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July, 2009


Reel appeal

A PRINTING company in Huddersfield has landed a major deal with beauty products giant L’Oreal – because they’re worth it. Brook and Learoyd is provided 100,000 peel-of labels for L’Oreal’s Revitalift Day Cream after becoming a n a p p rov e d s u p p l i e r t o t h e French-based company. Managing director Tim Parkin, who runs the business with his brother Dan, said it was hoped the contract would lead to further work for L’Oreal, which sells beauty and hair care products in markets worldwide. The labels were produced by Brook and Learoyd’s sister company, Oldham-based is based at Chancery Lane in Huddersfield town centre. Mr Parkin, who is chairman of Reel Appeal, said: “The Oldham business has been going for five years. “We started it from scratch to make these labels. Now the business employs four people at Oldham and four in Huddersfield.” He added: “I went to see L’Oreal and sent a sample of the lables to them. We have taken the contract from a major name in the industry on the basis of quality and price. “It is incredibly hard to get onto their approved supplier list. Now we are looking forward to lots more work. “Being able to tell potential clients that we work for L’Oreal is also an advantage when pitching for other work because it makes people sit up and take notice.” Brook and Learoyd is well-known for providing a huge range of printed products – from a single business card and mailshots to full colour brochures and company annual reports. Using the latest technology, the firm can fold that leaflet to any size and shape – while the Peel4More Leaflet Label System is already used on many top brands of products, from batteries to motor oil and shampoo to cheese. Said Mr Parkin: “Our Peel4More leaflet label system is a great product

Yorkshire Water helps cash flow YORKSHIRE Water is making changes to ensure that its payment terms are speeded up in a bid to help out hundreds of small firms across the region. The Bradford-based company has decided to reduce payment terms from 42 days to 30 in an attempt ease cash flow pressures for smaller businesses. More than 200 companies will benefit from the change, which came into force on May 22 and ensures invoices will be paid 12 days early. Carolyn Bywater, pay manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “It’s important in the current economic climate that we do everything we can to support Yorkshire businesses.

“We want to help make sure companies we work with on a regular basis can weather these hard times and we hope reducing our payment terms will help in some way.” Yorkshire Water also offers help to domestic customers struggling to pay bills and can offer flexible payment plans to ensure bills can be paid in the most appropriate way. The company also has an independently registered charity called the Community Trust operated by trustees in Yorkshire Water, set up to help people in extreme financial hardship. For more information visit

■ BECAUSE THEY’RE WORTH IT: Tim Parkin, managing director of Huddersfield printers Brook & Learoyd, with Hayley Higgins, of Boots at King Street, and the labels printed by the firm for L’Oreal

which enables eight different languages to be printed onto one single label, cutting down on cost and time. “This leaflet label system can be

used on a variety of different products including car polish, books, sauces, jams and chemicals to name but a few.”

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July, 2009




Henryk Zientek ECESSION and recovery – it R seems that while the Government has been mired in the MPs expenses

scandal, something’s happening in the economy. A modest rise in house prices, improving retail sales and a slowdown in the rate of economic decline has led to some to dare to think that the worst may be over. Business advice group BDO Stoy Hayward is one of several observers to report an improving trend. The company’s Output Index registered its strongest monthly gain for more than five years during May – suggesting that GDP growth will be minus 0.3% over the next quarter, with the economy shrinking at just half the rate of recent quarters. BDO is quick to stress that the index, which measures short-run turnover expectations and order book strength, does not yet signal the end of the downturn. However, it believes that the numbers support Chancellor Alistair Darling’s much derided forecast of a recovery startin in the fourth quarter. However, BDO corporate finance partner Tim Clarke warns that two major factors could yet cause an economic “relapse”. Official figures suggest that there has been little recovery in bank lending while much also depends how the Chancellor plans to bring down borrowing in future. Perhaps these hopeful signs will at least inject some confidence across the economy – something that has been noticeably lacking.

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Inside Issues

● Car club gets into gear – page 4 ● Hanson’s China move – page 5 ● Town’s new teammate – page 6 ● Accountancy changes – page 10 ● Strategic thinking – page 12 ● Success for valves firm – page 13 ● Cool move for trainees – page 15 ● Gold for Ploughcroft – page 16 ● Stars line up for event – page 17 ● Media centre message – page 23


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Bosses urged to put banks under pressure KIRKLEES businesses seeking finance from their banks have been urged to “shop around” – and to insist on speaking to someone in a more senior position if they don’t like the answer their bank manager gives them. Michael Freedman, president of West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants, said: “If funding requests fail, businesses should be prepared to challenge the decision. “If you don’t think the person you are dealing with understands your business or the particular problem you have, try to talk to someone higher up.” Said Mr Freedman: “The banks say they are open for business and appear to be willing to lend to what they see as viable enterprises.

Michael Freedman

“In their terms, this means having a strong, well-balanced management team; firm financial

controls and accurate forecasting; a good product or service; a plan for recession and a sensible capital structure. “A business with a good credit rating will be able to borrow a lot more unsecured than one with a poor rating. “When turnover is falling, profits are falling and asset values are dropping, credit ratings go down. Banks have to put more capital aside to cover the risk of default for a business with a lower credit rating. “The most contentious issue seems to be personal guarantees, but if the business hasn’t got sufficient assets against which the bank can lend, it’s not unreasonable for the bank to ask for additional security.” Clive Lewis, an expert in small

and medium-sized business at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, said companies should consider the following tips to get the best from their bank – promote your business, its potential and its ability to weather the recession; speak often to your bank contact; have a strong management team and have tight financial controls and sensible financial forecasts. Firms should model their financial needs carefully and avoid building in too much ‘headroom’; a i m fo r s t ro n g c o n t ro l o f day-to-day cash flow; tighten credit control and avoid bad debts; do not expect borrowing to be based on base rate ;ask about the Government-backed Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme

HSBC team set to offer support A BANK business support team has extended its help to companies across Kirklees and Calderdale. Jill Hague, HSBC area commercial director for Calderdale and Kirklees, now heads a team of 17 managers looking after more than 2,500 businesses across both areas. Said Jill: “We’re giving them support and guidance in the current climate – from the very small companies up to those with a turnover in excess of £30m. “Some customers just want a quick chat whereas others want a monthly meeting. It’s about pro-actively contacting ■ TEAM EFFORT: Jill Hague front and her team at HSBC them. Hall Street branch in Hudders- be a second opinion, too. “We are spending 30% more field,r said the bank’s interact“We are seeing a lot of busitime with business customers ive website is getting five times nesses valuing us as a global than we were 12 months ago.” HSBC has set up £1bn to more “hits” than it had last year bank as a good second opinion fund businesses’ working cap- from businesses seeking alongside their own bank. advice. “We are able to support busiital and for exports finance. She added: “We are happy to nesses that are looking for new Jill, who is based at the Cloth

Companies warned not to rely on ‘single’ customer YORKSHIRE firms have an “alarming vulnerability” to bad debt, a survey has revealed. Figures from Close Invoice Finance showed that 26,000 small and medium-sized firms in the region rely on a single customer for 75% of their turnover. The survey of more than owner-managers also found that more than three in five SMEs have no insurance to protect against customer default. Close Invoice Finance chief executive David Thomson said: “By relying heavily on one single customer, companies put themselves at serious risk of business failure should this customer fall into financial difficulty. “Simply, this means one company’s finan-

cial downfall can mean bad debt has a domino effect and will precipitate the collapse of other busniesses.” Said Mr Thomson: “The fact that more than three in five of those surveyed admitted to having no insurance to protect against clients defaulting on payment underlies how much companies put themselves at risk. “Having tools in place to mitigate the risk of bad debt is fundamental to a healthy sales ledger.” Figures from the Insolvency Service showed that 4,607 companies went into liquidation during the fourth quarter of 2008 in England and Wales – 11.9% up on the previous quarter and an increase of 51.6% on the same period a year ago.

opportunities abroad and we can provide them with support and guidance on the ground in the countries that are considering. “And we’re working with accountants and Business Link, making sure we help local businesses grow.” She said the team had seen a some positive change in business attitude over the last month. “It has turned round from ‘what are we going to do?’ to ‘I can get through this and I know there is support out there to help me, so let’s see how I can make it work’. “Some are seeing the deals that were on hold are coming t h r o u g h n o w a n d t h a t ’s encouraging. “I’m still lending to trading businesses, which will kick-start the economy. The process has not changed.”


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July, 2009


Haulier hits the headlines at Birstall

Major drive to China

A BATLEY-based organisation is helping with a major drive to bring Chinese investment to Yorkshire. Connect China, led by managing director Joanna Lavan, has joined forces with regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and law firm DLA Piper for a high-profile visit to five key cities in China. The visit will be led by Yorkshire Forward chairman Terry Hodgkinson and DLA Piper’s Far East specialist, Josh Wong. The roadshow will begin with a launch event at Ningbo, Zhejiang, and is part of the Zhejiang Trade and Investment Symposium, one of the largest events of its kind in China, with more than 10,000 delegates expected. In a major coup for the region, Yorkshire will be one of only three regions in the world to present to delegates at the symposium – which underlines the importance of the twinning relationship between Yorkshire and Zhejiang. The two week road show during June also visits Chinese companies and senior officials in Wuxi, Chengdu, Beijing and Liyang to discuss the financial climate in the UK and specific opportunities in Yorkshire region. “Chinese companies are still looking to expand in new markets overseas, encouraged by the Chinese government’s call to globalise,” said Mr Wong, an associate at DLA Piper who, together with Ms Lavan, has been responsible for planning and organising the road show. “Rather than being discouraged by the worldwide economic downturn, they are sensing new opportunities and are more determined than ever to pursue these as domestic growth slows.” Yorkshire Forward is one of the few regional development agencies to have an office in China and has already been successful in attracting Chinese businesses to this region. David Shepherd, international business development manager at Yorkshire Forward said: “There is strong interest from the Chinese market towards investing in the Yorkshire and Humber region. In the past three years, 24 Chinese-owned companies

A HAULAGE firm is hitting the headlines with a national newspaper group. Birstall-based Bedfords Transport has taken delivery of four Associated Newspapers trailers. The blue-and-white trailers are dual-branded – carrying the Bedfords logo along with that of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday. Bedfords’ relationship with Associated Newspapers goes back almost 30 years. Bedfords warehouses and transports the titles’ colour supplements. Philip Lockwood, Bedfords commercial director, said: “We are committed to developing and maintaining long term partnerships with clients. “We’re working with a number of other partners to extend our dual-branded fleet – offering clients the opportunity to increase brand awareness through exposure all over the UK.”


”our best for less in June”


■ LONG VIEW: Joanna Lavan (left), managing director of Batley-based ConnectChina, with (from left) David Shepherd, international business development manager at Yorkshire Forward; Josh Wong, China specialist lawyer with DLA Piper ; and Susana Cordoba, international executive at Yorkshire Forward.

have established or expanded their operations here.” Said Mr Shepherd: “We will be using this mission to showcase our strengths in some of the sectors of special interest to China, such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing and environmental technology to maximise on further investment opportunities. “As well as meeting with Chinese companies considering investing in our region, we

Workers face increased stress levels, says poll EMPLOYEES in Yorkshire are more stressed than they were a year ago, says a survey. And management failure to tackle the issue could have a”prolonged impact” on firms’ productivity, it is claimed. A poll by YouGov for Investors in People UK showed that 35% of workers in Yorkshire say stress levels at work are higher than a year ago. Only 4% of employees said they were receiving more support from their managers than they did before the downturn and only 11% think their manager has adapted very well to the effects of the downturn. Investors in People chief executive Simon Jones said: “Increased stress in the workplace is associated with reduced productivity. “Our research suggests that management has so far not addressed the cur-

rent increase in workplace stress. “The longer the problem is ignored, the more it could impact on productivity at a time when the UK economy needs a boost. “ Said Mr Jones: “We would urge managers to respond proactively to the recession, to gain the confidence of their employees by providing support for them during this period of uncertainty.” Investors in People, the Government-backed group working to help firms improve productivity, said experience also made a difference to workplace stress. Some 84% of employees aged over 55 have previous experience of an economic downturn compared with 52% of all employees. The research found that older employees were coping with stress better than younger workers.

will also be seeking to increase bilateral trade between Yorkshire companies and businesses in the five Chinese cities we visit." The road show will also be supported by representatives of Yorkshire companies who have significant investments in China including the Charlesworth Group, Cooper & Turner Ltd, AWI Ltd and Strategic Solutions Worldwide.


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July, 2009


Law firm bucks trend

LEGAL BRIEF Peter Matthews

Directors – take note T

HE Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act came into force on April 6, 2008. The Act provides for a statutory offence of ‘corporate manslaughter’ where the death of an individual is caused by an organisation. However, the statutory offence, only applies to organisations. Individuals cannot be prosecuted under the new Act. Directors and senior managers, nevertheless, should be aware of their significant responsibilities under existing law. Penalties can be severe. The first prosecution is being brought against a company under the CMCH Act 2008, following the death of an employee in an accident. A company director is also being prosecuted. On September 5, 2008, a junior geologist employed by a company was taking soil samples from inside a pit that had been excavated as part of a site survey. The sides of the pit collapsed, crushing him to death. Following the accident, the CPS decided that there were sufficient grounds to prosecute both the company (under the new Act) and a director of the company (under the common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter and under health and safety legislation). If found guilty, the director faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. To secure a conviction of manslaughter against the director under established common law, the CPS must prove that a reasonably prudent person would have foreseen serious and obvious risk of death; and that the individual's conduct fell so far below the standard of a reasonable prudent person as to amount to a criminal act or omission. At the time of writing, a man is due to appear in court on June 17, facing charges both as an individual and on behalf of the company. The news of the first prosecution under the new Act, little over one year since it entered into force, is significant not only for companies but also for management, as they are likely to be the focus of attention in determining the adequacy of their organisation's health and safety procedures in the course of prosecutions. The courts also have increased powers to impose both fines and imprisonment on individuals. The message to directors and individuals with managerial responsibility is: ● - to ensure that health and safety risks are properly managed in the organisations that they run ● - that adequate health and safety procedures are both established and maintained ● - consider taking insurance may to cover the costs of defending prosecutions of this nature ● Creating a paper trail in the form of audit, so under prosecution it can be proved to a jury that regulations and codes were complied with. The information in this article is for general purposes and guidance only and does not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Peter Matthews is a member of the commercial law team at Austin Kemp Solicitors

■ IN THE DRIVING SEAT: James Finlayson, chief executive of City Car Club is bringing the concept to the streets of Huddersfield – years after the company was set up in the town. Below: one of the vehicles

Car club gets into top gear!

