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December/January 2015


Looking to a devolved future

Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, outlines a positive outlook for the region with the roll-out of devolution and enhanced transport links at his annual pro-manchester business lunch at the Midland Hotel.

Trust in the community

Councillor Jonathan Coupe explains the role of trusts and the relationship with local business in his role as Lead Member for Trust Development with Trafford Council.

Forever Manchester launch RESET A new initiative from Community Foundation Charity Forever Manchester is launched from iconic restaurant Manchester House in the heart of Spinningfields.

‘100 Club’ Business Networking kicks off New Business networking event scores at Sale FC Rugby Club in support of charity Alex Hulme Foundation.

Castle Keep Law Focus feature on one of Sale’s fast growing legal firms. An inside look on a South Trafford success story.

Brooks Macdonald Looking into the Manchester office of award winning asset management specialists.

Gary Neville scores with Hotel Football Trafford Pledge attracts some great new signatories, including Hotel Football. Gary Neville drops in to chat to students at Emirates Old Trafford and to share the hotel’s local employment opportunities for young people.

Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, pictured outside the Midland Hotel in Manchester

Inside this issue... Business News Castle Keep Law Trust Development Brooks Macdonald pro-manchester Sir Howard Bernstein Forever Manchester RESET Finance Social Media Web Design Wellbeing Diary Dates Places to Meet...


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December/January 2015

contents 4 news


All the latest from around Manchester and beyond.

Subscription is easy. Simply visit and click through to subscribe, where you can register your details to receive an electronic link to the magazine as soon as it is published.

4 22

editorial Here at Trafford Business Connect we are on the lookout for both news articles relating to business activity within Manchester, or educational articles that can help businesses at any level. If you regularly send out press releases, or if you are looking for press coverage of a newsworthy event, please get in touch either by phone or send an email to editorial@

26 comment

Review of pro-manchester business lunch featuring speech by Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester Council. Forever Manchester Full report on RESET launch from iconic Manchester House restaurant.

30 report

100 Club Business networking launch at Sale FC Rugby Club. Trafford Pledge Gary Neville supports the pledge on behalf of Hotel Football.

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37diary dates

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38 places to meet List of venues and facilities supporting business across Manchester.

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18 focus

Trust Development Insight from Jonathan Coupe - Head of Trafford Council’s Trust Development. Synextra Offering an alternative to multiple IT providers. Castle Keep Law In depth look at a multi-faceted law firm. Brooks Macdonald Manchester office of the award winning asset management business.



to the latest edition of Trafford Business Connect and join the fastest growing business to business forum in Manchester. Trafford Business Connect is a dynamic business to business bi-monthly magazine that is crammed full of local and regional news, articles, interviews and regular columnists.

The magazine connects businesses across Greater Manchester, and is completely free. PUBLISHED BY


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ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Alex Peterson (PixelAir Web Design). Photography by Tobias Pearson, Martin Hambleton.

Jon Cheetham

• 07971 575977 Office • 0161 969 8632 DISCLAIMER Whilst we have taken all reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information contained within this magazine, we give no warranty and make no representation regarding the accuracy or the completeness of the content of this information. Consequently we accept no liability for any losses or damage (whether direct, indirect, special, consequential or otherwise) arising out of errors or omissions contained in this magazine. Views expressed in Trafford Business Connect in editorial or advertising content are not necessarily those of it’s publisher Business Connect Publishing Limited. The publisher cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies supplied to us in editorial or advertising material.



December/January 2015


Manchester hotel occupancy Good news for rates reach new levels homebuilders New hotel occupancy data for August 2014 reveals that Manchester’s city centre hotel industry is in strong health with rates now outperforming peak levels reached in 2006 and 2007.

hotel and tourism industry. Current demand means that we are now exceeding the rates experienced in pre-recession years, but we are also on the cusp of a dramatic increase in supply to meet this.

In the first eight months of 2014 the city centre had an average occupancy rate of 76% - a figure previously unmatched at this point in the year since records began. This figure has been sustained by record weekday rates (75% average YTD) and strong performing weekend rates (81% average YTD).

“The challenge will now be to make the most of this opportunity for further growth and to sustain occupancy figures as room numbers increase.

