Ace result! A DISABLED man is holding all the aces after a five-figure boost for his business. Stephen Collins, of Milnsbridge, has received funding of £20,000 to create a website and set up a showroom for his company Lazarus Mobility, an online retailer providing products for people with mobility problems. Stephen, who has cerebral palsy, received the backing from Partnership Investment Finance, which uses private and public sector finance to make loans to promising new and growing businesses. The new website stocks mobility aids such as electric wheelchairs and scooters, bath lifts and walking frames – but also stocks items such as fashion clothing – under the Wheelie-Chix Chic brand – games, radio-controlled model racing cars and gardening equipment. Many products have also been tested and endorsed by Stephen before going on the website. Stephen has already impressed Duncan Bannatyne, star of BBC programme Dragon’s Den, who has promised to back Marsden-based Lazarus Mobility during its first year by paying Stephen’s wages. Duncan said: “I’ve met some impressive business people in my time and heard some great ideas, but Stephen is one of the most driven and remarkable individuals, especially given the obstacles he has faced because of his disability.” Said Stephen: “I have lived with cerebral palsy for most of my life and have been told many times that there are many things that a person like me cannot do. “However, I’ve not let such negative comments stop me. I was told I’d never get married, let alone have children, but I’ve achieved both so I am confident I can make a success of running a business.
■ SUCCESS ON THE CARDS: Stephen Collins (right), of Lazarus Mobility, with Ian Howson, of Partnership Investment FInance
“If I can make a real success of the business, I eventually want to give some kind of support to help entrepreneurs with conditions similar to my own.” Ian Howson, fund manager at PIF said: “Stephen has a good business plan but he’d have found it difficult
to get a loan from a high street bank at this stage in the development of the business. “PIF can assist businesses such as Stephen’s to access vital funding in order to get their ventures up and running and you can already see the results.”
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Adare the winner in elections race A DIRECT mail company in C l ay t o n We s t h a s wo n a three-year contract to deliver election material on behalf of councils across the north-east. Adare Group landed the deal after successfully delivering polling cards, ballot papers and postal voting packs to more than 1,1m voters across Gateshead, North and South Tyneside and the city of Newcastle in the run-up to this week’s council elections. The work is processed at Adare’s Park Mill customer communications centre. Angus Walker, business development director at Adare, said the contract from the North East Purchasing Organisation (NEPO) – representing local
authorities throughout the region – reflected its work with local council teams in producing election documents over the past few years. He said: “Our experience has enabled us to design security features into election products in order to combat election and postal voting fraud – an area that is open to scrutiny across the election timetable. “Adare now produces election products for 15 councils, successfully delivering to more than 3m voters during the May local elections alone. “Several other councils have already come on board under the NEPO agreement and we expect further expansion for our democratic services division.”
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Henryk Zientek ORKSHIRE folk are reputedly YAnd careful when it comes to money. the region’s companies seem to be
living up to that image, according to the annual Yorkshire Report from accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward. Partner Mark Hunt notes that the region’s top companies went on the acquisition trail to the tune of £1.1bn last year, but remarks: “Shortly after we hit the current downturn, Yorkshire business retreated to the safety of its conservative shell, as it has always done historically. “What we are now witnessing is a demonstration of steely resilience as we face these tougher times. Traditional Yorkshire grit and determination, qualities that have helped Yorkshire businesses through recessionary times in the past, are being displayed once more.” Perhaps a period of restraint is to be expected in the wake of the short, sharp, shock dealt to business by the credit crunch. Mr Hunt says the report illustrates how Yorkshire businesses are “inherently conservative in both investment and gearing”. He adds: “While Yorkshire doesn’t appear to have the same level of aggressive entrepreneurialism as some other regions, it does possess a base of well run, well funded businesses.” Given the economic outlook, that’s probably the best kind of business to back. Resilience is more appealing than risk – at least in these uncertain times.
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Credit crunch fails to deter buy-outs
BUY-OUTS in Yorkshire totalled £767m mark for the first quarter of 2008, it was said. Figures from the Centre for Management Buy-out Research showed that the region performed strongly – despite the credit crunch – with 20 deals during the first three months of the year. That compares with 16 deals
worth £244m in the first quarter of 2007 and 18 deals valued at £107m for the same preiod in 2006. Martin Jenkins, corporate finance partner for business advisory firm Deloitte, said: “This is an exceptional start to the year compared to 2007 and 2006. “Although the first quarter is
traditionally a quiet part of the year, UK buy-out activity so far in 2008 compares well with prior years. This is in part driven by vendors rushing to complete deals before the end of capital gains tax taper relief at the end of the tax year.” Mr Jenkins said it was too early to say what impact the credit
SimplyBiz director is prizewinner A FIRM supporting independent financial advisers is celebrating the success of its finance director. Sarah Wood, 37, has won the title of Young Finance Director of the Year in the 2008 FDs’ Excellence Awards. Ms Wood, who lives at Holmfirth, was the youngest nominee in any category of the awards, which were run by employers’ organisation the CBI and publication RealFD. The awards were presented at a ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel. Ms Wood has been a member of the SimplyBiz board since the Bradley-based compliance and business support service was launched in 2002. She said: ““I am honoured to have been named Young Finance Director of the Year, particularly considering the quality of the other nominees in the category. “I’m delighted that SimplyBiz – as the sole representative of both the financial services sector and Yorkshire business – was successful in such a prestigious line-up.” The Excellence Awards recognise financial directors from companies across the UK that offer business-to-business support in any sector. The awards have taken place annually since 2005. Simply Biz, led by chairman Ken Davy, provides compliance and other business support services to about 2,200 financial services firms and more than 5,000 individual advisers nationwide. It is now recognised as the UK’s fastest growing financial services support company with sales exceeding £7m and pre-tax profits of more than £3m in its 2006 audited accounts. Ms Wood undertook her accountancy
JULIE Cook has been appointed by Skipton Financial Services as a financial adviser specialising in investments and inheritance tax planning. She is based at the Huddersfield branch of Skipton Building Society and joins the existing team of Adrian Bashworth and John Riley-Dibb, who also advise clients in the Huddersfield area. Ms Cook, who lives in Halifax, joined Skipton Financial Services in ■ WINNER: Sarah Wood, finance director for Bradley-based SimplyBiz, with her trophy as Young Finance Director of the Year at the FDs' Excellence Awards
training at Mazars before setting up her own accountancy practice in 1992, which she sold in 1998. She became financial controller with Huddersfield Giants Rugby League Club before being “headhunted” by governing body the Rugby Football League. Since joining SimplyBiz, she has played a major role in developing the business to the point where it has ranked sixth in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 table of fast-growing firms and first in its sector of business support services. In addition to managing day-to-day issues at the company, she has been directly involved in two acquisitions, the establishment of a Dublin subsidiary and the sale of 10% of the group to an institutional investor.
Joining the board LEEDS Building Society has appointed Abhai Rajguru as a non-executive director. Mr Rajguru (right), 42, is a qualified accountant and began his working career as a private client stockbroker with Charles Schwab. This was followed by five years with Nationwide Building Society and five years until 2002 at Ernst and Young in Leeds and
crunch would have in the longer term. He said: “The national market has also seen a strong start and while it is good to see the market operating at these levels of activity, it remains to be seen whether this will continue into the rest of the year or whether this will prove to be a false dawn.”
London as a director in business risk practice. He has since been a partner in an asset management operation. He is a non-executive both Simplyhealth Group and Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust. He is also a governor of Nor thampton College and trustee of a charity providing educational facilities to children in the third world.
2005 and was previously financial adviser at its Cleckheaton branch. She has a diploma in financial planning, lives in Halifax with her partner Chris and daughter Sophie.
Winning ways FINANCE directors have again voted PricewaterhouseCoopers as advisory firm of the year at the FDs’ Excellence Awards run by Real FD magazine in partnership with the CBI. The firm has now won the award three times in the four years that the awards have taken place. Darren Bryant, partner and head of corporate finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Yorkshire, said: “We’re delighted to receive this award once again, particularly given that it is voted for by those who really matter – our clients.”
Whether you are looking at buying a new business or selling your existing one, there are plenty of things to think about including:
• Valuation range and structuring options • Financing arrangements • Tax-planning ideas For truly independent advice and guidance, backed by years of experience, please contact Am Hayer or David Butterworth Tel: 01484 423691 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.wheawill.co.uk
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Builders miss out on cash support BUILDING firms in Kirklees are missing out on thousands of pounds of financial support by failing to take on apprentices, it is claimed. ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the construction industry, is offering firms up to £3,000 towards the cost of training for each apprentice taken on under its Programme Led Apprentices scheme. But about 26 trainees on the scheme are still looking for employers in Yorkshire and Humber. ConstructionSkills said it wanted more employers to recognise that construction apprentices were a vital resource, to make a commitment to helping young people enter the industry – and to make sure they did not let the cash slip through their fingers. It said apprentices on the PLA scheme had been welcomed by smaller firms in particular because the trainees had already completed their college-based qualifications and were able to work on-site, five days a week. PLAs allow young people to complete a full-time college-based construction course before completing the practical aspects needed to gain NVQ Level 2 through a placement of up to 12 months with an employer – a much shorter time commitment that for traditional apprenticeships. Sarah Fenton, apprenticeship manager for ConstructionSkills in Yorkshire, said: “Apprentices are not only essential to the future of the construction industry, but to the future of the UK economy. “They can also be an invaluable asset to any company. By offering a flexible resource that can help your business grow, an apprentice could be the best investment your business ever makes.” For more information, visit www.cskills.org or call 0844 8440046.
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Swift demand for new blinds A COMPANY providing blinds and curtains has come up with a fitting new product. Lockwood-based Swift Blinds & Curtains has launched a new type of window blind that fits quickly and easily onto virtually any type of double glazed window or door. The Louvolite Perfect Fit can be installed in less than a minute – without the need to drill holes into the window, door frame or surrounding plasterwork. It is being promoted for domestic and commercial use, including conservatories. The blinds are available in colours to
co-ordinate with modern window systems and cost little more than conventional window blinds. They can also be easily removed and reinstalled for cleaning. Swift Blinds director David Roebuck said: “As Perfect Fit blinds attach to individual frames, they move as the window or door moves – making the product ideal for use with tilt-and-turn windows, glazed doors and skylights. In addition, Perfect Fit looks great in conservatory roofs.” He said: “Louvolite Perfect Fit really is the most innovative development the window blind industry has seen for years.”
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Staff face pressure to put in the hours ALMOST a third of Yorkshire workers feel under pressure to stay in the office longer than necessary, a survey into working hours as revealed. The poll by jobs consultancy Right Corecare showed that 28% of employees in the region frequently put in extra hours. One in five stated that their bosses demanded that everyone in their office worked extra hours. Some 15% of those polled admitted using some of the extra time they spent in the office to surf the internet. And 4% said they got into work early or left late even when they had little work to do and no reason to stay back.. One in eight said they stayed late in order to appear hard-working. The survey said 9% of workers thought staying in the office longer would help their careers progress – but only 5% have had a pay rise or a promotion as a result of putting in more hours. A fifth of employees under 45 think
working – but only one in 10 workers aged over 45 takes the same view. One is six people polled said long hours at the office was having an adverse effect on their personal relationships. Some 25% admitted it was having an impact on their health. Adrienne Heeley, a director at Right Corecare, said: “It’s clear that many people believe the only way to get ahead is to be visibly seen as hard working by bosses and colleagues. “As the economy slows down and employees become concerned about their positions in an organisation, this problem could worsen – with staff seeking to secure their jobs by being firt in and last to leave.” But Ms Heeley argued that this jacket-on-the-back-of-the-chair approach was counter productive. She said: “It has a detrimental effect on the employee’s well-being, the productivity of the business and the Yorkshire economy.”
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Remploy adds to jobs tally
A RECORD number of disabled people found jobs through specialist employment services Remploy last year, latest figures show. Remploy, which operates a factory at Waterloo in Huddersfield, found 6,600 jobs in mainstream employment for people with disabilities during the 12 months to the end of March – 27% up on the previous year. Remploy’s branch at South Parade in Leeds, accounted for more then 200 of the UK total. Bob Warner, Remploy chief executive, said the “excellent” figures had been achieved at a time when Remploy was undergoing a major shake-up to put more focus on helping disabled people find jobs in mainstream employment. Remploy came under fire from unions last year for closing a number of its factories and merging others as part of plans to place more disabled people in mainstream jobs. Said Mr Warner: “These successes indicate that modernisation of the organisation is absolutely the right thing to do and we can now go
on to find jobs for many more disabled people than before. “These figures show that we are on course to meet our ambitious target that by 2012 we will be finding more than 20,000 jobs in mainstream employment every year for disabled people who experience complex barriers to work.” The record figures include a 47% increase to 4,600 in the number of jobs filled under the Government’s Workstep programme – for those who experience the greatest barriers to finding and keeping a job. More than 40% of people helped into work last year have a learning disability or mental health problem. Remploy said it was increasingly focused on providing specialist services for people who experienced complex barriers to work. Remploy said the increase in job placements was being driven by expanding its network of recruitment branches. The company expects to have opened more than 30 branches this year with a further 45 planned by 2010.
■ BANK TEAM: Pictured (from left) are Steve Hill, of Leeds; Mike Harrison (Sheffield); Steve Passey (Wakefield and Kirklees); Simon Lodge (Hull); Goran Olsson (Skelleftea, Sweden); and regional manager Andy Copsey
Bank opens up!
REPRESENTATIVES of local businesses attended the opening of a new bank in West Yorkshire. The new branch of Swedish-based Handelsbanken – serving Kirklees and Wakefield – was officially opened by the Mayor of Wakefield, Clr Allan Garbutt, at Calder Business Park alongside junction 39 of the M1. The official opening was attended by more than 80 members of the local business and professional community. They also met new employees Alan Hind and Melanie Barraclough, who has joined as
individual banking managers from Barclays. The champagne launch was also attended by managers of other Handelsbanekn branches in Yorkshire and Goran Olsson, a visiting manager from Sweden. Branch manager Steve Passey said: “I think people have been intrigued by a Swedish bank opening on their doorstep. When we explain our genuinely personal approach and our ability to make lending decisions at branch level, they realise we offer something different.”
Punch proves its point on profits
■ METAL WORKER: Brian Firth and his wife Jean have gleaned some sound business advice by attending the Leeds Enterprise Show
Brighouse man tests his mettle
A BRIGHOUSE man has set up his own business after a work-related injury cut short his career. Now Brian Firth, 58, who had to leave his job last year, has gained free advice to help his fledgling business grow at the Leeds Enterprise Show. Before visiting the show, Mr Firth had already received advice from Business Link to help him provide a business plan for his new venture, The Lead Studio. He also attended a Business Link Next Step workshop. Mr Firth said: “At 58 years old, I wanted to continue working, but doing something I really enjoyed. Going on the Business Link course was really useful and gave me an excellent insight into what I needed to know to start a business.” Mr Firth, who is backed by his wife Jean, is using his practical skills and craftsmanship to create authentic hand-made lead planters as decorative plant containers or garden ornaments. Said Mr Firth: “There are many examples of lead planters available today, but many are cast. “I hand craft each planter using traditional methods of shaping sheet lead on a wooden former and then
TV star Darius offers some sound advice SERIAL entrepreneur Darius Soudi took to the stage in West Yorkshire to offer advice to would-be business people abou beating recession – and making their first million. Darius (right), who appeared on ITV’s That’s Rich series, joined motivational speaker Johnny Apples spoke at an exclusive event in Leeds. He gave his views on the economy, shared the secrets of his success and gave advice to people wanting to pursue business success. He also spoke about his latest venture, 3DKids, which brings three-dimensional crystal portraiture to schools and nurseries
welding, which enables me to produce a wide variety of shapes and – as lead improves with age – our planters will last for generations.” Mr Firth has worked on projects, including the replacement of 1.5 tonnes of lead on a 150ft high disused chimney at Salts Mill, Saltaire and the replacement of the copper dome and associated lead work of Cleckheaton Town Hall. While he has all the practical skills.Mr Firth needed advice on key business skills such as marketing, logistics and pricing structures. He said: “Attending the show has been very helpful. “I’ve been given lots of good advice on different methods of marketing to target my specific audience and I have been able to chat to business experts and receive expert guidance on other areas of the business that I was unsure about.” Business Link Yorkshire is funded by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and aims to be the first point of contact for small to medium sized businesses in Yorkshire seeking guidance and support services.