A CAR club formed in Huddersfield 10 years ago has finally launched one of its pay-as-you-go schemes in the town. City Car Club was formed in Huddersfield in 1999 and has accounts, operations and technical teams based at the Media Centre. Now Huddersfield joins London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Bath, Brighton, Norwich and Birmingham as locations for City Car Club’s vehicles. City Car Club is billed as a recession-proof way alternative to owning a car – enabling individuals or businesses to rent a car by the hour. The first five City Cars have been installed in the town centre next week – when they can be rented by the hour for as little as £3.96 and with 50 miles free petrol each day. The cars are available for use around the clock and can be booked over the internet, by phone or at the vehicle itself. The cars – all brand-new five-day Ford Fiestas – are located at St George’s Square and outside the Civic Centre in High Street. They are parked in specially designated parking bays – and it is expected that further cars will be added later in the year to meet demand. Kirklees Council is fully behind the scheme and has joined as a corporate member. Initially, the council’s membership will cover mo re t han 1 20 e mp loye e s, although numbers are expected to increase in the following months after launch. City Car Club chief executive James Finlayson said: “The time is right for Huddersfield to have a car club. “Everyone is trying to cut down the household bills at the moment because of the recession and own-

ing a car is the biggest expenditure outside of their mortgage. “Being a car club member is thousands of pounds cheaper than owning a car and as a result membership has shot up all over the UK since the credit crunch began last year. “I am sure City Car Club will be a huge success in Huddersfield as residents and businesses are looking to cut their bills but still need access to a car.” Figures from the AA and price i n fo r m a t i o n w e b s i t e t h i put the total cost of running a second hand Vauxhall Corsa bought for £4,000 and doing 4,000 miles a year is £2,902. This includes depreciation, insurance, road tax, servicing and maintenance, insurance, breakdown insurance, and parking permits. A City Car Club car doing the same mileage costs just £1,065 – making a total saving of £1,837. Mr Finlayson said residents would be able to join the car club for an annual membership of £50, with businesses paying £30 plus VAT per year for each driver. City Car Club has more than 350 cars and almost 10,000 mem-

bers in London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Bath, Brighton, Norwich and Birmingham. Bookings can be made directly from the cars, on the internet at or over the telephone on 0845 3301234. The cars are parked in designated parking bays and once booked, members gain access with their “smart- enabled” personal membership card. They enter their PIN onto the in-car computer and drive away. Journeys made are itemised on a monthly statement. Mr Finalyson said being a member of a car club was also good for the environment. “Each City Car replaces about 22.5 privately-owned cars on average and generally our members cut down on unnecessary car journeys by 35% after they join,” he said. Mr Finlayson said car clubs were proving particularly popular with city-based businesses, adding: “We are still finding very good growth. Across all our sites, we have grown our membership by 80%. But we believe it is just the tip of the iceberg, really.”

LAW firm Chadwick Lawrence has announced a 12% increase in turnover during the past six months. The improvement comes despite the region’s legal industry feeling the effects of the economic downturn. Chadwick Lawrence, which has offices across Kirklees, including ones in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, unveiled the figure as it announced the appointment of five new partners and a new associate across all sectors of the practice. The new partners are all internal promotions. They have developed their skills and experience with the firm and have built up their own loyal client lists. John Barker and Michael Watson have become partners in the firm’s commercial division, heading the teams in commercial law and property litigation respectively. New partners offering private services are Sarah Haller in conveyancing, Philippa Selby in personal injury and Emma Pearmaine in family law. New associate Susan Lewis specialises in debts, disputes and litigation. Senior partner Jeremy Garside said: “It’s a real achievement to experience growth in the current financial climate and the whole team is thrilled with the result. “We are all aware that this is not a time for complacency. “Our new partners have extra responsibilities and each have to contribute to the firm’s continued growth. “However, we feel that we have one of the region’s most dedicated and motivated teams – giving us every chance of a positive and successful year.”


July, 2009


Hanson is planning for a long haul A TRANSPORT company dating back more than 150 years is set to global. Hanson Logistics – which was founded in 1848 to ferry textiles between Huddersfield and the local mills – is set to open an office in China as part of a major expansion plan. The family-owned company – chaired by Robert Hanson, son of Huddersfield-born business tycoon the late Lord Hanson – has set up a freight forwarding division to extend its reach from the UK and mainland Europe to the Far East and south-east Asia. Managing director Peter Roe has been on several trips to China, India and Hong Kong over the past 15 months to lay the ground for the new service, which will provide a “one-stop” shop for Hanson’s new and existing customers. He said: “We looked at a couple of potential acquisitions, but decided in the end to set up our own freight forwarding business. “Robert Hanson has always been interested in the south-east Asia region, where he spent his formative years in business. What we have in the UK is a well-worn market place and we saw a lot of potential in south-east Asia, China and India.” Said Mr Roe: “We are a well-established Huddersfield company spreading our wings. We are quite excited about it because we see it adding substantially to the business.” Mr Roe said the company planned to open a

Hanson-branded office in China to talk directly to manufacturers and distributors of raw materials, components and finished goods being imported into the UK and Europe. Hanson Logistics, which is based at Ashgrove Road, off Leeds Road at Deighton, also specialises in handling packaged chemical products. The neighbouring ICI works was one of Hanson’s key clients for many years and Hanson still deals with chemical firms on the site. The company, which employs about 100 people, has appointed Adam Wheeler as forwarding manager to lead the new division. Mr Wheeler said the new division would be able to use the firm’s existing facilities to package or re-package chemical products ■ EASTERN EYE: Adam Wheeler (left), forwarding manager for Hanson Logistics, with before taking them to their final destination. Mr Roe said the company also planned to managing director Peter Roe build additional storage and packaging facilitOver the years, the family enterprise grew to ies – on the site of some of its old buildings. The one-stop service – from collection in Asia to new pemises will be a mirror-image of Han- delivery in Halifax. We can re-package the provide at various times bus and coach serson’s 100,000sq ft warehouse built in 1999 goods and deliver via our own fleet, makig it vices, household removals and funeral and which has space for more than 100,000 pallet easier for the customer who only has to deal wedding car hire as well as its staple haulage loads of goods. with invoice and make one phone call.” business. Despite the global recession, Hanson is Hanson Logistics traces its origins to 1848 The company remained in family ownership optimistic about its new target market. “It is when farmer’s wife Mary Hanson command- – even when Lord Hanson was running a still a very vibrant market, said Mr Roe. “We ered some of her husbands horses to provide a powerful global conglomerate whose interests already have existing customers in India and regular transport service taking wool from in the UK and the USA provided its TV China. Huddersfield to the local cottage weavers and advertising slogan “A Company From Here “But how we can differentiate ourselves from their finished textiles back to Huddersfield. Doing Rather Well Over There”. the competition is being being able to offer a

Code Blue takes on more staff A DESIGN company in Huddersfield is defying the recession to recruit extra staff. Code Blue Design, based at Old Leeds Road, has already recruited Chris O’Brien as its nw national accounts manager and is now seeking freelance web designers and looking to expand its sales force. Co-founder Tony Kenny said: “Chris has made a fantastic start in his new role, forging links with existing customers and bringing a number of new clients to the company. We are delighted with the progress he is making. “The design side of our business is firing on all cylinders because lots of companies are taking this slower period to reinvent

themselves to stay in the game. “Many companies are taking this opportunity to look at rebranding. During a boom time people, are too busy to do it. Lots of our good clients are saying that the best way to get through this bad time is by investing rather than cutting their marketing budgets.” Code Blue Group is a design and publishing group with 20 years’ experience. What began principally as a trade magazine publishing company has now expanded into other fields. Oldham friends of more than 20 years, Tony Kenny and Neil Wheeler formed the company in 2002, settling in Huddersfield

where Tony went to university. Within the group, Code Blue Publishing produces leading national trade magazines including FMCG Magazine, Construction Industry News Magazine and Industry UK Magazine. Code Blue Marketing Services, which is currently being rebranded as Code Blue Design, offers corporate branding, web and packaging design and database services, integrating databases into company websites. A new division of the group, Code Blue Communications, sources suitable communication packages for companies incorporating landlines and mobiles.

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July, 2009


Shop talk

Safety plea

A RETAIL centre has provided a town centre shop window for a local charity. The Packhorse Shopping Centre allowed the West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust to use a vacant shop unit to promote its cause during National Volunteering Week. The shopping centre, led by manager David Heathcote-Smith, has adopted the trust as its charity for 2009. Centre staff are already committed to raising funds for the trust, which aims to provide a hospice and respite centre at Brackenhall for children with life-limiting illnesses. A team led by Gina Fielding from the Forget Me Not Trust, which has offices at Lindley, used the shop unit as a base to campaign for more volunteers.

■ STARS AND STRIPES: Huddersfield town ambassador Andy Booth (centre) and director of business development Sean Jarvis (left) with Yorkshire County Cricket Club captain Anthony McGrath (second left), batsman Andrew Gale (second right) and sales director Richard Kaye

Town teams up with county

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HUDDERSFIELD Town has forged a new partnership – with Yorkshire County Cricket Club A new deal – throught to be a sporting first – sees the two organisations working together to bring small and medium-sized enterprises together at two of the region’s foremost sporting venues, Headingley Cricket Ground and the Galpharm Stadium. The Yorkshire Business Forum, sponsored by Huddersfield-based Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors, will be held at both venues on several occasions over the coming months to enable companies from across Yorkshire share ideas and generate new business. The first forum will be held at 3pm on June 2 at the Bradford and Bingley Indoor Cricket Centre, St Michael’s Lane, Headingley, Leeds, before the Yorkshire V Durham Twenty20 Cup match. Speakers at the event, which is by invitation only, will

be Andy Green, of Green PR, and YCC chief executive Stewart Regan. Sean Jarvis, Town’s director of business development, said: “We are very excited about this relationship as we believe it is the first time that anything like this kind of partnership between football and cricket has been tried.” The move strengthens Town’s branding as “The Yorkshire Club” following its link-up with Yorkshire Air Ambulance, whose name will appear on the team’s shirts next season. Mr Regan said: “Successful networking is hugely important in this day and age, but it’s essential to keep it interesting. “This initiative really fits the bill and we’re delighted to be involved.”

Gold, silver and bronze for firms

FIRMS in Kirklees were among more than 120 Yorkshire businesses honoured for their commitment to workplace safety. The organisations were presented with gold, silver and bronze awards from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents at a ceremony in Birmingham. RoSPA’s Occupational Health and Safety Awards – now in their 53rd year – recognise the commitment of organisations to protecting the health of their employees and others. The winners included Heckmondwike-based Consultant Cleaners Ltd, which received the President’s Award for achieving 11 conseutive gold awards. More than 30 gold medal winners included industrial control systems specialist Cougar Auto-

mation, based at Clayton West. Silver award recipients included Elland-based Weir Valves and Controls while bronze award winners included NHS Kirklees with offices at Crosland Moor and Batley. O t h e r Yo r k s h i r e w i n n e r s included York-based Northern Rail, which won RoSPA’s premier accolade, The Sir George Earle Trophy. Other major names to win acclaim included Calderdale College, Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd, Drax Power Ltd, Royal Mail Group, Yorkshire Water, Carlsberg UK, Warburtons (Yorkshire) Ltd and Bradford & Bingley. Nationally, more than 1,650 businesses and organisations were honoured in this year’s awards. RoSPA chief executive Tom

Mullarkey said: “Health and safety tends to hit the headlines in the aftermath of major accidents or when it is deemed to have ‘gone too far’. “But the reality is that millions of sensible safety decisions are taken across the country each day which prevent countless accidents and the suffering they cause. “The RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards are a way of rewarding and highlighting those whose daily contribution keeps us safe and healthy – and we congratulate winners for the commitment they have shown to continuous improvement in this sphere.” More than 3,000 people attended presentation events at venues across the UK.

KIRKLEES firms have been urged to help cut the number of deaths and injuries in the workplace. The call from the Health and Safety Executive follows a survey claiming that the recession could make some workplaces more dangerous. More than 25% of UK firms polled said they faced pressure to cut spending on health and safety in a bid to combat the credit crunch. The survey also showed that almost half of Britain's workers knew someone who has been injured at work or been made ill by their job. HSE figures showed there were 16 deaths and 2,894 major work-related inuries in Yorkshire during 2007-2008 – the latest year for which statistics are available. In addition, 10,908 employees were injured badly enough to need more than three days off work. The HSE has launched a five-year strategy – called Be Part of the Solution – to help employers and employees work together to reduec risks in the workplace while maintaining business competitiveness. David Snowball, Yorkshire regional director for the HSE, said: “For businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber to consider cutting spending on health and safety this year is false economy. It is not only potentially dangerous, it could also affect their bottom line, at the very time when this is already under pressure. “Nearly eight out of 10 business leaders we surveyed acknowledged that good health and safety standards are beneficial. The cost of preventing accidents is almost always less than what the business faces – both in financial and human terms – after an accident.” The strategy includes HSE making more of its safety publications available to download free and launching a new website on how businesses can improve their safety.


July, 2009



Get back to basics HERE is a perception that health T and safety law is changing all the time and businesses are constantly

bombarded by new legislation. Generally, health and safety law is actually only introduced twice per year, in April and October. The UK government has taken this approach to ease the burden on businesses that try and keep up to date. Being ignorant of a legal health and safety requirement would not be an acceptable defence when things go wrong. In fact, it is a legal requirement of a company to appoint competent people who can assist in working in a manner to comply with the law. These competent people can be within the company or external bodies such as trade associations, health and safety consultants etc or a combination of the two. While many companies focus on trying to keep abreast of new developments, there is a risk that the basics are overlooked or fail to be kept up to date. As a reminder, I have listed 10 points to check to see how your company would comply with the law. ● Health & Safety Policy – Is it signed and dated by a senior manager? ● Risk Assessments – Do they cover all hazardous business activities? Are they regularly reviewed and made known to your employees? ● Fire Risk Assessment – This should be carried out by a person responsible for any commercial property ● Display Screen Equipment – Have workstation assessments been carried out for users of computers? ● Electrical Safety – Have your portable appliances been checked for safety and has the fixed wiring in the building been inspected? ● H&S Law Poster – Is the poster displayed where all your staff can see it and is it completed, or have pocket cards been issued? ● Insurance Certificate – is the most recent version of your Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Certificate displayed in hard copy or electronically? ● Accident Book – do you have a book for recording accidents? Is it Data Protection Act compliant? ● Training – all employees need health & safety training so that they can do their job safely. Do you have records so you can plan refresher training? ● Emergency Procedures – would your staff know what to do in the event of a fire, flood or accident? Going through the checklist may bring to light changes in the business since the basics were put into place. New staff, new premises and new work activities should be covered by your existing management systems, or you may find you need to make changes to your management processes. Regular checks of the basic requirements for every organisation are an ideal way of keeping your health & safety culture fresh and up to date. Mark Dalton is an associate director at Wilby Ltd, based in Halifax

Tyre supplier in new deal

A TYRE fitting firm has landed a key supply contract with Kirklees Council. Mirfield-based Link Tyre Sales will supply and maintain tyres on all council vehicles – from grass-cutters and vans to bin wagons. Link managing director Len Mellor said: “We are pleased to be working with our local authority and see local relationships like this as vital for the local economy. “This contract has allowed us to recruit three additional staff from within the locality and gives us an opportunity to exhibit our customer-focused and environmentally friendly approach to tyre management.” Mr Mellor said: “We are committed to supplying our local community and will be releasing a loyalty scheme that will make sure our customers past and present get even better prices and service levels.” Link Tyres has worked closely with independent manufacturer Bandvulc Tyres to supply a remould tyre policy produced in an environmentally-accredited facility. Bandvulc is a member of the Responsible recycling scheme and has featured on BBC News for its approach to reducing its environmental impact. Richard Crummack, of Bandvulc Tyres, said: “People can forget their responsibilities don’t end when the tyre is removed.

