credit finance by cutting back on inventory, employment and investment. These two processes are starting to feed on each other and risk creating a deep and prolonged recession, hence recent worry about a return to the 1930s. The shortage of credit is beginning to be addressed. Banks have raised a total of nearly 1,000bn dollars in new capital, much of it underwritten by governments. This has replaced lending losses and strengthened their balance sheets. However, the high cost of government capital injections has led banks to cut back on lending, in the hope of repaying the expensive capital early. This has been compounded by the uncertain economic outlook, with its associated threat of further bad debts from business and individual borrowers, which has reinforced the banks’ reluctance to lend. So, although cuts in interest rates are filtering through to existing borrowers there is a drought in the new lending markets. On top of the benefit of lower interest rates and capital injections, the Bank of England and other Central Banks are likely to have to offer targeted support for new lending (while ensuring that the banks retain sufficient risk to be prudent) and for trade finance, both of which are essential parts of the world economy’s circulatory system. Although there are genuine structural issues underlying the recent financial crisis, an orderly resolution of these is being prevented by the defensive reactions to the bewildering volatility in financial markets. Faced with an uncertain future, it can make individual sense to save more, cut investment or withhold lending but practised collectively by all the result is economic meltdown. A necessary benign re-balancing of the world economy has turned malignant owing to the general collapse in confidence. When confidence evaporates as comprehensively as it has, the overriding priority is to restore it, hence the recent exceptional measures to boost government spending, cut taxes and pare interest rates close to zero. Once confidence is back, policies can then be focused on enabling the necessary adjustments in global economies to occur in a less disruptive way. To paraphrase St. Augustine “Lord make me thrifty, but not yet”. May 2009 bring brighter times. Simon Kaye is Divisional Director at Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Footprint Bag steps forward

Danielle’s training triumph A TRAINEE at a Huddersfield manufacturing firm has received a certificate after completing her apprenticeship. Danielle Dyson received the award from Ravinder Sokhal, of CMS Training Vocational Training, at the premises of window blinds company Excel Manufacturing Ltd. The presentation was attended by Danielle’s mana ger, Rachael Whitehead. Danielle began her one-year NVQ level 2 apprenticeship in business administration with CMS before applying for a job at Excel Manufacturing, where she is now an administrative assistant. She is also continuing her studies towards the NVQ level 3 advanced apprenticeship. Excel Manufacturing, based at Old Fieldhouse Lane, off Leeds Road, has more than 50 employees and almost 200 trade accounts. Along with its commitment to training, the company has invested in new equipment to automate the roller department and intro- ■ WELL DONE: Danielle Dyson (left) receives her award from duced a bespoke IT system for Ravinder Sokhal (right), of CMS Vocational Training, with office supervisor Rachel Whitehead order input and stock control.

We have been asked to clarify product information given in our front page article on Footprint Bag in the January, 2009, edition of Kirklees Business News. Thee Footprint Bag is designed to hold eight re-usable Footprint bags, not plastic carrier bags as stated in the article. Footprint Bag is a concerted effort by two local mums, Claire Peto-Cook and Hanny Wadsworth, in their bid to do their bit for going green. The bag provides a convenient alternative to using plastic bags available in supermarkets and other retail outlets. Claire said: “We have been really pleased with the response to our Footprint Bag. Sales of our eight-pack have rocketed since we got media coverage with lots and lots of positive feedback from satisfied customers. “We were under no illusions about how difficult it is building a brand from scratch, but already people are recognising the distinctive ‘look’ and name – so things are going well!” Hanny added: “We are just about to launch the four-pack on-line and have been overwhelmed by the demand.”

Kirklees workers lag behind in the is pay league table Agency the top WORKERS in Kirklees are among the worst-paid in Yorkshire, claims a new report. Figures from general union the GMB said the average full-time wage in the district totalled £25,626 – against an average of £27,534 for Yorkshire as a whole and £31,323 for the UK. It means the average worker in Kirklees is earning 82% of the national average wage. Only Barnsley at £24,669 and North East Lincolnshire at £25,181 are below Kirklees in the pay league of 15 Yorkshire and Humber local authority districts. York tops the table at £31,604 followed by Sheffield at £28,841 and Leeds at £28,505. Calderdale is fourth on the list at £28,454 with Wakefield fifth at £27,513. York is the only district in Yorkshire where average earnings exceed the UK average. Yorkshire is ninth in the UK regional pay league – some £5,285 less than the south-east and almost £19,000 below the average wage in London. The survey was compiled in April this year (2008). Tim Roache, GMB regional secretary for Yorkshire, said: “This analysis of pay shows the regions that did go some way to replace the skilled manufacturing jobs that were lost in the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s and those regions and areas still to do so. “Since these figures were taken, the credit crunch, which originated from excesses in the financial sector, has now given rise to a full blown recession and the misery that that entails. We will see if the average pay holds up in 2009.” Mr Roache said: “As well as measures to re-start their economies, governments in the UK and elsewhere need to take steps to deal once and for all with the elements in the financial sector that visited this

11

February, 2009

recession upon us. “We can no longer tolerate a ‘provisional wing’ of capitalism that is allowed to cock a snook at the standards of transparency, disclosure and accountability required of the ‘official wing’ of the financial sector bound by stock exchange rules.” A report by Kirklees Council forecasting the economic make-up of the district in 2010 said that wage levels in Kirklees were below the national average – particularly for women and members of ethnic minorities. It stressed that this was likely to remain the case – given the faster growth in part-time working against full-time employment and the growth of service sector industries. The report compiled by the council’s economic development service, said: “TUC research in early 2002 found that – on average – black and Asian male workers in Great BritainB earn nearly £100 a week less than their white counterparts. “While the gap is less apparent between women workers – women on average earn less than men – Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are worst affected, earning an average £34 a week less than white women. “The factors cited for ethnic imbalances in pay – discrimination, over-representation in low-paid jobs and industries, language problems, concentration in disadvantaged areas are likely to apply in Kirklees in 2010 to a similar extent. “Given the forecast higher than average growth in the Asian population, this suggests a growth in the proportion of people at risk of being income deprived.”

performer A RECRUITMENT consultancy with offices in Huddersfield has been named best performing plc in a national awards scheme. Hays, which includes Hays Accountancy & Finance at Station Street, beat strong competition to win the highly acclaimed category at the Recruitment International Awards 2008. The company showed it continued to performed well despite the current economic climate. The awards were judged by 14 top industry professionals and sector specialists, including analysts and brokers. The ceremony took place at Madame Tussauds in London was attended by more than 200 special guests.

Award-winning agency now joins new franchise network AN award-winning marketing agency has expanded its scope by taking in a new franchise. PM Marketing Group, based at Fenay Bridge, has become the Huddersfield store for international printing business printing.com, which has more than 300 stores worldwide. James Hughes, regional director of printing.com, said: “The ethos of the printing.com brand revolves around high quality, local service by franchisees, competitive prices and quick delivery.” Jamie Hardie, who heads printing.com in Leeds and Bradford, said: “The working methods of PM Marketing Group and the company values strongly mirror our ethos. “The new franchise makes a great addition to their existing range of services.” Steve Green, managing director of PM Marketing Group, said: “We’re very excited to be a part of printing.com.” Printing.com is an international company offering products including business cards, letterheads, leaflets, booklets, postcards, promotional cards and invitations to consumers and small to medium sized businesses. PM Marketing Group is a full-service marketing agency providing services such as design, advertising, corporate

Jill Hague

Controlling cash flow N this month’s article I ask the expert Iwith how to take control of your cash flow strong credit management.

branding, web, public relations and display, exhibition and events. The group was named winner of the category for the most successful launch strategy in the recent inaugural Northern Marketing Awards.

■ FRESH FRANCHISE: Steve Green (right), of PM Marketing, with Jamie Hardie (left), managing director of printing.com Leeds and Bradford; and James Hughes, regional director of printing.com

Prognosis good for medical specialist

A DESIGN and branding agency in Huddersfield has helped one of its clients generate a seven-fold increase in business. Engine Room Design, based at the Media Centre, carried out a re-branding project for client Xiros 12 months ago. Since then, the medical equipment manufacturer has boosted new business enquiries dramatically – and has credited its makeover for helping to achieve that success. Xiros, based in Leeds, was founded in 1985 by medical academic Bahaa Seedhom to develop his ideas for prosthetic ligament procedures to help surgeons repair their patients’ knees and other joints. The business now employs nearly 70 staff, manufacturing its Neoligaments brand of replacement ligaments and is also developing and making other surgical components on behalf of medical firms under the Xiros brand. Following the re-branding exercise, Xiros is now on the radar of an audience that never previously had an awareness of its services. The Engine Room is continuing to work with Xiros to stengthen its image further. Darren Evans, creative director at The Engine Room, said: “We constantly have to be able to prove that design is an investment worth making. “So we have to show proven results. This is an excellent case study for the role design can play in developing business growth.” The re-brand focused on Xiros as an organisation and Neoligaments, an own label branded product that includes one of

BANKER'S BLOG

■ GOOD HEALTH: Darren Evans (left), creative director of The Engine Room, and David Beevers (right), business development director, of Xiros

the world’s leading prosthetic ligament devices. The Engine Room was given the task of distinguishing the two brands by the design of new livery for business communications, new logos, letter heads, compliment slips, commercial documents, brochures, marketing materials and a new website. Dr David Beevers, business development director at Xiros, said: “We invited four design companies to tender for the Xiros

re-brand, which was to be completed in phases. “The Engine Room were not the most expensive or the cheapest but their proposal and presentation gave us the confidence that they would produce the re-brand to the highest quality within the required time frame while providing a design edge that would distinguish our two brands in the marketplace.”

In the current economic climate, keeping cashflow healthy is crucial and monitoring customers and payment dates vital, particularly for small companies. My colleagues at HSBC Invoice Finance, reveal the simple steps that can help you improve your firm's credit management. ● What can I do to make sure our customers pay promptly? Agree payment terms and conditions in advance with all your customers. Be systematic in managing the credit you give them. Ensure that they understand your expectations. Send out invoices promptly. A week before the debt is due, get a member of your accounts team to phone the customer to remind them to pay. If they fail to pay on the due date, get accounts to ring again and send out a written reminder of your terms and conditions. Make sure the letter is directed to the right person - the individual authorised to make payment. ● Is credit checking every new customer worth the time and cost? Credit checking reduces your vulnerability with new customers. It may seem costly to use a credit reference agency every time – but not if you consider the money you could lose if a customer doesn't pay. Using word-of-mouth recommendations as an assurance of a customer's reliability is not failsafe, particularly in these uncertain times. ● Some of our best customers always pay late. Should we charge late-payment interest? While it's important to keep your customers happy, it's also important they pay you under the terms and conditions you've agreed. Consider how important the customers really are to you, compared with the problems they are causing you by paying late. Can you really afford to provide anyone with extended credit? For example, does a customer's late payment mean you have to go to the bank to borrow more money to deal with the cashflow shortage they caused? If it does, then you need to consider if they are really such a good customer. "You are legally entitled to charge late-paying customers interest for each day an invoice is overdue. Payment is officially overdue 30 days after an invoice is issued, unless you specify otherwise in your payment terms. ● Despite our credit management, we still suffer cash shortages. What else can we do? Invoice finance can help by providing up to 90 per cent of the value of each invoice before your customer pays and the remainder, less the invoice finance charge, is released when full payment is received. Invoice Finance collects the debt for you and can chase up payments on your behalf. This can free up your time, allowing your staff to concentrate on maximising sales and profits. Another point worth considering is credit protection - if one of your customers were to fail, have you considered the financial implications for your business? Credit Protection can help to protect your debts and your future turnover, giving you peace of mind when trading on credit terms. ● The firm still needs a bit of help to weather the current financial storms. Can I get any more help? HSBC’s new working capital fund can give SMEs help with their cashflow needs domestically and internationally. Credit is given case by case based on normal lending criteria so speak to me for more details. I would encourage you to let us try to help you. Jill Hague is Head of Commercial Banking for HSBC in Huddersfield


10

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

ON THE MOVE Kelly is latest recruit

New directors for building society

Back to the college

LEEDS Building Society has appointed Ian Robertson and Bob Stott as non-executive directors. Mr Robertson and Mr Stott join the board – which currently consists of three executive directors and six non-executive directors under the leadership of chairman Robin Smith. Mr Robertson, a qualified accountant, is a member of the Audit Advisory Board to the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body and a non-executive director of the Homes and Communities Agency. He was group chief executive of Wilson Bowden Plc housebuilders and property developers until June last year, when it was sold to Barratts. He was previously financial controller for Northern Foods and Terry’s of York. Mr Stott, who attended Huddersfield College Grammar School and lives in Leeds, has

SOLICITOR Kelly Simpson has joined the e m p l oy m e n t l aw department of Lupton Fawcett in Leeds. Ms Simpson (right), who was born and raised in Hull, joins the f i r m f ro m Ke e b l e Hawson. She gained a degree in biological

MICHAEL Ainsworth has been named marketing and campaigns manager at Calderdale College. Mr Ainsworth, 41, who was brought up in Brighouse, was formerly marketing manager at the Carne-

and medicinal chemistry from Exeter University before studying law at BBP Law School in Leeds.

gie Faculty of Sport and Education at Leeds Metropolitan University. Mr Ainsworth studied BTECs at Calderdale College in Halifax, graduating and from Bradford University.