PUBS operator Punch Taverns toasted the prospects of improved trading as it unveiled solid half-year results. The group, which has scores of pubs in the Kirklees area and more than 8,400 nationwide, lifted pre-tax profits by 1% to £133m – despite a 9% cut in the size of its estate. Taking account of one-off costs linked to the sell-offs, profits fell to £109m against £138m last time. The group announced an 8% increase in the interim dividend to 5.5p as licensees continued to “perform well” with average licence profitability up by 11% to £40,000. Punch invested £84m on improving 950 leased and managed pubs during the six months to March 1. At the same time, it was on target for cost savings of about £10m in the current financial year. Punch’s Yorkshire operations director Mark Chapman said the group had benefited from hard work preparing for the smoking ban, the sale of 900 pubs representing “the tail of our estate” and the acquisition of the managed estate of rival pubs operator Spirit. He said: “There is a lot of pressure on the leisure pound at the moment, but we are pleased with the position we are in. It has not been easy, but we have been preparing ourselves for 24 months before the smoking ban and it has worked really well. “We have got different people coming into our pubs since the smoking ban, more pubs offering food and we are focusing on making sure our pubs have the right environment and provide value of money to customers.” Chief executive Giles Thorley said: ““While we remain cautious over short-term trading conditions for the sector, we are well placed as we move into a more positive environment over the summer months and pass the anniversary of the smoking bans.”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Wilby fits in to help contractor
TAX TALK Colin Barratt
Decided on penalties? HE 2007 Finance Act introduced a T new penalty regime relating to errors or inaccuracies contained in tax
returns which are due to be sent to HMRC on or after April 1, 2009. The new penalties will initially apply to Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax, VAT, Construction Industry Scheme, PAYE and National Insurance Contributions but they are to be extended to all other forms of tax such as Stamp Duty and Inheritance Tax from April, 2010. Penalties will be linked to the behaviour of taxpayers that gives rise to a potential loss of tax resulting from errors contained in tax returns. For careless errors, the maximum penalty will be 30% of the tax unpaid rising to 70% for deliberate errors but not concealed and where errors are both deliberate and concealed the maximum penalty will be 100% of the potential lost tax. For Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax, a potential loss of tax will be the amount unpaid by January 31 following after end of tax year. So, the penalties will first apply to any tax unpaid after January 31, 2010, arising from an error. For Corporation Tax purposes, the potential loss of tax will be the amount unpaid 12 months after the end of the accounting period. HMRC has confirmed that no penalty will be charged where reasonable care was taken to get things right but an error still arose. This will vary according to the particular circumstances and abilities of taxpayers Someone with straightforward tax affairs may only need to keep a simple system of records which are regularly updated. Those having more complex tax affairs will need more sophisticated record systems that are maintained carefully. Also, where a taxpayer encounters a transaction or other event with which they are not familiar they will need to take care to check the correct tax treatment, or seek suitable advice in order to demonstrate that a penalty should not be imposed. Penalties can be mitigated for disclosing errors, giving HMRC reasonable help in working out what extra tax is due and giving them access to records to check the figures, with a higher level of mitigation being given for unprompted disclosures. This would be at a time when a person has no reason to believe that HMRC had discovered or were about to discover the error. Under the new regime, penalties may be suspended for up to two years in order to encourage taxpayers to comply in the future but suspension will apply to careless errors only. The current HMRC powers to impose penalties for errors in tax returns have not been applied consistently. However, with them now undertaking an awareness campaign ahead of the start of the new regime, it is expected that penalties will be imposed more frequently and to minimise exposure to potentially costly fines, taxpayers will need to take greater care with their tax affairs now! Colin Barratt is tax partner at Wheawill and Sudworth, chartered accountants, Huddersfield
■ AIR CREW: Yorkshire Air Ambulance charity director of fundraising Paul Gowland (left) with (from left) air crew paramedic Pete Vallance, DM Keith Ltd directors Dougal Keith and Angus Keith, air crew paramedic Pat Greaken and Yorkshire Air Ambulance charity development officer Nicky de Whytell
Dealer takes off for charity
A CAR dealership with a showroom in Huddersfield has flown in to help Yorkshire Air Ambulance fundraisers get out and about. Family-run firm DM Keith Ltd, which has a site at St Andrew’s Road, has provided a Skoda Octavia and a Skoda Roomster to enable the charity’s director of fundraising, Paul Gowland, and West Yorkshire development officer Nicky de Whytell reach appointments to gain further funding for the charity. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance depends entirely on donations and sponsorship to stay airborne.
Dougal Keith, managing director of DM Keith Ltd, said: “The Keith car family has sold the Skoda range for over 30 years, developing genuine relationships with our customers who are treated as if they are a member of the family. “We are proud to sponsor the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity and support the invaluable work undertaken by its two helicopter air crews, saving lives across our region.” Mr Gowland said: “The Yorkshire Air Ambulance strives to provide a platinum life-saving service for the people of Yorkshire and we regard this partnership
with D.M. Keith Ltd as a platinum partnership. “Without their extremely generous gesture, we wouldn’t be able to raise the £6,900 a day we need to keep flying and saving lives across the county. For that, we are enormously grateful.” Since its launch in October, 2000, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance has carried more than 2,100 patients – including BBC TV’s Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, who was flown swiftly to hospital in Leeds following his high-speed jet-powered car crash at Elvington airfield near York 18 months ago.
First steps to Russia HUDDERSFIELD is to host a conference on doing business in Russia. The university’s Russian British Business Centre is staging the one-day event next month at the Galpharm Stadium. The event on June 20 will feature expert speakers from the centre, the Confederation of British Industry and the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. Discussions will cover topics including travel, tax planning, recruitment, freight and customs, legal issues and training. Dr Evgeny Polyakov, who heads the centre at the university, said trade between the UK and Russia had risen in recent years and was expected to
continue to grow. UK exports to Russia totalled a record £2.8bn last year – up 36% on 2006 – making Russia Britain’s 16th biggest export market. Typically, products exported to Russia include machinery, chemicals, rubber, food and farming materials. Said Dr Polyakov: “Russia has a high potential for substantial long-term growth. With the election of a new president, there are high expectations for the introduction of a range of institutional and economic reforms necessary to complete the transition towards economic and political stability.” He added: “Enormous opportunities exist for companies in Yorkshire.”
Company expands ■ TRADE TALK: Dr Evgeny Polyakov, head of the Russian British Business Centre at Huddersfield University
New-look website launched AUTHORISED Mac reseller and service provider Mac&Beyond has launched a revamped website for the benefit of online customers. The website – www.macandbeyond.co.uk – provides immediate access to major topic areas
about Apple Mac repair, Apple products, IT support plans, creative software training, finance plans and other Mac information. New features on the fast-expanding Huddersfield firm’s site include the option to
INSURANCE and risk management specialist Wilby Ltd has helped a shop fitting company come up in the world. SBS Contract Interiors Ltd has been successful its application to become an approved CHAS contractor. The Contractors Health and Safety Scheme is a national system for selected contractors who can demonstrate high levels of legal compliance and excellent safety standards. SBS was given assistance by Halifax-based Wilby Ltd in compiling the portfolio of documentation required to gain CHAS approval. Bob Hagger, managing director of SBS, said, “More and more clients are demanding high standards of health and safety performance on their sites. “We see CHAS as a great way in showing our health and safety credentials. “It was a difficult task in completing the application, but we were very pleased with Wilby Ltd’s help and the result.” Mark Dalton, head of risk management for Wilby Ltd, said: “Lots of companies already have in place better health and safety practices than they realise. “We see our role in helping companies identify their good practice and to provide practical solutions where there are gaps”.
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A BUILDING services firm is embarking on a new phase of expansion after moving to bigger and more modern premises. Advanced Power Systems has left its home of 14 years at Silver Court, Aspley, for a unit at Beck Road Industrial Estate at the edge of Huddersfield town centre. Managing director Pat Beresford said the move was part of a drive to increase the profile of the firm. APS also had a new logo, a new website and had undertaken a range of marketing campaigns.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Fan-tastic product is a hot seller
A FAN manufacturer in Huddersfield is leaving the competition cold with its latest product. Woodcock & Wilson, based at Crosland Hill, has designed an industrial fan specifically for use in extreme low temperatures. The company spent more than four months developing the fan, which can continue to operate efficiently in temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees centigrade. Four of the new fans have been shipped to customers in the oil industry for use in Canada and Siberia. Woodcock & Wilson engineers used special low temperature steels, bearings and casings to make the fans. Managing director Mark Jones said: “It has been a challenging few months for our design engineers to develop and manufacture the fan which continues to work efficiently and effectively at such low temperatures. “The project has further enhanced our reputation for manufacturing innovative fans and be at the forefront of customers’ requirements.”
Tea parties BUSINESS leaders in Huddersfield were offered more than tea and sympathy at the launch of a new networking group. Tea and Business staged the first of its fortnightly meetings at the Briar Court Hotel, Birchencliffe. Organiser Bal Kaur said the new group aimed to be different from existing business networking organisations – by providing three levels of membership, training to help members get the best out of their involvement and a website with links to members’ own websites. Details of the group are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, phoning 01484 307515 or at www.teaandbusiness.co.uk
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■ IN THE LIMELIGHT: TV presenter Fearne Cotton (left), award winner Ashley Addy and Beverley Foster, learning and skills manager for Yorkshire Forward at the CoLaS awards in Harrogate
Glamour and glitz at region awards night
A TOUCH of Hollywood glamour came to Yorkshire at the Celebration of Learning and Skills Awards. Apprentice Ashley Addy, of Sowerby Bridge, was named winner at the spectacular awards ceremony hosted by TV presenter Fearne Cotton. Ashley was selected from more than 250 nominees to win the CoLaS Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies category sponsored by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward. Ashley, who works for Interface FLOR and began his advanced apprenticeship in manufacturing textiles in 2005, was recognised for his exceptional achievements and for completing his training framework in just 19 months. Fearne, who earlier in the year rubbed shoulders with the stars on the red carpet of the Oscars in Los Angeles, was at the Harrogate International Centre to announce the CoLaS winners. As part of his apprenticeship, Ashley undertook comprehensive laboratory training and is developing his career with Interface FLOR by taking an active role in quality assurance. His role also includes work with the process and materials research department where he is responsible for testing existing products, new product developments and
ments such as the technical department to obtain samples, carry out tests, obtain findings and send reports to managers. Ashley was commended by his employers for his professional attitude and ability to act on his own initiative and plan his time effectively. “Ashley completely deserved to win as he was totally thrown in the deep end when he came to us and coped admirably with work, training and issues in his personal life. “Whatever is thrown at him he simply gets on with it and he’s been one of the best apprentices I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. It’s really fantastic that he’s been recognised with a CoLaS Award.” More than 1,000 business leaders, employers and education representatives attended Yorkshire and the Humber’s equivalent to the learning and skills “Oscars” to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the region’s top employers and individuals. Awards were presented to winners of categories including agriculture, horticulture and animal care; arts, media and publishing; business, administration and law; construction, planning and the built environment; engineering and manufacturing technologies; leisure, travel and tourism.
committed to each month and in the current interest rate climate our customers are regularly asking us how they can proactively manage their cost of borrowing. So here are my thoughts on the current market conditions and some things you may want to consider Most economists are now predicting that UK base rates will fall further over the coming months. Already base rates have been cut from 5.75% to the current 5.0% as the outlook for the economy appears increasingly gloomy. In contrast, however, short term wholesale interest rates have been moving in the opposite direction, up, symptomatic of a shortage of funds. For example, the benchmark rate in wholesale markets, three-month LIBOR, has pushed up to 5.9%. What is happening is that the amount of money that the banks have available to lend has shrunk dramatically and this shortage is being exacerbated because banks have cut back on the amount they are willing to lend to each other, hoarding their own cash instead to ensure their own liquidity. This so called “credit-crunch” is creating more uncertainty about the future direction for longer term interest rates in the UK. It suggests that the Bank of England has lost control over UK short term interest rates (because the banks are unable to pass on base rate cuts to their customers) while the dramatic rise oil prices is one of a number of reasons why world inflation (and by implication UK rates) is expected to remain higher than previously thought. For example, five-year fixed rates have also been moving up (not down) in recent weeks a clear indication that UK businesses with significant borrowings are still at risk from volatility in interest rates. On managing risk, many businesses are not fully aware of the choices available to them and most loans are linked to floating base rate with the banks lending margin added on. The problem with this is that a business borrowing money for, say, five years at floating rate has no idea how much this loan will cost over the five-year period. In effect, you are buying credit without knowing the price – something that no prudent person would do in any other part of their business. The alternatives to floating rate borrowings are either to fix your rate with an interest rate swap, or to use a flexible solution such as a cap. A cap, however, provides the borrower with the best of both worlds - protection against higher rates at a known worst case rate combined with the ability to benefit if rates go down. However this flexibility comes at a price – the customer usually has to pay a premium but there are ways to take the premium away. We are now entering the most uncertain period for the UK economy since the last recession in 1992 and businesses can no longer be confident where interest rates will go over the medium term, even if the Bank of England cuts base rates further in the short term. So whether you are a borrower or a saver take some time out to discuss your needs with your bank and formulate a strategy for your business to protect yourself. Jill Hague is Head of Commercial Banking for HSBC in Huddersfield
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Student success TALENTED students took the plaudits at the annual dinner of Huddersfield Textile Society. President Bill Skidmore welcomed more than 250 guests to the event at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, where textile society medals were presented to top performing students from Huddersfield University and the town’s Textile Centre of Excellence. Zoe Holliday, a graduate of the university’s design department, who now works for a weaving firm in Darwen, Lancashire, received the medal for creativity in design, while Ashley Addy, of Interface FLOR in Shelf, Halifax, was presented with the medal for textile technology for his part-time course at the textile centre. Louise Barkas, of the university’s design department, who works for a textile firm in Bridlington, won the medal for innovation in design, but was unable to attend the dinner. Five pupils from Almondbury High School received prizes for their work in fashion and textiles. Jade Anderson, Louise Chisholm, Paige Kent, Sarah Land and Sab-
Shop work A DISCOUNT retailer has created more than 30 jobs with the opening of a £400,000 store in Kirklees. Home Bargains, which has more than 150 stores and employs about 4,000 staff nationwide, has opened its latest shop at Ravensthorpe Shopping Park. Operations director Joe Morris said: “Home Bargains is thrilled to be opening its latest purpose-built store at Ravensthorpe Shopping Park, bringing with it more than 30 top quality jobs. As well as creating new employment in the area, the store will also offer the local community the most popular household brands at exceptionally low prices.” Home Bargains is the trading name of family-owned company TJ Morris Ltd.