“Bandvulc allow Kirklees to fit tyres produced using the most environmentally-friendly methods, but also to dispose of tyres with the same attitude – allowing tyres to be either remoulded or broken up for use in projects such as playground surfaces, athletics tracks and football pitches.” Clr Molly Walton, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, environment and transport, said: “Kirklees Council considered in detail the approach of Link Tyre Sales as well as their commitment to local employment and economy and also their dedication to environmentally friendly methods and procedures. “This doesn’t stop once the tyre is fitted – it carries on through the tyre life and final removal. Kirklees recognises that the transport fleet can impact the environment and seeks to minimise its impact at every opportunity. Link Tyres and Bandvulc allow us to serve our community in a conscientious and responsible manner.” Said Mr Mellor: “We always use local suppliers where possible and are sensitive to green issues. “The extra vehicles purchased to service Kirklees Council have been chosen from local suppliers on the basis of fuel efficiency and low carbon emissions. “The relationship with Kirklees will show that we are both working towards a stronger, safer, greener future.”

Honour for Geoff A HUDDERSFIELD man has been hailed as one the textile industry’s hidden heroes. Geoff Haigh, who has recently retired from local firm TMS Software Ltd, is one of only 50 people across the UK to receive a Behind the Seams Award from Skillfast-UK,the sector skills council for fashions and textiles. The award-recognises his work in developing up-to-date software used by more then 30 textile companies to manage their businesses. Mr Haigh (right) created the system in 1985 – and it is now considered to be the backbone of the UK textile manufacturing industry, helping companies in the UK and overseas to track their orders and control their stock. Linda Florance, of Skillfast-UK, said: “Famous fashionistas are always in the headlines, but even they would acknowledge that the fashion and textiles industry couldn’t function without the creative and technical teams who work out of the public eye. “We launched the Behind the Seams Awards to honour those whose skills normally go unrecognised. Without their abilities, UK businesses would not be up there, competing with the world’s best.” Mr Haigh was nominated for the award b y T M S S o f t wa re d i re c t o r S t eve Maguire. He praised Mr Haigh’s understanding of the textile industry – knowledge which comes from his experience of working at some of the world’s finest worsted cloth manufacturers and becoming an accom-

A BRIGHOUSE man is part of an award-winning team. Online marketing and web development company Digital Consortium, based in Halifax, won the prize for best start-up in the Yorkshire Digital Awards held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. The company’s creative director, Guy Utley, hails from Brighouse and now lives in Bradley. He is pictured (second right) with colleagues (from left) Mark Lloyd, Richard Keys, Laura Costelloe and Liz Baker at the awards ceremony. The Yorkshire Digital Awards is one of the most respected industry awards events in the online and digital sector in the region. The five-strong online marketing company at Digital Consortium beat off competition from highly regarded rivals to scoop the award. Judges remarked on the two-year-old firm’s “excellent” customer service, value for money and sustainability. Digital Consortium has completed projects for clients including Yorkshire Building Society and Calderdale College.



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plished designer at a young age. Said Mr Maguire: “Geoff’s energy and enthusiasm for the industry makes him more than worthy of receiving this award. It is a fitting tribute for someone who has dedicated his whole working life to textiles.” Re ceiving his awa rd a t S l ait hwaite-based TMS Software, Mr Haigh said: “I am delighted to receive a Behind The Seams award as the 50 years I have spent in the industry has shown me the importance of skills in the workplace. “The UK textile industry has survived against all odds and it would be a great shame if it were to fail because of a lack of skilled people working in the trade. To be named a ‘skills hero’ is a great end to my career in textiles.” Mr Haigh and Mr Maguire will now be invited to an event in London in November, celebrating all the Behind the Seams award winners.

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July, 2009


Sale bucks the trend A YORKSHIRE car garage has proved it is still possible to raise funds to purchase your own business premises, despite the continued downturn in the economy. Acting on behalf of vendor Gallifant & Brown Trust, national commercial property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton has sold the freehold of a 7,000sq ft warehouse unit at Wortley Moor Lane Industrial Estate in Leeds. Roger Best, of RSB Autos, said: “This new facility will enable us to accommodate existing and future increases in demand and its excellent location, just outside of Leeds city centre and in close proximity of the M621, will enable us to offer our first-class service to an even wider-range of customers.” Adam Peacock, industrial agent at LSH in Leeds, said: “The squeeze on credit has forced a large proportion of occupiers to put their expansion or relocation plans on hold until the market recovers. That in turn has led to a significant decline in the number of freehold transactions over the past 12 months. “This deal is particularly pleasing – not only will it provide a significant boost to the freehold market, it also demonstrates that some businesses are still investing heavily in their operations.”

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Roger Pearson

Time to get into Twitter? HE economic downturn is acceleratT ing business change – particularly for the legal profession, according to

■ PORT OF CALL: Malcolm Tracey (centre), of Eaton Smith, presents the award to Angela Blachard (second right) and Gordon Lambert (right), of Calder Valley Marine, with (from left) Steve Midgley, of Lloyds TSB; Alec Michael, of Michael Steel & Co: and Anne Gerard, of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

Company’s shipshape A BOAT-BUILDING company has landed a business award. Calder Valley Marine was named Business of the Month in the competititon run by Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith and the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. The award recognises the progress of the company, which has evolved from a traditional engineering, boat-building and servicing background to offer a complete waterway facility at its sites at Savile Town Wharf in Dewsbury, Apperley Bridge in Bradford, Victoria Quays in Sheffield and Gallows Bridge in Shipley. The company’s products and services include providing fully-fitted boata, serviced moorings and items of chandlery. Calder Valley Marine was formed in 1996 and prides itself in providing reliable products as well as friendly advice and guidance to its customers

– be they old or new to boating. A spokesman for theaward judges said: “Looking after a business is just like looking after a customer – and is not just about selling goods. In the case of Calder Valley Marine it’s about experience and the love of boat building, boats, their owners and our waterway heritage. “This approach along with their deep-sunk belief in excellence has made Calder Valley Marine this month’s winner. Gordon Lambert, of Calder Valley Marine, said: “We are delighted to have received this award. I feel it is just reward for all the hard work and dedication the staff has put in over the last couple of years.” The Business of the Month Award is open to all companies in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. For more details, visit the website or contact Ian Greenwood on 01484 821389.

The balloon’s up HIGH street pubs group Yates’s is set to As well as the big balloon race Hudderscelebrate its 125th anniversary with a field Yates’s is also hosting a ‘Super Hermonth of parties and events at its Hud- oes’ themed night on Saturday, June 27, dersfield bar. when it hopes to raise further funds for The Yates’s bar at King Street will host a Help for Heroes. During the last weekend balloon launch on Sunday, June 28, as part in June, Yates’s will be celebrating its of efforts to raise more than £20,000 for milestone birthday with Huddersfield’s the company’s chosen charity, Help for biggest ever party and more fundraising Heroes. The balloon release will be held schemes. simultaneously by 17 Yates’s bars across An exclusive beer, called Birthday Ale, the north of England. has been especially created for Yates’s by The balloon launch which takes place at brewer Well’s and Young’s. There are also 4pm on Sunday, June 28, from the bar,s cocktails with appropriate names,, includbeer garden aims to raise in excess of ing Birthday Kiss, Birthday 125 and Birth£20,000 for the wounded soldiers’ char- day Cake. ity. Andy Atkinson, manager of HuddersEach bar is aiming to sell a minimum of field Yates’s, said: “It’s a fantastic achieve500 red balloons at £2 a go. Every balloon ment to reach the milestone 125th has its owner’s name and address printed on one side of the attached ticket while the anniversary and what better way to mark it reverse side is stamped and addressed to than with a fundraising balloon race in aid the bar. Finders of the balloons are asked of Help for Heroes? “It’s a great cause and as such the to pop the ticket into the post with details of the location at which was discovered in enthusiasm and motivation of staff and customers alike to raise funds is huge. It’s order to claim a £25 reward. Yates’s Huddersfield bar has offered a destined to be a spectacular event so do 17-inch LCD TV with built in DVD as the come along on 28th June and you never prize for the balloon that goes the furthest know you might end up finding the winning balloon!” distance from the launch.

respected legal IT specialist Prof Richard Susskind. In a recent keynote speech at the world’s premier legal technology conference, he said: “When the storm lifts, the terrain is going to look wildly different. What we're seeing courtesy of this dreadful economy is an acceleration of what many of us have anticipated in legal services. And that is the introduction of all manner of efficiencies, largely due to the impact of information technology.” The changes for the legal profession are being driven by specific changes to the business model relating to legal services reform/commoditisation and also by the growth in technologies such as social networking which are already affecting the way we interact with individuals and organisations. Maybe there is still an argument for a traditional approach to business, but how long will this last as the next generation begin to work already immersed in the likes of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube? Susskind says: “Technology is coming to the heart of our society, the heart of our lives, the heart of the way we work. And I see no reason to think the legal world should be exempt from these changes.” The same could apply to other businesses as well as the legal profession – as for any business, social networking could be a fantastic way to reach customers. But the same marketing principles will still apply as to any media. Forgetting about hype and the fantastical technology for a moment, it is still important to make sure that you are communicating with your target audience. There are some surprises out there. For example, men aged 45 to 54 are now the top demographic on Twitter, according to a recent report in May, but not so long since the service usage was dominated by 18 to 24-year-olds. Are you thinking about wether or not your company needs to do social networking? I’d say yes, in some form, but don’t forget about the foundations of online communication which may be much easier and perhaps more relevant. Look at Twitter and Facebook if the target audience is right for you, perhaps use YouTube to broadcast a new viral product video, but remember that research has told us that the most trusted online information is e-mails from known senders, closely followed by online reviews and search results from the likes of Google. Remembering the fantastical technology again, when is a search engine not a search engine? The answer is ... when it is a DECISION ENGINE or even a COMPUTATIONAL KNOWLEDGE ENGINE. Almost in tandem, Microsoft has revealed the title of its new “decision engine” as “Bing” – which will replace Windows Live Search later this year and Wolfram Research has launched “Wolfram Alpha” – a “computational knowledge engine” with a decidedly scientific approach. Both are clearly aimed in different directions but it will be interesting to see how search and knowledge management develops as the route most people take to information on the internet. Roger Pearson is a project manager at P2 Technologies Ltd, Lockwood


July, 2009



■ TASK FORCE: David Taylor (centre), of Dewsbury-based Taylor Studwelding, with employees at the firm's factory in Shangai, China

Clare Quartermaine

Volatile customers successful marketing is all about IingFattracting new customers plus retainand nurturing those you already

have – how do we keep up with their ever-evolving needs, especially in these volatile times? Must we all be psychic? I suspect that all businesses are adjusting their marketing activities and budgets at the moment and they are finding that they have difficult decisions to make. As purse strings tighten for consumers and business alike, businesses are having to fight harder to get their share of the kitty. The key to successful marketing is “knowing your customers” and finding or choosing the right method and the right message in order to reach them. Not rocket science – but often a formula that benefits from re-evaluation and maybe an objective view now and again. Customers can move on for reasons outside your control, their needs simply change. So, businesses need to know their customers and prospects in order to know what will work. Putting aside some time and funds to do some market research can really reap the rewards - even though in these times you may feel money would be better spent elsewhere. The ultimate market research tool has to be the “loyalty card” and the majority of supermarkets have them. So now they have a breadth of information and they can get personal. They know their customers inside out, don’t they? What they buy, how they buy, how much they spend. They just don’t know why. They can, of course, make an intelligent guess but they are still trying to pull their hair out trying to find the answers. Getting your facts right or “understanding” your customer will help you make better decisions. This may lead to you making changes and perhaps trying new and creative marketing activities. Knowing how your customer likes to be reached is something that is often not considered even though we generally have a preference ourselves. Perhaps an important type of customer likes to receive emails or even texts? Another would prefer something they can read the old fashioned way. Certain types of customer are definitely excited by something innovative and cutting edge, whilst others will be turned off by something that appears too “expensive”. One things for sure, during these times even the most loyal customer will be forced to look for the best deal. So assuming that it’s all about budget (or lack of it) it is now becoming even more essential to ensure your message is delivered in the best way for them. Avoiding a scatter gun approach and really getting into the minds of your different customer types is probably a good place to start. Clare Quartermaine is founder and managing director of QT Creative

Expanding into China A DEWSBURY company is reaping the benefits of investment in China. Family-run Taylor Studwelding Systems Ltd first opened a representative office in Shanghai 10 years ago. Now, that office has evolved into a state-of-the-art factory manufacturing products for the huge Chinese market. Taylor Studwelding (Shanghai) Ltd now employs 35 people in facilities at Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing. The Shangahi office has also posted record turnover for 2008. David Taylor founded Taylor Studwelding in 1984. Drawing on his 40 years’ experience in the industry, Mr Taylor has developed

the company as the UK’s only designer and manufacturer of studwelding equipment – with annual sales running into millions of pounds. Many of the firm’s products are exported worldwide via a long-established network of agents and distributors. Equipments range from small handheld units right through to fully automatic computer-controlled systems designed to meet specific production requirements. Taylor Studwelding operates in the UK from a modern, purpose built factory based in Dewsbury and has more than 10,000,000 items constantly in stock – including 500 different components.

managing & protecting your wealth

■ NEW NAMES: Paul Rowlands and Edwin Baker, of community recruitment agency Up & Working

Recruits are working well COMMUNITY employment agency Up and Working has announced two key appointments. Edwin Baker has joined the team as employment liaison officer to help regional businesses grow and create more jobs across the district. Paul Rowlands has been appointed senior recruitment consultant – joining Up & Working’s team of industry-accredited recruitment consultants to take respnsibility for recruiting temporary and permanent staff to selected organisations across the region. Mr Baker previously worked for Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce as business adviser and Bury Council as workforce devel-

opment manager. Mr Rowlands has been a recruitment consultant in the region for more than four years Up & Working, funded through the Kirklees Access to Employment Programme – which is funded by Yorkshire Forward – helps people to overcome barriers preventing them from securing employment. It also offers information to local organisations to help theme expand and recruit. It operates across various sectors specialising in industrial, engineering, finance and accounting, education, sales and marketing and commercial work. The Up & Working project is led by Access Matrix Ltd, a subsidiary of Sadeh Lok Housing Group.