Bob Stott

Ian Robertson

extensive retailing experience. During his career he has worked for Mars Inc and Geest Plc, in addition to his 25 years in the supermarket sector – latterly at

Morrisons, where he was joint managing director and chief executive. He is also a non-executive director of the Rugby Football League governing body.

Blazing a trail Alan Somers has been appointed to the technical advisory board at Huddersfield-based property compliance specialist BES Consulting. Mr Somers joins the Moldgreen-based company after 25 years in the fire service, where he was a divisional commander and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s performance review officer. He was also seconded to the Home Office as an instructor at the Fire Service College, where he specialised in training for incidents involving hazardous material. In his new role, Mr Somers will ensure that BES services meet the latest fire compliance legislation. He will also be part of the company’s quality team.

US deal for myfotowall ■ AWARDS DAY: Deborah Melluish (third right), of Eaton Smith, presents the award to Alison Cooling (second right) and Gary Cooling (right), of AGC Tools and Fixings, with (from left) Tony Jones and Mark Johnston, of Handelsbanken; Nigel Hill, of The Leadership Factor; and Anne Gerard, of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

Firm enjoys latest fixture A COUPLE who have built up a business supplying fixings, fasteners, sealants and adhesives to the construction trade have won an award. Alison and Gary Cooling set up AGC Tools & Fixings in 2002, running the business from their home and garage in Meltham. Through their drive and determination – and a strong focus on customer service – the business has moved to bigger premises over recent years and is now based at Lockwood Road in Huddersfield. The company was recognised for its success by being named Business of the Month in the competition run by Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith and the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Mr Cooling said: “Our offices are now bigger – as it our product range and workforce. But we have not forgotten our roots

and loyal customers. Nor have we forgotten the qualities on which we established our business in 2002. “We believe in providing a quality and reliable service – one that aims to deliver direct to local sites, by the next day and free of charge. This is why so many companies, big and small, have stayed with us.” Said Mr Cooling: “We are extremely proud to have won such a prestigious award. We think it is great when small businesses receive this type of recognition for developing and growing their business. “This is the second award we have won in 12 months and it feels just as good as the first.” For more details visit the website www.eatonsmith.co.uk or contact – Ian Greenwood at Eaton Smith on 01484 821389.

15

February, 2009

A COMPANY providing giant posters via the internet has sealed a trans-Atlantic deal. Award-winning business myfotowall.com has reached agreement to introduce its applications to the world’s largest photo hosti n g w e b s i t e , p h o t obucket.com., based in San Francisco. The move gives myfotowall access to more than 45m potential customers. At the same time, myfotowall has launched a new multi-photo product allowing users to collect a series of images to make up their own poster rather than just a single picture. Customers ordering the multi-photo option get a “peel and stick” self-adhesive colour print which can be used to decorate bedroom or kitchen walls in the home – or brighten up a dull wall in the office. Myfotowall.com, based at New North Road, Edgerton, was launched by managing director Stephen Armitage in 2003 and creates dramatic wall coverings using images from its own extensive library or supplied by the client. The images are ordered

■ POSTER: Stephen Armitage, of myfotowall

online, the print is produced to fit the required space and the picture is delivered by post as wallpaper. The outsize pictures are in demand for car showrooms, reception areas and high street stores as well as among individual customers. The link-up between myfotowall and photobucket will allow customers to choose up to 18 photos from a photobucket album to arrange in a pre-defined grid. Photos can then be cropped, resized or moved, and can be personalised by adding colored borders. The myfotowall collage is then printed on self-adhesive vinyl, enabling easy application on indoor surfaces. The printed myfo-

towall collage is available in 27-inch by 51-inch” portrait or landscape options. Alex Welch, president of photobucket, said: “Photobucket is thrilled to integrate myfotowall onto our site to give users even more creative ways to engage with their photos. “Photobucket is always seeking out new and exciting ways for our users to share and print photos and myfotowall’s innovative wall decor enables our users to enjoy their photos in a very unique way.” Mr Armitage said: “We are delighted to be engaging w i t h P h o t o bu c ke t t o provide a new interactive online design tool. “We look forward to giving Photobucket users an easy, fun-to-use design application to create a unique ‘peel and stick’ wall decoration that captures the spirit of any occasion, for all to see and admire!” P h o t o bu c ke t i s t h e premier standalone photo and video sharing site with m o re t h a n 4 5 m u s e r s around the world linking billions of personal photos, graphics, slide shows and videos daily to hundreds of thousands of websites.

Richard makes smooth move

TAX TALK Colin Barratt

Tackle that tax return HE January 31 tax return filing T deadline for the submission of individual, partnership and trust tax

returns for the year ended April 5, 2008, is fast approaching And for those who have yet to submit their returns urgent attention is required in order to avoid automatic late filing penalties. The penalty for submitting a late return is £100. This is restricted to the lower of £100 or the amount of tax outstanding for 2007/08. For partnerships whose business tax return is not submitted in time, a £100 penalty per partner will be levied which is not restricted. Returns will need to be submitted to the Revenue “online” using their own internet site or commercially approved software. If you intend using the Revenue’s site for the first time, you will need to register with them by January 21 to be able to file meet the filing deadline. The Revenue will no longer accept returns sent in paper form and such returns will, in all but the most exceptional circumstances, attract a late filing penalty. Submitting the tax return in time will stop the automatic late filing penalty, as will making sure any tax due for 2007/08 is paid by January 31. Except for partnership returns where the penalty is payable whether tax is paid by the individual partners or not. Late paid tax will be subject to interest charges with the current interest rate being 4.5%. A 5% surcharge will be added if any tax for 2007/08 remains outstanding at February 28. For businesses struggling to pay their tax due to the effects of the ‘credit crunch’ it may be possible to arrange with the Revenue to pay the tax over an agreed period of time by contacting their ‘Business Payment Support’ telephone centre on 0845 3021435. However, those intent on filing late so as to avoid paying tax should be aware that the Revenue can, with the agreement of the Commissioners, impose a penalty of up to £60 per day for overdue tax returns and it is becoming common for them to take this course of action. If this penalty is charged it will stick even if there is no tax to pay, unlike the automatic late filing penalty, so it is potentially very severe. For some who have a tax liability every year there may also be a requirement to make payments on account of the current year at the same time as the payment for the last year. This is automatically 50% of last year’s tax bill and is payable on January 31 and July 31. If income falls each payment on account can be reduced to 50% of the expected current year’s tax bill. If income goes up and the tax bill will be more, the payments on account do not have to be increased but of course come January 31 next year it will be catch up time, so you may want to put a bit aside to avoid having to raid the piggy bank or get into arrears with the Revenue. Colin Barratt is tax partner at Wheawill and Sudworth, chartered accountants, Huddersfield

■ OUTLOOK: Freeserve founder Ajaz Ahmed says the time is ripe for budding entrepreneurs to get their businesses started – despite the economic gloom

Time to start up in business

THE Huddersfield tycoon who founded internet giant Freeserve has issued a rallying call to the town’s budding entrepreneurs: recession is a great time to start your own business if you’ve got a genuinely good idea. Ajaz Ahmed insisted the increasing number of enterprising individuals with excellent business ideas in the area should not be put off by the economic downturn. “Forget about the current economic climate – it’s a temporary setback,” said Mr Ahmed. “It’s vital that businesses do not let a credit crunch mentality drag down their ideas. Of course, it’s wise to double-check risks but it’s crucial to remain upbeat. “If you are going to start your own business now, then when the economy recovers you will be very

well placed to reap the benefits.” Mr Ahmed said: “Some ideas will obviously not work in a recession, so it’s even more important to have a good idea and have a plan that you can articulate and sell that idea. If you get that right, the finance is still available.” Mr Ahmed said location would be one of the keys to success for new and established businesses during the recession. He is using his position as a board member of the Media Centre complex on Northumberland Street to ensure that local creative individuals and companies have some of the best support in the country right on their doorstep. The Media Centre is already home to 130 high-tech and creative companies and houses Britain’s most environmentally-friendly

business centre building, which was opened by the Queen last year. “I have seen at the Media Centre how establishing a cluster of like-minded businesses and providing high-quality business support is working very well even in these difficult times,” said Mr Ahmed. “We have record numbers of businesses and occupancy rates with firms moving in from Leeds and Bradford to take advantage of lower cost and higher quality office space.” Mr Ahmed was co-founder of Freeserve, which became the UK’s largest internet services provider within three months of its launch in 1998. Less than a year later, it floated with a market value of £1.5bn and was sold for £1.6bn to Wanadoo in 2001.

THE Huddersfield-born c o - fo u n d e r o f f r u i t smoothies firm Innocent has been named as one of Britain’s top businessmen. Richard Reed, who grew up in Kirkheaton and attended Batley Grammar School, is ranked second in the list of Management Today’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs. He shares the position with Innocent co-founders and fellow Cambridge University graduates Adam Barton and Jon Wright. They started out by selling smoothies made from fresh fruit juice at a jazz festival in the summer of 1998. The London-based company has doubled in size in each of the past three years to notch up annual sales of £115m and dominate the market for smoothies with a 72% share. Earlier this year, the company launched in Austria after expanding into Germany, Scandinavia and France. Innocent drinks are sold in 100% recycled plastic bottles, whose labels bear the familiar “halo” logo and distinctive messages, w h i c h h ave h e l p e d make Innocent a familiar consumer brand. The company has won numerous accolades, including ones for Growth Strategy of the Ye a r a n d B u s i n e s s Innovation of the Year at the National Business Awards in 2006. The Top 100 Entrepreneurs list also includes Emma Harrison, founded of Sheffield-based training and employment services firm A4e, who is ranked 48th.

BES lands new pubs deal A CONSULTANCY in Huddersfield has won a second major contract to ensure pubs meet tough energy regulations. Moldgreen-based BES Consulting will carry our surveys of more than 2,000 Marston’s pubs across the country to ensure they comply with rules governing fire safety, asbestos and Energy Performance Certificates. The exact value of the multi-million pound deal has not been disclosed. It comes just days after BES landed a contract with Punch Taverns to provide similar services for all its leased pubs in northern England and Scotland.

BES Consulting will use an online system to store and retrieve relevant documents for the Marston’s contract. The system will also automatically create reminders about re-inspections, which is traditionally a time-consuming process. Marston’s group purchasing manager Christopher Sutton said: “Previously, we had a number of independent suppliers providing compliance services. “This meant we lacked continuity of suppliers across our estate, we had varied service reports, missed the opportunity to benefit from economies of scale and wasted manage-

ment time dealing with multiple suppliers. “BES Consulting’s expertise in property compliance, coupled with its experience of working with major pub chains, will help us better manage our estate – and it will save us money and management time.” BES Consulting, with offices and engineers across the UK, provides risk assessment and statutory compliance services to hundreds of the UK’s top companies. Energy Performance Certificates became a legal requirement for all pubs let or sold from October 1.