■ DINNER PARTY: Among those at the textile society dinner were (back, from left) David Holdsworth, Halifax Textile Society; Thomas Hainsworth (Bradford); guest speaker Alan Brydon; Jonathan Dyson, editor of Wool Record; Chris Wilcocks, assistant head of Almondbury High School; and (fronf) Huddersfield Textile Society Bill Skidmore; prizewinners Ashley Addy, Paige, Kent, Sarah Land, Louise Chisholm and Zoe Holliday
bah Mahmood undertook a project to design fashionable clothes. They were accompanied at the dinner by school assistant head Chris Wilcocks. To mark the society’s centenary, a picture by local artist Tony Haigh was presented to Jonathan Dyson, editor of industry trade
magazine The Wool Record. The Bradford-based journal celebrates its own centenary in May. Guests at the dinner included David Holdsworth, president of Halifax Textile Society; Thomas Hainsworth, president of Bradford Textile Society; Paul John-
son, chairman of Huddersfield Textile Training Company; session speaker Dr Peter Davies; and Adrian Lee, of Wheawill and Sudworth Chartered Accountants. The speaker for the evening was Alan Brydon and the MC was outgoing president Ian Brierley.
Huddersfield site for national centre A COMPANY providing emergency replacement glass has made a smashing investment in Huddersfield. Greenberg Glass has announced plans to upgrade its Crosland Moor call centre into its national service centre – creating an extra 15 jobs and expanding the total number of employees in the town to 60. The Liverpool-based company is a market leader in emergency glazing and boarding up for nationwide retail chains such as Marks & Spencer, New Look, WH Smith, Sainsbury’s, Thresher, Asda, Tesco and Lloyds TSB. The national service centre is expected to handle more than 25,000 calls every month. Greenberg Glass said the upgrade at Crosland Moor – which it acquired with the takeover of EG Glass in 2001 – was part of company’s ambitious plans to double turnover by 2011.
Joy Wright, service centre manager, said: “The creation of a national service centre is a one-stop location for all our customers from order to completion. “Our 60-strong team will provide our customers with a round-the-clock service seven days a week and 365 days a year. “We are training an extra 15 new local staff to supplement our centralised customer service operation. “This is one of a range of exciting new initiatives Greenberg Glass is introducing as part of its commitment to provide the highest quality service.” Greenberg Glass, formed in 1936, has more than 20 branches and depots – including ones in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Cardiff – employing 600 people.
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■ ON CALL: A view of the Greenberg Glass call centre at Crosland Moor, which is being upgraded to become the firm's national service centre employing 60 people
Green help for ‘too busy’ companies A THIRD of businesses in Yorkshire think they can only spare an hour a week to tackle environmental issues in the workplace. Now environmental support group Envirowise has launched a new online publication to help firms with little time to spare.
The Envirowise Publications Wizard is a new means of searching for information on sustainability. There are 620 publications available on the Envirowise website containing advice and information to help firms of all sizes and sectors address their environmental impact.
The Publications Wizard contains carefully selected information derived from these publications. The new tool allows users to select topics and issues relevant to them from a list of options. It then allow businesses to create a tailor-made PDF document. Go to www.envirowise.gov.uk/publications
Financial problems hanging over you - can’t see a way forward? Whatever financial problems you are experiencing in your business, we can help. Call us now for a consultation 01422 348448 www.begbies-traynor.com Begbies Traynor 36 Clare Road, Halifax, HK 2HX
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Search launched for heroes
Business in Brief
Volume control A COMPANY in Huddersfield making mobile offices has won a contract from one of the UK’s leading lenders. Volume Products Ltd, based at Bates Mill, Colne Road, is supplying six of its award-winning Airea meeting rooms to the Nationwide Building Society following a two-week trial of the product. Airea features aluminium frames with glass panels and can be assembled by two people in 30 minutes to provide space for private meetings, interviews or brainstorming sessions. It has its own lighting and power supply for laptops and telephones.
Marketing skills A BUILDING products firm based in Huddersfield has won a string of awards for its marketing efforts. Marshalls, which has its registered office at Birkby, was awarded the prizes for best public relations strategy and best sponsorship strategy at the SWOT Awards held at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester. The awards recognise Marshalls’ success in a campaign to raise awareness of ethical and environmental issues in the building industry and in securing a three-year sponsorship of the Royal Horticultural Society’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.
Food for thought FOOD producers in Yorkshire put business success on the menu with a Meet the Buyers event. More than 1,100 meetings between buyers and local producers were held in just eight hours at the event organised by the Regional Food Group for Yorkshire and Humber. Supermarkets and wholesalers were among the buyers taking part.
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■ KEY MAN: Neil Hand, joint managing director of Seddon Painting, opens the doors at the firm's new premises in Almondbury
Office launch brings 35 jobs A BUILDING services firm has created 35 jobs by opening a new branch in Huddersfield. Painting and maintenance contractor Seddon Painting has set up its new offices at Upper Bankfield Mills, Almondbury Bank, to strengthen its position in northern England. The company said the new base would “bridge the gap” between its offices in Nottingham and York. The company began recruiting staff for the new site over the Christmas period. Neil Hand, joint managing director of Seddon Painting, said: “We are pleased to have been able to secure a presence in Huddersfield at a time when there is much regeneration work going on in the Yorkshire region.”
Seddon Painting has more than 30 sites covering England, Wales and Scotland providing paints and coatings for customers including housing associations, hotels, power stations, railway stations and schools. The company is known in the building services industry for its award-winning apprenticeship programme which provides jobs and skills training for scores of young people. Seddon gained the Investor In People standard in 1999 in recognition of its staff training and development policies. In 2007 alone, it invested more than £2m in training its workforce. A company spokesman said: “For more than 40 years, we have operated a dedicated apprentice
scheme, producing on average 30 skilled workers a year. This year, we opened a £1m training centre of excellence at our Stoke-on-Trent headquarters.” Seddon has 100 apprentices across its UK sites while 43 staff members are also undertaking professional qualifications, including degrees, in quantity surveying, accounting, procurement and management studies. Seddon Painting is part of J & S Seddon Ltd, which also includes Seddon Building and 4m flooring uk Ltd (correct). It has a workforce in excess of 1,000 people. Parent Seddon Group Ltd is one of the UK’s major privately-owned construction companies with annual sales exceeding £240m and employing 1,700 people.
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A BUSINESS networking group is hunting for new members. The Huddersfield Women in Rural Enterprise network group is staging a social gathering for potential new recruits from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday, June 5, at the offices of Stead Accountants in Shepley. The group is aimed at women who are considering setting up a
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business, those who have recently launched a business as well as established entrepreneurs. Meetings discuss issues affecting businesswomen including motivation, marketing and business planning. Huddersfield WiRE group press officer Georgina Oldfield said: “We are a friendly group of women who meet up on the first Friday after-
noon of each month. “As well as networking, coffee and an informal chat, each month we enjoy talks by members or invited guests.” For further information contact network co-ordinator Sarah Gathercole on 0845 2415620. WiRE has more than 2,000 UK members helping women in rural areas start up or expand a business.
THE hunt is on to find the Kirklees area’s business heroes. Barclays Bank has launched an award scheme to honour West Yorkshire people who have turned their lives around to start up a new business. Previous winners of the Barclays Trading Places Awards, which is run with The Prince’s Trust, have included a single mum who overcame physical abuse to set up a successful beauty business and a former policeman who lost an arm, but went on to form a driving school for the disabled. The awards are open to people who have been trading for between three months and three years with annual sales of less than £1m. John Davis, Barclays’ marketing director for local business, said: “This is a celebration of West Yorkshire’s unsung heroes who – despite great personal challenges – have taken the steps to establish a sustainable business and have changed the direction of their lives.” Entries must be in by May 30. Nomination forms are available by calling 0800 0853203 or at www.barclays.co.uk
Helping out in Hungary A MIRFIELD marketing agency has helped one of its clients launch a new factory in Hungary. The Mix produced a new corporate video for Sussex-based Parafix Tapes and Conversions to mark the opening of the firm’s premises in Budapest. The video was screened at an open day attended by 150 guests. The Mix also provided trade publicity and a newsletter for the visitor, along with a souvenir copy of the video. For the video, The Mix sent a camera crew to Budapest for three days with managing director Alexis Bradbury managing the shoot. He also photographed some of the city’s famous landmarks – one of which was turned into a 12ft by 6ft panoramic for the company’s reception area.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Charity gains as Carl goes online BRIGHOUSE businessman Carl Hopkins is providing a boost for charity with his latest online venture. Mr Hopkins, the former chairman of the JDA Group, is donating £5 to Breast Cancer Haven for every relevant candidate who signs up for his new online recruitment service agencybods.co.uk – with the aim of raising £5,000 for the Leeds branch of the charity before the end of the year. The new website will seek to place the best candidates into the best suited positions for their skills – but will only charge a flat 10% fee of the candidate’s first year’s salary. It will also share the risk by giving a 50% refund if the candidate does not pass their three month probationary period. The website will not accept a successfully placed candidate’s details again within six month’s of their appointment. Mr Hopkins said agencybods.co.uk will only place a handful of candidates – personally vetted by him – each month. Candidates will also benefit from agencybods.co.uk by only being put in front of employers who will recognise their talents. Candidates will also receive a £250 cheque upon successful completion of their probationary period. Mr Hopkins said he decided to launch the service based on the negative experiences he has come across in the world of marketing agency recruitment. He said: “Although there are some very good recruitment agencies, practically every
Loans go ‘green’ A HIGH street bank has launched a new loan designed to encourage more firms to go green. Barclays Commercial Bank in partnership with the European Investment Bank, is making £50m available for the loans that offer businesses a cash back payment when they take out finance for initiatives that benefit the environment, such as installing cleaner machinery.
The Ideal Business Partner Doesn't Keep You Waiting
■ CASH CALL: Brighouse businessman Carl Hopkins and Julie Harrington, of Breast Cancer Haven Yorkshire, in front of the proposed site for the new Yorkshire Haven at the Gateway development, Leeds
marketing agency owner I know has had an issue with the way some of them operate. “The list of contentious issues is endless – CVs are simply passed on and not vetted, blanket mailings of candidates are sent out, there is little or no candidate preparation and half the time candidates don’t even know where their CVs have been sent. “There are even more issues surrounding their fees. There is no shared risk with the agencies, despite the fact that recruitment is a risky business. The payment terms are due before the end of the probationary period of the candidate plus there is no refund if said person doesn’t work out. “Many claim their fees are transparent, but I cannot find the rates on their sites and they never seem to tell the candidates that they charge 20 to 30% of their first year’s salary to
the employer, which makes their application look ‘unfavourable’ compared to a similar, or less skilled, direct application. “So I decided to use my 25 years worth of contacts and experience of the marketing industry to do something about it.” By linking up with Breast Cancer Haven and donating £5 for every agencybods.co.uk candidate, Mr Hopkins also hopes to demonstrate that his version of recruitment can have a softer side. Julie Harrington, of Breast Cancer Haven Yorkshire, said: “I was delighted when Carl contacted me to be involved with the new initiative. “Breast Cancer Haven will also be joining with JumbleAID, another venture of Carl’s, to raise funds and support for Breast Cancer Haven’s Yorkshire Appeal.”
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■ DRIVE TIME: Clive Brook hands over keys to three brand new Volvos from the new franchise Clive Brook Ltd, to Mike Symms, operations director for Webster's Interiors, Brighouse
Designers get in the fast lane A BRIGHOUSE interior design firm has made a style statement of its own on the road. Webster’s Interiors has bought a trio of Volvo XC90s from Bradford dealership Clive Brook Ltd to ferry project work to its clients. The deal has also helped Clive Brook secure a strong first quarter – after taking over the site. The new dealership has outperformed the previous site owners by taking more new car orders in the months of January to March
than for the whole of 2007. Webster’s Interiors has been creating period and contemporary interiors for nearly 30 years. Director Ian Webster said: “We chose to purchase our Volvo XC90s from Clive Brook Ltd because of the dealer’s incredible attention to detail. “The Volvos will provide the flexibility and space we need to deliver our clients’ projects – and the three of them look just great. They reflect our own belief that good design should perfectly bal-
ance form and function.” The first new privately-owned Volvo franchise for 20 years in Yorkshire was launched in January by Mr Brook, who has long been associated with the Volvo name. He said: “This has long been a dream of mine to own and run a Volvo dealership and to bring to the staff and customers a real sense of value, trust and service – something that in these early days we are certainly achieving.”
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Can you be more specific than that? Many businesses look to have much in common. But get to know them and you may discover a world of difference between a lucrative one-man operation and an international consulting firm. So why would both choose to bank with us? Is it to do with our respect and support of difference in business? Is it thanks to our broad perspective gained from being a part of a group that works across 83 markets around the world? You be the judge. For a different perspective on your business, talk to one of our commercial managers today. Call Jill Hague, Head of Commercial 08455 848702 Click www.hsbc.co.uk/business
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
ON THE MOVE
Society adds new director
TWO new business development managers have been appointed by the York-based national skills academy for food and drink manufacturing. Lawrence Hewitt and Jonathan Cooper will be responsible for expanding and strengthening the NSA training provider network. Mr Lawrence has more than 19 years’ experience in the vocational training and education sector. He joins the academy following employment with Ufi/Learndirect where he was responsible for managing all Train to Gain contracts in England. Mr Cooper joins the NSA after more than six years at Cadbury’s, where he was technical training manager. Before that, he spent 15 years at British Sugar, which he joined as an apprentice engineer and rose to develop the national engineering maintenance apprenticeship programme at the firm.
Going south SHELLEY man Jim Sparling has been appointed South Yorkshire area corporate director for Barclays Commercial Bank. Mr Sparling (right) will head the team serving more than 1,500 business customers across the region. He will take charge of 10 corporate managers and their support teams, who provide banking services for businesses borrowing between £250,000 and
£10m. Mr Sparling, who has more than 20 years of banking experience, previously looked after a number of stock market listed firms, specialising in healthcare and manufacturing.
YORKSHIRE Building Society has announced the appointment of Indira Thambiah as a new non-executive director. Ms Thambiah, 40, has an accountancy background but has spent most of her career in the retail sector. She has worked with Asda in a number of roles, including setting up its online operation and devel-
g ro u p i n c l u d i n g A rg o s, Homebase and their associated financial services operation. Ms Thambiah, who lives in London, is now a freelance consultant working in the retail sector advising clients on multi-channel retailing, including global expansion, particularly in India.
Trainees join law firm team THREE new trainee solicitors have joined the team at Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith. N at a l i e M o u s av i , To m Brownrigg and Magda Dyson will each train with the business services team at the firm covering company and commercial, litigation and employment and commercial property. In addition, Josephine Haigh has joined the business services team as a legal assistant after 10 years working for the legal department at Kirklees Council. Partner Deborah Melluish said: “By awarding three new
training contracts, we are investing in the future of our trainees and that of our business services team, which is now over 30 strong. “In addition, we have added another dimension to the team due to Josephine’s prior experience of legal work in local government.” ■ RECRUITS: Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith's latest appointments are (back, left to right) Josephine Haigh and Tom Brownrigg (front) Magda Dyson & Natalie Mousavi
as a drama tutor for seven to 18-year-olds. Primary Colours, which specialises in cultural diversity issues, worked with 22,000 pupils and 2,000 teachers in schools last year. The firm is headed by founder and managing director Marcia Hutchinson and includes creative director, Shazia Azhar, curriculum director John Ashton, researcher Ayo Jones and a part-time financial administrator.