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July, 2009



Society names new top team

New heights STEVE Fearnehough (pictured), managing d i r e c t o r o f Elland-based Crossway Scaffolding, has been elected chairman of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation’s northern region. The confederation is the recognised body for the scaffolding industry in the UK with 200 member companies and is a founder member of the UK Contractors Group. Mr Fearnehough is

responsible for chairing regional meetings across the north of England dealing with issues in the scaffolding industry at regional and national level. Crossway’s innovations include its Advanced Guardrail System to improve safety for scaffolders.

Accounting key MARTYN Allatt has been appointed key account manager for compressed air products specialist Thorite in Huddersfield. Mr Allatt, 47 (pictured), of Wakefield, was previously employed by two leading manufacturers in the industry, Norgren and SMC, for whom Thorite is a major distributor. His new responsibilities at Thorite’s site at Barge Street, off St Thomas’ Road, focus on providing commer-

cial and technical support to some of the firm’s largest industrial customers as well as seeking new business opportunities.

PI team leader Richard Wadwell has joined Applebys Solicitors in Marsh to head its personal injury team. Mr Wadwell, who lives in North Yorkshire, has more than nine years experience in the personal injuries field, having started out working in-house for a major insurance

company. He has also worked for three leading national law firms. At Applebys, his specialisms will cover industrial deafness claims, industrial diseases, accidents at work, highways claims, road traffic accidents and slips, trips and accidents in public places.

Financial post SARAH Taylor has been appointed a director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Yorkshire corporate finance practice. Ms Taylor (pictured) joins from the firm’s Birmingham office. She has been with PwC since 1993 and has more than 11 years experience in corporate finance – including a year on secondment to RBS in their leverage finance team. Her new role will be to provide the full range of corporate fin-

ance services including mergers, acquisitions, disposals and fund raisings for both public and private companies across the region.

NEW officials have been elected by West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants. Michael Freedman, a consultant in corporate finance with Ford Campbell Freedman LLP, is the society’s new president in succession to Merryck Lowe. He was installed at the society’s meeting at Leeds City Museum. Mr Freedman said his focus for his year in office would be to support the society’s 5,500 members working in industry and practices during the present economic downturn. Said Mr Freedman: “Any chartered accountant under 50 has only known benign economic conditions and is going to have to learn a whole new set of skills to benefit themselves, their clients and their employers.” Mr Freedman attended Leeds Grammar School and graduated from the University of Leeds with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in economics and accounting. His first job was a film projectionist at the Savoy Cinema in Wakefield – before he took his financial skills to E Freedman and Co, where he also undertook his chartered accountancy training and qualified in 1962. As consultant, Mr Freedman specialises in company start-ups, reconstruction and venture capital. Ford Campbell Freedman is part of the Manchester-based Ford Campbell Group. It has 100 staff and partners across the region. Mr Freedman is also chairman or director of several private companies in Yorkshire and was chairman of the Joint Israel Appeal Yorkshire and is a founder of the Friends of Roundhay Park Charity. Michael is joined by Tim Parr, tax partner at

■ TEAM PICK: Michael Freedman (seated), president of West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants with deputy president Tim Parr (left) and outgoing president Merryck Lowe

Baker Tilly as deputy president of the WYSCA. Philip Pawson, a barrister and member of the council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, completes the team as vice-president.

Yorkshire link at ICAEW A YORKSHIREMAN has been elected national president of the 132,000-member Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Martin Hagen (left) was born in Leeds and attended Rotherham Grammar School, Thomas Rotherham College and Sheffield Polytechnic. He trained with Knox Franklin & Co – now PKF – in Sheffield and qualified as a member of the Institute

in 1973. He joined Spicer & Pegler – now merged with Deloitte – in 1974 in the London office before moving to Bristol where he became a partner in 1983. He is now a consultant for Deloitte, having retired as a partner in 2005. He is also a deputy chairman of the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the Financial Services Authority and a sits on the Audit Committee of the London School of Economics.

Development brief for team CORPORATE recovery specialist Refresh Recovery has appointed John Crowder (right) as development manager. The company, which has an office at Skelmanthorpe, has also a d d e d C h r i s t o p h e r A d a m s, Jonathan Marquiss, Jonathan McKeown and Jonathon Waller to its business development team. Welcoming the new recruits, John Waller, group strategic director, said: “Their role will be to help us to generate business, implement and drive our marketing activity and develop relationships in the local business community.

“This is invaluable as we continue to grow. “In the current economic downturn there is inevitably an increasi n g n e e d fo r o u r re c ove r y services, but it’s our ability to put businesses back on track to profitability that marks us out.” Preston-based Refresh Recovery was formed with the takeover of insolvency practice Cresswall Associates at the end of 2008. The company provides services in areas including turnaround and recovery, strategic planning, corporate finance, business efficiency and merges and acquisitions.

EVENT management company Wellpleased Events has appointed Rachel Booth, 24, as a new account manager. Ms Booth (above) will be based at the comp a n y ’s L e e d s h e a d office and will work with a wide range of clients, including GE Money, Lloyds TSB, ASDA and KPMG. Before joining Wellpleased Events, she was an account manager with award-winning firm Event Prop Hire, based in North Yorkshire. Said Ms Booth: “I am extremely excited about my new role at Wellpleased Events. Their astonishing creativity and client portfolio are second to none and I am looking forward to wo r k i n g w i t h t h e m immensely.”

Regional role for director ABBEY Corporate Banking has appointed Jo n at h a n D y e r a s regional managing director covering Yorkshire. Mr Dyer takes responsibility for Abbey and Alliance & Leicester’s corporate banking business at its regional business centre network across northern England, Scotland, North Wales and Northern Ireland. They include nine offices in Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, Manchester, N e w c a s t l e , S t o cton-on-Tees, Liverpool, Belfast and Glasgow. Mr Dyer, who lives in Yorkshire, brings 17 years’ experience in corporate relationship banking and structured finance to his new role. He was previously head of corporate banking for AIB Capital Markets in the north of England after has also worked for N M Rothschild and NatWest Markets. At AIB he set up a new team dealing with several leading businesses.


July, 2009



Mobile tactics for IT firm BATLEY-based IT company has launched a “pay-as-you-go” support service thought to be the first of its kind. Eitex, based at Beckside Court, Bradford Road, is already offering entry level IT support serv i c e s o n t h e “pay-as-you-go” model used by mobile phone companies. It means customers are able to buy or top-up minutes as they would with a mobile phone – and use those minutes in exchange for IT support as and when needed. M a n ag i n g d i re c t o r Dean Spencer said: “We have always endeavoured to stand out from the crowd by being one-step ahead of the competition and this service has been no different. We pride ourselves on thinking outside the box. “The service does away with an annual contract which makes it attractive to smaller businesses and it’s also attracting attention from some larger clients who wish to make big savings by outsourcing their IT department.”

Camelot signs up PR firm YORKSHIRE public relations consultancy Ptarmigan Bell Pottinger has been appointed by National Lottery operator Camelot to help its London-based press office with consumer PR support for eastern England. The Leeds-based agency will be responsible for managing press conferences to announce new lottery winners and PR campaigns to raise awareness of unclaimed prizes in an area stretching from Lincolnshire to the Scottish borders and including Yorkshire and the north-east. Simon Brown, senior consultant at Ptarmigan Bell Pottinger, said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed by Camelot. Kathryn Williamson, head of press and publicity for Camelot, said: “We are delighted to have appointed this new team.”

Colin Barratt

‘Flipping’ for beginners! MID the furore concerning MPs’ A expenses claims an important tax election for second home owners, now

■ JUST CHAMPION: Kevin Emsley (second right) with actress Claire King (right) and (from left) Sarah Carr, chairman of trustees at the NDNA; Purnima Tanuku, NDNA chief executive; and Del Sharman, of award sponsor Pound Gates and Co Ltd

Top award for ‘champion’ A BUSINESSMAN championing the Huddersfield-based National Day Nursery Association has been honoured for his voluntary work as a trustee of the charity. Kevin Emsley, chairman of commercial law firm Lupton Fawcett, was recognised as a “member champion” of the NDNA when the Bradley-based organisation staged its annual awards held at York racecourse. The awards were presented by former Emmerdale actress Claire King, who told guests: “Kevin has acted as a ‘critical friend’ to NDNA for a number of years, giving time out of his own busy schedule as a senior partner in a major law practice to provide sound advice on legal and business matters and help with tasks including the complex revision of NDNA’s governance structure.” She added: “NDNA is very fortunate to have people with specialist skills, like Kevin, who

freely share their expertise for the benefit of the wider sector.” Purnima Tanuku, NDNA chief executive, said: “We were delighted to recognise Kevin’s committment with this NDNA Member Champion Award. His help, dedication and support of NDNA as a national charity has been greatly appreciated, and we were pleased to pay recognition to this at our awards ceremony.” NDNA is the national charity and membership association for day nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support to help them provide the best possible care to young children. A registered charity since 1999, NDNA has grown from a small group of volunteers to a national organisation with a head office in Bradley Business Park and national offices in Wales and Scotland.

Go-getting firms come under the council spotlight KIRKLEES Council leaders met go-ahead businesses when they toured a centre in Dewsbury. Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan and deputy leader Clr Kath Pinnock visited Bretton Street Enterprise Centre to tour the facility and learn about the thriving businesses working there. The centre at Savile Town is home to a wide range of companies based in low-cost industrial units. They include Phillip Cox, of Advanced Dyeing Solutions, a company formed in 2001 to supply parts for dyeing machines used by the textile industry. The firm now supplies textile dyeing machines worlwide. The visitors also met Ekbal Patel, of Mass Spectrometry Instruments; Mike Wood, of The Good Soup Company; Helen White, of Stopdrop Tooling; and Iqbal Dhoriwala, of ID

Caterers. Mass Spectrometry International provides highly specialises scientific equipment while The Good Soup Company was set up by Mr Wood following a period when he found himself eating a lot of soup! Stopdrop Tooling specialises in supplying toolkits for people working at height while ID Caterers provides Asian food for events as well as catering for the Hilton hotels in Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Midlands. Clr Khan said: “We were keen to hear from businesses about how they are dealing with the effects of the global downturn. Many have adapted their stategies and plans to thrive and survive. “This visit is part of a series of events to support local enterprise and will help us to improve council support to encourage confidence and growth.”

popularly referred to as ‘flipping’, has been highlighted which I thought would be worth further explanation. Generally, any profit arising on the sale of an individual’s main residence will be exempt from capital gains tax. But where an individual has two or more residences there may be a latent capital gains tax liability on one or more of the properties. In these circumstances, the individual has the right to elect which of the residences is to be regarded, for tax purposes, as their main residence. The intention of the election is to secure the final 36 months exemption on the residence and thus mitigating any capital gains tax liability on the sale of the residence. A property must be in use as a residence of the individual before an election can be valid and so it cannot be used to convert say an investment property into a residence in order to obtain tax relief. The time limit for submitting an election to HM Revenue & Customs nominating a residence as the main residence is two years from the date on which a person first has a particular combination of residences. For example, if a person had a single residence until April 1, 2008, and then on that date bought another dwelling house and began to use it immediately as their second residence, they have until March 31, 2010, to nominate one of these residences as their main residence. Once a notice has been given, it can be varied by making a further election given at any time. The further election is only effective for a period beginning not earlier than two years before it is given. A variation will usually be made when the disposal of a residence is in prospect or has already taken place and the use of this election is included in the Revenue’s own internal manuals. In this case. a person has had two residences for many years, residences X and Y. He has submitted a valid notice nominating X as his main residence. On January 1, 1992, he disposes of Y and realises a large gain. In order to obtain some relief in respect of that gain, on February 1, 1992, he submits a variation to his original notice which nominates Y as his main residence from February 1, 1990. On February 8, 1992, he submits a further variation which nominates X as his main residence from February 8, 1990. So Y has been validly nominated as his main residence for one week in February, 1990. As Y has been his main residence for this period he is entitled to the final 36 months exemption. The result is that at the expense of a loss of one weeks relief on X he secures three years relief on Y’. The availability of such an election can give rise to valuable tax savings on the sale of a residence but whether the manner of its public exposure will bring about its demise remains to be seen. It is doubtful as it remains a significant benefit to MPs. Colin Barratt is tax partner at Wheawill and Sudworth, chartered accountants, Huddersfield


July, 2009


‘Agency in ‘cool’

move to provide help for trainees A TRAINING company is to offer two new music live events and promotions, com“cool” apprenticeships. munity arts and education, cultural and Bradford-based City Training Services heritage venue operations, technical theatre, will be the first training provider in the costume and wardrobe. region to offer a brand new cultural and Air conditioning and refrigeration will creative apprenticeship in partnership with teach apprentices how to install, service and Bradford College. repair temperature and air quality control It is also providing an air conditioning and systems. Prospective careers include surveyreefrigeration apprenticeship. ing potential installation sites or training to The cultural and creative apprenticeship, become a service and maintenance enginwhich begins in September, offers an altern- eer. ative path into the arts industry based on The company can also fund apprenticeability and potential rather than an indi- ships for young people aged 19 to 24 – with vidual’s academic track record or social some financial assistance from the background. employer. Apprentices will get on-the-job training, Richard Hinchliffe, chief executive of City study for a qualification and earn money Training Services, said: “City Training Serwhile they learn. vices works closely with a wide range of The air conditioning and refrigeration employers to provide training and assessapprenticeship offers existing and potential ment to meet their demands for skilled staff. employees the chance to keep up to date with I am delighted that we are the first training regulations and new technologies within the provider in the region to offer the exciting industry. new cultural and creative apprenticeship. The cultural and creative apprenticeship “The air conditioning and refrigeration should take an average of 15 months to apprenticeship is also a welcome addition to complete. our range of programmes and will prove very There are six pathways that the students popular in a rapidly changing industry.” can take – including music business and

■ WARNING WORDS: Mark Hunt, partner at BDO Stoy Hayward in Leeds, says companies will face increased regulation and stronger corporate governance standards will

Firms need a strategy for their survival

A ROBUST risk management strategy is key Said Mr Hunt: “We are now going to see a to the commercial survival of Yorkshire’s long-term environment of more accurate pristruggling businesses, it was claimed. cing of risk in all sectors. The latest edition of BDO Stoy Hayward’s “We are seeing the end of cross-subsidisaannual Yorkshire Report revealed that tion, where the better risk customers effectincreased regulation and stronger corporate ively subsidised the riskier ones. Every governance standards were likely to emerge as business will now have to stand on its own a consequence of high-profile corporate col- feet. lapses. “Our region’s top companies are heavily Mark Hunt, partner at BDO Stoy Hayward dependent on continued access to debt fundin Yorkshire, said: “When the fires of the ing and we have already seen that recycling this recession die down, one issue which will still be debt is proving problematical – with lenders’ smouldering will be the widespread and sysviews on pricing of debt risk having altered tematic failure to understand, assess and propdramatically. erly price risk. “It is now not unusual to see replacement “During the boom times, risk wasn’t top of the agenda – it didn’t even feature anywhere on debt facilities being priced at interest margins that were unheard of 12 months ago.” some corporate agendas. Mr Hunt said the most fundamental issue is “The assumption was that the bull market would last forever and whatever risks a busi- to get the quality of senior people right. “I ness faced would either never crystallise or don’t think we’ll see another case of a major would be swamped by the profits created by financial institution choosing its chairman ever-growing demand. The controls on risk because his father and grandfather were chairmen before him. Nor will we see companies lapsed and we are now paying the price.” Mr Hunt said: “Over the past 15 years, we with non-executives who have no sector or have seen aggregated risk grow exponentially, relevant experience. particularly in the financial services sector “The quality of boards and their corporate where products have become increasingly governance practices will be under the spotcomplex. light as the front line in risk management.” “The increase in risk vastly outpaced the Mr Hunt predicted there will be a backlash ability of businesses and, crucially, their lead- to the “regulation-light” philosophy and ers to understand and manage it. At all points, tighter rules will be introduced across many and especially at board level, critical business sectors. risks have gone unidentified and uncon“A significant number of our region’s top trolled. companies already operate in complex regu“The question is, will we now start to see our latory environments and these won’t become region’s battered and bruised companies refo- any easier,” he said. cus on risk to fully understand what they need “Compliance with applicable regulations to do in order to survive?” will become a more significant cost and busiMr Hunt said that even the most cavalier of companies would reassess their enterprise risk nesses will also be exposed to increased govprofiles and implement wider risk manage- ernment intervention and major changes in regulatory requirements. ment processes. “Enhanced regulation in the financial serBut he added: “This might not result in the positive outcome that people want and expect. vices sector is a certainty, but it will not stop Most of the banks have got there first, and the there. “Our region’s listed companies should end result has been that credit has become less expect more stringent requirements across the available. “This is a risk-based decision, but one that board in public markets, which will include a doesn’t necessarily help to get the economy requirement to analyse and disclose their risk going.” profiles more fully.”