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February, 2009

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Taking stock A LEADING stockbroker will put the focus on the global financial crisis and what it means for local firms when she delivers a free public lecture at Huddersfield University later this month. Morven Whyte (above), of private brokerage firm Redmayne-Bentley, will address an audience of business people and students at 6pm on Wednesday, January 21. David Colley, marketing and recruitment administrator at the university, said: “The lecture will examine the nature of the current crisis and seeks to give a critical understanding of how it developed and where it might lead. “The lecture will be of interest to local business managers and leaders as well as students.” Morven, a past president of the Yorkshire region of the Securities Institute, regularly appears on BBC2’s Working Lunch, Radio 4’s Money Box and Radio 5 Live. To book for the lecture, phone 01484 472129 or e-mail hubs.enquiries @hud.ac.uk

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Ramsdens expands with Halifax merger A GROWING Huddersfield law firm has announced a merger with another firm of solicitors. Ramsdens Solicitors has linked up with Halifax firm Rice Jones in a move which is said to create the largest law firm in the Kirklees and Calderdale area. The newly merged firm will continue to be known as Ramsdens with 13 partners and a combined staff of 140. Under the merger, staff at Rice Jones in Halifax will continue to work from its Harrison Road offices. Ramsdens’ Paul Joyce continues in his role as managing partner, while David Hofton from Rice Jones joins as a partner and Robert Mackenzie becomes a consultant in the newly merged firm. Mr Joyce said: “In light of current market conditions, I am delighted that we have been able to buck the trend and expand our team by joining forces with the well regarded Rice Jones to create the largest firm in Kirklees and Calderdale. “Our merger creates the opportunity to strengthen our team in Halifax while offering clients of the merged firm a broader spectrum of legal services and a greater depth of expertise.” Ramsdens, which was established in the 1870s, has offices in Huddersfield town centre, Edgerton, Slaithwaite and Holmfirth. In recent years, the firm has expanded into Calderdale following mergers with David Garsed & Co in Elland and Jubb Longbothams in Halifax. Ramsdens offers specialist advice to business and private clients in the areas of corporate commercial, litigation, commercial property, employment, conveyancing, family law, personal injury, wills, probate and financial planning.

■ GETTING TOGETHER: Paul Joyce (second let), managing partner of Ramsdens with (from left) consultant Robert Mackenzie, new partner David Hofton and senior partner John Fryer folliowing the merger with Halifax law firm Rice Jones

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■ CERTIFICATES: Richard Alan Engineering Apprentices (from left) Jack Spencer, David Pullen, Hasib Mugal, Thomas Wightman

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A DEWSBURY company has presented certificates to four young apprentices. Richard Alan Engineering runs apprenticeships to recruit candidates every two years in mechanical engineering, fabrication and welding and electrical engineering. Glen Forth, engineering manager, presented the certificates to Jack Spencer, who has completed his first year mechanical engineering apprenticeship; David Pullen, who has completed his second year in mechanical engineering; Hasib Mugal, first year in mechanical engineering; and Thomas Wightman, who has completed his

first year in welding and fabrication. Mr Forth said: “We believe absolutely in the value of proper training and the success of our apprenticeship scheme is a testament to this ethos. “We work closely with Kirklees College to operate the scheme and it is to our benefit and the boys’ long-term employment prospects that this works so well. “Richard Alan Engineering has a second to none track record for its low staff turnover. We have never ‘lost’ any of our apprentices and they go on to play a vital part in the continuing success of the business.”

AN arts agency in Kirklees has launched a new programme of events for entrepreneurs just starting up businesses in the creative sector. Batley-based Loca has joined forces with Business Link Yorkshire to stage the events, which aim to help people get a broader understanding of how to run a business. The events are free to businesses in North Kirklees. Those taking part will include Michael Barratt, who contacted Loca for help developing his Dewsbury-based illustration and graphics business, Emelbi. Mr Barratt said the programme would help him develop a marketing strategy as well as improve his general business skills. Loca projects manager Robin Widdowson said: “I’m delighted to be working in partnership with Business Link, who will be fielding a number of very experienced facilitators and advisers to deliver the workshops for us. “As well as workshops covering business planning, financial control, presentation skills and time management, the programme offers opportunities for people to take part in networking events and one-to-one advice sessions.” Lyn Harrison, partnership manager at Business Link Yorkshire, said: “It is really exciting to be working with Loca and to be able to combine our services to deliver a comprehensive programme of support for the creative sector.” Loca, based at Redbrick Mill, Bradford Road, is part of Kirklees Council's Culture and Leisure Services. For details contact Mr Widdowson on 01924 488844 or go to www.loca.co.uk .

9

Safety measures for Lee A BUILDING contractor is putting safety to the fore. Lee Marsden (right), who heads Huddersfield Contracts Ltd at Southgate in the town centre, has gained accreditation to the Safe Contractor scheme, which recognises building industry businesses for their commitment to health and safety. Lee, who is the son of well-known Huddersfield businessman Joe Marsden, carries out building work, repairs and maintenance and property management for a string of customers, including house builders and shopping centres. Lee, a former soldier who lives at Slaithwaite, draws on a range of sub-contractors which means he can provide work for clients anywhere in the UK. He has joined Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership and has signed up to Kirklees Build, a council-backed group providing support for building sector businesses across the district. Commenting on the Safe Contractor scheme, Lee said: “A lot of big companies will not entertain using a contractor who does not have Safe Contractor accreditation. “It’s especially important in today’s market and when there is continued concern about homeowners falling victim to rogue traders.” The rigorous process to gain accreditation involved Lee submitting information about the company’s health and safety policies, mission statement and insurance documents along with examples of work carried out by Huddersfield Contractors and risk assessments.

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Talkative celebrates a century

MOBILE phones business Talkative has achieved a landmark with one of its key customers. The Liversedge-based company has supplied more than 100 connections to directors and field staff at Huddersfield financial compliance service provider SimplyBiz. These comprise standard handsets, PDAs and laptop cards to enable SimplyBiz staff to have a fully-functioning mobile office. SimplyBiz, launched in 2002, has received several accolades for its service and features in the Sunday Times fast Track 100. Sarah Wood, financial director, said: “SimplyBiz has increased considerably in size in the last six years, but this hasn’t been a problem for Talkative. “They have handled the growth with ease, supplying us with the same high quality service that we have always received. “A large number of our staff work in the field, so need to keep in constant contact with our office. “If there are any problems, we know that we can receive immediate technical support

from Talkative.” SimplyBiz has also upgraded 10 of its phones to enable them to have email on the go. Talkative managing director Richard Winterbottom said: “Increasingly, we are finding that our customers require a mobile office, so we like to educate them on working smart. “It is far more cost-effective to email rather than text if communicating with the office. “We are able to assess our client’s needs and advise them on the right handset for them.” Talkative, set up in 2001, specialises in business-to-business mobile communications and covers areas including bill analysis and account management; mobile devices, car kits and accessories; mobile phones hands-free installations; training; landlines and supplying and installing telepone systems. Other customers include soft drinks supplier Ben Shaws, Meltham-based Lawton Electrical and nursery products firm Babyway.


8

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

eddisons.com KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

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■ PIPE FOR SANTA: Santa meets Peter Long, of contractor Mott Macdonald Bentley on the site of the new Spen Valley pipeline

Santa makes a special delivery FATHER Christmas paid a visit to the Spen Valley – to help deliver a special gift from Yorkshire Water. The company is set to begin work on eight miles of pipeline to help improve the quality of water in the rivers Spen and Calder. The new flow transfer pipe will connect the sewage treatment works at Spenborough and Bierley a new £25m new plant at Mitchell Laithesn near Dewsbury. The pipeline will follow the line of the Spen Valley Greenway – avoiding the need to dig up roads and save the area more than 12 months of major traffic disruption. When it’s finished, neither Bierley nor Spenborough will discharge effluent into the rivers – with all waste treated at the Mitchell Laithes site instead. Yorkshire Water community affairs manager Richard Sears said: “The project does mean we’ll be working on the award-winning Spen Valley Greenway in two sections, the first between Dewsbury

and Heckmondwike from January until the summer with the remainder completed before the spring of 2010. “However, we will be doing everything possible to ensure walkers, cyclists and horses can still follow an end-to-end route by building diversions around the ‘live’ sections, which we'll then leave as permanent additions to the path network. “We’ll also leave crossing points in some areas where we’re working so people who use the Greenway for access won't have to take long detours.” Mr Sears said: “The work is bound to mean some inconvenience and our contractors – Mott MacDonald Bentley and Carillion – will be a familiar sight for the next few months. “But we’d like to assure our customers the Greenway will be fully restored when we’ve finished and hope they’ll agree some short-term disruption is worth enduring in return for an extended path network in the long run.”

In one case, a former ambulance driver succeeded in an unfair dismissal claim against her employer as a result of several failings throughout a badly handled redundancy procedure. The company employed 147 employees and decided to restructure its operation in November, 2006. The employees were given letters explaining the reason for the proposed redundancies and volunteers were sought. The employee missed the resulting consultation meeting as she was on annual leave and was not informed of or invited to the meeting. The trade union was not consulted on the selection criterion that was used until after it had been applied and the process was never explained to any employees. The employee was invited to a further meeting at which she was told she had the second lowest score although she was not allowed to view the redundancy matrix. She attended a further meeting in January, 2007, informing her that she was dismissed due to redundancy. The employee subsequently raised a complaint of unfair dismissal and the matter reached the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that there had been no attempt to consult with the union or employees as to the method of selection, the selection criteria or the process in general. The key criteria that was used for scoring was left to one individual who could not support his purely subjective scores with reference to any other document as appraisals had never been carried out. The tribunal concluded that a fair system had not been operated and thus the dismissal was unfair. The instant case clearly shows the need to operate detailed redundancy procedures and consult with employees at all stages. Trade unions may also need to be consulted depending on the number of employees to be made redundant and whether a trade union is recognised. The tribunal did comment throughout the case that it will not “subject the marking system to microscopic analysis” but it will take an overall view of the fairness of the procedure based on the actions of the company. On a different topic, businesses should be aware that from April, 2009, subject to Parliamentary approval, the standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £117.18 to £123.06 a week and the standard rate of statutory sick pay will rise from £75.40 to £79.15 a week. Separately to this, the annual increase in compensation limits for dismissals taking affect after February 1, 2009, have been announced. The maximum compensatory award will increase from £63,000 to £66,200, a “weeks pay” rises from £330 to £350 and the maximum redundancy payment will therefore increase from £9,900 to £10,500. Neil Wilson is an Employment Lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors

Prominent industrial unit in a main road location off the A62 Leeds Road. Generous secure yard and car parking provision. Close proximity to Huddersfield town centre and junction 25 of the M62 motorway

Joint agent Michael Steel 0113 234 8999

High Street, Royston, Barnsley

TO LET – New instruction 5,569 m² (59,946 sq ft)

Large industrial/warehouse unit 3½ miles east of junction 38 of M1 Substantial yard and car parking provision. Generous eaves height

Unit 1 Ellis Hill, Leeds Road, Huddersfield

TO LET 1,087 m² (11,702 sq ft)

■ MILL WORK: Rachel Sterling, of ESTL, and Paul Bailey, of Jay Tee Group, at Folly Hall Mills, Huddersfield

Prominent frontage to exceptionally busy A62 Leeds Road Modern industrial unit suitable for trade counter uses. Superb access to M62 motorway via junction 25

Training firm is latest recruit to Folly Hall Mills

A TRAINING company is the latest organisations to secure space at historic Folly Hall Mills. ESTL is taking 15,000 sq ft of office space at the restored 19th century mills on the banks of the river Colne at Folly Hall. The iconic Grade II listed building on the edge of Huddersfield town centre is being converted into 60,000sq ft high-quality offices by the Dewsbury-based Jay Tee Group. ESTL, which is presently based at Penistone Road, Kirkburton, has agreed terms to take space in both mills making up the complex as well the extended former boiler house. The company will be taking 6,900sq ft in the small mill – which means it is now fully occupied. ESTL is also taking 3,300sq ft in the boiler house and 3,400sq ft in the main mill. The new premises will provide space for about 100 staff. Rachel Stirling, managing director of ESTL, said the company needed “subtantially” bigger premises, adding: “We are moving to Folly Hall because we have experienced considerable growth in the last 12 months, which is forecast to continue.” She said: “We chose Folly Hall for our relocation for a number of reasons, including its central location, which will enable us to retain existing staff, car parking facilities and the chance of having purpose-built premises with specifically designed spaces. “It is wonderful to be part of an exciting regeneration scheme for Huddersfield and to create new employment opportunities for the local community.” The move will be in three stages. Initially, ESTL will occupy three floors of the small mill, moving in mid-February. In mid-May, the company will occupy the newly instated atrium and existing boiler house. By mid-September, it will occupy half of the ground floor in the main mill. ESTL specialise in training and assessment, operating from offices in West Yorkshire the north-east as well as via a nationwide network of trainers and assessors. Paul Bailey, project director at the Jay Tee Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome

ESTL to Folly Hall Mills, which is a tremendous development for Huddersfield. “It will involve significant regeneration of the riverside area, creating new employment opportunities and raising the profile of Huddersfield as a major office destination in the region. ESTL’s move is a superb endorsement of the development.” He said: “Altogether, there is 40,000sq ft of prime office space left in the main mill over five floors, which can be leased or bought. This space can be divided into office units from 2,000sq ft upwards. “We feel they will prove very attractive to professional services firms of all sizes, as well as to the public sector. We love it so much we are moving here ourselves. The interior of Folly Mill features vaulted ceilings, spiral staircases and exposed beams.” Mr Bailey said: “Phase one of our development has involved the conversion of the first of the two riverside buildings, which is now full. And thanks to this great success, phase two will be launched in February.” The joint agents for the scheme are Eddisons and Michael Steel and Co. Paul Andrew, head of agency at Eddisons, said: “There are a number of prestigious schemes being proposed for central Huddersfield, but Folly Hall will be the first to deliver the high-quality accommodation, so full of character, that is preferred by many modern businesses and organisations.” Alec Michael, Partner at Michael Steel & Co added: “There has been demand for high quality office accommodation in the Huddersfield area for some time and notwithstanding the general economic downturn, the quality of the Folly Hall refurbishment has gone a long way to meeting much of this for both local and regional operations.” Huddersfield-based architects Above & Beyond have already taken two floors in the smaller of the two mills. They are relocating from the Media Centre at Northumberland Street. Folly Hall, built in 1844, operated until 1982, was renowned internationally for the quality of its worsted.