■ CULTURE CLUB: Katherine Platt, of Primary Colours
Stark northern posting EXECUTIVE recruitment firm Stark Brooks has announced two appointments to head its Yorkshire and Manchester sites. Mark Gardiner, who was named Recruitment Manager of the Year 2007 in a competition run in Yorkshire, takes responsibility for the growth of the firm in the north-east
and East Midlands as well as overseeing the media, web and public relations functions of the group. He has previously been responsible for developing relations with bluechip clients, including Arla Foods, Wolseley Centres and GE Money. Gary Chaplin has worked in the
Move to Millers
ANDREW Miller has been appointed non-executive chairman of Brighouse-based oils and lubricants manufacturer Millers Oils. Mr Miller (pictured), a chartered engineer who has an MBA and a distinction in the Institute of Directors diploma, has a wealth of experience in programme, project and general management in oil and gas, shipbuilding, modular building nuclear decommissioning and surface coatings. He joins the board of the family business after 22 years as an engineering officer in the Royal Navy in both nucear and conventional submarines, which saw him awarded the MBE. His appointment follows a £1m investment to increase capacity, add new offices and warehouse space and install a new computer system.
Partner is place
Katherine takes administration role KATHERINE Platt has been appointed as sales and marketing administrator for publishing and learning development company Primary Colours. Ms Platt joins the Bradford Road company from the White Rose shopping centre at Leeds, where she gained customer service experience. Before that, she was an underwriter for Yorkshire Building Society and Chelsea Building Society. Ms Platt, who has a degree in English and drama, also works part-time at a theatre company
BIRSTALL-based marketing agency Fantastic Media has appointed Paul Thornton to lead its search and online marketing service. Mr Thornton, who lives in Huddersfield, has joined Fantastic Media as online marketing manager and will lead the agency’s search engine marketing arm, including Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click. He has more than four years experience – most recently as search engine marketing manager at Digital Therapy in Huddersfield.
oping effective sourcing to achieve huge savings in running costs. She moved to the Home Retail Group In 2002 asd head of e-commerce for the Argos business where she developed an award-winning online operation. L at e r, s h e wa s h e a d o f multi-channel retail covering e-commerce business across the
north-west financial recruitment market for more than 14 years. Since his appointment 12 months ago, he has increase Stark Brooks’ non-financial recruitment by more than 70%. His responsibilities will include attracting new consultants.
SAMANTHA Sutcliffe has been appointed a new partner of chartered certified accountancy firm Torevell Dent, which has offices in Huddersfield, Bradford and Halifax. Mrs Sutcliffe joins the Halifax team. Her father, senior partner Mike Torevell, said: “Adding Samantha to the team will free my time to develop new products. “For some time, we h av e b e e n a c t i v e l y involved in business network ProBiz that reaps significant benefits for our clients. Making Sam a full partner is also part of the succession plan for our company, which is vital to its consolidation and growth.” Mr Torevell said he wanted to concentrate more on the ProBiz side of the business to develop products covering overseas property investment and health and wealth
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Maximum stress level A POINT of maximum stress appears to have been weathered in global financial markets, which have rallied since the US Federal Reserve intervened to prevent the bankruptcy of the US investment bank Bear Stearns in March. The signal that the US authorities were prepared to take exceptional measures to prevent the liquidity squeeze from creating its own negative momentum and causing undue damage to the wider economy introduced a measure of confidence that the unwinding of excessive financial leverage could be conducted in an orderly way. Added to this, the Bank of England has expressed the view that markets may be overestimating the losses likely to be incurred by the banks from delinquent housing loans. This optimistic view is not universally held and, even if true, it seems likely that further economic pain will ensue. Economic forecasts continue to be downgraded, as consumers retrench in response to tighter credit conditions, high energy and food prices and falling house values. Banks have become more cautious as a result of their losses. The difficulty of funding themselves in the money markets has led to a process of hoarding cash, restricting new credit availability and leading to reduced investment and consumption in the mainstream economy. If this evolves into a fully-fledged recession, the risk is that a wider range of their loan books will go sour, prompting still further caution in a self-reinforcing negative spiral. Last autumn’s concerns that the financial sector crisis might infect the wider economy were well-founded and the process has now reversed, with economic weakness adding to the ills of the banking sector. The world’s central banks appear alive to this risk and are, with varying degrees of vigour, taking their foot off the brake and stepping on the economic accelerator, cutting interest rates and providing other forms of relief to the distressed parts of the financial sector. Their defence against accusations of a bail-out is that generally shareholders of rescued institutions have lost almost their entire investment (eg Northern Rock, Bear Stearns) while the victims (if a widespread collapse in confidence in the financial system precipitated a recession) are citizens employed far away from the financial sector. Hence, there is a degree of political urgency in restoring normally functioning financial markets, to prevent an exaggerated period of economic weakness. As part of this process, the banking sector is raising large amounts of new capital, to replace losses and increase confidence in their financial soundness. It remains unclear how reliable the recent improvement in investor confidence will prove in the face of continued revelations of financial sector losses and broader disappointments over economic growth and corporate profits. Volatility is likely to remain a feature of markets for some months. Nonetheless, equity markets are lowly rated, with many shares yielding more than government bonds or cash, while the reward for holding investment grade corporate debt has moved from wholly inadequate a year ago to respectable levels now. So, provided that the damage to corporate earnings is not severe, corporate paper will look increasingly attractive as interest rates fall. Simon Kaye is divisional director, Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management Ltd
President ends year on a high ACCOUNTANT Adrian Lee rounded off his year in office as president of Huddersfield Society of Chartered Accountants by presenting £2,300 to Kirkwood Hospice at Dalton. Mr Lee, a partner at Huddersfield chartered accountancy firm Wheawill & Sudworth, presented the cheque to hospice representatives when the society held its annual meeting at Huddersfield Golf Club, Fixby. The cash was raised by a raffle at the society’s annual dinner earlier this year. Mr Lee also handed the society’s chain of office to new president Andrew McConnell, director of finance at Huddersfield University. Mr McConnell, who was born in Mirfield, attended Whitcliffe Mount Grammar School in Cleckheaton and gained a degree in mathematics at Manchester University before qualifying as an accountant with Grant Thornton in Manchester. He joined Revell Ward in Huddersfield as training manager in 1980 and became its youngest partner in 1982 at the age of 28. He became managing partner before the firm merged with international prac-
■ HAND OVER: Outgoing presidenr of Huddersfield Society of Chartered Accountants Adrian Lee (right) with hands over to successor Andrew McConnell tice Mazars and was elected to the governance council of the UK firm for two years. He was deputy managing partner of the northern region when he left the firm to join the university. As director of finance, he is involved in strategic and business planning at the university, providing financial advice, financial management and reporting, managing risk and ensuring value for money. He was chairman of the audit
committee and vice-chairman of the university council from 1994 to 2000. Outside the university, Mr McConnell has been a governor as several local schools. He is a board member of the Higher Education Statistics Agency and is deputy chairman of the British Universities Finance Directors’ Group. He enjoys playing squash, foreign travel and walking and is a Leeds United season ticket holder.
Software ‘pirates’ sunk by Microsoft Dewsbury retailer among 10 stores to pay damages in crackdown on illegal software A COMPUTER shop in Dewsbury has been targeted in a crackdown on stores selling unlawful computer software. MP Computers, of Scout Hill, was one of 10 retailers successfully prosecuted by software giant Microsoft for dealing in unlicensed software. Now Microsoft is warning retailers and customers about the risks from computer viruses or identity theft that unlawful computer programs pose. The 10 stores were found guilty or admitted to dealing in counterfeit or unlicensed software over a period of six months. MP Computers was ordered to pay undisclosed damages and has agreed to work more closely with Microsoft to ensure it remained complaint and stops selling illegal software. A spokesman for the store said: “We recognise that we were dealing with Microsoft software incorrectly and have since worked co-operatively with Microsoft to ensure this does not happen again. “It’s good to see Microsoft working with small, local resellers like ourselves to ensure that we are fully educated about the rules of software usage and remain compliant at all times.” In a further nine separate cases, PC retailers across the UK each faced court action and admitted to involvement in unlawful software activity, including the sale of unlicensed software and hard disk loading.
Michala Wardell, head of anti-piracy at Microsoft UK, said: “Illegal software is not just a top level, national problem but very much a local issue. “Microsoft is determined to protect customers from the pitfalls of unlawful software and is committed to working with local businesses to convey the importance of selling genuine computer programs. “It is our job to ensure customers are not being ripped off when they buy Microsoft computer programs. We have a duty to ensure that customers are given a good deal and are not unwittingly purchasing illegal software that puts them at risk from dangers such as computer viruses and identity theft.” She added: “We want to help local computer firms operate in a legal and safe way and we believe that selling reliable, genuine software is the best way for them to keep their customers happy and their businesses profitable.” Microsoft said unlawfully sold computer programs cost the UK government £250m every year in lost revenue. Andrew Bibby, principal trading stand-
ards officer for West Yorkshire, said: “Counterfeit products, software piracy and intellectual property theft cause substantial financial loss to computer retailers of West Yorkshire. “The service supports software companies like Microsoft who are committed to tackling these problems and believes Microsoft's publicity campaign will deter PC retailers tempted to commit similar offences.” Unlicensed software is a common type of piracy. It happens when individuals and businesses make copies of software without a licence to do so. People may copy a program and give it to their friends and family without realising that this is software piracy. Sometimes, an organisation will install software on more computers than its licenses allow. As well as causing financial harm, it puts users at risk because they are using software without a licence. Hard disk loading normally happens when builders of computer systems sell PCs with unlicensed software pre-installed. These dealers use one copy of a software program but install it illegally on many machines. The original disks and the documents that should come with the PC are often missing or incomplete. If they are supplied, they frequently turn out to be counterfeit.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
TECH TALK Roger Pearson
Cutting the tape!
Searching for sales OR a small business, a website can F be a valuable and potentially profitable route to market.
Did you know that research shows that 85% of business buyers go online during the purchasing process and that 83% found the vendor from which they bought online? So, you could gain significant business from a website. But, after spending a pretty penny on a shiny new site, it’s not quite as simple as sitting back and waiting for the customers to start beating down the door. While existing customers may find your site without too much effort, the trick is getting people who have never heard of you to find you and get in touch. If you intend to invest in online advertising, make sure that you consider exactly what you want to achieve. It is important to think about who you are trying to reach and what they are likely to be looking for. A good way to start is by getting on Google yourself and searching for your product or services (e.g. “<my service> in Huddersfield”). If your company comes up in the search results – that’s great, but as with any market, conditions change and you need to keep checking and honing to get the best from your online marketing. Getting good search result positions on sites like Google and Yahoo! is almost an art form in itself, and, while there is no guaranteed way to achieve a No 1 search ranking on any search engine, there are a number of strategies to give you a fighting chance. Firstly, “Pay Per Click” advertising is where you bid in an auction to get your advert on the search engine and pay each time your link is clicked by a visitor. Secondly, you can re-design your website content intelligently so that it is more likely to appear when potential customers are looking for your products. This is often termed “organic” searching. A good SEO consultant will be able to help you identify an online marketing strategy in line with the aims of your business and recommend an appropriate mix of “pay per click” advertising and “organic” optimisation. Significant commercial and technical acumen is needed to achieve the best results so make sure you check on track record and references. A good SEO strategy is about more than just increasing the number of visitors to your site – once they are there you have to keep their interest so they stick around and get in touch. A website should be easy to navigate, with clear and obvious links on every page for people to follow. If a visitor to your site can’t find what they are looking for quickly, they will soon go somewhere else. By keeping your website up to date with regular fresh content in the form of news pages, blogs or interactive forums you can keep the site fresh and interesting, and give people and search engines alike something to keep coming back for. SEO is not a simple quick fix, but a long term strategy that, planned carefully and carried out successfully, can pay big dividends for your business. Roger Pearson is a project manager at P2 Technologies Ltd, Lockwood
■ TAPE MEASURE: Owners Gary and Alison Cooling (left) and staff with Huddersfield Giants' captain Chris Thorman (right) at the opening of the new Lockwood premises of AGC Tools & Fixings
HUDDERSFIELD Giants star Chris Thorman cut the tape at the opening of a tool supply shop. Family-run company AGC Tools & Fixings has moved from Meltham into much larger premises at Lockwood Road, Lockwood. The firm, headed by husband and wife Gary and Alison Cooling, hosted a two-day opening event to welcome tradesmen and DIY enthusiasts – and demonstrate a wide range of hand and power tools, sealants and adhesives, fixings and fasteners as well as safety equipment.. The business, formed in 2002, has moved into premises formerly occupied by Home Electric. The company started out at the Cooling’s home before moving to Bent Ley Road in Meltham. Mr Cooling, who has worked in the tools and fixings industry since 1992, has built up a solid customer base. AGC supplies some of the UK’s largest national house builders and construction companies as well as the one-man sub-contractors, joiners, builders, plasterers and electricians. AGC has a staff of 12 – including new operations manager Paula Farmer who takes care of the day-to-day running of the business, leaving Mr Cooling to focus on developing the business further. Said Mr Cooling: “The new premises are doing very well. During the two-day event, we had sales 10 times the level we would normally get on a Friday and Saturday. We had more than 200 people and a really good response.”