July, 2009



Safestyle UK is opening window to opportunity

■ FACTORY WORK: Colin Findlay, director of Severn Unival

Business is booming for valves firm

BUSINESS is booming for an engineering firm supplying the biggest names in the gas and oil industries. Severn Unival is on track to double turnover this year compared with three years ago – despite the recession – due to strong demand for its specialist control and choke valves used on North Sea rigs and at major oil refineries. At the same time, it has increased staff numbers by about 20. Among recent contracts the company has won valve management contracts for four North Sea oil platforms acqured by TAQA, the Abu Dhabi national energy company, from Shell. Severn Unival, having previously held the contracts with Shell, was able to make a strong case for selection by the new owners of the Tern, Eider, North Cormorant and Cormorant Alpha rigs. The contracts cover the management of all control, isolation and safety values on each platform, including supply, certification, repair and maintenance. Other customers include Shell, BP and BOC, while the company also exports to markets including Canada and Malaysia. Severn Unival, which employs almost 80 people at its premises in Milford Street, Chapel Hill, is part of Gloucester-based Severn Glocon Group, a privately-owned company, which has sites in Gloucester, Aberdeen and in Qatar and Dubai. The Huddersfield operation also includes a specialist design team, Design Paradigm, based in Slaithwaite.

The company also works with supplier machines shops in Huddersfield and Brighouse as well as foundries in South Yorkshire. Severn Unival was formed with the takeover of Unvial Controls by Severen Glocon Group in 1996. Director Colin Findlay said the company had been able to weather the recession due to its speialist work and niche market. “A lot of the platforms in the North Sea are odler and need upgrading,” he said. “Oil companies that have operated these for many years are selling them off to new companies and they are looking to make their plant more reliable and more productive. “At Huddersfield, we have teams covering bespoke engineering, design and manufacturing as well as servicing for specialist valves which have to be able to work efficiently in difficult conditions such as as high temperatures or deserts. “Ours is a specialist product and a quality product.” Mr Findlay said the site also boasted highly-rated engineers “at the top of their industry”. He said: “We are in a position where we have a good order book right through this year and into 2010. “The business is stable and while we may not be recruiting at present, we are able to say we have no risk of losing staff. “We expect to come through the recession in good shape. We will continue to invest in our people and facilities.”

A DOUBLE glazing firm with operations in Huddersfield has reported a rise in sales. Safestyle UK said the increase in first quarter revenues was due more owner-occupiers making home improvements to help increase the value of their homes for when the property market picks up. The first three months of 2009 saw a 30% increase in the firm’s written business when compared to the last three months of 2008. This news supports figures recently announced by Sainsbury’s Finance which revealed that consumers are starting to spend more on home improvements. The lender reported a 53% increase on loans partially or wholly for home repairs/refurbishments in 2008, compared with 2007. Steve Birmingham, managing director at Safestyle UK, said: “When it comes to buying or selling a home, first impressions are lasting impressions and home improvements such as attractive

windows and doors can really help improve a house’s appearance. “After all, a clean, appealing, well-maintained home has much better odds of selling – and selling for more than the asking price.” He added: “It’s no surprise that in the current climate, we’re seeing a significant increase in homeowners investing in home improvements. “Energy efficient improvements such as double glazing don’t just enhance a home’s appearance and increase its value, but can also reduce a household’s bills, which is ideal for homeowners looking for ways to quickly reduce their outgoings.” Mr Birmingham said: “We have never been more aware of how the energy we use affects the world around us, and if we want to ensure the government achieves its plans to make cuts in emissions of 60% by 2050, we need to all work together to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint.”


July, 2009


Ask gets all the answers


Testing time for workers WO recent pieces of research have T highlighted the alternative ways companies are continuing to reduce head-

count as opposed to redundancies. Firstly, a drugs charity has reported receiving a significant increase in calls concerning drug testing at work. The charity comments that many companies have only recently introduced testing and that it is a method of potentially removing some employees from the business without having to make redundancy payments. While the charity took just 6.2% of its total calls last year in relation to drug testing at work, that figure has soared to 26.4% in the first 3 months of this year alone. It is expected that testing may well be carried out in high-risk occupations such as those where employees are working with vulnerable people or using dangerous machinery. However, the recent trend has seen testing introduced in other environments such as offices and retail stores. The charity comments that employers should be supporting staff that have had drug problems rather than using unfavourable results to subject employees to disciplinary action. Employers wishing to introduce drug testing must ensure that they consider the following: ● A specific policy is prepared including justification for the introduction of such a policy ● The policy must be brought clearly to the employee’s attention. It is advised that a detailed consultation process is entered into with all employees ● The justification for introducing such a policy must be considered. For example, where employees are working with machinery, working long shifts, they are working with vulnerable people or at heights, there is strong justification ● Employers may wish to consider putting support measures in place; but, ultimately, it must be made absolutely clear that disciplinary action may well be taken dependant on the results of such testing In a separate study, research has found that employers are starting to invoke the default retirement procedures more and more in an effort to beat the recession. Since October, 2006, employers have been able to retire employees at 65 subject to following a standard statutory procedure. The research, carried out by charity Age Concern, has revealed that more than 1 in 7 employers who have a retirement policy in place plan to increase use of this during the recession. 71% of those responding had a mandatory retirement policy in place and it is likely that this method of dismissal will be relied upon much more. This is because it saves companies having to make redundancy payments and a correctly followed procedure will mean that an employee is precluded from bringing a claim in unfair dismissal. Neil Wilson is an Employment Lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors

■ FAST TRACKED: Ben Lodge (front, right), of Dormer Tools, with Jamie Kehoe (front, left) and the other members of Huddersfield University's Team HARE

Students taking up pole position in racing contest RACING engineers from Huddersfield University are gearing up for pole position after receiving expert support from a world leader. A team of 25 mechanical engineering students are designing and building a single-seater car which will be raced against machines from more than 100 other universities from around the world at Silverstone in July. The annual Formula Student race has been developed to help forge future engineering talent and is organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. The university’s team, Huddersfield Automotive Racing Enterprise, has gained backing from global engineering company Dormer Tools to support the development of the car. Sheffield-based Dormer are sponsoring Team HARE and have opened an online account to enable them to purchase the cuttings tools they need to complete the build. Team HARE spokesman Jamie Kehoe said: “We manufacture 90% of the car in house and to gain the right tools for the job can be a costly process. We are working to a very tight budget, so to receive access to the right cutting tools through Dormer is a massive help. “We don’t have an endless supply of spare tools and if one breaks we don’t want to be waiting a week before a replacement arrives. By having the online account with Dormer, we can order what we want and have it delivered the next day, which is perfect. “As well as the sponsorship, Dormer has provided expert advice and support to the team, which is just as valuable. We know that if there are any tooling issues they are only a call away.”

University teams from around the world enter the event to give students hands-on experience in building a racing car. Team HARE has entered a vehicle into Formula Student each year since first competing in 2000. Graduates who have participated in Formula Student are looked on favourably by employers because it shows they have had experience in managing a real budget against a real deadline for a real event. Team HARE began the project at the start of the university’s academic year last September . cars are judged not only on speed, but on all-round performance through a series of static and dynamic events. Jamie, 24, of Dewsbury, said: “The whole process is similar to how it is for real racing teams – gaining sponsorship deals, developing partnerships with companies, dealing with real engineering issues which arise from managing this type of project. It’s hectic, but it’s a hugely enjoyable experience.” Ben Lodge, a former Huddersfield University student, who is now sales engineer at Dormer Tools, said: “Team HARE has entered the Class 1 competition where they have just nine months to create a new design from a blank piece of paper to racing the car on a professional track. “Dormer has a vast amount of experience in the autosports industry, supporting Formula1 for a number of years. We are pleased to help Team HARE in anyway we can, whether that is by providing tools or offering expert advice from our engineers. “We heard about the Formula Student through one of our engineers who took part in the event when he was at Huddersfield University.”

A MARKETING research company based in Huddersfield has completed a project for neighbouring Calderdale Council. Ask Strategic Marketing & Research, based at the Media Centre, Northumberland Street, undertook research to establish the size and make-up of the creative, digital and tourism sectors across Calderdale. Areas covered included Elland, Brighouse, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden. Ask director Susan kenyon said: “By taking part in this research, businesses in Calderdale’s creative digital and tourism sectors and sub-sectors are now clearly identifiable and accessible in one mapping document for the benefit of Calderdale collaboration. “Individuals, organisations and businesses can still take part by simply logging on to www.askmarketinguk. com and completing the template provided. “We are keen to include as many individuals, organisations and businesses working in these sectors as posible and as such are continuing with our on-line research template until the end of May, 200.” Susan continues. This research contract represents a hat trick for ‘Ask in Calderdale – following the completion of projects for Action Halifax/Future Leaders and a Calderdale-wide consultation project on behalf of Calderdale College.

Company news? Contact Henryk Zientek on 01484 437766

15 Church in bank link

July, 2009


CITY TALK Simon Kaye

When the mist clears T the start of the year, markets ran A away screaming when faced with the mountain of refinancing required by

banks and industrial companies to see them through the downturn. The depth of the recession was unfathomed, the holes in balance sheets had only just begun to be disclosed and the height of the mountain was such that investors’ knees wobbled. In the months since, some of the mists have cleared and the central banks have administered the equivalent of plasters, Kendal mint cake and oxygen. This has encouraged some intrepid climbers to venture onto the lower slopes, where the corporate sector has decked out its stalls, seeking to raise the capital they need to survive and prosper. There is no great surprise about how many companies are seeking capital, particularly given the caution being displayed (amidst the sound of crashing stable doors) by the banks’ lending officers. While the size of the mountain was expected, what is more encouraging is the number of climbers. Record amounts are being raised in the corporate bond and equity markets and, although the institutions are clearly being selective over who will be financed (no takers for the US car makers, for example) some of the cash set aside in the more nervous conditions of 2007-08 is now being invested. The Bank of England’s Quantitative Easing programme is helping, boosting the money supply by directly purchasing lower risk assets from the private sector. No doubt, the shift has also been encouraged by the paltry interest rates available on cash deposits and government bonds – no food is being served at base camp so if you want to eat you must climb the slope. Although progress is being made, I cannot help wondering whether the summit in view is the top of the mountain or will, once it is reached, simply reveal a higher peak beyond. As the Bank of England Governor recently observed, there is a difference between giving the banks enough capital to survive and giving them enough to return to normal levels of risk aversion (code for “willingness to lend”). However, at the end of last year, the lack of will to back any new issues meant that corporate distress became worse, threatening to create a downward spiral in the economy. Now that the business of refinancing has begun, the more nightmarish downside possibilities for economies have receded. As a result, it is possible to envisage a more positive feedback loop where the more refinancing is achieved, the fewer corporate walking wounded there are, improving economic confidence and making subsequent capital-raising appear less risky than the earlier rounds. So, a process of convalescence is underway, which is a relief compared with earlier fears, but should not be confused with a return to full health. Meanwhile, the ongoing need to rebuild savings in the economy without suffering prolonged recession means that interest rates are likely to be kept low for some years, posing the same dilemma for individual investors as for institutions – how to secure an adequate investment return without insomnia-inducing levels of volatility. Key ingredients in this are diversification, attention to quality and patience. Simon Kaye is Divisional Director at Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management

■ FULL HOUSE: Delegates to the Yorkshire Business Forum listen to speaker Michael Watson, of law firm Chadwick Lawrence at the event held at Yorkshire’s Headingley Carnegie stadium

Sponsorship event LAW firm Chadwick Lawrence has kicked off a second year of sponsorship with Huddersfield Town at a regional business event. The Yorkshire Business Forum – organised by Huddersfieldf Town and Yorkshire County Cricket Club – w a s h e l d a t Yo r k s h i r e ’s Headingley Carnegie ground in Leeds. The event attracted more than 100 business people and was sponsored for a second year by Chadwick Lawrence. The law firm, which has offices in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, backed a similar series of networking events at held by Huddersfield Town during 2008. Speakers at the Yorkshire Business Forum were YCCC chief executive Stewart Regan, Michael Watson of Chadwick Lawrence and Andy Green, of Green PR. Food was served before delegates enjoyed the Yorkshire v Durham Twenty20 game. Chadwick Lawrence senior partner Jeremy Garside said: “As act-

ive members of the regional business community, we were delighted with the event. “Building positive relationships has always been at the heart of what Chadwick Lawrence does and is key to any successful business in our region. The number and calibre of attendees showed that Yorkshire is an exciting and diverse place to do business.” Sean Jarvis, director of business development at Huddersfield Town said: “Chadwick Lawrence are a long-standing sponsor of the club and their backing of the Yorkshire Business Forum fits well with their ethos of being Yorkshire’s Legal People and ours as the Yorkshire Club. “We are making friends across the region and aim to pass on our successes to companies that back us. Thanks to their backing of the event, it was a great success which is also credit to the hard work from YCCC and also to all the businesses that attended.”