Units D, E and F Ainley Industrial Estate Elland

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The Other Rooms 41- 45 Queensgate, Huddersfield

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17

February, 2009

High specification office accommodation. Ease of access to M62 motorway. Flexible terms available

Unit 4, Dearne Park Industrial Estate Park Mill Way, Clayton West Huddersfield

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High quality modern offices. Conveniently located for access to M1 motorway. Generous on site car parking provision

Contact Paul Andrew or Philip Deakin

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February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

PROPERTY FOCUS Car repair shop faces new future A NEW trade park has been created in Leeds with the refurbishment of a former car repair workshop. Southside Trade Park, Gelderd Road, has been created by Leeds-based Ogden Waller Properties – whose portfolio include property in Huddersfield and Batley – after the multi-million pound refurbishment of a former Reg Vardy body shop. The property was refurbished to create the 25,000sq ft trade premises after being acquired speculatively by Ogden Waller Properties early in 2007. The steel portal-framed building was originally to be let as four units but has now been leased by Michael Steel & Co and King Sturge & Co to national tool hire business, HSS Hire Ltd to house one of its Supercentres stocking safety, survey, welding, powered access and lifting equipment. HSS Hire, which has more than 20 branches in Yorkshire, has taken the property on a 15-year lease with five-year break options. HSS Hire branch director David Downie said: “We are delighted to have secured such a prominent location and look forward to improving the range of hire services available to our many customers in the city.”

Online service puts the focus on health

A HEALTH and safety services provider based in Huddersfield has launched a new online service. SM&MS, a leading provider of health and safety services to the property sector, has launched a PropertyPlus to provide a new approach to risk management for property managers and safeguard against prosecution. PropertyPlus is an easy-to-use health and safety compliance data management system developed in consultation with some of the largest property companies in the UK. It has been designed to support the management of compliance reports and actions on multi-site property portfolios. Richard Edwards, director of sales and marketing at SM&MS, said: “As health and safety related legislation continues to increase and become more complex in nature, it has become vital that risk assessments and compliance reports are managed efficiently and effectively, especially in multi-site environments. “This is to ensure that members of the public, clients, contractors and staff are safe and that robust safety systems are in place to safeguard against unwelcome prosecutions. “The system is available in two modules – the Health and Safety Report Manager module, which is ideal for companies with multiple sites requiring ready access to reports, auditability and flexible reporting of when surveys are due. Alternatively, the Health and Safety Monitoring module allows companies to update actions from the health and safety and fire safety risk assessments, and is intended for use by companies with building or site managers, who can work through action plans in a real-time environment. PropertyPlus also allows senior management access to aggregated data showing the overall state

Coral Windows meets grade for energy savings A WINDOW company with a showroom in Huddersfield has achieved a top energy-saving rating. Coral Windows and Conservatories, based in Bradford, gained certification for an “A” rated window after being independently audited by BM TRADA Certification Ltd. The company, established for almost 20 years, makes windows, doors and conservatories at its headquarters in Bradford and also has showrooms in Wakefield, Huddersfield, Otley and York. Pictured receiving the award from Sports Minister and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe (second right) are (from left) senior director Julie Hodgson, financial director Terry Shuttleworth and installations director

Maggie Oates. Coral managing director Mr John Valente said: “We always strive to give our customers the very best service and products and the ‘A’ rated window, together with the ‘B’ and ‘C’ ratings we also achieved means we can offer an energy rated window to suit any budget.” Energy efficient windows save money in reduced fuel bills and also make homes more comfortable. The BFRC Window Energy rating System helps you to select energy efficient windows for your home by comparing windows and their energy rating, so you can select which is the most energy efficient brand – ‘A’ being the best rating down to ‘G’ being the lowest.

■ HEALTH CHECK: health and safety provider SM&MS has launched online service PropertyPlus

of its property portfolio and historical trends, which supports strategic decision-making on investment, resource allocation, legal and policy compliance. SM&MS, based at Bradley, was formed in 1994

7 Town chiefs well-suited with their smart centenary suits February, 2009

and has branch offices in London and Bristol. It employs 80 people nationwide offering services including health and safety risk assessments, fire safety risk assessments, disability access audits, asbestos surveys, environmental management and training.

Symbol of success

BUILDING industry trainers in Kirklees have been awarded the Government’s Disability Symbol to show their commitment to helping people with disabilities get into work. The award was presented to Kirklees Construction Skills Academy, which works closely with colleges in Kirklees to provide construction-related qualifications for 14 to 19-year-olds – including the Young Apprenticeship programme from September, 2009. KCSA, which works closely with Jobcentre Plus disability advisers, also provides construction NVQs, City & Guilds courses in heath and safety, computer training and short construction courses. Helen Balfour, director at KCSA, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to use the symbol. We have introduced excellent practices to uphold the employment rights of disabled people in the company. “I am pleased this achievement recognises our commitment as a responsible employer and also demonstrates our dedication in this field.” The Disability Symbol is awarded to businesses and organisations demonstrating commitment to the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people. For details of the initiative, go to www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk or phone 01484 228017.

UNIVERSITY VIEW Glynis Jones

Proper placement TUDENTS often get bad press and S the typical student image often portrayed is of a young person who

drinks too much, spends much of the day in bed and spends all their student loan at the start of term. I will be the first to admit that some students will reflect some of these traits some of the time! However, my experience of business students at the university is that they work hard as well as play hard. Many are looking for opportunities to engage with local businesses in order to gain some experience which will help them get a foot on the career ladder when they graduate. They are creative, enthusiastic and think outside the box. If you are looking for help to carry out a project, someone with fresh ideas or an extra body in the office to assist you over a busy period, then a placement student from The Business School could be a cost-effective answer. We offer our business students the opportunity to undertake paid work experience placement in their third year. When they return to us they more mature, have developed their skills and have made a positive contribution to the business. Many return to the companies where they undertook their placement. Placement is in effect a year long trial period and offers you the opportunity to see if the person is a good fit with your business. Recently, I have been visiting students out on placement and have received some excellent feedback on their performance. A small internet retailer told me, “We weren’t sure what to expect, but he has really added value to our business and increased sales through the work he has done on our website.” Another commented, “Our student placements are an integral part of our business and they are always full of ideas.” I can hear you saying – yes, but that’s fine for a large organisation! But small firms can get benefits too, as I am sure lots of local companies who have used our placement students can confirm. In the current economic downturn, we realise that many organisations are thinking about shedding staff, rather than taking more staff on. If you don’t think that you could afford a student placement on a full-time basis for a year, then why not share them with another company? Many students are happy to spend half the year with one organisation and then move on to another for the second half of the year. With business, management, marketing and accountancy students available for placement, we have a dedicated placement unit to match the right student to the job and we are able to facilitate interviews for you to choose the placement student to fit into your organisation. So why not help us help you? Placing students with local businesses helps us provide graduates who understand the needs of the work place and can quickly become productive employees. If you think you could use a placement student starting in summer 2009, why not contact our placement unit on 01484 472216. Glynis Jones Department of Strategy and Marketing University of Huddersfield

A TEXTILE company has teamed up with Huddersfield town to produce a special edition Centenary Suit to mark the club’s 100 years of football. Bradley-based fine worsted wool and tailoring manufacturer C&J Antich has designed the suit, which is on sale to fans at the Town souvenir shops and at Antich’s factory shop. Antich, which supplies worsted fabric for the likes of Prada, Armani, Hugo Boss and Marks & Spencer, has only produced 100 of the suits, in keeping with the centenary theme. The company is already Huddersfield Town’s official corporate wear supplier. Managing director, Chris Antich said: “While this sponsorship agreement is about profiling our collection, it is also about giving something back to the town of Huddersfield. Town’s academy will also benefit from the collection as a contribution of profits will be passed on to the youth teams.” Last year, C&J Antich designed a sport suit for Huddersfield Town which has been worn by the team for formal occasions ever since. The Centenary Suit is almost identical – a smart, fitted design and navy in colour. However, it also carries a gold sham hole on the jacket lapels to signify the centenary year and inside, the Huddersfield Town badge and centenary mark has been woven into the label. The suit also comes with an official blue

■ CLOTHES SHOW: Chris Antich (centre), of C&J Antich, presents centenary suits to Dean Hoyle (left) and Ken Davy

and white Huddersfield Town suit bag, personalised with the owner’s surname – just as the players’ suit bags are. Sean Jarvis, head of business development at Town, said: “This suit is an ideal solution

for those special occasions – and knowing that it is worn by the Huddersfield Town team is a great addition to buying a club shirt or a silk tie.” Prices start at £129.

Scooped PUBLIC relations companies in Yorkshire have scooped two of the most prestigious awards in the industry. Leeds-based Wolfstar and Saddleworth-based Pelican Public Relations beat off strong competition from firms across the UK to win two ategories at the annual Grand Prix PRide Awards run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. The Grand Prix comprises all the winning entries from the regional PRide Awards. Wolfstar, which won the best small consultancy award, works for clients including Sony Ericsson, Philips and the NHS. Pelican won the Not for Profit category for its “Green is Glam” campaign.

John snaps up awards A HUDDERSFIELD photographer has snapped up two awards for his work. John Woods based at Byram Arcade, Westgate, won gold awards in the pictorial and environmental portrait categories for November in the monthly awards run by the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. The first picture was taken a Carnforth railway station, Lancashire, the setting for the film brief Encounter. The second was taken in a back street in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Now John is hoping to be named one of the society’s photographers of the year. The annual awards are chosen from the 12 monthly print winners in 2008. But John must wait until January and the annual awards ceremony in London before knowing his fate. He said: “It’s the first time I have entered the awards since November, 2001, when I won two categories and was runner up in a third.”

Financial problems hanging over you - can’t see a way forward? Whatever financial problems you are experiencing in your business, we can help. Call us now for a consultation 01422 348448 www.begbies-traynor.com Begbies Traynor 36 Clare Road, Halifax, HK 2HX


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February, 2009

February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Rotajet lands supply deal

Football contest right on target for local firms KIRKLEES firms aiming for net gains in 2008 can sign up for an unusual sporting contest. Huddersfield Town has launched a six-a-side football tournament – and is now inviting companies to submit their team by filling in the form on this page. Sean Jarvis, Town’s director of business development, said the aim was to play the tournament on Wednesday, April 1, using the state-of-the-art indoor pitches at The Zone, St Andrew’s Road, Huddersfield. The competition will involve 10 teams, each managed by a Town player or coach, playing a number of game culminating in a semi-final and a final. The event – which has been promoted by Town players Andy Booth, Daniel Codman, Matt Glennon and Nathan Clarke – will also include a pie and pea supper, team photos and a cross bar challenge before the final. Four businesses have already

signed up for the event – Yorkshire Bank, Fantastic Media, The Pink Link and Oval Insurance. Town director of business development Sean Jarvis said the event would provide firms with a chance to get their staff together away from the workplace with an event promising fun and friendly competition.