Another idea in the bag! A WEST Yorkshire PR firm has kicked off an anti-plastic bag campaign across the region – with a huge “bag for life”. Approach PR, headed by Gomersal woman Suzanne Johns, felt inspired to use their public relations and media communication skills for an eco-friendly campaign. Suzanne and account manager Verity Hudson had the brainwave of making the outsize shopper to kick off their “Don’t Get Carried Away” campaign to rid the district of plastic bags. Verity said: “I’m very conscious of what is happening in the world around me. I feel the environment is being adversely affected by the unnecessary use of plastic carrier bags and it is so easy to change by simply not using them as part of your daily routine.” Managing director Suzanne said: “We want people to stop for a moment and think before they go out, and get into a routine where they take shopping bags along with them. “We want to follow the example set by
■ SHOP TALK: Bradford "Bag Ladies" Suzanne Johns, Verity Hudson, Rebecca Campbell and Charlotte Booth are the faces behind the mammoth bag for life residents and traders in Hebden Bridge and fight for change on our doorstep in Leeds and Bradford.” Account executive Charlotte Booth has always used a bag for life. She said: “I can get so much more in them, plus they are a lot stronger than standard plastic bags and they make a fashion statement. Once you start using them, you automatically grab one when you go shopping.” Suzanne, Verity, Charlotte and new addition Rebecca Campbell plan to bring
out the bag at different locations, to get their message across. Bradford-based Approach PR has come up with a number of tips to help anyone stop getting “Carried Away”. These include thinking ahead, so you don't forget to take your own shopping bags with you, buying a fabric bag, and signing an petition online which will be passed to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Find out about the campaign at www.approachpr.com
Agency adds to its armoury A MARKETING agency in Huddersfield has added to its armoury by joining an elite group of businesses. ask Strategic Marketing & Research, also trading as susankenyon Marketing Consultants Ltd, has been approved as a member of POPAI – Point of Purchase Advertising IInternational.. The organisation is the only global, not-for-profit, trade association exclusively dedicated to serving the interests of all those involved in retail marketing. POPAI
has 19 national offices covering 45 countries and more than 1,700 members worldwide. The organisation works to establish and maintain excellence in all aspects of retail marketing communications, raise standards of business practices and provide members with information to ensure its continued position as a vital part of the marketing mix. POPAI conducts research and organises conferences, seminars and educational
programmes to benefit members. They include point-of-purchase designers and manufacturers, brands, retailers, agencies, suppliers, suppliers of digital screen and audio and those working in educational sectors. Susan Kenyon, director of ask Strategic Marketing, said: “‘We are delighted to have been accepted. This exciting development strengthens ask’s growth and capability in retail and consumer insight research projects.”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Directors in the dock? T the beginning of April, the CorporA ate Manslaughter Act came into force, the implications of which could
have profound consequences for those businesses and organisations, which do not fully acquaint themselves with, or do not adhere strictly to, the requirements of the legislation. EEF – representing the interests of manufacturers both regionally and nationally believes that it is very important that senior company executives, senior managers and directors understand fully the implications of the legislation if they are to safeguard their own interests and those of their organisations. Alan Hall, newly appointed director for EEF in the North of England, said: “It is very important that senior executives and senior management acquaint themselves fully with the new legislation, and at the earliest opportunity, if they have not done so already. The recent changes to the Corporate Manslaughter Act which came into force at the beginning of April make it far easier to bring a case to court under existing H&S legislation and conviction carries far greater penalties. “If convicted, the penalties could be significant and likely to affect more than the bottom line,. What is planned and what is likely to come into force later in the year is the additional penalty of a convicted party being required to advertise its conviction and the details of that conviction in a public arena, in the media and at its own expense. This is likely to prove far more damaging and may not only affect its business reputation, but could also have wider implications to its trading performance and consumer confidence.” John Herbert, director of health and safety for EEF, said: “This piece of legislation came into force on April 6, but has been in the offing for the past 10 years. It was first mooted in the Labour Party manifesto of 1997 following pressure from a number of groups to make corporate management accountable for fatalities and injuries caused by negligence. The bill gained royal assent in July last year and joined the statute books last month.” He said: “The key difference to previous legislation and the stark reality for senior managers and board members is that for the first time criminal prosecutions for corporate manslaughter can be brought against their companies, in instances where a fatality has occurred; irrespective of whether it was inside or outside the work environment. “A fatality which resulted from top management’s failure to ensure that adequate health and safety policies and procedures were in place which provided for a duty of care not only to employees but also to other third parties. “The implications of this for senior management are enormous. You only have to take the example of employees who are required to drive, as part of their daily duties. In the event they are involved in an accident, which results in a fatality or fatalities, then companies may well find themselves in the dock if it can be proven that adequate health and safety policies and procedures were not in force or were not strictly adhered to when the fatality occurred.” Amar Tembe, director of employment law and one of the organisation’s senior legal advisors, said: “From a legal perspective, the Act is long awaited and is important. It attempts to block up a loophole in the existing law – a loophole which has made it very difficult to secure a successful conviction for corporate manslaughter in the past. This loop-
Alan Hall, EEF regional director sounds an alert over new laws which bring enormous implications for companies and their directors
Principle’ which in essence has meant that the prosecution has had to identify and prove that an individual within the organisation was guilty of gross negligence in order for a conviction to be secured. “Up until now, the emphasis has been on identifying the individual – which very often has been very difficult in large organisations or businesses. “Most large corporations and businesses have layered, complex management structures and with a global economy, many of them do not necessarily just operate here in the UK. So the chances of securing a safe conviction for corporate manslaughter have historically been very slim and indeed, before these changes were made, in many instances, a number of prosecutions, which should have been brought - were simply never pursued. However since April, all this has changed.Said Amar: ““The call for this legislation has been championed by a number of pressure groups over the past 10 years. Those that have been the most vociferous are those representing the interests of bereaved relatives following man-made disasters – for example the capsizing of The Herald of Free Enterprise off Zeebrugge in 1987, the Piper Alpha Disaster of 1988 and the later Ladbroke Grove and Hatfield rail crashes. “These pressure groups have been fighting for tougher legislation calling for the imprisonment of senior managers and company directors. The new legislation stops short of custodial sentences for those found guilty, but the penalties are still severe.” If found guilty of corporate manslaughter, an organisation can face unlimited fines, which, while damaging enough, may not prove as significant to the bottom line as some of the other penalties which will be imposed by the legislation. Under the new legislation, courts can require those convicted to advertise their conviction, specifying particulars of the offence, any fine imposed and the terms of any remedial order made. This measure is likely to come into force in autumn 2008. The Sentencing Advisory Panel believes that this sanction could exceed the force of any fine as it could impact on the public reputation of an organisation and damage consumer confidence, market share or equity value. The Panel says that its provisional view, in principle, is that a publicity order should be imposed on every offender convicted of corporate manslaughter. Options for the order include: ● Publication on television/radio and/or in a local/national/trade newspaper including relevant broadcaster/newspaper websites ● Publication on the organisation’s website and in its annual report, informing (potential) customers and those who might be interested in
■ RUN AGROUND: New legislation governing corporate killings could sink some companies, the EEF has warned. Now it is urging directors to ensure they chart a safe course through the legislation
● A notice to shareholders – and letters to customers and/or suppliers of the organisation Said John: “The advice is that organisations operating robust health and safety systems and procedures have nothing to fear from the new
legislation. However, we would urge senior management at board level to test their systems and procedures as a matter of priority, to ensure they are watertight. For more information contact EEF on 0113 289 2671 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
College pupils in the frame at Nikon DEWSBURY College has clicked with camera manufacturer Nikon. The college, which includes Batley School of Art and Design, is one of only 25 colleges across the UK to be chosen to join the prestigious Nikon Academy. It means that more than 30 students taking a degree course in contemporary photographic arts will be given invaluable assistance and support from the world-renowned photography firm and its team of professional photographers, who will visit the college to provide expert advice. The students will also be able to use Nikon’s state-of-the-art equipment for the numerous field trips arranged by the college each year as they work towards their qualification. And they will be able to compete in the Nikon Discovery Awards – competing against other student members of the academy for top prizes and national recognition. College lecturer Katrina Whitehead said: “This is fantastic news for our students on the degree course. The photography department will also be able to benefit from visiting professional photographers, demonstrations of equipment, loans of equipment and much more.” She added: “It’s a really terrific boost to the college’s budget. We try to take students on as many trips as we can each year, so the additional support will be very helpful.” Nikon invited Dewsbury College to join its prestigious Academy after being impressed by the standard of photography students’ work displayed at the college stand during a recent exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. The college, which is inviting photography students to apply for places on its three-year course starting in September, said it was inundated at the exhibition with requests for prospectuses by interested students.
UNIVERSITY VIEW Dr Paul Richards
Legal contacts VER the years, entry to the legal O profession has become increasingly competitive. However, work in
■ FLOOR SHOW: Visitors to the Warmawood stand at the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show at the NEC in Birmingham
Firm is a polished performer at NEC AN established Holme Valley flooring company is gearing up for a big boost in business after launching two new products on the national market. The Thongsbridge-based Warmawood Group made a major impression on thousands of visitors to the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show, held at the NEC in Birmingham. The company, which specialises in supplying and installing engineered wood flooring systems designed for use with underfloor heating systems, has also launched two new products and unveiled a new website and brochure. Managing director Ian Rober-
ton said the NEC event was by far the biggest show that The Warmawood Group had taken part in, adding: “We’ve been delighted with the response from the public, architects and specifiers. “The stand looked amazing and really turned heads – we were mobbed within minutes of the show opening. All the hard work we put into making this show happen has really paid off. “These are very exciting times for us and The Warmawood Group is now working in direct partnership will all the major underfloor heating companies in the UK.” The exhibition marked the
launch of two new Warmawood products – WarmaWide providing very wide oak boards in up to 400mm widths and WarmaClick providing an easy to install click-to-fit system. The new website, designed and built by Lightbulb Design Consultancy in Armitage Bridge, features the entire Warmawood range, technical specifications and fitting guidelines, and an interactive gallery of floors supplied and fitted by Warmawood. The company is now planning an online ordering system and a renewable energy centre at its Holmfirth showroom.
Quality counts at Fenay
A TRAINING company specialising in woodworking machine safety has won an award for the quality of its services. Meltham-based Fenay Safety (IOM) Ltd has now been listed among the nation’s elite by UKWoodchain, the trade and professional body responsible for overseeing standards for the country’s 1,300 wood product manufacturers. The company, headed by directors Julian Earnshaw (right) and Richard Wrigley (left), is the first firm in West Yorkshire to get the accolade. It was presented by Peter Harland, chairman of UKWoodchain. Mr Wrigley said: “We are particularly pleased that the company will be helping to build a better-qualified workforce. “Safety is the beginning of competitiveness in any industry.” The company’s customers include Leeds City Council and North Yorkshire County Council, where Fenay Safety (IOM) Ltd provides safety training for technicians in local authority schools.
the profession can be interesting, challenging and rewarding, offering tremendous scope and prospects. Studying law can be a rigorous process and opportunities to establish a “competitive edge” will distinguish the most capable and qualified graduates. With this in mind, a new partnership has been established with four major law firms in Huddersfield and is set to give University of Huddersfield students an exceptional start to their legal careers. The university invited each of the four firms – Armitage Sykes, Eaton Smith, Ramsdens and Chadwick Lawrence – to become one of its Partners in Law, which is set to be the forerunner to a long-standing collaboration between “gown” and practices. In addition, the “big five” major firms with bases in the West Yorkshire region – DLA Piper, Eversheds, Hammonds, Walker Morris and Pinsent Masons – have also come on board to present a formidable association between law students heavyweight legal firms in the region. The “big five” readily accepted what is the only collaboration of its type between a legal practice and a university in the country. The partnership has been described as the equivalent to each firm receiving a visiting professorship, unique inasmuch as the professorship is for the practice as a whole and not just for an individual person. The partnership was warmly embraced by the lawyers, who will reciprocate by offering Huddersfield students mentoring opportunities, providing guest lectures, allowing the students the chance to visit the practice, and it is hoped that in the future Huddersfield students will be able to take advantage of job opportunities within the practices. The University of Huddersfield Law School have also launched a new LLB(Hons) course incorporating a Masters of Law and Practice this September. This innovative new degree, validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, enables undergraduate students to achieve full qualifying status by incorporating the Legal Practice Course stage into the traditional LLB(Hons) programme over four years. Graduates of this degree can progress straight to a training contract with all the academic requirements needed to be a solicitor. Students still face the need for hard work and top grades, but opportunities to gain experience directly from the profession will provide our graduates with a good head start in graduate job market. Dr Paul Richards, Head of Law School, Huddersfield University
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Healthy move at Oakes
BOSSES at a Huddersfield development company have business health at heart. Oakes-based Heritage Group is opening a new health academy to complement its recently-launched Heritage spa and beauty operation at its Wellington Mills headquarters. The academy is led by manager Peter Hood, who has 14 years experience in the fitness industry with Living Well health clubs and David Lloyd fitness centres. For seven years, he was head of staff training for David Lloyd, during which time he has trained some 2,000 fitness instructors. The new health academy, which opens on May 30, aims to draw its membership from existing businesses based at Heritage Exchange as well as through links with other business organisations. Scarborough-born Mr Hood had recruited former Rotherham and South African Sevens rugby player Barry Jacobsz as a personal trainer. The health academy staff also includes a dietician, a physiotherapist and a sales administrator. Other staff will be recruited in coming months. Mr Hood said: “This is going to be a different kind of club. We have the opportunity to design everything from scratch and use all our experience to provide a unique facility that can become a family and a community club. “I know what makes people drop out of health and exercise, so we aim to consistently do the right things for the customer. Membership will be in the hundreds, not the thousands. We have installed equipment that is not intimidating and we aim to make exercise fun again.” Heritage Spa and Beauty employs four staff providing services including facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, massage and reflexology. The team at Heritage Spa and Beauty is led by proprietor Jill Foster, manager Lynn Peary, assistant manager Sammy-Jo Geddes and includes therapists Jenny Mitchell, Charlotte McMahon and Franca Tirotto Heritage Group’s other operations includes Heritage Lofts, which has developed one and two-bedroom apartments at Welington Mills, Oakes. It also operates a business centre providing office space for about 15 businesses, a bistro and coffee bar at Wellington Mills and Heritage Villas, providing luxury villas and apartments in Greece.
Stores refit helps lift profits
■ UP AND RUNNING: Peter Hood (centre) and colleagues Barry Jacobsz (left) and Vicky Smith at the new health academy at Wellington Mills
■ READY TO HELP: Pictured at the Heritage Spa and Beauty salon at Wellington Mills are (from left) manager Lynn Peary, proprietor Jill Foster, assistant manager Sammy-Jo Geddes and therapists Jenny Mitchell, Charlotte McMahon and Franca Tirotto
Dortech expertise in demand across UK A FIRM in Huddersfield has landed a plum contract as part of a major construction project. Dortech, which specialises in providing aluminium glazing, will work on four schemes to provide facilities for educational charity United Learning Trust in Sheffield, Barnsley, Stockport and Manchester. Dortech, based at Old Fieldhouse Lane, will install more than 5,000sq metres of curtain walling and windows on all four buildings. The extensive use of silicones glass will maximise the use of natural light and ventilation while meeting requirements for security and noise levels. Dortech has already completed ULT’s Sheffield
Springs complex, designed by architect practice Aedas, which has offices in Huddersfield. Dortech is now working at Stockport Academy in Cheadle Health, where its location on the flight path to Manchester Airport presented Aedas with several acoustic and environmental issues. Barnsley Academy is now under construction and due to open in autumn, 2009. Dortech’s full-height curtain walling provides uninterrupted glazed views. Dortech’s fourth ULT project entails glazing a feature building on the existing site of the prestigious William Hulme Grammar School in Manchester. Designed by Aedas, the new building will also
feature full height curtain wall glazing. Dortech is a leading, independent contractor providing design, manufacture and installation of high performance aluminium glazing including curtain walling, doors, windows and ground floor framing. The latest contracts follow the firm’s success in completing a series of deals to provide glazing and curtain walling for eight schools and two leisure centres in Bassetlaw, Derbyshire, as one of the UK’s largest PFI contracts. Dortech has also completed work in Birmingham and Sheffield, including the £8m Arundel Building development for Sheffield Hallam University.
LOW-COST supermarket chain Netto credited a revamp of its stores for an 11% rise in sales. The retailer, which has stores in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, said takings totalled £696m in 2007 against £627m the previous year. Operating profits trebled to £9.3m from £3.1m as the company increased its market share by 11.2%. A shake-up of the business by managing director Richard Lancaster, who took the helm in January last year, included introducing new and wider product ranges, improving the appearance and appeal of stores and changing store layouts. Mr Lancaster said: “The business made significant progress in 2007 and that trend is set to continue in 2008. “Our financial results bear testimony to the ability, commitment and sheer hard work of the entire Netto team. Change is hard for any established business, but my colleagues across the UK have embraced the challenges and delivered excellent results. “Building on our achievements to date, our focus is to develop the business further via new store openings and strong like-for-like sales growth to drive turnover forward again during 2008.” Netto, which has 182 supermarkets across the UK, plans to open at least 20 new stores in the next 12 months. Two have already opened in Ravensthorpe and in Oldham, Lancashire.