BANK funding totalling £9m has helped to get a spectacular church get off the ground in Huddersfield. Barclays Commercial Bank has provided the £9m loan facility to enable Huddersfield Christian Fellowship to move into its purpose-built premises, Cathedral House, at St Thomas’ Road, Folly Hall. The £14m building, reputedly the largest new church to be built in Britain for more than 20 years, includes a 2,100-seater main auditorium, a bookshop, a cafe, indoor and outdoor play gyms, teaching rooms, conference facilities for hire, on-site parking and a state-of-the-art sound system. It replaces the Fellowship’s previous premises, Harvest House, at St John’s Road, which had become too cramped. Church spokesman Andrew Kisumba said: “The new premises are awesome and we are already seeing an increase in the number of visitors using our facilities and attending services. “The funding from Barclays has enabled us to complete the second phase of our project – and we really appreciate the support and advice they have provided for our expansion. “In addition, Barclays have also generously agreed a £2,000 donation towards the children’s play area.” Nick Russell, relationship manager with Barclays Commercial in West Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to support Huddersfield Christian Fellowship with this transaction – which demonstrates Barclays are open for business and committed to the West Yorkshire market. “The new premises are extremely impressive and we look forward to continue working with the management team to meet their expansion goals and put the premises to good use for the local community.” The launch of the new premises was officially celebrated at a special concert featuring X-Factor star Rhydian Roberts and the London Community Gospel Choir. Barclays Commercial Bank provides banking services to 81,000 larger and medium-sized businesses with turnover between £1m and £1bn. Huddersfield Christian Fellowship has a growing congregation comprised people from a wide variety of social, cultural and religious backgrounds.

Fraud warning to employers KIRKLEES companies have been warned about the costs of employees filing fraudulent expenses claims. The alert was sounded after a survey suggested that UK workers swindle their bosses out of more than £1bn a year in spurious expenses claims. Guy Lamb, head of employment law for law firm DLA Piper in Yorkshire, said: “Even fiddling everyday expenses such as mileage, taxi fares and the odd bar tab can really add up for a business over the year and can totally destroy the relationships of trust between an employer and employee. “If that trust is abused and claims are made for illegitimate expenses, employers ordinarily consider that an act of gross misconduct which often results in dismissal. Indeed, the threshold to allow an employer to dismiss for expenses falsification is very low.

“We recently conducted a case where an employer had sacked a worker for falsely claiming £33 overnight accommodation when they had actually gone home. This dismissal was upheld as fair by an employment tribunal.” Mr Lamb said part of the anger that people felt about the MPs’ expenses scandal was the sight of politicians “lining up to say they didn't break any rules when those rules and their enforcement seemed totally out of kilter with how business expenses policies should be structured and policed”. Mr Lamb stressed the need for companies to be very clear about what employees could claim and to ensure those policies are rigorously, but fairly enforced. A survey of 3,000 employees by budget hotel chain Travelodge found that the typ-

ical worker pocketed an extra £17 each month through expenses clamis – adding up to an extra £204 a year. Other recent surveys suggest that between 5% and 20% of all expenses claims are either inflated or totally fictitious. Said Mr Lamb: “Business expenses are not an enrichment or a perk, but simple a reimbursement for legitimate costs incurred in connection with your job – whether you are an MP or a salesman. “All employment contracts should make specific reference to claiming business expenses and every organisation should set its own rules and limits on what are legitimate expenses with a robust system in place to police the policy. “Unfortunately, abuse of business expenses is a widespread problem in both the private and public sectors, but given the scale of the apparent

Guy Lamb

abuse of the system by our MPs, there is little tolerance of such inappropriate conduct, especially in the current recession.”


July, 2009


Agencies link up for mobiles deal TWO Huddersfield companies are signalling a bright new future for the mobile phone. Common Agency and Blink joined forces to engineer an online story and game – called Five Trees Forest – to highlight the future applications for mobile phones. Participants were given special mobiles for a week and had to visit a number of different places – both online and in the real world – to complete a series of actions in the story. At some locations they could “scan” their phones to carry out the task. The mobiles used similar technology to that found in Oyster cards, where people swipe a card to pay for transport in London. It is also the same sort of software currently in use in Japan, where people can scan their mobiles at vending machines to pay for items like drinks or snacks. Common Agency, based at the Media Centre, and Blink, which has offices at Milford Steet, were recognised for their project when they won the award for best application of mobile technology in the Yorkshire Digital Awards. Common Agency, founded by director Ben Childs, specialises in building websites and mobile phone applications while Blink, led by directors Andrew Wilson and Lisa Roberts, are involved in pro-

jecrs covering film, mobile phones, gaming, new media technologies and public art. Mr Childs said: “Ultimately, the technology used in Five Trees Forest means you can turn your mobile phone into a sort of cash card. You could top it up and spend or have charges applied to your bill. It can also be used for ticketing and things like that. It turns a mobile phone into much more than just a means of communication. “At the moment, you need to have a special mobile, but it could be used on every mobile eventually. This kind of technology does exist in Japan, but is not yet in active use in Europe. “Five Trees Forest is an innovative demonstration of how the technology might be used to create new and exciting services and is the first of its kind in the UK. I’m confident that it will eventually become commonplace.” Mr Childs, 34, who lives in Slaithwaite, launched his own agency after working for four years as head of multi-media design at Orange UK , based in Leeds. He leads a five-strong team at Common Agency. Blink has worked on projects with art galleries, bus firms, schools, universities, community groups, health care professionals, museums and local authorities.

■ TOP OF THE WORLD: Chris Hopkins, of award-winning business Ploughcroft Ltd

Gold award for building firm A BRIGHOUSE company has struck gold in a competition to find Yorkshire’s recession-busting businesses. Building services company Ploughcroft Ltd was named a gold winner in the Bucking the Trend competition run by Business Link Yorkshire. It is the latest accolade for the company, which was winner of the Employer of the Year categorty in the 2008 Examiner Business Awards. As a gold winner of the Bucking the Trend contest, managing director Chris Hopkins will now receive six months’ business mentoring from Kevin Whiteman, chief excecutive of Kelda Group, who owns Yorkshire Water. Mr Hopkins, who founded Ploughcroft with his father Bill in 1997, said: “I am over the moon to win this award. I have always tried to be innovative when it comes to my business and it’s great that top business leaders in Yorkshire think I’m doing something right. Mr Hopkins won the award for his innovative response to the slump in the construction industry following

the credit crunch. Faced with having to make some of his workers redundant – and realising that other companies across the UK were in the same position – Mr Hopkins launched the Rooferman franchise to help construction workers get into business for themselves after just five weeks of training. He said: “The problem with the way the current economic recession has hit the construction sector is that we risk losing a very skilled and experienced work force, meaning that recovery will take longer once the economy starts to grow again.” Helen West, chief executive of Business Link Yorkshire, said: “Nearly 60 businesses entered this competition with really inspiring stories of innovation and rethinking. “With the threat in this sector and to this company, it would have been so easy for Ploughcroft to sit back and accept defeat. “Their innovative approach to a traditional business, along with their enthusiasm and passion has really paid off.”

Rooferman, offering prospective roofers the chance to set up a man-in-a-van business without the usual risks associated with going into business. Launching Rooferman last year, Mr Hopkins said the scheme aimed to extend the firm’s commitment to quality and service across the country to deliver “a new national generation of highly trained roof repair and maintenance personnel”. Franchisees get intensive training at Ploughcroft’s purpose-built training centre on Owler Ings Road – covering areas such as roofing techniques, repair and maintenance and installing “green” technologies such as solar panels. In addition, a support package includes regular visits from a franchise manager, a mentoring programme, top-up training as and when required, performance benchmarking and regular networking meetings. Mr Hopkins is no stranger to awards. As a former body builder, he came second in the 2000 British Natural Body Building Championship.

Accountancy firm appointment STEVE Denison has been appointed senior partner for the northern practice of accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. He succeeds Ron McMillan, who is taking on the role of the territory senior partner of PwC in the Middle East. Mr Denison, 44, who lives in Leeds, has been with PwC for 23 years and spent most of his career working in the northern business community.

He joined the firm in Liverpool in 1985 before moving to Leeds in 1989. Steve became a partner in 1997 and has been leading PwC’s assurance practice in the region since 2006, delivering a wide range of audit, risk assurance and transaction services to the public and private sector. He remains the audit partner for a diverse portfolio of clients in the region from some of the largest listed companies to local entrepreneurial businesses.


July, 2009


Agency passes national test A HUDDERSFIELD employment agency has achieved two top national quality standards. Up & Working, based at the Media Centre, has gained accreditation to both Customer First and the Matrix Standard – highlighting the quality of customer service it offers in deliverying information, advice and guidance. The agency is funded through the Kirklees Access to Employment Programme – which is in turn funded by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward – to help people to overcome the barriers which prevent them from securing employment. Up & Working, part of the Edgerton-based Sadeh Lok Group, received “excellent “ feedback from its assessors. Group chairman Balbir Singh Uppal said: “As a group, we are delighted about this achievement. These quality standards highlight the excellence in service delivery that runs right across all subsidiaries within the Sadeh Lok Group.” Among its services, Up & Working provides job brokerage opportunities giving employers access to an expansive database of local, vetted candidates. The agency supplies temporary and permanent staff to selected organisations throughout the region and operate across

Jill Hague

Women in business N today’s economic environment, it is Ihave vital that a company’s business leaders the vision, energy and commitment

■ WINNING WAYS: Up & Working director Rosalyn Wimpenny (fourth left) with colleagues (from left) Janet Haigh, administration manager; Paul Rowlands, senior recruitment consultant; Rosalyn Wimpenny, director; Brenda Elson, community support manager; James Cook, communications officer; Denise Lawrence, employment adviser; and Tracey McCarthy, community champion team leader

various sectors specialising in industrial, engineering, finance and accounting,

education, sales and marketing and commercial work.

Star guest for awards A BUSINESSMAN who overcame blindness to set up a unique travel company is the guest speaker at a major awards event this summer. Amar Latif, who turned his misfortune around to set up Traveleyes, a travel business catering for blind people, will speak at the third annual Biz Awards, run by Brighouse based Stephen Waud. The event takes place on Friday, June 26 at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Mr Latif’s story is one of determination and inspiration as he battled with teenage blindness due to the onset of an incurable eye condition. His inherited disability caused him to lose 95% of his sight by the age of 20. But Mr Latif became an award-winning entrepreneur after setting up Traveleyes. He is also a TV personality after participating in BBC2’s docu-

Amar Latif

Stephen Waud

mentary Beyond Boundaries’ and a well-known charity fundraiser. He said: “If you're an entrepreneur, it was probably born into you, and it will undoubtedly remain with you for life – whether dormant,

active, or much more likely in the case of Biz Award entrants, in a state of permanent overdrive, with no ‘off’ switch! “The entrepreneur who tells you that it’s been an easy journey, hasn’t been there – and those who tell you it’s been

plain sailing, haven’t even seen a boat yet! “I've learned about that journey from the inside, where hurdles and the low expectations of others block the view ahead. When did you last discuss the view ahead with a blind guy? I’ve got perspectives that I’d love to share with an audience of entrepreneurs.” The Biz Awards have attracted record entries this year. And Mr Waud said: “The Biz Awards are about sharing your success and shouting about the difference you have made in an industry when the odds are against you. “It’s a challenging time to set up or continue a small business, so we are delighted in the record number of entries.” For details of the awards, go to

Huddersfield team help lift profits A TEAM in Huddersfield has helped environmental consultancy SLR achieve a 73% increase in revenue for the past 12 months – the largest in the group’s 15-year history. SLR, which has an office at Denby Dale, reported turnover totalling £54.6m for the year to October 31, 2008, against takings of £31.6m last time. The company, which includes Waste Recycling Group, SITA Kirklees and Caird Bardon among its clients, also revealed that 55% of income had come from clients of more than five years standing. Huddersfield office manager and principal Martin Schofield said: “This is a very


strong performance and our Huddersfield team is proud that it has been able to contribute to the company’s impressive growth. “Despite the hardening economic climate, SLR expects continued organic growth this year and the company’s strategy remains to supplement this through selective acquisitions to strengthen and increase our technical and geographic coverage.” The Denby Dale office, which opened in 2006, employs 10 environmental consultants, including specialists in landfill engine e ri n g , p l an n i n g a n d wa s t e wat e r management

The results are the first announced by SLR since 3i Group became the new investment partner in the firm in May last year. SLR has 22 offices in the UK and Ireland along with 24 in USA and Canada. It achieved strong growth in all the sectors in which it operates, consolidating its position as a leading player in the energy, natural resources and waste management sectors. The group also extended its regional coverage in the UK – opening new offices in Chelmsford, Exeter and Belfast. It has also acquired businesses in Bromley, Bath, Stafford and Dublin.

needed to achieve business success. But what makes a great business leader? In this month’s article I am highlighting an initiative we are sponsoring that may be of interest. To promote the role of women in business, HSBC and SHE magazine are sponsoring the International Businesswoman of the Year category in the SHE Inspiring Women Awards. The award aims to recognise the “unprecedented” entrepreneurial spirit of a woman in achieving business or industry success. The winner of this award, Dawn Gibbins, founder and chief executive officer of Barefoot Living Ltd, was announced at a special lunch on May 8 at Claridges Hotel in London “Business leaders need to be brave and prepared to take risks,” says Claire Owen, leader of vision and values at UK marketing and HR recruitment agency the SG Group.. “Leaders have to be ideas people who are always walking around with their eyes open and looking for new opportunities. They should also be inspirational individuals who have great communication skills and an appreciation of the people who work for them.” Karen Darby, founder of three companies: D e c i s i o n s G ro u p, D a r b y D i r e c t a n d SimplySwitch, believes that these qualities are also typical of entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurs also need vision, but must be prepared to take risks – including risks to their own reputation and their own cash resources,” she says. “They have to be prepared to accept failure, and then pick themselves up.” Although women represent about half of the UK’s population and possess many vital business skills, they are still highly under-represented in the business world. “Being female can be an advantage – even though it is still difficult to be a woman in business today. Women have more empathy for people, better communication skills and less of an ego to get in the way. Very few men accept when they are wrong,” says Darby. And Owen adds: “In business, the ability to plate spin is a real asset and, in my experience, many women have this by the bucket load.” Times are changing quickly for female entrepreneurs. Evidence suggests that British women are now more likely than men to pursue new business opportunities. For women who want to transform their business ideas into a reality, getting sound advice and conducting research are also considered vital. Female entrepreneurs can also take advantage of a growing number of finance schemes geared specifically at them. These include the Government's own recently launched £25m Aspire Investment Fund, which makes sums of £100,000 to £2million available on a co-investment basis via Business Link. Female entrepreneurs can also take advantage of specialist business organisations, such as the Women in Business Network, which provide advisory and support services in business finance, training, mentoring and finding business partners. For more information visit Jill Hague is Head of Commercial Banking for HSBC in Huddersfield


July, 2009




Litmus passes the PR test for Balfour Beatty

■ PEOPLE POWER: Alan Whyke senior partner for Huddersfield-based architectural design and construction company Brunswick with YHAL Chief Executive Carole Reid at the launch of a new-look Investors in People

Brunswick sets high standards

A HUDDERSFIELD architectural design and construction company was among Yorkshire firms recognised at the launch of a flexible new approach from Investors in People. Organised by YHAL, the Investors in People Centre for Yorkshire and Humber, the “new choices, new opportunities” event at the Royal Armouries launched the approach and also celebrated newly recognised organisations from across the region. Companies involved include Brunswick Estates, based at Belmont Street, which offers services including architectural drawings, interior design, property development, project management and office letting. Brunswick recently received recognition under the new-look Investors in People framework, which can now be adapted to meet an organisation’s needs – enabling it to give priority to the most important elements, such as improving skills and innovating to meet the challenges ahead. Alan Whyke, senior partner at Brunswick, said: “It is good to be

recognised for what we offer to both our employees as well as our customers. “The journey to IIP accreditation has brought much improved processes in the way in which we operate and think about our business, our clients and our valued team of dedicated staff.” Said Mr Whyke: “The process is a real opportunity to take an introspective look at your own business with the aim of making improvements across a number of key areas and increasing internal efficiencies. “Apart from improvements in the ways in which we garner customer feedback and what we do with that information, it has helped us to formalise all of our training and development processes – helping the company harness the talent that we have.” More than 2,500 organisations across Yorkshire and Humber are currently recognised with IIP – and YHAL predicts that the flexible framework will encourage even more to work towards the standard.