■ IN THE ZONE: Sean Jarvis, Town’s director of business development

A HUDDERSFIELD law firm with many years experience of providing personal injury advice has received recognition for its work by a national accreditation scheme. The personal injury department at Eaton Smith Solicitors has been admitted to the scheme which is run by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and assesses solicitors according to their expertise, experience and quality client care. Anne Pendlebury (above), head of the department at the High Street firm, said: “We are particularly proud to receive this accreditation as the ‘kite mark’ is an assurance of quality for people who have been injured through no fault of their own and are entitled to claim compensation. “It is a fitting reward to all the team who work so hard to help their clients and to satisfy APIL’s strict selection criteria.”

A DEWSBURY firm has completed a six-figure order to install and commission industrial cleaning machines for a firm servicing aircraft around the world. Ro t a j e t S y s t e m s l a n d e d t h e £ 1 5 0 , 0 0 0 - p l u s d e a l f ro m Ve c t o r Aerospace, which provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services for aircraft operators all over the world, including the UK's armed forces. The order is for a series of water-based de-greasing machines that are a vital part of the process to clean aircraft components. The machines ensure environmental compliance by overcoming the problem of using trichloroethylene on site and remove all old oil and greases, short term protection fluids and particle contamination. The contract – Rotajet’s first with Vector, follows Vector’s acquisition of the Fleetlands Rotary Wing and Almondbank Components businesses of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency from the Ministry of Defence. Fleetlands provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services for Chinook, Lynx and Sea King helicopters. Rotajet has had previous contracts to supply its water-based cleaning systems to the UK's armed forces as well as with the Indian Air Force.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, these machines can also help to reduce costs by up to £20,000 for medium-sized companies. Rotajet, which is part of the Richard Alan Group, has more than 30 years experience and is now recognised as a UK leader in the design, manufacture and supply of industrial washing machines. Over the years, Rotajet has manufactured more than 500 machines as well as 70 single stage de-greasing machines for the MoD. They include 50 machines for the RAF, 16 for the army and four for the Royal Navy. Rotajet director Colin Steward said: “We are very excited about this order which marks another milestone for the company. “We are proud of our ‘green’ credentials and our reputation to bring the benefits of water-based cleaning solutions to the aerospace market. “We have overcome the problems caused by using volatile organic compounds such as harmful emissions, the handling and disposal of solvents as well as the fire hazards of solvents. “It is a tribute to the skill of our staff and our technical capability that we won this order from Vector and an honour for us to do business with such a prestigious company.”

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN FC

6asideCorporate FootballTournament

hTFc 6 a-Side FooTBall TournamenT

A CENTURY OF PRIDE

Wednesday 1st April 2009

You are cordially invited to take part in our inaugural 6 a-Side corporate football tournament taking place at The Zone. 10 Teams 12 Games including final 15 minutes each match Timings: 5.30 until 9.30 pm

The TournamenT will include: First team huddersfield Town player as your manager Team PhoTo with your manager Post match Pie & Pea SuPPer

PoST maTch PreSenTaTionS with a trophy for the winner and runner up, plus a special wooden spoon for the team who finishes last. we will also have a croSSBar challenge, which will take place before the final game.

To book your team, complete the form below and return to the commercial department, huddersfield Town Fc, The Galpharm Stadium, huddersfield hd1 6PX or contact the commercial department on 01484 484140 or email commercial@htafc.com

Booking Form Contact Details Mr/ Mrs/ Miss/ Ms

Price pe team o r f6 plus tw o substi tutes i s £400 +VaT

Payment Options First Name

Surname

Company name and correspondence address

Cheque Card

(please tick and post this form to the address below with cheque payment) Card Holder’s name

Card No Email address: Tel no.

Mobile no.

Fax no.

Valid from.

Expiry Date.

Issue no.

Security no. (last 3 digits on the back of your card)

Full address of card holder if different to the one above Invoice address (if different from above) Signed

Supported By

Date

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

PROPERTY FOCUS

Estate agents join forces to boost market ESTATE agents in Huddersfield are banding together under the banner of a new property website. P ro p e r t y S a l e s Exchange.com has been launched in the town to allow estate agents to register their properties – and encourage sellers to view each other’s houses in the hope they can sell to one another. The website has been running for just four weeks – but has already found favour with a string of leading agents in the town, including Boultons, Whitegates, Holroyds, Jane Stocks, Your Move, Ryder & Dutton, Brearley-Greens and Wm Sykes in Holmfirth. A number of agents in Halifax, Sheffield, Wakefield, Leeds and Barnsley have also registered to take part as estate agents seek to increase sales in a stagnant property market. James White, of Ryder and Dutton in Huddersfield, who instigated the initiative, said: “We have 74 estate agency branches on it already. “For he first time in the 20 years I have been in this business, there seems to be a desire

among estate agents to collaborate to help each other.” He said: The basic idea is that agents get together, register all of their properties by uploading in the same way as they do to Rightmove and other portal sites. “The agent then quickly logs into the site and specifies where their client is hoping to move to, and to what type of house. “Property Sales Exchange then marries up sellers’ moving-on requirements and puts each agent in touch with one another to encourage sellers to view each others’ corresponding houses in order to sell to one another.” Mr White said 1,000 houses in Huddersfield were now

registered on the site – while it was hoped to extend the initiative nationwide to more than 20,000 estate ageny outlets through franchising. Said Mr White: “House exchange schemes or house swap schemes have been springing up all over the country, but lack a critical mass of properties in order to get real results for sellers and agents alike. Often they are too labour intensive or costly for agents to be bothered with. “Property Sales Exchange is so simple. With just three or four clicks, an agent can register their vendors’ moving-on requirements, and then corresponding agents will be e-mailed when potential matches occur. “As we move into a unique recession – with rising unemployment and low interest rates – existing home owners will need to ‘downsize’, but others will want to ‘upsize’ as a result of low interest rate deals. “A lack of first time buyers will help fuel the enthusiasm for this service.”

Valley firm is pioneer A COLNE valley firm supp l y i n g e n v i r o n m e n ta l l y - f r i e n d l y bu i l d i n g products is pioneering a greener way to build houses in the UK. Awa rd - w i n n i n g G o lcar-based Green Building Store has launched a new range of products to help build houses that use 90% less energy for heating space than standard UK buildings, Chris Herring The Passivhaus products, which have been developed over the of Green Building Store, past 20 years in Europe said: “Passivhaus design and North America, use a offers the most effective – “ t e a c o s y ” e f f e c t o f and cost-effective – way to super-efficient insulation construct ‘low carbon’ and excellent airtightness homes and cut CO2 emiscoupled with a “comfort sions from buildings. “ Passivhaus design is ventilation” system to create comfortable homes based on the principle that that need minimal heat- reducing heating loss to the minimum is the most ing. Passivhaus can often be cost-effective way of creheatied solely through ating a low carbon buildheat from the sun, cooking ing. “Green Building Store and showering activities and the body heat of the believes the UK’s strategy house’s occupants – and on low carbon homes needs to be urgently pets. Chris Herring, director revised to put greater

emphasis on energy efficiency, airtightness and other Passivhaus design principles and away from expensive bolt-on renewables.” Mr Herring said the company hoped to encourage more housebuilders, self-builders and property renovators to adopt Passivhaus design and construction in the UK. He said: “Passivhaus building design has been widely adopted in Europe and has recently had high level support from the European Parliament. “The UK urgently needs to embrace the Passivhaus approach if we are to respond to the threat of climate change ef fectively and cost-effectively.” Green Building Store’s new Passivhaus range includes thermally-efficient windows and doors in timber or timber and fibreglass composite, airtrightness tapes and ventilation systems.

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February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

PROPERTY FOCUS

Trevor Fuller

Dangerous cutbacks HE current financial climate is T causing headaches for many companies and it looks as though the UK

Factory finds tenant A NEW tenant has been found for this modern factory in Clayton West. The 18,000sq ft premises at Riverside House (above) in Collier’s Way, have been let to UK Panel Products Ltd, which makes wall panelling for the shopfitting, furniture manufacturing and joinery trades. Joint agents for the deal were Michael Steel & Co in Leeds and Wakefield-based Vickers Carnley. Alec Michael, partner at Michael Steel & Co, said: “Riverside House offered high quality factory space in a convenient location for Huddersfield

and Wakefield, but in particular the motorway network. “While we have had an extended marketing period, our clients have been extremely keen to ensure they secured the right tenant for this building and have little doubt that UK Panel Products Ltd will have tremendous success.” Commenting on the commercial property market, Mr Michael said: “While undoubtedly times are difficult, enquiries are still being received and transactions completed – although vendors and landlords must remain realistic and flexible.”

Sales raise £4.5m ■ HIGH POINT: Solarcentury trainer Brian Evans (left) with Ploughcroft managing director Chris Hopkins at Brighouse-based Ploughcroft’s training and development centre

into electricity – unlike solar thermal panels, which heat water. The tiles fix directly to the roof battens, sitting flush with traditional roof slates. This reduces the likelihood of planning issues associated with traditional “bolt-on” solar panels and means trained and approved roofing contractors can finish the

Forum is building up more support A NETWORKING group for construction sector professionals has reported a 50% rise in membership. The Yorkshire branch of the Forum for the Built Environment holds monthly breakfast events for members including major developers, contractors, consultants and specialist contractors. Regional director Keith Griffiths said: “The rise in members is very encouraging and is a tribute to the growth and importance of the FBE.”

work without the involvement of other trades. As part of the government’s low carbon building programme, householders can apply for grants of up to £2,500 towards the installation of the slates. Grants of 50% are also available for community groups, public and not for profit organisations.

H I G H E R p r i c e d p ro p e r t i e s struggled to attract buyers at the final northern property auction of the year run by property agency Eddisons. Out of 77 lots on offer, 49 were sold during the two-day auction, achieving total sales exceeding £4.5m. Several lots priced at more than £500,000 struggled to find bidders, although Eddisons said a number of acceptable offers were received post-auction on all the bigger ticket items. Auctioneer Tony Webber said: “It was apparent that the uncertainty with funding arrangements dented bidder confidence and the bad weather put a number of people off altogether. “However, it is encouraging that

once finances were in place buyers were prepared to come back with good offers on all the higher priced lots. “In general, bidders are clearly only spending money they have at their immediate disposal rather than relying on external funding. “This is a trend which has been consistent with a number of our auctions this year.’” Highlights of the auction prime residential development land in Mirfield, which was offered with planning permission for five detached dwellings, which sold for £375,000. Eddisons said its next property auction, taking place on on February 19 in Leeds, was already shaping up to be a big sale.

Estate agencies land two accolades STAFF at the Huddersfield and Halifax branches of estate agent Your Move Alexanders have triumphed twice in the Estate Agency Awards 2008. Alongside the two gold awards, they were also shortlisted for best small agency in the north and the technological award. The national awards recognise the contribution that companies have made in providing exceptional customer service. Your Move Alexanders beat off tough competition to take gold for best financial services and best marketing categories in

Celebrate students’ success

RISKY BUSINESS

Brighouse firm is at the top of its profession A BRIGHOUSE roofing and building company has become the first in the country to train its working to install a revolutionary renewable energy product. Six roofers at Ploughcroft Building Services have so far completed training from UK solar energy company Solarcentury to fit its new solar electric roof slates. Ploughcroft managing director Chris Hopkins said: “The new solar slates are very relevant for us because there are so many slate roofs in the area where we work. “In fact, we have already had a number of requests for the product f ro m l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s a n d schools.” Last year, Ploughcroft became the first company in the country to offer certificated National Federation of Roofing Contractors training in the fitting of solar panels on roof tops. Solarcentury provided its first private course for Ploughcroft personnel at Ploughcroft’s purpose-built training and development centre in Brighouse. Following the successful inspection of two installations, Ploughcroft will become an approved roofing contractor of Solarcentury’s C21e systems. Solarcentury product manager Martin White said: “It’s great that roofers are proactively getting involved in solar. “Roofers are best placed to provide C21e insallations and Chris’s forward thinking approach combined with the Ploughcroft team’s strong knowledge of both our product and of solar power in general, made them really receptive and very easy to train. “Solar roof tiles and slates are becoming key to diversifying the roofing trade, as demand is rising for intelligent energy and they’re very simple to install.” The C21e slate converts light