Lathes in demand A MIDLANDS firm has turned to Kirklees for the latest in lathe technology. Heckmondwike-based Colchester Harrison has supplied one of its Colchester-Harrison Tornado machines to Darren Grainger, of Hi-Spec Precision Engineering in Leicestershire. The new machine had helped the firm meet a bulging order book – demand created by the installation of a first Colchester-Harrison
16 Specialist cheese firm wins award June, 2008
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
A SPECIALIST cheesemonger who produces the world’s only rhubarb cheese has been named Business of the Month in the contest run by Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith and the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Directors Richard and Clare Holmes, of Wakefield-based Cryer & Stott Cheesemongers accepted their award at the High Street offices of Eaton Smith. The business was originally bought as an existing market unit in Wakefield selling basic provisions, but has since expanded to include two further retail outlets and a successful wholesale business. Appearing at prestigious consumer shows such as the Great Yorkshire Show has also added value to the business and helped secure accounts such as Hazlewood Castle and Castle Howard Farm Shop. From an initial turnover of about
£100,000 in 1998, Cryer & Stott now anticipate sales of about £1m for the current year. Six years ago, after months of development work, the company launched a local cheese using local produce – Ruby Gold rhubarb cheese, which won a gold medal at the Nantwich Cheese Show in 2005. This has become a big favourite with customers in the three shops, as well as with leading restaurants, hotels and farmshops in the north. Cryer & Stott have also received an award for business excellence from the Regional Food Group for Yorkshire and Humber. Commenting on this latest award, Richard Homes said: “It was a fantastic surprise for us as cheesemongers to be recognised in this way. We’re enjoying the interest that is being taken in us and we are both pleased and honoured to achieve the Business of the Month award.”
■ SAY CHEESE: Malcolm Tracey (centre), of Eaton Smith, presents the Business of the Month award to Clare and Richard Holmes (right), of Cryer & Stott Ltd, with (from left) Tim Hill, of Joliffe Cork, and Jason Metcalfe, of Hanson Chartered Surveyors
■ HIGH POINT: David Blakeborough (fifth left), of Eaton Smith, presents the award to John Gallagher, of Crossways Scaffolding Ltd (third right) with (from left) Deborah Melluish, of Eaton Smith; Mark Firth, of Barclays Bank; Daphne Leach, of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce; Ann Storey, of the Media Centre; and Nichola Hull and Rebecca Redman, of Crossways Scaffolding Ltd
A SCAFFOLDING fir m working throughout Yorkshire has come out top in a business contest. Crossway Saffolding (Elland) Ltd was the winner of the Business of the Month award run by Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith and the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Operations director John Gallagher and colleagues from the winning company were presented with the award at the High Street offices of Eaton Smith. Crossway Scaf folding was launched in 1996 by managing director Steve Fearnehough. Since then, he has led its expansion into a business with annual sales exceeding £2.5m. The company has built a considerable reputation for quality of service, working on a variety of projects with clients ranging from small builders, medium,-sized companies and national construction groups.
Mr Fearnehough has implemented an innovative method of achieving safer ways of working, using higher grade steel and reducing scaffold tube length and weight. Crossway also has close ties with Van Thiel, a Dutch scaffolding manufacturer. In 2007, Crossway adopted the Van Thiel Readilock Transom, which negates the need for cross-bracing the scaffold, providing easier access along the length of the scaffold. Mr Gallagher said the award was “very rewarding” for the company and its employees. He said: “The company has grown steadily over the years and this will continue, creating further employment opportunities for local people. We have put the structures in place to take the company further forward, and this award has given us all a real boost.”
EEF in call for flexibility Setting the standard MANUFACTURERS’ body the EEF has urged the Government to delay plans to extend the right to request flexible working to more employees. The organisation says companies must be given more time to adjust to current legislation – or risk denying staff with legitimate reasons for asking to work flexibly the opportunity to do so. The call followed a major survey of manufacturers showing that employers have seen some positive benefits from flexible working. However, the survey also showed a majority of companies have experienced practical problems implementing the current legislation and are opposed to
extending the right to request flexible working beyond those employees already covered. Peter Schofield, EEF director of employment and legal affairs, said: “While manufacturers have seen benefits from the introduction of flexible working, the last thing they need now is to have to consider more and more requests. “They need to be given time before this right is extended to more employees. If it is extended, they are more likely to say ‘no’ and some people who really need to work flexibly could then miss out.”
PRINT and bookbinding business The Charlesworth Group has attained a major environmental standard. The group, which has its roots in Huddersfield and is now based in Wakefield and has operations overseas, has gained ISO 14001 following “significant” investment in new plant and equipment to ensure it continues to meet its environmental best practice objectives. For example, the group provides litho printing with vegetable-based inks on recycled and FSC-certified papers as standard, with the option of recyclable laminate. Its digital print facilities provide print buyers with the opportunity to reduce waste through Print on Demand. Quality manager Mel Brooks said: “Careful planning and investment in recent years has resulted in the ISO 14001 auditors concluding
that as a newly accredited organisation Charlesworth’s environmental position is ‘years ahead’ compared to most companies upon receiving the qualification.” Said Mr Brooks: “The initiatives introduced to reduce our carbon footprint, including making best use of sustainable resources throughout the production process together with the ability to offer more digital choice were all crucial to our future proofing strategy.” Managing director David Boothman said: “We are delighted to have achieved this very significant goal. “Having now gained both ISO 14001 and the ISO 9001 quality standard, we are confident of gaining FSC Chain of Custody accreditation shortly, demonstrating our commitment to continuous improvement.”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
EMPLOYERS' BRIEFING Neil Wilson
Impacts of recession HERE has been a lot of concern in T recent months about the onset of a potential recession and the impact that
will have on industry generally. There have been a number of reports suggesting that businesses will not recruit in the year or so ahead and more recently the Confederation of British Industry has predicted the loss of a minimum of 10,000 jobs in the financial sector in the forthcoming months. It is inevitable that redundancies will take effect not only in the financial sector but across industry generally. Redundancy exercises within businesses are not a particularly pleasant experience and they generally unsettle the employer / employee relationship. Employees should, however, note that most organisations faced with potential redundancy situations embark upon such exercises as a last resort, having used their best endeavours to avoid redundancy in the first place. The law requires a company to consult with employees both collectively and individually when they are considering making redundancies. Most companies take this consultation exercise seriously. It is a two-way process, but it is often met with scepticism by employees. The employee is encouraged to be constructive in such discussions and make suggestions and recommendations that may alleviate the need for redundancy or indeed at the very least reduce the number of positions that are to be made redundant. Employers should appreciate that a redundancy amounts to a dismissal and hence at the very least the statutory minimum procedure must be applied. Most employers appreciate that the threat of redundancy for their workforce is very unsettling indeed, but equally employees should appreciate that a redundancy exercise is not something that an employer would, faced with a choice, ordinarily wish to undertake. The employer is faced with making very difficult decisions, which could ultimately lead to a reduction in the work force, to keep the company alive and safeguard at the very least some of it’s workers jobs. A redundancy exercise has to be a two way process between employer and employee, employers on the one hand are encouraged to put fair and transparent procedures in place and employees on the other hand should, particularly in light of the current climate, appreciate that such an exercise undertaken by a company is likely to have been taken as a last resort. No business is free from the ramifications of the difficult economic climate that we face currently and a constructive approach to a redundancy exercise on the part of both employer and employee, whilst it may not save all jobs, may lead to the number that have to be made redundant being kept to a minimum. Employees with more than one year’s service are protected against unfair dismissal in redundancy situations but it should be noted that two year’s service is required to attract entitlement to a statutory redundancy payment. Neil Wilson is an Employment Lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors
Trio bid for title in regional awards
Danielle aims for perfect brew! A COFFEE wholesaler in Huddersfield has appointed a barista trainer to teach its customers how to make the perfect brew. Danielle Hadley has joined Bradley-based Cooper’s Coffee to ensure its customers are proficient in the art of coffee-making – and get the most out of their machines and coffee beans. Cooper’s Coffee provides catering establishments across the UK with coffee-making equipment and ingredients. Its local customers include Caffe Latino, Coffee Evolution, Huddersfield University, The Huddersfield Hotel and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Danielle was previously manager of the Ludlow Food Centre in Shropshire, where she was also responsible for roasting the coffee served to shoppers in the cafe. She has also trained staff at Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall. Danielle has competed twice in the finals of the UK Barista Championships – so she knows the qualities needed to create a first-class cup of coffee. David Cooper, managing director of Cooper’s Coffee, said:
■ FRESH IDEAS: Danielle Hadley joins Coopers Coffee as its new barista trainer
“We are delighted that Danielle is on board as our new barista trainer. “ O u r w h o l e p h i l o s o p hy revolves around providing high quality coffee and coffee-making equipment. Barista training is part and parcel of that service – there’s no point in buying the best ingredients and equipment if you have no knowledge of how to use it correctly. “Danielle will have an important role to play, ensuring that the establishments we work with know how to serve the very best coffee and are aware of the importance of keeping their espresso machines in good condition. I’m confident that she will be an invaluable addition to the team.” Danielle said: “I was attracted to Cooper's because of the company’s passion for coffee-making. The enthusiasm of the staff and
the effort put into making a perfect cup of coffee is incredible. I hope to contribute to their mission of changing society's views on coffee.” Cooper’s Coffee is one of the leading suppliers of coffee equipment and ingredients in the UK. The family business was founded in 1989 by David Cooper when it operated from al back bedroom and a garage in Leeds. With the coffee culture explosion of the past 10 years, Cooper’s Coffee has expanded into areas including designing recipes for high street chains and training thousands of people at weekly barista coffee courses up and down the country. Mr Cooper is a qualified international barista competition judge and is one of the founders of the UK Barista Championships.
Designers moving on A PROJECT management and interior design company has moved into larger premises to reflect its growing success. Open house Designs, run by directors Liz Taylor and Sarah Birks, has acquired commercial premises alongside Colne Valley Business Park at Linthwaite. Ms Birks said: “The purchase of Spring House offers us much more scope to expand and grow our business into new and exciting areas.” The firm was formed just over two years ago to provide services ranging from initiating and overseeing building work to providing the soft furnishings and the finishing touches for properties of all kinds. Said Ms Birks: “We aim to offer an affordable project management and interior design service as we understand the pressures of juggling a busy lifestyle whilst trying to give your home a new look and individual style. “From single rooms to entire houses, we aim to provide clients
■ SPACE TO GROW: Liz Taylor (left) and Sarah Birks, are expanding their interior design company, Open House Designs Ltd
with they inspiration to help them achieve an interior that reflects their taste and lifestyle. Using our team of highly skilled craftsmen, we have the expertise to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.”
Projects have ranged from modernising a 1970s kitchen to provide a light, clean and glossy look to renovating a grade II listed cottage to complement its period features while giving it a contemporary feel.
THREE Huddersfield business leaders are among those bidding for the title of Northern Entrepreneur of the Year. The three have been shortlsted among 44 contenders for the awards run by accountancy and business advice firm Ernst & Young. Winners of awards in 10 categories, including Entrepreneur of the Year, will be announced at a banquet on 10th June at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel. The Huddersfield finalists are Dieno George, chief executive of Linthwaite-based pharmaceutical and household cleaner manufacturer Thornton & Ros; Maurice Mosley, chairman, of Trojan Plastics in Milnsbridge; and Gavin Wheeldon, chief executive of translation service firm Applied Language Solutions, based at Armitage Bridge. Phillip Hilling, senior partner at Ernst & Young, said: “The calibre of entrants is outstanding this year. It seems the current economic climate is not discouraging Yorkshire business men and women to shout about their success. “We have particularly been impressed by the number of young entrepreneurs this year, who have already established successful, fast-growth businesses so early on in their careers. Thornton & Ros, founded in 1922, is the UK’s largest independent pharmaceutical manufacturer of well-known healthcare products such as Covonia cough mixture and Hedrin head lice treatment. It also makes Zoflora disinfectant and Stardrops multi-purpose cleaner. Trojan Plastics Ltd manufacturers acrylic bathroom products, including baths, bath panels and shower trays. Applied Language Solutions, which has eight offices worldwide, translates all kinds of documents, from simple letters and websites to printed catalogues and large technical manuals. It also provides language interpreting services and British sign language interpreting.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Appointments Extra
Joining Barclays RUSSELL Briggs has been appointed relationship manager for Barclays’ West Yorkshire Commercial Banking team, based in Huddersfield. Mr Briggs (pictured), who lives at Holmfirth, joins B a r c l ay s f ro m H S B C i n Manchester and has many years banking experience. In his new role, he will be responsible for new client acquisition and relationships throughout the region. Mr Russell is married to Michelle and has two children. His hobbies include golf, cricket and coaching his local junior football team, Hepworth Utd.
Approach work ■ WORD PLAY: Celebrating Fantastic Media's five-year sponsorship of the Panasonic Stand are (from left) Paul Whitcroft and Becky Tipton, of Fantastic Media; Galpharm Stadium managing director Ralph Rimmer and PA Jaine Binns; Fantastic Media managing director Andy Hobson; Huddersfield Giants manager Jon Sharpe; Huddersfield Town manager Stan Ternent; Sean Jarvis, business development manager at the Galpharm Stadium; and Andrew McCarthy, strategic planning director at Fantastic Media
Stadium deal is fantastic move for Birstall firm
MARKETING agency Fantastic Media is kicking off Town’s centenary season in style – with a five-year sponsorship deal. The Birstall-based agency – headed by lifelong Town and Giants fan Andy Hobson – has become the new sponsor of what was previously the Panasonic Stand at the Galpharm Stadium. The stand will become the Fantastic Media Stand from August, 2008, when Town’s centenary season kicks off. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. Andy, who lives at Houses Hill, Lepton, said: “Fantastic Media is proud to be involved in supporting the Town. “We are as excited as everyone else in Huddersfield about the wave of optimism sweeping both clubs . “With the new investment from chairman-elect Dean Hoyle in Huddersfield Town, the future for both Town and the Giants looks brighter than ever. This is a superb time to be increasing our involvement at the Galpharm Stadium.” Fantastic Media has been involved with Town and the Giants for a number of years, providing both clubs with media and marketing services. The agency, formed by Andy in 2006, has won a clutch of awards,
■ SPONSORSHIP GOAL: Andy Hobson, of Fantastic Media
including the categories for Rising Star and Young Business Person of the Year in the Huddersfield Examiner Business Awards. Stadium managing director Ralph Rimmer said: “We all know Andy and the team at Fantastic Media very well and are delighted to have the company on board in what is proving to be a hugely exciting time for everyone
involved at the stadium. “Fantastic Media is a company that perfectly fits the profile of the partners, which we seek at the stadium. It is a young and energetic company. “We have developed an excellent relationship over the years and having worked alongside us and seen where we are heading, Andy realises that now is the right time to come on board. “It is a real boost for us and with partners such as this involved we will continue to make things happen on this site.” Said Andy: “We have signed a five year contract for the Fantastic Media Stand, and we are hoping that with the announcement of the centenary season ticket offer from the football club we will experience a full house at the stadium on more than one occasion next season.” Fantastic Media has firmly established itself in sports marketing – with contracts including ones to develop websites for Olympic medallists Katherine Merry, Linford Christie and Darren Campbell. The agency provides services including corporate branding, public relations, market research, promotional advertising, exhibitions, design and new media.
APPROACH PR has appointed Rebecca Campbell as a junior account executive. Ms Campbell (pictured), 20, a comparative media student from York, joins the Bradford-based agency as a work placement student. She will provide client support in media relations, copywriting and contribute to national consumer campaigns. Approach, headed by Gomersal woman Suzanne Johns, has a five-strong team with more than 30 years industry experience and represents clients including Délifrance UK Ltd, Brighouse-based the CP Group and Halifax firm Heat Electric.