YHAL chief executive Carole Reid said: “Investors in People has responded to the challenges of the economic climate and the pressure that organisations are feeling to deliver and manage change. “The new approach will get to the core of an organisation’s issues and priorities and help them move forward and improve performance through people.” Said Ms Reid: “People have never been more vital to your organisation – and now is the perfect time to use the framework to look to the future and be in the strongest possible position wh e n t h e e c o n o my b e g i n s t o improve.” As part of the changes, Investors in People is introducing additional Bronze, Silver and Gold recognition to acknowledge the achievement of organisations wishing to go beyond the “core” standard. A long service award has also been launched as recognition for long-term holders of Investors in People.

Netto moves in for factory site SUPERMARKET chain Netto has purchased the site of a former clothing factory in South Yorkshire. The one-acre site at Goldthorpe will be used for the expansion of Netto’s existing supermarket in the town. The work, to be completed in mid-October, will increase total floorspace from 8,177sq ft to 9,742sq ft while the number of park-

ing bays will rise from 30 to 68. Netto, which currently has 196 supermarkets across the county, is investing more than £500,000 in the project. Clothing firm Portwest Clothing has stayed in Goldthorpe, investing in a new 90,000sq ft building. Philip Caspell, senior surveyor at DTZ, said: “We are delighted to have completed this sale in the cur-

rent challenging environment. William Smith, property director for Netto, said: “This site is an important purchase for Netto and allows us to expand our offer in Goldthorpe to an already loyal customer base in the area.” The Leeds office of DTZ advised Portwest and King Sturge advised Netto.

A LEADING name in construction has chosen a Yorkshire consultancy to be the retained PR agency for two of its top piling and ground engineering companies. Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, part of the Balfour Beatty group of companies, has p i c ke d aw a r d - w i n n i n g Leeds-based Litmus Public Relations Ltd to handle a nationwide campaign to raise the profile of trading divisions Pennine and Stent. The contract, won in a fo u r- way p i t c h , w i l l s e e 12-year-old award-winning Litmus report to BBGE’s communications and marketing team in Basingstoke. It will also work directly with Pennine’s and Stent’s nine

offices through the UK and Ireland. Litmus director Jane Wright said: “This is a tremendous piece of business for us. “We have a very strong track record for promoting clients within ground engineering, construction and demolition. “Winning a retained contract from a blue chip name like BBGE constitutes national recognition of our expertise in the sector.” Since its appointment, Litmus has already set to work publicising a Pennine project at Musselburgh Racecourse and Stent’s piling work on the site of The Shard, London, which will be Europe’s tallest mixed-use building.

■ MORE TAKERS: Howley Park Business Village at Morley

Attractive setting A BUSINESS park in Morley is detying the downturn by achieving 75% occupancy and attracting a selection of national and regional companies. Commercial property consultancy, Lamber t Smith Hampton and joint agent C a r t e r To w l e r h a v e announced a number of new lettings and sales totalling approximately 14,680sq ft – creating almost 50 new jobs – at Howley Park Business Village. New occupiers include contract caterer Baxter Storey, elevator and escalator manufacturer Otis Lifts, IT company Net Protocol, independent financial adviser Financial Solutions, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and beermat business Katz Promotions. Bruce Strachan, of developer J Pullans & Sons, said: “We are extremely pleased by the level of suc-

cess achieved and we are looking forward to welcoming further occupiers at Howley Park.” Adam Varley, head of office agency at LSH in Leeds, said: “To have accomplished such a high level of occupancy – despite the continued downturn in the economy – is a great result. “These latest deals demonstrate the wide appeal of Howley Park as a thriving out-of-town business environment and support the entirely flexible letting and sales policy of our client, J Pullan & Sons.” The £6.5m Howley Park – made up of 27 two-storey office units – was developed by Partnership Projects Ltd and J Pullans & Sons Ltd. Each unit provides from 1,624sq ft of flexible space with units capable of being combined to accommodate larger requirements.


July, 2009


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July, 2009



Making a move in property industry

Rents in peak of health HEADLINE office rents held firm in Leeds during the first quarter of this year. a survey has revealed. The latest Regional Office Market Presentation by global property consultancy Knight Frank showed that prime rents int he city remained at a peak of £27 per sq ft, but are forecast to drop to £26 per sq ft by the end of this year. Guy Cooke, partner of office agency and development in Leeds for Knight Frank, said: “Prime office rents have held firm due to a shortage of new build stock in established central locations. “However, there is now an over-supply in less established locations which will clearly put pressure on Grade A rents across the city. We expect rents to dip by the year end, similar to other regional cities. Said Mr Cooke: “There is currently a discount of £2-3 per sq ft outside of the traditional central business district. In this competitive environment, we expect to see the differential rise in addition to the incentives on

Guy Cooke

offer. “This has already happened at Livingstone House at Clarence Dock, where the rent on this new building has recently dropped from £21 per sq ft to £15 per sq ft.” Claire Higgins, head of commercial research for Knight Frank, said: “Evidence of the weakening occupier market is now starting to feed through to rents, albeit the truth of the downturn lies in the extent of incentive packages rather than headline rents themselves. “More positively, although prime yields have continued to move out in this first quarter, our expectation is to see a stabilisation in the pricing of prime product in the coming months. Secondary office property, however, will continue to see prices fall.”



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A FAMILIAR face on the Huddersfield property scene has launched a new business. Chris Jowett, who ran the town centre branch of estate agency Brearley-Greens for almost 20 years, has set up his own practice, Jowett Chartered Surveyors in the same Market Street premises. Mr Jowett is joined by his two sons, Gareth and Rhys, who have both worked in the industry for more than three years in between graduate studies. The practice comprises a team of six covering areas including valuations, letting, new developments and residential sales. The launch of the business, which also has its own website, is the realisation of a long-held ambition for Mr Howett, who started out on his career in chartered surveying in 1978 by gaining a degree in estate management at Portsmouth Polytechnic. His first appointment was as a graduate valuer in the Calderdale District Valuer’s Office in Halifax before he moved into private practice after qualifying as a chartered surveyor in 1981. Mr Jowett joined the Halifax branch of Eddisons as assistant valuer. He stayed there for three years before being promoted in 1984 to run Eddisons’ Brighouse office dealing with residential sales, building society and bank valuations, as well as new build for developers. Within three years, he became an associate in Eddisons and was promoted again to work in the Huddersfield office alongside

■ HOME FRONT: Chris Jowett and son Gareth, of Jowett Estate Agents in Market Street, Huddersfield senior residential partner Douglas Hoyle. Following Mr Hoyle’s retirement in 1987, Mr Jowett took on the role of joint manager with Raymond Butterworth. Following Eddisons’ acquisition by the Leeds Permanent Building Society in the late 1980s, Mr Jowett was offered the chance to become a partner in Brearley-Greens and to set up and manage the new Huddersfield office in 1989. Mr Jowett said he was looking forward to the challenge of run-

ning the new business – despite the impact of the recession on the housing market and tighter lending criteria by the banks.. “The key is to get the first-time buyers on the property ladder,” he said. “Shared equity may be the way forward because it gives a young couple a choice instead of them thinking that they will never get a mortgage. “Ideally, we need a period of stability where house prices remain steady for two or three years.”

Latest deal is out of this world COMMERCIAL property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton has further cemented its relationship with Gladman after securing two new major instructions through its Leeds office. Gladman, one of the UK’s largest developers of speculative office and industrial accommodation, has appointed LSH as joint strategic marketing and lettings agent on its Orion and Mars units at Cosmic Park in Sherburn-in-Elmet, an £85m industrial and distribution warehouse development. Rob Whatmuff, head of industrial and logistics in LSH’s Leeds office, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to enhance the services offered to such a significant client. This is a great opportunity for LSH to further cement its growing relationship with Gladman.” “Cosmic Park is one of the largest speculative industrial and warehouse developments in the UK and we believe these instructions are testament to our local knowledge and national capabilities, as well as our great enthusiasm to work with one of the UK’s leading private companies in

■ STARRING ROLE: Cosmic Park. in Sherburn-in -Elmet, an £85m, 1.6m sq ft industrial and distribution warehouse development near Leeds.

speculative development.” Tim Matthews, of Gladman, said: "We have worked with a number of LSH’s offices on several projects b e fo re a n d h ave a lway s b e e n impressed by their seamless national approach and the high quality of service provided. “We had no hesitation in bringing the Leeds team on board and are confident in their local and regional knowledge and profile, and in their ability to dispose of the two units.” Mr Whatmuff said: “The units,

Orion and Mars, which extend to 28,793sq ft and 25,926sq ft respectively, represent a unique opportunity to acquire new high-quality accommodation on occupier friendly terms in a market where new-build is becoming something of a rare commodity.” Well-known occupiers already at Cosmic Park include Sainsbury’s, Eddie Stobart, Kingspan and Linpac. LSH has been appointed joint agent alongside DTZ.

July, 2009




Builders urged to get wise to waste

Amandeep Kooner

Rights of way advice F one has the benefit of a right of Iowner way over a piece of land and the of the land over which it

crosses obstructs the route, there is established case law that would allow one to use a different route over other land belonging to the owner. What is the position if you are hoping to develop land over which there are rights of way? Would it be necessary only to provide an alternative route rather than go through the lengthy – and possibly costly – process of obtaining a release of the current right of way and granting a new right over the alternative route? In a recent High Court decision; Heslop v Bishton [2009] EWHC 607 (Ch), it was held that although the existence of an alternative right might affect any remedy the court would grant following an obstruction to the route by the owner, it would not necessarily extinguish the original right of way. So there are no shortcuts! This particular case dealt with a dispute of a right of way running along the back of an estate of houses. The dispute arose when Mr H built a wall and pillars to make a gateway on his land, reducing the usable area of the right of way. Mr B complained, but Mr H argued that Mr B could use other land belonging to Mr H in order to use the right of way. He argued that the previous right of way had been extinguished as it was not actionable due to the existence of the alternative route. The High Court having considering all the facts decided that: ● A landowner whose land was subject to a right of way has no right to alter the route unless this is anticipated in the actual grant of the right ● Where a right of way is obstructed, the existence of an alternative route might affect the remedy a court might order, for example the court might order compensation as opposed to an injunction to remove the obstruction ● Even if the owner of the land made a new grant of a right of way, the user of the right did not have to accept it and its existence would not extinguish the right of way over the previous route. The Law Commission has recognised that the law on the extinguishment of easements needs to be reviewed. A consultation paper was issued on the topic last year and a draft bill is awaited. The information in this article is for general purposes and guidance only and does not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Amandeep Kooner is a real estate partner at Austin Kemp Solicitors


Partner takes new role A PROPERTY expert has taken ip a new role with estate agency Bramleys in Huddersfield. Peter Butler has retired as senior partner after 32 years with the firm, but is staying on as a full-time consultant. Mr Butler joined the partnership at Bramleys in 1977. The firm, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. It was founded in 1959 by John Bramley, who retired from the firm in 1985. Mr Butler began his career in property in 1965 as an article clerk at Crossley Crossland and Uttley in Halifax, where he served until 1970. He qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1970 and joined Eddisons in Huddersfield, where he worked until 1976. In 1972, Mr Butler opened the firm’s Guiseley office.

He also worked in Bradford and became an associate partner. Mr Butler, who lives in Lascelles Hall, has worked in all areas of property, including agriculture; commercial, industrial and residential property sales; and auctions. Bramleys has five partners and 65 staff. It also has three graduates under its graduate training programme. It has three fully-qualified fully-qualified domestic energy assessors, one of whom is also qualified as a commercial assessor. Mr Butler is pictured (front, centre) with colleagues (back, from left) Graene Haigh, Andrew Moorhouse, Paul Keighley and (front) Helen Hollingworth and Alex McNeil.

SMALL builders in Kirklees are benig urged to unlock the benefits by using a new waste-saving guide. Environmental support group Envirowise has launched the free guide – which is av a i l ab l e o n l i n e at w w w. e nv i – to help businesses identify the main causes of waste on their building sites and save as much as 40% on waste disposal costs. Envirowise said: “With about 10.5m tonnes of construction waste generated across the Yorkshire and Humber each year, the cost saving potential for the region runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds.” The guide shows how savings can be achieved by making simple low-cost or no-cost changes such as segregating waste at source. Said Envirowise: “For example, reducing waste by 20% can cut a business’ waste disposal costs by 40% and waste to landfill by 60%. “With annual landfill tax rises confirmed until 2013, there is clearly an imperative for businesses to take action.” Elin Crebbin, Envirowise regional manager for Yorkshire, said: “The Federation of Master Builder’s latest State of Trade survey shows that economic conditions for small builders in the UK continue to be very challenging. “However, reducing waste costs is a straightforward, effective way to help improve the bottom-line and this new guide demonstrates how to secure significant cost savings with little or no up front investment required.” For details of the scheme, visit or call Envirowise on 0800 585794.

Six figure contract A BRIGHOUSE company has landed a six-figure contract with a leading building industry supplier. Concorde Informatics has sealed the three-year deal to provide computer support and business continuity services to SIG Trading Ltd, the UK trading arm of SIG plc, an international supplier to the construction, building and industrial markets. The agreement covers more than 400 SIG sites across the UK. It consolidates three existing separate IT service and business continuity agreements – presently held with two different companies – into one new contract.