The achievement comes at a time when the city centre is preparing for an additional 2,100 rooms in the immediate pipeline – extending to 2,700 in Greater Manchester – with new developments from at least six operators who are investing in the conurbation for the first time. Andrew Stokes, chief executive at Marketing Manchester, said: “We are thrilled with the latest hotel occupancy data which indicates a significant achievement for our

“A number of hotel operators that are brand new to Greater Manchester have shown their confidence in the industry by investing here and we will work with them and existing hotels to help continue the occupancy trajectory.” The recent data also showed that the city centre achieved its highest ever August hotel occupancy at 78% with both weekend and weekday levels reaching record highs. Tourism generates £6.6bn a year for the Greater Manchester economy and supports 84,000 full time equivalent jobs that highlight Manchester’s sector strengths.

There is good news for self builders and custom builders’ clients in Trafford. Self builders are now exempt from paying The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - an additional tax on new home and some extensions. The new exemption came into force in late summer 2014.

an exemption is now available and comments: “Most house extensions and new builds that we design here at Arc Design Services are more than 100 square metres, so we’ve had to spend a lot more time on planning applications, and clients have been faced with thousands of pounds of extra unnecessary costs.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was brought into effect by the Planning Act of 2008, leaving self builders with crippling expenses due to additional costs on new residential building projects over 100 square metres of anything between from £20 to £80 per square metre depending upon the area of the build. In areas such as Hale, Altrincham and Bowdon, the charge would typically be higher than other areas.

We’re really pleased that sense has prevailed and that families and self builders are able to claim exemption if they are going to live in the property for at least three years after they have completed the work”.

Self builders were also being invoiced up to £20-£40,000 as a condition of being granted planning approval.

Self builders who are considering building a new home or extending their current property more than 100 square metres will need to apply for a CIL exemption and receive a notice back from Trafford Council before any work can commence. For more information about the new exemption, contact Jonathan Riddle on 0161 928 4433.

Jonathan Riddle from Hale-Based Arc Design Services is pleased that

TJ Hughes returns to Stretford Mall with creation of 40 jobs based shopping centre to welcome back such a well-known store which had been sorely missed by shoppers. Colin said: “We are extremely thrilled and excited to see TJ Hughes back in the unit which our shoppers are very familiar at finding them in. “We have been working very hard behind the scenes with TJ Hughes to secure their return and it really is so positive to see it come to fruition. Stretford Mall Manager, Colin McCrory, celebrates the return of TJ Hughes

Stretford Mall bosses are celebrating the return of department store TJ Hughes with the creation of 40 new jobs. The much-loved retailer, which was established in 1912 and taken over by Lewis’s Home Retail Ltd in August 2011, re-opened in its original large corner unit at the busy Stretford

shopping hub at the end of October. Over 150 shoppers were outside waiting for the new store to open it’s doors. The news was greeted by Stretford Mall Manager Colin McCrory with delight who added it was a significant development for the community-

“Not only will it return to its status as one of our main flagship retailers for the scheme, but it will also create 40 new jobs which is terrific news for our local community. “Its return is also perfectly timed to fit in with our preparations for the busy festive period and I know the opening of TJ Hughes will add significantly to the choice on offer to our loyal shoppers as we start the run up to the big day. “Added to our other high street

names such as WH Smith, Boots, Tesco, B&M Bargains, Blue Inc, Peacocks, Clarks and Grainger Games, there is plenty to provide a great day out shopping for all the family.” The discount department store will specialise in home and fashion, fragrance and cosmetics, technology and electricals. It offers premium brands at up to 70% discount and quality products at low prices. With its headquarters in Liverpool, it currently has nine department stores nationwide from Eastbourne in the south to Glasgow in the north. The company employs around 700 people. Kim Beattie, Marketing Manager for Lewis’s Home Retail Ltd, said: “We are delighted and excited to return to Stretford because of the many loyal customers we know we have in the area.”

December/January 2015

500 Trafford businesses are missing out on business rate relief Over 60 per cent of eligible Trafford high street businesses are already benefiting from the £1,000 business rate relief scheme introduced in April. With around £1.5m due to be given to businesses during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 financial years, the Council is urging the remaining 500 or so businesses to complete the relevant forms online, so they don’t miss the chance to secure this funding whilst it is still available. You can apply on line at www.trafford. Eligible premises are those with a rateable value of £50,000 or less,

which are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes or pubs. In another step towards improving things for businesses, the Council is now encouraging businesses to sign up to Trafford’s Open Access System. Once registered you will be able to view your business rates account on line, view up to date details of your account immediately, check to see if you have been awarded the retail rate relief, see payments you have made and check your balance 24/7. To register for the Open Access System, go to traffordonline

Criteria Relaxed for Small Business Development Funding The Growth Vouchers programme is a Government-funded project to help small businesses grow. There is a degree of urgency for companies to take advantage of the scheme as it expires in March 2015.