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February, 2009

recognition of the support it offers vendors in selling their property. The awards build on the company’s past successes, including the Daily Mail UK Property Awards 2007, where Your Move won 19 Awards – the most ever won by an estate agent – the Franchise Marketing Awards and this year’s Estate Agency and Lettings Awards. Simon Rowell and Simon Bentley, directors of Your Move Alexanders in Huddersfield and Halifax, said: “The team are delighted by this great success and feel this will provide added reassurance to

customers that they are dealing with a reputable and highly professional agent. “In particular, the award best financial services acknowledges our strength in providing customers with a comprehensive mortgage and remortgage service. “However, it’s not just about working hard to find a mortgage to suit their personal circumstances but also the additional support we can offer like advice on filling out application forms, help in processing them and ensuring that we follow the regulatory requirement and standards set by the industry.”

economy could be in for a rough ride for the foreseeable future. The credit crunch appears to be tightening its grip with business confidence faltering. In order to tackle this uncertain situation, budgets are likely to be squeezed, and it is tempting to see health and safety as an easy target for cutbacks. However, this is a false economy. If an employee were injured or even killed while at work, this could result in prosecution and a large fine or even imprisonment. Indeed, as Nattasha Freeman, president of (he Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, stated recently, one accident could put a company out of business. Accidents and ill-health place a great strain on company budgets, so it is sensible to avoid them. According to HSE statistics, 228 people were killed at work in 2007/08 and nearly half a million people were injured while at work. Thirty-six million working days were lost, 30m due to work-related ill health and 6m due to workplace injury. Legislation states that employers have a duty to provide information, instruction, training and supervision and make sure all their workers can understand it. The higher penalties that can be imposed following the introduction of the Health and Safety Offences Act in January, 2009, means there is an escalating need for ensuring health and safety rather than the reverse, to ensure compliance and avoid penalty. The implications of the Corporate Manslaughter Act, under which organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care, are not yet always well understood by employers, making health and safety awareness even more vital for business. Remember, a lack of money is not a reason – nor a defence – for not ensuring adequate health and safety in your workplace. Management have a significant role to play here, demonstrating their commitment to health and safety by providing information, equipment and training that are essential in maintaining a good safety culture within an organisation. This, in turn, ensures safety is paramount in the minds of workers, and they feel well cared for by their employer. So, ensure you have an up to date Health and Safety Policy that addresses the needs of your business. Ensure you have Risk Assessments are in place for all significant risks within your workplace and all tasks carried out during the course of your working activities – both on and off site. Ensure both of the above are communicated to your staff and encourage staff to comment and improve these. Ensure staff are adequately trained to carry out all tasks they carry out in the workplace. Trevor Fuller is a risk management adviser at Wilby Ltd, based in Halifax

■ HIGH PRESSURE: The familiar figure of the Michelin man (left) with (from left) Matthew Evans, managing director of Leading Edge; Jim Rickard, managing director of Michelin UK; a Michelin marketing official; and Hans Wedel, of Cages

Kirklees firms can really take the pressure!

TWO KIRKLEES companies are pumped up after winning a contract with a world-famous firm. Cleckheaton-based design and display agency Leading Edge and Dewsbury-based compressed air company Cages have designed, manufactured and fitted a tyre inflation complete with promotional display material for Michelin UK. The team won the account thanks to some clever ideas it presented to the tyre manufacturer for its annual road safety awareness campaign. The campaign includes a Fill Up With Air roadshow, which travels around the UK inviting drivers to have their tyre pressures checked and adjusted for free – resulting in safer driving, fuel savings and a cut in carbon emissions. Leading Edge provided Michelin with

a branded vehicle bearing an image of the famous Michelin Man, branded tents, flags, outdoor display units and literature. Cages kitted out the vehicle with a complete compressed air power system to allow Michelin staff to check and adjust tyre pressure for motorists visiting the display. Matthew Evans, managing director of Leading Edge, said: “When we heard that we had won the contract, we were delighted that we could impress such a famous name like Michelin with our ideas.” Shaun Wood, managing director of Cages, added: “Between the two companies, we have a really talented bunch of people, with a totally unique offer – and Michelin loved what we came up with!”

STUDENTS at Kirklees College have celebrated success at two special ceremonies. Awards were presented to outstanding individuals and groups of learners in separate events staged at Dewsbury Town Hall and Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium. Principal Chris Sadler said: “The awards event celebrated the critical role the college plays in Kirklees and the surrounding area in releasing the potential of ordinary people to achieve great things. “Students should feel very proud of themselves and all college staff should be proud of the role they all play in helping thousands of people every year to improve their prospects of having a happy and fulfilling life and contributing to the positive development of the community.” Kirklees College brings together Dewsbury College and Huddersfield Technical College to provide a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications – from NVQ entry level to higher education degrees – in areas ranging from digital design and early years to computer-aided design and manufacture. Commercial property specialist Walker Singleton has appointed Graham Foster as head of its commercial property management department in Halifax. Mr Walker was previously employed for 18 years at Eddisons Commercial in Leeds as head of property management.

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Search starts to find outstanding directors BOARDROOM bosses in Huddersfield have been urged to take part in a competition to find Yorkshire’s most outstanding company directors. The Institute of Directors in Yorkshire is calling for entries to its 2009 Director of the Year Awards. The awards, now in their fifth year, aim to celebrate the achievements of the region’s most hardworking and innovative business leaders and are open to anyone of director level or equivalent status. Categories include ones for directors in the not-for-profit and voluntary sector, business adviser of the year, non-executive director of the year, entrepreneur of the year and young director of the year.

Entrants will compete for the top award of Yorkshire Director of the Year while judge’s special achievement and lifetime achievement accolades will also be awarded. Last year’s winners included Michael Purtill, co-founder and managing director of Leeds-based Q Hotels, who was named Yorkshire Director of the Year award, and Sir Ken Morrison, who received a liftetime award for his 55-year career with Morrisons Supermarkets. This year’s awards will be presented on Thursday, September 10 in Leeds. Entries can be submitted online untill Tu e s d ay, M ay 2 6 . G o t o www.dotya.co.uk

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February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

TECH TALK

Safety is key for supplier

Roger Pearson

Predictions for the year

OR many businesses, the past year F has been a challenging one and it is not easy to say what 2009 will bring.

However, there may be some useful guidance in the annual round of last year reviews and next year predictions. So, as the final champagne cork of the New Year celebrations goes “pop” and we all head back to the office, here is a roundup of the IT predictions for 2009. At this time last year, the outlook was fairly good and this has carried through with less than 20% of SME companies responding to The Registers 2008 survey reporting that the credit crunch has had a significant effect on IT projects. This is stunningly close to the surveyed percentage last year, so “gold stars” there. A larger percentage (28%) expect there to be an impact during 2009, although over half (58%) are still not expecting a significant problem. The important point here is being informed and proactive. Knowing how your top line is supported by your technology is absolutely critical. This enables you to seek out optimisation and efficiency within the IT function, which may be possible without impacting upon service delivery to your clients. IT departments can help with this by being proactive about maintaining a lean and efficient IT system. Looking at specific technologies, many of the predictions for 2009 are continuations from the past year. Convergence was predicted to be important in 2008 and it has been so, although for our businesses perhaps not to the extent expected. In many cases, this refers to convergence of IT and telephone systems and this has perhaps been held back by the slow roll-out of BTs new “21st Century Network” or 21CN which is expected to be an enabler for many converged systems. For our businesses, convergence must be related to specific business requirements and this is hinted at in some of the predictions for convergence in 2009. Before deciding on a system, find out how it will improve your business. For example, look for how a system will promote your company and its products and services to new clients and/or how the system will provide a better service to your existing clients. Online applications are again tipped for 2009 with the likes of Microsoft and Google continuing to invest in development. However, how this will become mainstream, business-supporting technology is yet to be seen. Pricing is not always clear and for firms looking to integrate more closely with clients and business partners, moving to a proprietary on-line system may not be the answer. On the face, there are benefits to consider but look carefully at how this will affect your business process. Ending on a happy New Year message, commodity technology costs such as straight forward PCs, broadband connections and hard disks also continue on a downward trend. There have been some price fluctuations relating to the dollar rate changes but the overall trend on these items is expected to be in the right direction. Roger Pearson is a project manager at P2 Technologies Ltd, Lockwood

■ FIT FOR BUSINESS: Tracey Spencer Tootill, head of public relations and marketing at Kirklees Active Leisure, with Neil Wilson, partner and employment specialist at law firm Chadwick Lawrence

Sporting links for Kirklees law firm

A LAW firm in Huddersfield has reported a healthy new contract – acting for sports centre operator Kirklees Active Leisure. Chadwick Lawrence, which has offices at Railway Street in Huddersfield, will provide KAL with employment support services through the company’s Employer Support Pack. KAL is a charitable trust responsible for managing, operating and developing 10 sports centres and swimming pools in Kirklees. The trust also manages the Stadium Health and Fitness Club at the Galpharm Stadium and Spenborough athletics track.

The organisation aims to get “more people, more active, more often, in Kirklees” and provides a wide range of opportunities for affordable sport, leisure and recreational activities for local people. C h a dw i c k L aw re n c e wa s chosen because it is a specialist in employment law, ifor its wider commercial services and because it has several offices across Kirklees. Tracey Spencer Tootill, head of hunman resources and marketing at K A L , s a i d : “ C h a dw i c k Lawrence has extensive experience in employment law, meaning they are always up to date with the latest legislation.

“Kirklees Active Leisure already has a strong in-house HR team, which now has the benefit of specialist legal support via the Employment Support Pack making HR issues much easier to manage.” Neil Wilson, partner and employment specialist at Chadwick Lawrence, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Kirklees Active Leisure. “We enjoy building relationships with clients and supporting them in any way we can, so we see this as a long term partnership and look forward to developing it in the future.”

INSURANCE and risk management company Wilby has helped a national kitchen supplier pass the health and safety test. Halifax-based Wilby Risk Management worked with Alno UK Ltd, part of German-based Alno AG, to pass its annual CHAS assessment. Contractors approved by the Contractors Health & Safety Scheme must not only meet legal health and safety requirements but must also demonstrate excellent management procedures. Mark Dalton, associate director for Wilby Risk Management, works closely with Alno UK Ltd to undertake a programme of construction site inspections across the UK and to implement the company’s health and safety policy. Caren Gamble, operations manager for Alno UK Ltd, said “The CHAS application takes some time to complete, but we consider being a CHAS approved contractor gives a clear message to our clients of the importance we place on health and safety.”

Russian trade routes KIRKLEES firms have been urged to look to Russia in a bid to combat the recession. A trade trip to Moscow and the Rostov region is being spearheaded by Huddersfield University’s Russian-British Business Centre. And centre chief Dr Evgeny Polyakov said the mission provided an opportunity for local companies to target potential new markets at a time when the UK economy is in the doldrums. He said: “The ‘Made in Britain’ brand is still highly regarded in Russia. There is also a lot of investment going into sectors such as construction and transport, particularly in Rostov-on-Don, which is the centre of the South Russia Federal District.” The Russian-British Business Centre plans to take up to 15 companies from across Yorkshire on the six-day mission, which will run from April 19 to 24. It will include two days of business networking and one-to-one meetings with potential customers in Moscow as well as workshops, meetings, networking events and company visits in Rostov. Firms can claim up to 50% off the basic

21

February, 2009

cost of £3,120 through UK Trade and Investment’s Targeted Export Support Scheme. The trip is also supported by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward; Chamber International comprising York, Bradford and Leeds chambers of commerce; and the World Trade Centre Hull and Humber. Dr Polyakov said major industries of Rostov included mechanical engineering, food processing, agriculture and coal mining. Products made in the region include cars, helicopters and airplanes, industrial boilers and sewing machines. The region consists of 123 towns and cities and has a population of almost 30m people – making up almost 16% of the total population of the Russian Federation. However, trade with the UK makes up only a small fraction of the total. The Rostov region numbers Ukraine, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Egypt among its principal trading partners. Dr Polyakov said a conference organised by the Russian-British Business Centre at the Galpharm Stadium last summer showed there was keen interest among Yorkshire firms – which the April trade trip

■ DRUMMING UP TRADE: Dr Evgeny Polyakov, head of the Russian British Business Centre at Huddersfield University

aimed to satisfy. “Rostov region has ambitious investment plans between now and 2020,” he said. “They include developing river, road, air and rail transport links, modernising much of the existing industry and training workers areas such as marketing and customer care.” The trip also includes an optional visit to Sochi, chosen as the host for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The deadline to register interest in the trade mission is Friday, February 6. Contact Dr Polyavok on 01484 473107 or email rbbc@hud.ac.uk

PROPERTY FOCUS

Housebuilder more positive A HOUSEBUILDER with sites in Kirklees has hit back at gloomy forecasts for 2009. Miller Homes, which has properties in Huddersfield and Liversedge, said it was now seeing signs of confidence slowly but surely returning to the housing market – aided by a pledge from HSBC to increase the amount available for mortgages by 20% next year. The housebuilder said November’s 1.5% cut in lending rates sparked a rise in enquiries at its developments across Yorkshire – a pattern also reported by househunting websites rightmove.co.uk and smartnewhomes.co.uk. Miller Homes said the trend has strengthened following another rate cut to bring the cost of borrowing to 2% – a level not seen since 1951. Sales and marketing director Sue Warwick said the latest cut was just one item on a long list of initiatives that together were having a positive effect on market confidence. She said: “The number of chartered surveyors who believe the market has bottomed out has increased fivefold, from 4% to 20%, according to a recent survey of members of Chartered Instituted of Surveyors. “The number of transactions recorded by the Land Registry seems to be increasing again – and

there are early indications that large lenders are considering a move to accept builders’ deposits for the first time in months. “Obviously, we need banks to pass the interest rate savings onto customers for the full benefit to be seen – but the cut in rates is a reflection of the economy in general. “Oil prices are coming down and taking food and heating bills down with them. We’ve also seen cuts in VAT and Government reassurances that hardworking homeowners will be protected if they face redundancy – and this is the news that many people have been waiting for.” Miller Homes said that the closing weeks of 2008 have seen a definite increase in sales rates, much of which the business attributes to its MiWay scheme where buyers pay 75% now and 25% later. The company said the initiative – which will be rolled out in 2009 – had already helped the company to sell several hundreds of homes. Ms Warwick said a shortage of housing was underpinning the market, so in the long term demand would grow again. :She added: “We certainly believe the worst has now past and there are calmer waters on the horizon for beleaguered homeowners everywhere.”