The move will generate considerable cost savings over the three year term of the contract. John Whaling, UK IT director at SIG, said: “We had no hesitation in awarding the contract to Concorde Informatics as they combined a very cost-effective proposal with a business approach that is both flexible and innovative.” Colin Meakin, Concorde’s managing director, said: “This contract underlines the strength of our offering and reflects our commitment to developing long standing relationships built on personalised and tailored services to meet the changing needs of our clients.”


July, 2009



Architects provide Garden revamp for home feature AN architecture practice in Huddersfield has played a leading part in transforming a r u n - d o w n fo r m e r nu rs i n g home. Above & Beyond, based at Folly Hall Mills, was commissioned by lead consultant Operon to provide technical and design services for the refurbishment of the home, E l m h u r s t , i n W i m s l o w, Cheshire. The centre has now opened its doors fier the first time in almost a decade after being fully restored to provide a 30-bed “inter mediate care centre” with communal space, kitchen, dining rooms and treatment rooms for people recovering from a spell in hospital. The premises are leased by Central and Eastern Cheshire P r i m a r y C a r e Tr u s t f r o m Cheshire County Council. James Bosley, of Above & Beyond, said: “It will feel a lot like being at home and will be an ideal a tmosphere to help people get back on their feet.

Patients will stay in the facility and receive therapy until they are able to return to their own homes.” Steve Johnson, project manager at Operon, said: “Having worked with Above & Beyond previously we were confident in the success of the Elmhurst project. “Attitudes to care are changing and the Elmhurst care centre reflects modern living while promoting comfort and interaction. “The project was the complete refit of an existing building to give the interior a complete new layout. Above & Beyond are renowned for translating such briefs into spaces that work and this project was a great success.” Above & Beyond, launched in 1999, has a team of 20 working across a range of sectors with particular specialisms in transport, residential, office and lifestyle projects.

BUILDING products company Marshalls brought greenery onto the streets – with its exhibit at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The Birkby-based company, which sponsored the world-famous event, set out a Living Street Garden to show how urban areas can benefit from trees, plants and environmentally-friendly features. Television gardening experts Alan Titchmarsh and Nicky Chapman were among celebrities visiting the Marshalls exhibit, which displayed four front gardens to show how residents can “green” their local areas. The exhibit included sustainable drainage and rainwater harvesting to tackle potential increases in flooding caused by climate change. It also provided room to grow your own food and features pollution-tolerant pear trees and paving designed to improve air quality. Other exhibits stressing environmental issues included one providing greenery between tall buildings with trees and rainwater capture systems and others depicting green roofs to reduce water run-off and encourage wildlife. The Queen was among guests attending the Chelsea Flower Show

■ SHOW TIME: TV presenters Alan Titchmarsh and Nicky Chapman at the Marshalls Living Streets Garden exhibit at the 2009 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

to view more than 40 exhibits, including a garden designed to look like an under-sea coral landscape and a real underwater exhibit complete with piranhas. Unusual gardens at this year’s event included one made entirely of plasticine by Top Gear presenter James May – who was inspired by a TV series he is presenting on great toys. Dame Helen Mirren, one of the celebrities visiting the event in west London, called it the “quintessential British show”. The actress said: “The British have always had a love of gardening, a

great interest in plant collecting and horticulture. You meet wonderful people at Chelsea, you see the very best of the best of landscape gardens. It’s a great experience, I love it.” Commenting on the show’s emphasis this year on recession-busting gardening, she said: “Globally, things like climate change and economic decline always have an effect on all of us and inevitably you see gardening reflecting that.” She said people would always garden, and would find different ways of doing things in the economic climate.


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Unit 33 Holme Bank Mills Station Road, Mirfield TO LET 1, 012 m² (10,903 sq ft) Modern industrial/warehouse accommodation Within highly secure business complex Fully sprinklered workspace

Units 1, 2 & 3 Hoyer Industrial Park Leeds Road, Huddersfield TO LET 569 m² - 2,215 m² (6,130 sq ft - 23,852 sq ft) Modern warehouse/manufacturing units Prominent main road location off the A62 Leeds Road Generous secure yard and car parking

Grange Road Industrial Estate Grange Road, Batley TO LET 349.00 - 9,554 m² (3,758 sq ft - 102,846 sq ft) Industrial/warehouse units of various sizes Established industrial location Good access to junction 28 M62 and junction 20 M1

office Unit 3 Pennine Business Park Bradley Road, Huddersfield FOR SALE / TO LET 557 m² (6,000 sq ft) Modern attractive detached office building Open plan office benefiting from 27 parking spaces Highly accessible location close to junction 25 M62

Norwich Union House Market Street, Huddersfield TO LET 83 m² - 836 m² (829 sq ft - 9,000 sq ft) High quality office accommodation Passenger lift access Prominent town centre location

Contact Philip Deakin or David Wright 01484 533151

Offices in: Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Leeds, London, Manchester


July, 2009



Firms get chance

to bloom

Sean Jarvis

Up for a challenge!

OU will have to forgive me now, but Y this month’s column is basically a plea for help!

As you may have seen, I have apparently lost my marbles as along with our new chairman Dean Hoyle, I have agreed to cycle to our first away game of the 2009/10 season! The fixtures are released on June 17 and at the time of writing I don’t know whether I will be making the relatively short trip to Leeds or cycling the 300-plus miles to Exeter or Yeovil! Although it may look like I have temporarily lost my sanity by agreeing to this, I am happy to commit to this as we are raising money for a great cause – the ‘Keep It Up’ campaign in association with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s logo will appear on the front of our shirts next season and together, the ‘Keep It Up’ campaign has been borne from this new partnership; from every pound raised, 50p goes towards keeping YAA’s two helicopters in the air – which costs £7,200 a day – with the other 50p going towards our fantastic youth Academy. We are aiming to raise £50,000 for this worthy cause with our cycle and I hope that a few of you reading this column will get behind Dean and I and donate. You can do so by visiting and clicking on ‘donate now’! It’s a big challenge, but the Yorkshire Air Ambulance receive absolutely no funding from the government and have to raise every penny they need themselves so anything we can do to help can only be a good thing. The New Era here at Huddersfield Town has truly started with Dean having officially taken over as chairman of the football club. We are implementing a whole host of changes including our branding, which has positioned us as “The Yorkshire Club”. As well as attracting support from the individual fan and businesses in the Huddersfield area, we are branching out and spreading our net across the county. Our new 10-point pledge is at the heart of every decision that will be made at the club going forward and we want to gain a reputation among fans and businesses for honesty, integrity, trust, commitment, quality, pride, respect, character, value and success. Our season tickets for the upcoming 2009/10 season have been selling very well and everyone at the club was delighted to surpass the 10,000 total by the close of the early bird price deadline. That is a club record for season ticket sales at full price and is testament to how our fans have taken to the New Era here at Huddersfield Town. Memberships to our new White Rose Club are also exceeding expectations as fans opt to watch us in style and luxury in our hospitality areas next season. You can do so by calling us on 01484 484140. Our commercial department recently held its first Yorkshire Business Forum at Yorkshire County Cricket Club in association with local legal firm Chadwick Lawrence and over 100 representatives from businesses around the county came for a frank exchange of ideas. We had three fantastic speakers in Michael Watson, of Chadwick Lawrence, Andy Green of Green PR, and Stewart Regan, chief executive of YCCC. We have some more exciting events on the horizon – for more information, call our Commercial team on 01484 484140. Sean Jarvis is director of business development at Huddersfield Town


■ BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE: The Media Centre on Northumberland St

Vital lessons!

THE lessons learned in Huddersfield following the 1980s recession are set to help other towns and cities recover from the current crisis. Delegates from across the UK and Europe will attend a three-day event next month to find out the town’s disused mills and factories wereconverted to provide workspace for creative businesses – and generate new jobs – in the wake of a decline in traditional industries. The “summer school” will include tours of Huddersfield’s Media Centre – where the event is being held – and Dean Clough in Halifax. The Media Centre complex on Northumberland Street was once home to a plumbers’ merchants, but has been transformed into a thriving base for 130 creative businesses – covering areas such as marketing and design, architecture and interior design, video and film production. The complex includes one of the greenest business centre buildings in the UK, which was opened by the Queen in 2007. Media Centre chief executive and course leader Teo Greenstreet said the complex had helped to make Huddersfield one of the most renowned “creative clusters” in the country.

■ SOLUTIONS: Teo Greenstreet, chief executive at the Media Centre

“The initiatives that emerged following the collapse of heavy industries have been an essential part of the survival and revival of northern towns and cities like Huddersfield,” he said. “The Media Centre was one of several projects to come out of the Huddersfield Creative Town Initiative, a project delivered using European funding to stimulate economic activity through creative enterprise and to respond to a

demand for creative workspace within the town. “Since opening in 1995, the Media Centre has provided a home to at least 300 creative and digital companies with approximately 500 people employed within companies at the centre at any given time.” Said Mr Greenstreet: “As in the 1980s, the places that recover fastest will be those that engage now with emerging sectors. “It is hoped that delegates will take away tried and tested solutions to boost recovery from the recession in their areas.” Speakers at the event – which runs from July 6 to 9 – include Simon Hill, executive director of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward; Kirklees Council chief executive Rob Vincent; and Pat Kane, author of The Play Ethic and a member of 1980s pop band Hue And Cry. The event, entitled Entrepreneurship, Workspace and the Local Creative Economy, is a joint initiative by The Media Centre, Kirklees and Barnsley councils, Sheffield-based Creative Clusters and Yorkshire Forward. G o t o w w w . c r e a t i v

Companies in the spotlight BUSINESSES in Huddersfield and Brighouse have been shortlisted in a competition to spotlight firms forging ahead despite the recession. We l l h o u s e L e i s u r e L t d , o f S h e p l e y ; Greensleeves Garden Care Ltd, based in Skelmanthorpe; and Brighouse-based roofing company Ploughcroft Ltd are among 13 finalists in Buckin the Trend, a competition run by Business Link Yorkshire. Helen West, chief executive of Business Link, said: “We had 60 entries overall and the standard was very high. All the entrants are extremely positive and many have used the current economic situation to rethink what they do – and are having their best year ever as a result.” The shotlsted companies all win tickets to attend the Yorkshire International Business Con-

vention at Harrogate or Bridlington this summer – when four gold award winners and six silver award runners-up will be announced. They will also receive mentoring from leading business people, including Kevin Whiteman, chief executive of Kelda Group; Yorkshire Bank chairman Richard Gregory’ Neil Turton, chief executive of Nisa-Today; and Jan Fletcher, whose business interest include property and restaurants. Wellhouse Leisure is in big demand for its custom-built camper vans, which it has even exported as far afield as New Zealand. Greensleeves offers a specialist lawn care service while Ploughcroft has defied the downturn to set up its pioneering Rooferman franchise venture as well as investing in construction sector training.

TOURISM businesses in Kirklees have been urged to compete for top honours. The White Rose Awards 2009 have been launched to recognise Yorkshire’s outstanding tourist attractions, accommodation and events. Some of the winners will also compete on the national stage as they go through to the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010. Fifiteen categories in the White Rose Awards include ones for visitor attractions large and small, pubs, self-catering establishments and guest houses, hotels and caravan sites. Gary Verity, chief executive of regional tourism organisation Welcome to Yorkshire, which runsthe awards, said: “We are asking tourism businesses to sell their vision on what they think represents the very best example of a successful tourism business. “Whether a business represents city life, is a family fun adventure, heritage hotspot or adrenaline-boosting sporting experience there is a category to suit.” Enter by going to www.welcometo The deadline for entries is 10 July, 2009.

Brindon triumphs HOLME Valley butcher Brindon Addy has been named Meat Buyer of the Year at the annual Pig and Poultry Marketing Awards in London. Mr Addy, of J Brindon Addy Butchers in Hade Edge, impressed judges with his commitment to his suppliers and “attitude of mutual support”. Judges were also looking at topics including meat hygiene, food safety, meat quality and taste.


Vicki’s a trophy winner

AN award for women working in the “man’s world” of transport has been won by Huddersfield’s Vicki Davenport. Vicki, who is sales and commercial director at Netherton-based haulage firm The Pink Link, won the director of the year category in the MAN Everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards. She fought off competition from two other finalists to clinch the trophy in the contest, which is sponsored by vehicle manufacturer MAN Truck and Bus Ltd. The awards highlight the contribution many women make to the transport and logistics industry, an area which is traditionally dominated by men. Some 300 guests attended the presentation ceremony, which was compered by comedian Ruby Wax and held at the Marriott Hotel in London. Said Vicki: “I am delighted to have won such a prestigious award. “Having worked in the transport and logistics industry for over 25 years I have seen many changes. The industry’s progress from an archaic male dominated environment to one where women play key roles has been fundamental to the development of my career. She said the industry offered tremendous opportunities for women. “Our strengths in multi-tasking, attention to detail, organisation and effective communication are the basis for a successful career in transport and logistics and how I got where I am today,” she said. “Couple these skills with drive, determination and enthusiasm and you will achieve anything you set out to and this award is testament to that.”

Powerful network

Redundancy Advice Services. Call Neil Wilson on 01484 519 999

Huddersfield | Leeds | Wakefield | Halifax | Dewsbury

A NEW business networking group has been set up in Brighouse – with 26 local firms joining up. The new BNI group was formed at a meeting led by BNI regional director Mike Holman, who explained how similar groups across the UK has helped generate success for member firms. Last year, more than £190m of business passed between BNI’s 15,000 UK members. New recruits for the Brighouse group include Huddersfield chartered accountancy firm Sheards, which signed up following the inaugural meeting. Kevin Winterburn, of Sheards, said: “When I heard about BNI and how it worked it seemed like a really good idea for businesses. I joined because it’s an opportunity to network and promote our business whilst helping other businesses in the area at the same time”. Mr Holman said that the recession meant businesses had fewer competitors, but more

competition. He said: “In the past, if the air conditioning broke down, someone would have been told to get it fixed. Now they’re being told to get three quotes. This means ‘word of mouth’ is even more important when it comes to getting business. Rather than just waiting for the telephone to ring, any business wanting to grow and be successful should have a strategy in place to make sure that ‘word of mouth’ is planned. The BNI meetings provide that.” Steven Barrett of Reality Communications, who joined a BNI group based in Cleckheaton when it started 18 months ago, said: “I’ve generated over £100,000 in business during my first year’s membership just by going to the BNI meeting.” For details of the Brighouse BNI group, contact Steven Barrett on 07946 543053/

Published by Trinity Mirror Huddersfield Ltd, PO Box A26, Queen Street South, Huddersfield HD1 2TD. Printed by Trinity Mirror Printing Oldham Ltd, Hollinwood Avenue, Oldham. OL9 8EP. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office.

Kirklees Business News, July 2009  

The business newspaper for Kirklees. Published monthly

Kirklees Business News, July 2009  

The business newspaper for Kirklees. Published monthly