• Improving leadership and management • Making the most of digital technology • Managing cash flow, late payments and negotiating finance

The scheme gives up to £2,000 to help • Developing skills and taking with a company’s business growth on staff efforts on a matched-funding basis. Invest £500 and you get £250. Applying is a simple 2-stage process. Invest £4,000 and you get £2,000. A 10-minute on-line registration followed by a 30-minute diagnostic. The good news is that the qualifying The aim of the diagnostic is to help criteria have recently been relaxed. you focus in on your area of greatest The new criteria are: need. The diagnostic can be on-line, • Be registered in England over the phone or face-to-face. • Employ less than 250 people (FTE) You’ll know if your application has been successful within 24 hours of • Turnover less than €50 million your diagnostic. • Have received less than €200,000 Once you have your Growth of public support in the last 3 years Voucher you can select a service • Be independent (no more than provider from the Enterprise Nation 25 per cent owned by a third party) Marketplace: https://marketplace. Companies who’ve been on the Growth Accelerator scheme are eligible, and More details can also be found at support can be accessed in 1 of 5 areas: • Marketing and Business Development



growth-vouchers/ or call Winning Pitch on 0161 876 4922

Greater Manchester Investment Portfolio launches in Beijing A delegation of Manchester-based business representatives has today launched an investment portfolio for the city-region to a Chinese audience of entrepreneurs and investors in Beijing. The portfolio, which is available in Mandarin and English, showcases opportunities to buy into, collaborate and develop partnerships around some of Greater Manchester’s most exciting developments. It has been produced by the Manchester China Forum, a business-led initiative aimed at increasing Greater Manchester’s commercial connectivity with China. It was officially launched in Beijing at China-Britain Business Council’s (CBBC) annual outbound conference - the flagship event for enabling Chinese and British companies to identify practical opportunities and realise investment partnerships around the world in a variety of sectors. Manchester’s presence at the CBBC Outbound Conference is supported by a partnership that includes Addleshaw Goddard, Allied London, Deloitte, JLL, Manchester China Forum, Marketing Manchester, MIDAS and Manchester Airport. Rhys Whalley, executive director of the Manchester China Forum, said: “Chinese investors frequently request examples of specific opportunities in the UK, so we’ve purposely tailored Greater Manchester’s investment portfolio with this specific audience in mind. It should go some way towards helping to whet the appetite and

facilitating those important initial conversations. “The portfolio is intended to evolve as new opportunities Rhys Walley, Executive Director of the emerge and is Manchester China Forum also designed to emphasise the messages we have for potential investors; that Manchester offers a viable and appealing investment alternative to the UK’s capital with significant cost-savings and a growing infrastructure that is backed by strong leadership.” Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and China Forum Chair, added: “Manchester has a rich property offering for international investors and occupiers alike. Couple this with an international airport, with over 200 destinations and incredible connectivity, then the city is well placed to meet global real estate demand. Plus from December Manchester will be the only airport outside of London with a direct route to China, making connectivity to the Far East even easier. “It is with great pride to see the China Forum launch its portfolio today, which in a short timeframe has achieved so much and strengthened our links with this great country.” To find out more about Manchester China Forum, please go to:

Funding from MMU available to recruit up to 100 graduate Interns Manchester Metropolitan University recently launched GradMatch MMU, a partially funded graduate internship scheme providing up to 100 organisations with £1,000 to put towards a recent graduate’s salary for an 8 week internship.

the additional £1,000 to ensure the graduate is paid the National Minimum Wage. Internships can be in any area as long as the work is graduate level. Interns will start their internships between 24th November 2014 and 12th January 2015.

MMU will advertise and promote the internship and identify suitable graduates. The business then employs the graduate direct through their payroll and will need to provide

More information about the scheme, including links to the forms to complete to take part, can be found at gradmatch



December/January 2015


Best Western Cresta Court awarded WorldHost Recognised Business Status known as a ‘WorldHost Recognised Destination’, excelling in its service and offering for visitors to the town. In order to achieve the WorldHost destination status, 25 percent of Altrincham’s businesses need to train their workforce to WorldHost Recognised Business standards; something The Best Western Cresta Court has now achieved.