Sellers director TONY Shackleton has been appointed to the board of Sellers Engineers as director of marketing and Far East. Mr Shackleton (pictured) joined the Chapel Hill company in 1994 and has travelled extensively pursuing sales of the firm’s carpet finishing machinery. He has played the leading role in developing business in the Far East, particularly China. Mr Shackleton previously spent 20 years with James Mackie, of Belfast, on technical sales of extrusion and spinning machinery followed by a short period with William Tatham’s of Rochdale on non-woven equipment.
Driving ambition PUBLIC relations and communications agency Ptarmigan has appointed Tina Elliott as managing director to drive the consultancy’s ambitious growth plans. The agency, one of the largest outside the capital, plans to
open a second office in London and extend its relationship with clients throughout Europe. Ms Elliott joins Ptarmigan after having developed her own 45-strong consultancy, Keene Communications, in London over a 15-year period.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
office TO LET- 6 Months Rent Free
TOLET- Incentives Available
Station Road Enterprise Park, Luddendenfoot, Halifax • 549m2 (5,909 sq ft) • Drive-in access via a steel roller shutter door • On-site car parking • £26,600 pax
HighStreet,Huddersfield Third Floor Office accommodation in prominent Town Centre location • 5 x office suites plus kitchen totalling 1,685 sq ft • Passenger Lift Access • DDA Compliant • Commissionaire service • Rental: £11,800 pax
Modern Distribution Modern Industrial/ Warehouse Unit Warehouse Unit 3 Grove Mills, Elland Unit B
Whitwell Green Lane, Elland • Single storey warehouse/factory • 29,575 sq ft internal (includes 20,000 sq ft modern portal frame) • Large shared yard • Visible location with good access for J24 M62 • Rent only £90,000 pax. Contact sole letting agents for further information
• • • •
Half rent year one(£27,500) based on a three year lease 1,059m2 (11,400 sq ft) 9m (30ft) eaves height 5m high loading door with canopy Pallet racking if required
Single Storey Industrial Unit
Unit 8 Wellington Mills, Quebec Street, Elland • 126.65m2(1,363 sq ft) • Loading access via steel roller shutter door • SCF, FSL, 3 phase electric • WC and kitchenette facilities • Personnel door and reception area • Rental: £7,000 pax
TOLET- Incentives Available
Modern Trade Industrial Units
Victoria Park, Lightowler Road, Halifax • 1,530 – 4740 sq ft • Secure yard with parking • Rentals on application
Horne Street Trade Park, Halifax • New single storey retail/trade unit • Approx 279m2 (3,000 sq ft) • Established trade location • Rental upon application
FOR SALE – Price Reduced
Retail Unit with Living Accommodation
■ OUTDOOR LIVING: This impressive Victorian facade (left) opens up to a whole new look (right) designed by Huddersfield architect and design practice Above & Beyond for the Park Place apartment development in Leeds
Firm provides look of luxury
A HUDDERSFIELD firm of architects has completed work on a multi-million pound luxury apartment scheme in Leeds. Above & Beyond has created a modern interior behind the retained facade of a Victorian building – complete with central atrium and curved balconies providing many apartments with outside space and natural light. The ground floor houses a stylish reception area and impressive boardroom facilities alongside a cosy library while the basement level has a fully-equipped gym. The scheme at Park Place in the heart of the city’s financial district provides 62 one and two-bedroomed apartments – including stylish kitchens and bathrooms and plasma screens. Park Place is the second development for apartment operator The Chambers and complements the company’s original site, Riverside West in Leeds. The ground floor houses a stylish reception area and impressive boardroom facilities alongside a cosy library while the basement level has a fully-equipped gym. Michael Owens, an architect at Above & Beyond, said: “This long, narrow site was particularly challenging as behind the Victorian exterior was a 1980s office building that we had to convert. The result reflects the opulence of the exterior through luxurious fittings, design and specifications.” In a separate assignment, Above & Beyond, based at the Media Centre,
Northumbwerland Street, was also handed the job of designing a £4.5m city centre development in Sheffield. Above & Beyond was appointed by developer and main contractor Operon Developments S1 as architects for the 17,000sq ft scheme to provide 32 apartments, two shops and a cafe and bar at West Street, Sheffield. The five-storey development will involve replacing an existing two-storey building with a new steel-clad structure reflecting the city’s industrial heritage. Work on site is scheduled to start mid-May with completion due in spring, 2009. Above & Beyond was chosen to design the scheme after completing a refit of Operon’s head office at Bridgewater Place in Leeds. Rob Falcon, managing director of Operon Construction and Developments, said: “We’re really excited about this new scheme, which will help regenerate part of the city centre. The new building will be fitted out to a high standard and have a cosmopolitan feel.” Martin Booker, associate director at Above & Beyond, said: “Sheffield’s development and regeneration continues apace. This project will be a cornerstone of its own small community – with retail, restaurant and bar facilities, complementing the high-quality residential development.”
FOR SALE/TO LET
FOR SALE/TO LET
Owler Ings Road, Brighouse • Prominent Showroom premises with secure yard and car park • 645.33m2 (6,946 sq ft) • Situated within 1 mile of J25 M62 • Guide Price: £350,000 • Rental £30,000 pax
Wainstalls, Halifax • 956m2 (10,290 sq ft) • Refurbished office / workshop in rural location • Officesbenefitingfromsusp ceilings,centralheatingand carpeting throughout • Private car park for approx 24 vehicles • Offers over £550,000 or To Let £40,000 pax
46 Wharf Street, Sowerby Bridge • Ground floor retail unit 62.92m2 (678 sq ft) • 1x bed living accomm over first floor and attic levels • Lower ground floor access and stores to rear • Prominent high street location • For sale with vacant possession • OIRO £168,000
Conversion/ redevelopment opportunity
Savile Arms, Elland • Substantial town centre public house Extensive 2 storey accommodation • Gross floor area of 345m2 (3,811 sq ft) • Offered for conversion/ redevelopment • OIRO £275,000 plus VAT
Elland 781.71m2 (8,414 sq ft) Newly refurbished Modern contemp. style Offers around £850,000
• • • •
Town Centre Office Building
23-25 Northgate, Cleckheaton • 52.7m2 (567 sq ft) • 4 offices plus basement storage • Guide Price £125,000
- Incentives Available
Modern self contained office
Pennine Business Park, Bradley, Huddersfield • Part let investment property with ground floor office suite currently producing £28,000 pax floor office • Vacant first 245 sq m2 (2,637 sq ft) • 30 on-site car parking spaces • Close to junction 25, M62 Motorway • Guide Price on application
IM AV M F L E A I ED nt Barncliffe Business Park, s no XI LAB IAT Shelley, Huddersﬁeld w BL E E LE LY in O T o • Series of interconnecting Warehouse & Workshop Units cc E N up R M • Range of various size ofﬁce suites and commercial space at io S Te na
• Well located in south Huddersﬁeld area with good links to M1 motorway • Good on site loading and signiﬁcant car parking
CALA proves a winner HOUSEBUILDER CALA Homes (Yorkshire) is among the winners once again. The company, which is building 213 homes at its Hexagon development in Birkby, has come top in a national customer satisfaction survey of new home buyers – for the third year running. The Leeds-based award winning housebuilder was awarded four stars out
of a possible five for customer satisfaction with the quality of its homes. It aso won four stars out of five for customers prepared to recommend the company’s homes to a friend. The survey by the Home Builders Federation was conducted among more than 28,500 housebuyers.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
PROPERTY FOCUS Funding deal for Tokyo A COMPANY with a nightclub in Huddersfield town centre has completed a multi-million pound funding deal to help expand its empire. Tokyo Group Ltd, which owns Tokyo at Queen Street, has received funding from Barclays Commercial Bank to help the Newcastle-based leisure business buy Utopia 3 – a nightclub and three bars – from Utopian Leisure Ltd, also based in Newcastle. The finance, which includes additional banking facilities, was arranged by David Brind, relationship director at Barclays Commercial Bank in Newcastle, supported by associate director Nicola Boardman. Advisers to Barclays were Eversheds, led by Andy Nunn, and KPMG, led by Chris Stott. Tokyo directors Rob Cameron and Aaron Mellor set up the operations underlying Utopian 3 to promote dance music to clubs and bars. A joint venture with Utopian Leisure Ltd was established in 2006 to expand their successful bar and dance brands. Utopian 3 comprised three bars and one nightclub in Oldham, Huddersfield and Newcastle, now collectively known as Tokyo Group. Mr Cameron said: “The Barclays team has demonstrated a genuine understanding of our business and has been supportive of our funding requirements from the outset. This acquisition is an important milestone in the development of our portfolio of brands and we are looking forward to driving the business forward.” Mr Brind said: “We are delighted to have supported Tokyo Group with this important acquisition which demonstrates our commitment to the leisure sector. “Tokyo Group's strong management team with proven credentials and in-depth market knowledge was key in allowing us to deliver their finance requirements.”
Agents reporting mixed fortunes
DEMAND for commercial property has fallen, a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. However, some sectors in Yorkshire and Humber appear to be bucking the trend. Nationally, 30% more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in demand during the first quarter of 2008 compared with 15% in the fourth quarter of 2007 – with the retail sector showing the biggest decline. However, in Yorkshire and the Humber, only 8% more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in retail demand, compared to 57% last time. Yorkshire and Humber was also the only region in the UK where occupier enquiries increased and RICS members say they feel confident about the sector’s future prospects. New occupier enquiries also fell across all three sectors for the second consecutive quarter and at a faster pace. Financial turmoil has hit decision-making in the business community with many re-evaluating their demand for commer-
cial property space. Unsurprisingly, the office sector has been the worst-hit area with 35% more chartered surveyors reporting a fall than a rise in new enquiries for offices compared to only 13% before. The Yorkshire and the Humber the office market appears stable with the number of new enquiries remaining neutral against the fourth quarter of last year when 54% reported a fall rather than a rise. Those surveyed also said they didn’t expect rents to fall. Looking forward, surveyors UK-wide continue to be pessimistic. Confidence in activity fell across all sectors with confidence in retail activity falling to the lowest level on record. Surveyors now expect rents to fall in both the office and industrial sectors. In the retail market, declines in rents are expected to double in the coming quarter. RICS Yorkshire spokesman Richard Corby said: “The commencement of new commercial developments across the region has fallen since the New Year as a
result of reduced developer confidence and tighter lending controls from the banks. “Therefore, an oversupply of new space in all sectors will be largely avoided in most of Yorkshire and Humber. However, the supply of second hand space has substantially increased across the region and consequently the incentives available to tenants are better than ever.” Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The drop in tenant demand is a particularly worrying development. This raises the possibility that rental growth will continue to weaken as the level of inducements are raised in a bid to keep property occupied. “The underlying softness in the market will not have been helped by the ending of tax relief granted for empty property. “However, while commercial property is likely to remain under some pressure for a while to come, from an investment standpoint yields are now approaching levels where they are beginning to offer some value.’’
Sporting fixture up for sale A COMMUNITY pub with strong sporting links is on the market with a £90,000 price tag. The Woodman at Odsal, Bradford, has come up for sale because its owner plans to emigrate to sunnier climes. The pub has strong connections with Bradford Bulls Rugby League Football Club, which plays at the nearby Odsal Stadium. The Woodman also has its own football, dominoes and pool teams. The cellar has been converted to provide changing rooms and showers for local sports teams while the pub provides entertainment most nights with a poker league, live music, discos and karaoke. The detached two-storey property includes a main bar seating 36, a lounge area with seating for 48 with stage and big screen, a games room for darts and pool to seat 16, three bedroom owners’ accommodation, a beer garden and a car park. The Leeds office of Christie + Co is seeking £90,000 for the leasehold, which runs until February, 2016. Landlord Enterprise Inns is offering an option to extend the lease to 25 years.
DTZ seals Hays deal
A BUILDING products group based in Huddersfield is leading the way with a labour-saving technique to lay block paving. Marshalls plc, which has its registered office at Birkby and operations at Lowfields, Elland, staged a demonstration of its Machine Lay system for laying paving. The group is the current market leader in providing Machine Lay technology. It has developed a training course to
give operators expert instruction – with qualifications accredited by the Road Industry Training Bureau, which is recognised by the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE has agreed to work closely with Marshalls to develop best practice for all machine laying activities. A spokesman for Marshalls said: “Contractors discussed how modern methods of installation of concrete block paving now deliver new levels of speed, efficiency and quality above tra-
ditional installation methods – particularly on larger areas.” Marshalls Machine Lay team members briefed contractors on the new range of Machine Lay block paving, including its latest Keyblok and Tegula branded products. Said the spokesman: “Marshalls is committed to fostering working partnerships with all partners in the supply chain to provide unrivalled design services, technical expertise and customer support.”
PROPERTY agency DTZ has completed a lease assignment to Hays Specialist Recruitment – increasing their office space at Sovereign House, South Parade, Leeds. Hays has taken 3,000 sq ft at a rent equivalent to £47,280 per annum. The move increases Hays’ premises at Sovereign House to more than 16,000sq ft. Sovereign House comprises five stories of office accommodation in the heart of the city. Phillip Dawson, associate director at DTZ, said: “This assignment reflects the continued demand in Leeds city centre for office space .”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Buy-out adds strength to Eddisons in W Yorks A PROPERTY agency with offices in Huddersfield has been bought by two of its senior directors. Chartered surveyors Eddisons, which has a branch at New North Road, has been acquired by managing director Nigel McDonald and director Richard Roe. They have paid an undisclosed sum to buy the shares held by their fellow directors at the firm. Those directors remain with the business. The new owners have also completed the takeover of a property management business – a move which is set to boost turnover from £7m to £11m and underlines the directors’ intentions to expand the business. Mr McDonald, 51, has worked with Eddisons throughout his career while Mr Roe, 41, joined the company five years ago from accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The new owners said the buy-out would ensure that Eddisons, which also has offices in Leeds, Bradford and Manchester, maintained its position as one of the region’s leading independent chartered surveyors while providing a platform for continued expansion. Said Mr McDonald: “The buy-out is a significant step in the ongoing development of Eddisons and will help us to deliver our ambitious future growth strategy.” The firm employs 125 staff across its four offices, who will be unaffected by the
buy-out. “As a business, we pride ourselves on the quality and loyalty of all our staff,” said Mr McDonald. “Both Richard and I are keen that the buy-out provides the opportunity for individual career development.” Meanwhile, Mr McDonald and Mr Roe have paid an undisclosed sum for the business and assets of the property management and facilities management teams of Erinaceous Commercial Property Services Ltd and Erinaceous Commercial Services Ltd. The newly-acquired businesses, which employ 200 people, will adopt the Eddisons name and continue to operate from their premises in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. Mr McDonald said: “This acquisition gives Eddisons a significant presence in a number of major cities and makes us a truly national business.” Funding for the Eddisons buy-out was provided by long-term banking partner Barclays Commercial Bank in Leeds, managed by relationship director Jane Cranston-Young. Corporate financial advice was provided by Leeds-based BDO Stoy Hayward, led by corporate finance assistant director James Barraclough. Legal advice was supplied by Sharon Needle of The Needle Partnership, who advised the management team; Graham MacKenzie and Andrew Rayment, of Walker
■ DEAL MAKERS: Nigel McDonald (second left) and Richard Roe (third left), both of Eddisons with (from left) James Barraclough and James Croxen, both of BDO Stoy Hayward; Jane Cranston-Young , of Barclays; and Sharon Needle, of The Needle Partnership
Morris, who advised the sellers; and Chris Ramage from Cobbetts, who advised Barclays. Eddisons, founded in 1844, provides a
Firm makes its mark! A FIRM supplying and fitting concrete paving has made its mark with the official opening of new premises in Lockwood. Decorative Concrete Ltd opened the doors of its new showroom and training centre at Albert Street as it embarks on an ambitious project to set up a string of franchises. The company, headed by Huddersfield businessman John Quinn, specialises in laying concrete coloured and patterned to resemble stone or other materials then given a sealing coat to enhance the colour and combat dirt and oil stains. The products, marketed under the Spectacular Driveways (UK) Ltd brand, are in demand from homeowners wanting to improve the look of their drives and paths. It has also joined forces with Balfour Beatty Utilities to provide the same service for reinstating drives and paths after work to repair or replace gas lines running into properties. VIPs at the official opening included customers John and Linda Edson, who are having work done on the driveway at their Holmfirth home. Mr Quinn, who lectures on construction and has many years experience in the building industry, said: “We have started the first training course for 15 people and we will follow that up with another 12 to 15 people in May. There is a lot of work still to do, but we are now up and running.” Mr Quinn aims to set up NVQs in pattern imprinted concrete, giving trainees
range of services to owners and occupiers of industrial, commercial, office, retail and residential property. It also carries out sales and valuations of machinery and business assets.