A WORKER at the Dewsbury branch of Leeds Building Society has been hailed a hero. Anita Firth, assistant manager of the branch, won the society’s annual Community Hero Award, which recognises the member of staff who has made a real difference to a charity or their local community. Anita is pictured receiving her

Property Double success for prizes in prospects

estate agency staff

STAFF at the Huddersfield and Halifax branches of estate agent Your Move Alexanders have triumphed twice in the Estate Agency Awards 2008. Alongside the two gold awards, they were also shortlisted for best small agency in the north and the technological award. The national awards recognise the significant contribution that companies have made in providing exceptional customer service. Your Move Alexanders beat off tough competition to take gold for best financial services and best marketing categories in recognition of the support it offers vendors in selling their property. The awards build on the company’s past successes, including the Daily Mail UK Property Awards 2007, where Your Move won 19 Awards – the most ever won by an estate agent – the Franchise Marketing Awards and this year’s Estate Agency and Lettings Awards. Simon Rowell and Simon

Bentley, directors of Your Move Alexanders in Huddersfield and Halifax, said: “The team are delighted by this great success and feel this will provide added reassurance to customers that they are dealing with a reputable and highly professional agent. “In particular, the award best financial services acknowledges our strength in providing customers with a comprehensive mortgage and remortgage service. “However, it’s not just about working hard to find a mortgage to suit their personal circumstances – particularly in these difficult times – but also the additional support we can offer like advice on filling out application forms and help in processing them and at the same time, ensuring that we follow the regulatory requirement and standards set by the industry.” The awards were presented to Your Move by television presenter Melissa Porter, at a prestigious awards ceremony held in London this month.

quadron’s civilian committee for more than seven years and manages the squadron’s accounts. She has also led fundraising events to enable the squadron to buy a new minibus. Said Anita: “To win the annual community hero award was an inspiration. To be presented with the award by the Duke of York was a once in a lifetime experience.”

award from the Duke of York when he visited Leeds to re-open the society’s refurbished head office. Anita was nominated for the award by Michael Barber, chairman of the civilian committee at 127 Squadron Air Training Corps in Wakefield, for her major efforts to support the organisation over a number of years. Anita has been treasurer of

PROPERTY projects in Kirklees could be in line for a top award in 2009. Entrants are being sought for next year’s Pro Yorkshire Awards run by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The award will celebrate the best property schemes over the past 12 months – and showcase the achievements of property professionals working across the region. RICS operations director Jennifer Welch said: “The 2009 Pro Yorkshire Awards provide a welcome opportunity to celebrate the great work that is continuing in our region despite the turbulent market conditions. “The Awards always attract entries from talented property developers, civil engineers, planners, architects, constructors and surveyors who want to promote their high profile projects and clients – and I’m sure this year will be no different.” The awards will be presented on May 15, 2009 at a gala dinner at the Savils Hall, Royal Armouries in Leeds. Winners last year included a residential development at Victoria Mills in Bradford and an arts building in Hull. The deadline for entries is January 23. There are eight categories, including ones for commercial and residential development, design and innovation, regeneration, community benefit and building conservation. A Project of the Year Award will be selected from the category winners.

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Service with a smile! LONG-SERVING staff at a hotel in Huddersfield celebrated with champagne. Beryl Ramsden, assistant restaurant manager at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, toasted 25 years at the hotel – where she also celebrated her marriage. She was joined by six other members of staff who have helped her clock up a total of 125 years with the hotel. Identical twins Helen and Ann Lodge, who are both kitchen porters, have 19 years service, as has conference and banqueting porter Steven Taylor. Breakfast chef Melissa Moses has 18 years service – having dished up more than 500,000 rashers or bacon and 400,000 fried eggs. Lyndsey Hunter has 12 years service as sous chef while Claire Bevins has been restaurant supervisor for the past 13 years. Beryl, who lives in Newsome, said: “I love my job with a passion as I enjoy working with the general public. The hotel staff are like my extended family. “The past 25 years have flown by. All three of my children have worked here at some point – I even had my wedding reception here in 1976. Little did I know I would end up working here for all these years.” General manager Maria Florou said: “Having such a loyal team to work with is a real privilege and makes a difference to our many regular guests and customers.” The hotel was bought by Cedar Court Hotels – Yorkshire’s largest independent hotel group – from the Hilton Group in 2001. The group has four 4-star hotels in Huddersfield, Bradford, Wake-

On the fast track TRANSLATION company Applied Language Solutions have been listed as one of Britain’s fastest growing private companies. The firm, headed by managing director Gavin Wheeldon, takes 23rd place in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 annual league table, after more than doubling annual sales in the past year. The company reported turnover totalling £5.5m last year against £600,000 in 2004-2005. In the past five years, Mr Wheeldon, of Meltham, has turned the business into an international operation with nine offices worldwide in the UK, USA, India, France, Spain and Bulgaria. Fast Track 100 ranks the top 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over three eyars.

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THe TournAmenT will inClude: field and Harrogate and plans to open a 5-star hotel in York next year. Pictured enjoying their champagne moment at the hotel are

First team Huddersfield Town player as your manager Team PhoTo with your manager Post match Pie & Pea SuPPer PoST maTch PreSenTaTionS with a trophy for the winner and runner up, plus a special wooden spoon for the team who finishes last. we will also have a croSS Bar challenge, which will take place before the final game.

Beryl Ramsden (centre) with (back, from left) Melita Moses, Claire Bevins, Lyndsay Hunter, Ann amd Helen Lodge and Steve Taylor. Supported by

Unwary firms face penalties, expert warns KIRKLEES companies have been warned that late-filing penalties imposed by Companies House are set to rocket from early next year. David Butterworth, of Huddersfield-based accountancy firm Wheawill & Sudworth, said there was already a long-standing penalty regime for limited companies that do not file their accounts on time. But he said: “The level of penalties is increasing significantly from February 1, 2009, and some companies are going to get a major shock. For accounting periods beginning on or after April 6, 2008, two major changes are coming into effect. Firstly, the deadline for filing accounts is shortening to nine months after the period end for private companies from its cur rent 10 months, and to six months for public companies from its current seven

months. The late-filing penalty rates will rise to £150 for a private company and £750 for a public company filing up to one month late – rising to £1,500 fotr a private company and £7,500 for a public company filing more than six months late. Said Mr Butterworth: “These are significant increases compared to the present regime and – where a company is late two years running – the penalties are doubled. “Although Companies House can show leniency in certain circumstances, the deadlines and penalties are well-publicised and lame excuses will not be tolerated by them. “Some companies can take advantage of a web-filing facility on the Companies House website and this can help speed things up.”

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February, 2009

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

COMMENT

by

Henryk Zientek HO would be an economic foreW caster? As we survey the devastation wreaked by

the banking crisis, housing market slump and plunge in consumer spending, who would be brave enough to predict with any certainty where the UK economy will be in another 12 months’ time? Certainly, pundits at the start of 2008 were not predicting the collapse of world markets, the loss of a string of familiar high street names or taxpayers owning a clutch of clearing banks – courtesy of the Government’s multi-billion pound bail-out. In such circumstances, forecasters could be forgiven for taking a pessimistic view of what’s to come. Many believe there must be further painful fall-out – in terms of job losses, personal insolvencies and company closures – before the economy achieves equilibrium. It is difficult to blame them. After many months of avoiding the “R” word – the reality is that Britain and many of the world’s leading economies are in dire straits. Economic experts would do well to focus more closely on how recovery can be encouraged – although, inevitably, there is little agreement on what measures will be more effective. Business people should also consider how easily the edifice was toppled and consider the lessons to be learned.

Read Henryk Zientek's Business reports Monday to Friday in ...

Inside Issues

● Celebrating long service – page 3 ● Law firm in sporting link – page 4 ● Rotajet makes a clean sweep – page 6 ● All the right connections – page 9 ● Myfotowall in US deal – page 10 ● Lagging behind on pay – page 14 ● Ajaz issues rallying cry – page 15 ● Ramsdens in merger deal – page 16 ● New occupant for mill site – page 17 ● Estate agents join forces – page 19

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS IS MAILED FREE OF CHARGE TO NAMED INDIVIDUALS IN ALMOST EVERY BUSINESS IN KIRKLEES Editorial

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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

FINANCIAL REPORT

‘Cut in borrowing costs may not benefit all firms’

COMPANIES should check the small print before assuming they will benefit from recent cuts in the cost of borrowing, an accountant has warned. Steven Gash, managing partner of Clough and Co in Cleckheaton, said: “Some business loans will include clauses with a minimum interest rate. This will be buried in the small print in the loan documentation and not every company with a loan may be aware that it exists. “Many small and medium-sized enterprises will assume that they will now benefit from the reduction in interest rates. “However, with a clause in place, the cuts will not be passed on and instead the banks stand to make a tidy margin instead.

■ WARNING: Steven Gash, managing partner of Clough & Company in Cleckheaton, said it was vital that banks pass on the benefits of reduced interest rates to help struggling companies compete

Therefore I’d encourage business owners to check their loan documentation, especially if it’s an old loan.” Despite the warning, there are numerous financial products on the market for businesses to take

advantage of during these times of low interest rates. Hedging products “insure” interest rates and are designed to limit potential losses. For example, an interest rate cap limits the maximum interest rate that

would be paid for a specific loan. Said Mr Gash: “Hedging products do incur a premium. However, they provide a safety net – and with the lowest interest rates since 1951, it is a good time to secure these low rates on existing and new loans.” Following last November’s interest rate cut, the Forum of Private Business said the cut could save small firms £750m in interest payments on loans and overdrafts – if banks passed on the benefits in full. Said Mr Gash: “The government needs to ensure that the measures announced in the pre-Budget report are filtered through to businesses quickly and banks pass on the benefits of reduced interest rates.”

Effective teamwork A TOP team from the Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks has won an international award. The banks’ commercial development and payments team won the category for Most Effective Cultural Transformation – Change Management at the Institute of Financial Services’ Finance Innovation Awards in London. The team overcame competition from banks and building societies across Europe, America and Australia to win the accolade, which was presented by comedian Hugh Dennis. The award recognised the hard work that employees and management have put into developing the team’s culture and morale, which has significantly improved team performance. As a result, the team generated a 21% increase in income, a four-fold increase in the number of employees enjoying flexible working conditions, a 34% improvement in customer satisfaction and a 21% rise in productivity. Peter Myers, head of commercial devel-

opment and payments, said: “It is a great accomplishment to have been recognised, especially against such strong global competition.”