Bramleys partner H E L E N H o l l i n g sworth has been appointed as a partner at Bramleys surveyors, estate agents and auctioneers. Helen (right), 32, who lives at Honley, at t e n d e d B ra d fo rd Girls’ Grammar School and sat A-levels at Bradford Grammar School. She graduated in 1996 with a degree in chemistry from Nottingham University. Helen worked for Eddisons’ Huddersfield office at St George’s Square during her holidays and after gaining her degree worked for Halifax P ro p e r t y S e r v i c e s,
which had purchased Eddisons, on its graduation programme. She joined Bramleys in 1999 as a valuer. Following Bramleys’ acquisition of Holmes and Gardner Estate Agents in 2004, she was promoted to area sales manager overseeing the new offices in Mirfield and Heckmondwike as well as continuing her role at Huddersfield. Helen was awarded associate partner status in 2007.
Heckmondwike site a recognised qualification. A further option is to set up a licensing operation – similar to franchising – whereby Decorative Concrete Products will provide training, equipment and support for people keen to operate their own business under the Spectacular Driveways banner.
■ GOOD IMPRESSION: Customers John and Linda Edson (centre), of Holmfirth, “sign in” with managing director John Quinn and his wife Helen at the official opening of Decorative Concrete’s showroom and training centre at Albert Street, Lockwood
A HOUSEBUILDING firm has unveiled a new development in Heckmondwike – and demand is predicted to be high. Persimmon Homes has launched Highfield Chase, a scheme of 41 homes including two, three and four bedroom properties with prices starting from £149,995. The development, spanning almost two acres, is being built on the site of a disused textile mill.
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■ IRONWORK: Canopies created by Elland firm Andy Thornton for Boundary Mill retail development at Colne, Lancashire
Elland firm builds sales and orders
A COMPANY supplying architectural fittings for prestigious developments across the world is on course to achieve record sales. Elland-based Andy Thornton increased turnover by £3m in 2007 – an 18% improvement – and has a strong order book for the current financial year.its highest ever sales. The firm’s contracts division is completing a £50,000 project for the hospitality suite at Mumbai Cricket Academy in India and a £500,000 bar refurbishment in Menorca. It has also secured a £4m deal to fit-out shopfronts and provide signs at retail outlets in Poland and Romania and has orders for bars from regular customers in Norway and the USA. The division also expects to secure a £1m-plus contract for bar projects in the Netherlands. Managing director Peter Siddall, who led a management buy-out of the business in 2005, said the company had consolidated its strong position as a major supplier to the international hospitality and leisure markets. He said: “While the main focus has been on increasing market share in the UK, the company has maintained its strong exporting tradition – and with a number of overseas projects in the pipeline, we expect exports to represent 40% of sales this year.” The firm’s architectural metalwork department has lifted sales by 30% in the past two years and is on target further boost turnover in 2008 – which would be its best ever year. Said Mr Siddall: “This growth comes on the back of considerable financial investment in this part of the business. “Andy Thornton has doubled the size of the department’s manufacturing space, appointed an experienced new manager to head up the department and added three further skilled fabricators to the workforce.” He said: “The growing demand for external metalwork structures is due in part to the
recent UK smoking ban, which has resulted in the need for suitable shelters outside pubs, bars, clubs and other commercial buildings.” The department has also completed projects to design, manufacture and fit several large glazed canopies around the new restaurant building at Boundary Mills Retail Outlet in Colne, Lancashire, which opened last month. Other projects include supplying two gazebos for the Hong Kong Government, which have been installed in parks on the island, and installing stunning brass balustrades in the Barton Square home furnishings area at the Trafford Centre, Manchester. Said Mr Siddall, “We plan to grow sales turnover to more than £20m in the next 2 to 3 years. With first quarter sales for 2008 up by 37% and an order book almost double that of the same period last year, there is every reason to be optimistic.” The company has been trading for more than 30 years – formerly as Andy Thornton Architectural Antiques Ltd and since 2005 as Andy Thornton Ltd. In November, 2005, the management buyout was completed by five former associate directors led by Mr Siddall, at which time the founding directors left the company. The firm employs almost 200 people at sites in Elland and Greetland. The firm’s products division sells a range of more than 4,000 products, including furniture, lighting and outdoor products for the hospitality market worldwide. The division is also the UK’s largest supplier of salvaged architectural antiques and decorative accessories. The contracts division offers a full project design and management service as well as having its own joinery and architectural metalwork manufacturing facility in Elland.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
On the Waterfront!
Architects unveil latest plans for Chapel Hill development DEVELOPERS spearheading a £175m scheme to revitalise a key part of Huddersfield have promised striking new buildings of the “style and quality” usually found in cities such as Leeds and Manchester. The pledge came as backers of the ambitious Waterfront Quarter scheme submitted a revised planning application – and unveiled more details – for their development site at Chapel Hill. The new proposals from Wetherby-based Strategic Sites includes a new 300,000sq ft campus for Huddersfield Technical College, which is due to open in September, 2011. Also proposed are 190,000sq ft of Grade A office buildings, which the developers claim “will bring to Huddersfield the style and quality of offices only usually found in cities such as Leeds or Manchester”. The development will also include some 300 new homes, a range of leisure and catering facilities, extensive work to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal – which runs through the site – as well as providing a new public square. For the first time in living memory, the public will be able to access the river Colne and canal side footpaths in this part of Huddersfield. The developers also released images of one of the proposed offices, which will face Chapel Hill close to the entrance of the site and stand alongside the canal.
Paul Barber, chief executive of Strategic Sites, said: “This is a really exciting mixed-use scheme that will enhance Huddersfield’s attractiveness as a place in which to live, learn, work and play. We think its quality will also be an example for others to follow.” The developers have worked with Kirklees Council and regional development agency Yorkshire Forward on the scheme, which aims to transform a triangle of land bounded by Chapel Hill, Manchester Road and the river Colne. Subject to receiving planning permission, work on the scheme is due to start this autumn. Strategic Sites’ lead architects are DLG Architects and its property advisers are Dove Haigh Phillips. Clr Ken Sims, Kirklees Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The waterfront quarter is a significant part of the wider regeneration strategies for Huddersfield. “Clearly the proposals will be subject of all the planning processes. The council and its partners have been assisting and advising the developer and their representatives on this very exciting and innovative scheme. “It is one of many initiatives that continue to demonstrate the continued confidence of developers in investing in Huddersfield.” Clr Sims said: “This is significant regeneration opportunity for that part of the town, which will transform the area and provide a unique mix of housing units, commercial and
■ OFFICE SITE: Arcitects’ image of one of the office buildings planned for the prestigious Waterfront Quarter at Chapel Hill, Huddersfield
office space, together with restaurants and other facilities. “It will open up more potential for visitors and businesses to develop on the canal corridor, and complement the multi-millions pounds spent on the wider restoration of the canal.” The eight-acre Waterfront site is currently
Firms make tracks to Dewsbury site A BATHROOM manufacturer in Huddersfield is among a clutch of companies moving to a £40m industrial development in Kirklees. TC Bathrooms is set to quit its premises at Jubilee Way, Grange Moor, in an £11m move to a new 200,000sq ft headquarters and distribution centre at the Bretton Park scheme in Dewsbury. The company, formed in 2000, is one of the UK’s fastest growing bathroom brands selling more than 30 traditional and contemporary bathrooms suites as well as showers, steam cabinets, basins and stands, whirlpool baths and taps. TC Bathrooms will be joined at Bretton Park by wholesale photography company JP Distribution, which has signed up for a 48,000sq ft unit, and A&J Fabtech, a company which designs and makes steel work for items such as chimneys, bridges and pressure vessels. Both companies are local to the Kirklees area – with JP Distribution moving from Heckmondwike while A&J Fabtech will quit its premises in Batley.
is also planned for the 27-acre Bretton Park, which is being built on the site of the former gasworks, off Bretton Street in Dewsbury. In total, Bretton Park will provide nine modern units – answering the need for new premises among a number of local firms,. Six of the units are already occpued and operating while the remainder will be completed by November this year. Occupants already on the site include Kirklees Council, beds and bedding firm Sleepmode, Fast Alloys and plastic products firm Spafield Displays. The scheme – which offers more than 500,000sq ft of warehouse, office and manufacturing space – is being marketed by property agents GVA Grimley and Carter & Co on behalf of developers PPG Land and Clugston Estates. Paul Crabtree, development surveyor for PPG in Leeds, said: “This is a significant investment in Dewsbury and Kirklees. “The site was acquired four-and-a-half years ago when it was a disused gasworks.
ning process and built the infrastructure such as roads and drains – and we have had good support from the local authority.” Rob Oliver, of GVA Grimley, said: “It was always the hope that Bretton Park would attract successful local companies needing to relocate to bigger and more modern premises – and that has proved to be the case. “Employees are an important part of any business and by being able to relocate locally, these companies are more likely to retain their skilled staff.” Mr Oliver said the success of Bretton Park provided an antidote to “overly negative” assessments of the regional economy. The firms were demonstrating their confidence in the local economic climate. “Money may be tight, but banks are focusing lending on companies that have been around for the past 10 or 15 years and have a good track record,” said Mr Oliver. “The companies that are taking space at Bretton Park have such a track record.”
occupied by long-established manufacturing firm Sellers Engineering Ltd and Kirklees Council. Strategic Sites is working with Sellers’ development arm Ramsden and Colne Developments on the mixed-use project. Sellers plans to move to a new site to make way for the development.
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WE BRING BUSINESS FACE TO FACE WITH BUSINESS
Don’t get caught by the storm COMPANIES in Kirklees have been urged to wade into the war against flooding. The agency said firms had to be better prepared as climate change made extreme weather more likely. Figures from the Environment Agency showed that almost 7,000 businesses were flooded out during the deluge of last summer – with total damage estimated at about £1.3bn. A spokesman said: “Small businesses are more at risk from flooding than fire – and the effects can be 30 times as costly as burglary. “Yet many businesses still do not have any measures in place to protect their property or staff from flooding.” The spokesman said firms could check whether their premises were in an area at risk of river or coastal flooding by using the Environment Agency’s free online postcode checker. Businesses at risk could register for the free Floodline Warnings Direct service providing flood warnings by telephone, mobile phone, e-mail, fax or pager whenever a flood warning is issued in the area.
Even firms sited well away from rivers or the coast should formulate a “flood plan” to deal with problems as they could still be affected by surface water flooding in cases where drainage systems are unable to deal with intense rainfall. The plan should include a list of important contacts, a map showing key equipment, protective materials and service shut-off points and basic strategies to protect property, ensure staff safety and minimise business disruption if a flood occurs. The spokesman said businesses should check that their insurance policy covered all types of flooding; understand the different flood warning codes and what they mean in practice; ensure that staff were familiar with flood safety procedures; know how to shut off gas, electric and water supplies; make sure valuable stock can be store above level and consider investing in flood protection equipment. For more information about flood p ro p t e c t i o n m e t h o d s, g o t o www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call Floodline on 0845 9881188.
Secrets of her success
■ STEPPING UP: property tycoon Marie Davies (centre) with Sue Kenny (left), board member of Forward Ladies, and Kate Fox, of Last Cawthra Feather Solicitors
How green is your firm? Find out here Your business
FIRMS across Kirklees can now check how ments to the data they have entered online to “green” they are at the click of a computer see the resulting financial and environmental mouse. impacts. Business advice body Envirowise has devised Elin Crebbin, Envirowise regional manager an internet-based Envirowise Indicator to help for Yorkshire, said: “Companies may not be • Start of • CommerCiaL upS property companies all sizes get an indication of the aware of the extent to which resources – such as impact they are having on the environment • Litigation • diSputeS– gas used in heating or packaging cardboard – and the savings they can make by reducing it. have a clear environmental impact. • Company formationS mediation and arbitration By entering basic information on• how much “By using the Indicator, local businesses are • aCquiSitionS and mergerS inteLLeCtuaL property energy and raw materials they use,•companies able to better understand their own environget•a empLoyment visual illustration of the equivalent car- mental impact and the potential savings they • debt reCovery bon www.chadwicklawrence.co.uk dioxide emissions generated by these activcan make” ities. They can see which aspects of the business Companies can use the Indicator free of is having the biggest effect – and plan to tackle charge by visiting www.envirowise.gov.uk it. Guidance on all aspects of resource effiA separate screen gives an at-a-glance view of which resources represent the largest cost to ciency is available on the Envirowise advice line on 0800 585 794. theDewsburY business.Halifax FirmsHuDDersfielD can make easy amendMorleY ossett wakefielD
is our concern
chadwick lawrence is regulated by the law society. 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.
A WOMAN entrepreneur who rose from the back-to-back terraces of Liverpool to handle a property portfolio worth millions of pounds shared her experiences with members of networking and business support group Forward Ladies. Maria Davies, who now lives in Sussex, spoke to members of Forward Ladies during a visit to Yorkshire. Forward Ladies is supported by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and has more than 3,000 businesswomen on its database. Ms Davies turned to property development in the early 1990s while she was working in the City of London. In 2000, she left her high-powered job as European IT manager with a US law firm to focus full time on her property portfolio and proper ty mentoring and coaching for women. She said: “Forward Ladies made me feel very welcome and were eager to learn as much as they could about investing in property. The market is going through an uncertain period and as a result there are some fabulous deals around. I firmly believe that property is a good, long term investment.”
Credit crunch woes are set to continue
COMPANY finance chiefs expect the credit crunch to run for at least six months – with only a fifth of them expecting to see any real improvement by the end of the year. A survey by Deloitte among chief financial officers showed that 215 expected credit conditions to improve by the end of 2008 and 50% expecting to see an improvement in the first half of next year. Finance chiefs remain fairly positive about the long-term outlook for credit – with most of them expecting to raise credit over the next 12 months. In addition, more companies are planning to increase gearing over the next year than to reduce it. The survey said companies are expecting to respond to tougher market conditions by cutting back on spending.
Some 65% of those polled said they were likely to reduce spending on items such as corporate travel and entertainment with 55% likely to curtail future recruitment and 38% considering reducing current employment levels. Only 3% said they were likely to reduce dividend payments. Chris Powell, head of the audit practice for Deloitte in Leeds, said cuts in interest base rates had failed to improve the supply of credit or reduce the cost of debt available. He said: “Despite reductions in base rates, corporates are facing tougher credit conditions and, so far, lower base rates would appear not to be easing the situation.” Ian Stewart, director of Deloitte Research, said: “The survey shows how stress in financial markets is likely to feed through the corporate sector and into the economy.”
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.