■ WINNERS ALL: Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks' commercial development team receive their national award from comedian Hugh Dennis (left)

Alternative investments

ALTERNATIVE investments are becoming increasingly attractive due to the credit squeeze, a financial expert has claimed. John Chambers, an independent financial adviser and head of Chartford Financial Management in Cleckheaton, said investors were looking for unusual targets as the net return on cash deposit accounts continued to be eroded. Examples of unusual investments included production and distribution of TV programmes and a trading company leasing ambulances, CT scanners and bin

wagons to the NHS. Said Mr Chambers: “It seems that the Government will not stand by and see a British bank fail. As a result, you should be more concerned about the return on your money rather than about your money being returned. “Some investment gurus are now beginning to see signs of the equity markets reaching the bottom of the current cycle. “With the unpredictability of the markets, they see excellent buying opportunities in historically low share prices.

“However, you do not necessarily need to restrict investments to traditional areas of equities, property, fixed interest and cash.” Mr Chambers warned that many alternative investments carried a high risk tariff. But he added: “There are investments which have been structured to be low risk in nature while offering excellent tax advantages and a yield comparable to the gross return of those higher paying deposit accounts that were available earlier this year.”

Whether you are looking at buying a new business or selling your existing one, there are plenty of things to think about including:

• Valuation range and structuring options • Financing arrangements • Tax-planning ideas For truly independent advice and guidance, backed by years of experience, please contact Am Hayer or David Butterworth Tel: 01484 423691 email: am.hayer@wheawills.co.uk www.wheawills.co.uk www.wheawill.co.uk

Chartered Accountants Business & Tax Advisers Registered Auditors

23

TOWN TALK Sean Jarvis

Pitching in for the club

S we all know the credit crunch and A recession have made it – and continue to make it – an extremely difficult

climate for businesses. Huddersfield Town is not recession-proof either. However, during the 08/09 season so far the commercial team has continued in an effort to maximise revenues for the club. Credit has to be given to all our department heads, who have worked hard in the club’s centenary year. I would like to place on record my thanks for their continued efforts. However, there is still a long way to go and we as a team look forward to working with our new manager Lee Clark and his team on how we can continue to progress the club. The commercial team will continue to try and push the boundaries and challenge traditional thinking to make the club one of the most innovative and forward thinking football organisations. Our commercial department arguably faces the toughest challenge of all our departments over the coming months due to the economic climate. However, when comparing league game sales to the previous season, we are 4% up over the same period. Advertising sales are up by 41%, which would indicate that more businesses are seeing the benefits of using the club as a platform to a captive audience. The rebranding of the Executive Club to the 1908 Club has also had the desired effect and we are seeing sales 51% up on last year. New revenue streams introduced include a Legends Dinner and Corporate Football Tournament. The outlook for this department remains tough and our desire is to continue to attract new businesses to the fold. To that effect, if your business is interested in getting involved or would simply like to learn more about the benefits of becoming a partner with the Club – and you can do for as little as £10 per week – then please give us a call on 01484 484141. Our promotions department have gone from strength to strength over the past six months and I am pleased to report that the Blue and White Foundation – an exclusive members club – have smashed their all-time record by achieving 2,500 members, making our lottery department one of the most successful in football. Profits from the club’s matchday programme have increased by a massive 185% this season and hits on the club’s official website, www.htafc.com, have increased to over one million per month. The club’s media department is introducing new initiatives to attract new customers to Yorkshire Building Society’s Terriers Account from which our youth academy benefits financially. The past six months have been unchartered territory for the ticket office and to be honest I think they have managed it exceptionally well. To achieve nearly 17,000 season ticket holders is a fantastic effort. Commercially, we have progressed from previous seasons and maximised the centenary so far. I believe this is our chance to build and consequently encourage the local business community that now is the time to get involved with Huddersfield Town. Here’s to a bright 2009! Sean Jarvis is director of business development at Huddersfield Town

■ GLASS SHOW: Ken Woodcock, managing director of Novaglaze Gardner and Newton, receives the best exhibit award on the firm's eyecatching curved glass bridge from Big 5 exhibition director Simona Novelli at the event in Dubai

Glass firm is building bridges on Dubai trip A COMPANY making curved glass made a smashing impression on visitors to a major trade show in the Middle East. Lockwood-based Novaglaze Gardner & Newton was presented with an award for the best exhibit at the region’s biggest construction industry show, The Big 5, held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Managing director Ken Woodcock received the award from exhibition director Simona Novelli Novaglaze – a first time exhibitor – wowed visitors with a stand featuring a curved glass bridge, a curved glass office, a shower cubicle and a curved glass boat. One visitor was so

impressed that he bought the lot for a six-figure sum on the first day! More than 3,200 exhibitors from all over the world showed off their products and services to some 50,000 visitors during the five days of the prestigious show. Company spokesman Gary Smith said: “We were introduced to the Big 5 last year when representatives visited our stand at an exhibition in Birmingham 12 months ago. “We went out with backing from the government’s UK Trade and Investment organisation and we have come back with an award and plenty of leads. “Dubai provides plenty of opportunity for

us. The place is one big building site at the moment – with developers trying to outdo each other to build the biggest buildings. “We will certainly be attending again to strengthen the links we have forged this year.” Novaglaze, which dates back almost 200 years, specialises supplying curved glass for a variety of applications and locations, including royal palaces and stately homes as well as airports, hotels and shopping centres. The company has a 46,000sq ft factory in Lockwood and a 16,000sq ft site in east London as well as a distribution depot in Edinburgh.

More companies seek to ‘farm out’ IT function MORE Kirklees businesses are making staff redundant and turning to outsourcing in an attempt to cut costs and survive the economic downturn. Malcolm Pow, Holmfirth-based director for computer support company Ulysses IT, said he had noticed a significant jump in enquiries from local businesses over the past three months. The news coincides with significant IT job losses around the world. Reports say 13,000 IT jobs were cut on one day alone last week. “We are starting to see this global trend

of outsourcing IT properly arrive in Kirklees,” said Mr Pow. “Local businesses are discovering that they don’t really need a full-time IT person when there are plenty of competant support companies out there. “It’s a tough call to make a member of staff redundant but necessary for many businesses to enter 2009 in good shape.” Ulysses IT specialises as an outsourced IT department for its clients. Its staff deal with local businesses across Yorkshire, as well as much of the rest of the UK.

Mr Pow said outsourcing helped businesses save more than just a salary. He said: “Typically, clients find they spend less on IT overall yet have better control of it. “This is because a full-time IT person will create work to keep themselves busy. “Bosses with no technological knowledge will not realise that things are being done that are not really necessary. “A good outsourced IT department will not do these things to try and save clients as much money as possible.”


WE BRING BUSINESS FACE TO FACE WITH BUSINESS

Appetite for food

Chamber offices opened REPRESENTATIVES of 40 firms helped the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce celebrate the opening of its new headquarters in Lockwood. After many years occupying premises at Wakefield Road, Aspley, the chamber has opted for a state-of-the-art stable block refurbishment in Lockwood Park. in Huddersfield. Guest of honour Prof Bob Cryan, vice-chancellor of Huddersfield University, was invited to cut the ribbon. He commented on the chamber’s 155-year history and how its role as the voice of business was as valid and important as the day it was established. Chamber chair man Ed die Rodgers, described the new-look chamber with some of the membership services now on offer to help local companies weather the recession. He said: “Despite the current economic climate, we are making a strong statement about the future of the Chamber and about the future of business in the area.” The chamber has more than 1,000 members across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield..

A GROUP promoting Yorkshire’s food and drinks industry has an appetising idea to boost business. The Regional Food Group will host the third Innovation Forum on January 28, 2009, at Thorpe Park Hotel, Leeds. The event will explore issues surrounding innovation – the lifeblood of successful organisations in good times and bad. The event is being run by the RFG on behalf of Appetising Innovation, a new initiative offering food and drink manufacturers access to innovation, development projects in product and packaging, seminars, workshops, special reports and innovation surgeries. The speakers will include Tracey Hollowood, associate director of sensory and consumer research for Sensory Dimensions; John Kirkby, creative director of design consultancy Design Futures; and Sarah Knapper, RFG director of research and development. Ms Hollowood will focus on how to use sensory and consumer research to build a better product, while Mr

■ TAPED: Huddersfield University Vice Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan (left) cuts the ribbon watched by chamber chairman Eddie Rodgers

Workers resolve to hold onto their jobs

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Kirkby will packaging innovation and improvements. Said Mr Kirkby: “This Innovation Forum will highlight the opportunities and resources available to businesses in our region. “Innovation is what ultimately sets products apart and in the crowded food market within which companies operate in today, it is more important than ever before to inspire delegates to be more creative and innovative in their approach to meeting the needs of their customers.” Ms Knapper said: “With advice from these industry expert speakers businesses, should be able to embrace i n n ov at i o n a n d u t i l i s e research to result in measurable improvements to their profit margins.” RFG chief executive Jonathan Knight said: “Businesses can become more competitive by embracing innovation, which in turn creates new business opportunities.” Contact Laura Gill on 01937 838895 or visit the website at www.regionalfoodgroup.co.uk

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WORKERS are making a New Year’s resolution to hang onto their jobs, a survey said. Foreign exchange provider Currencies Direct said that 36% of people in full-time employment were restricting their ambitions to staying in work – with just 10% setting their sights on climbing the career ladder. Spokesman Ivars-Lopez said: “This snapshot of employment sentiment offers a revealing insight into people’s concerns about the state of the economy and their

fears about job security. “People’s prevailing attitude is to knuckle down and hope their job survives the recession rather than anything more ambitious in the current climate. “They are focusing on working hard to keep themselves afloat, rather than asking for a promotion or a pay rise.” Fears about job losses are greatest among those aged 35 to 44. In that age group, 44% of people polled are focusing on

their existing job against 12% voicing ambitions to win promotion. Among those aged under 25, some 16% are focusing on keeping their job compared with 33% looking to earn promotion. The survey follows a report by the Citizens Advice Bureau reported that the number of enquiries about redundancy has more than doubled across England and Wales from an average of 189 a day in April to 425 a day in November.

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Mixed results for region’s law firms YORKSHIRE’S top 10 law firms reported mixed financial fortunes during 2008, a survey has revealed. The survey by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that 2008 was a year of strong fee income growth – although a positive first six months masked a much weaker second half to the year. Average fees per partner for the top 10 firms reached almost £2.9m with the 11-25 group managing an average of £1.8m. More than a quarter of firms in Yorkshire increased fees per partner by above 15%, but one third reported a fall in this statistic. Top 10 firms UK-wide reported an average fee per fee earner

of £360,000 – some 35% higher than for the 11-25 bracket. The average for Yorkshire firms is significantly below this level, at £142,000. Profits per partner for Top 10 firms exceeded £1.1m – almost 28% up on the 2007 figure, while average profits per partner for Yorkshire firms were £536,000. David Thurkettle, of PwC’s P ro f e s s i o n a l Pa r t n e r s h i p s Advisory team in the north, said: “Clearly law firms will not be immune from the effects of the economic downturn. “However, these results are striking in that they highlight how effective financial and operational planning have enabled some firms to move significantly ahead of the competition.”

■ NOT HOME ALONE: Housing e-Academy manager Chloe Weatherhead (left) and Anton Iacono, InLiving project manager with Creative North, demonstrate the InLiving mobile phone tenancy training game

Mobile homes!

A NEW mobile phone game to teach young people about living independently is being launched across the northern England and the Midlands after successful trials in Kirklees. The InLiving game was developed by Kirklees Neighbouring Housing and mobile phone games developer Creative North Studios, based at the media Centre’s Creative Lofts, Northumberland Street, Huddersfield. The game, which is being delivered free across Kirklees, has already got the thumbs up from former housing minister Caroline Flint, who described it as “an example of good practice in

communicating with young people”. Now InLiving is to be promoted more widely following a link-up between Creative North and the Housing e-Academy, an Ilkley-based organisation which encourages greater use of online learning in the UK housing sector. Chloe Weatherhead, Housing e-Academy manager, said: “The partnership with Creative North has allowed us to explore how InLiving can be taken a stage further by linking mobile technology to a planned programme of online learning. “This has resulted in the development of InLiving Progression, an

internet-based tool that gives tenants the opportunity to test their understanding of their responsibilities, raises awareness of the potential pitfalls when living independently and give access to further learning opportunities.” Anton Iacono, InLiving project manager with Creative North, said: “InLiving is an exciting new tool that housing providers can use to help create successful and sustainable tenancies for 16 to 24-year-olds. “Word is spreading like wildfire about InLiving – with several hundred downloads to date.”

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Kirklees Business News, Ferbuary 2009  

The business newspaper for Kirklees. Published monthly.