L-R WorldHost trainees Gemma Atkinson, Adele Hankinson, Ricki Harrison, General Manager Paul Hindley, Jacey McKay and Ellen Dentith

On receiving the recognition, general manager Paul Hindley commented: “We are passionate about service standards and are especially proud to be the first Hotel in Greater Manchester to achieve the WorldHost Recognised Business status.” Following a major refurbishment programme over the last year, the independently owned Best Western Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham, has now become the latest organisation in the UK, and the very first hotel in Greater Manchester, to gain national recognition for its commitment to customer service, after being awarded WorldHost Recognised Business status. WorldHost is a world-class customer service training programme that has already been used to train nearly over 150,000 people in the UK, including tens of thousands of staff and volunteers

He adds: “When our customers

for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. WorldHost Recognised Business status is awarded to businesses that have trained 50% or more of their front line staff using any of the WorldHost training programmes and signed a commitment to delivering excellent customer service. With over 50% of its staff now trained to WorldHost standards, the BEST WESTERN Cresta Court has joined 400 other UK hotels in officially becoming a WorldHost Recognised Business. Altrincham in south Manchester is working towards becoming the first town in England to become

see the WorldHost logo displayed in our business, they’ll know that we have made a commitment to delivering an exceptional experience for them. Not only does this generate a positive buzz about the service we offer, but it helps to promote Altrincham as a friendly and welcoming tourist destination.” The WorldHost programme is being rolled out across the UK by skills and workforce development charity, People 1st, to help businesses gain a competitive edge and position the nation as a world-class tourist destination. More information about WorldHost training can be found at

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December/January 2015



Siemens and Trafford College launch new skills partnership Siemens and Trafford College have partnered to launch a groundbreaking skills and apprenticeship partnership in order to help tackle the region’s engineering skills shortage. The partnership will see students from across the North West train at the new Centre for Science and Technology which has received over £15M of new investment, equipped with a Siemens lab in order to help engineering apprentices across a number of businesses to become qualified and employed in the sector. Siemens has supplied the college with cutting edge industrial technologies and 12 apprentices will train at the college focusing on electrical engineering. The college has opened a new lab which has been installed with Siemens ‘programmable logic controllers’ which are designed to help young people learn about factory automation. The partnership is part of Siemens’ successful bid for the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot, which seeks to help employers train young people whilst encouraging further education. The engineering company will be working with their solution provider partners in the area of apprenticeship provision to generate the appropriate skills for the sector and will claim assistance for learners for the management of the scheme, college and specialised technical training course costs. Siemens will run the apprenticeship scheme on behalf of it customers

and partners which include Bilfinger, Boulting Group, Cleveland Systems, and the Siemens Glass Academy launched with British Glass last year. The first apprentices started at the beginning of September and the partnership has flourished; one of the partner SMEs, Applied Integration, is a key supplier to the BAE systems astute class submarine program. Siemens Rail Systems based in Ardwick, Siemens Industry based in Didsbury and Siemens Electrium based in Wythenshawe will be taking on apprentices who will study at the college. Juergen Maier, Siemens Industry Managing Director said: “We are very proud to be playing such a leading role in boosting the skills of engineering apprentices across the North West, which has the largest manufacturing sector anywhere in the UK. By getting directly involved in the education of future engineers we are able to develop the skills industry needs to stay ahead of international competition. This partnership is a vital part of helping create the green industrial jobs of the future.” By the end of their apprenticeships, the students will be trained and qualified to technician level in Siemens’ PLCs and drive technologies. Apprentices will be studying for the BTEC National Certificate in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, followed by day release at Siemens for specific training on Siemens products. Sir Bill Moorcroft, Principle of Trafford College commented:

“Trafford College is delighted to be working alongside Siemens in what are very exciting times for the STEM industry. Trafford College has invested £15M in our new Centre for Science and Technology, and through our innovative partnership with Siemens we are developing the next generation of skilled apprentices. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Siemens and employers large and small, to develop the skills needed to grow our economy.” Siemens has already invested in the up-skilling of young people interested in engineering and manufacturing through the sponsorship of a number of University Technical Colleges across the UK. The business has over 300 apprentices and recently the number of apprenticeships exceeded the graduate intake. Siemens recently launched its own Junior Factory,

a production line run entirely by an apprenticeship management team in the world leading Congleton facility which makes drives and invertors. Gordon Birtwistle MP, Government Apprenticeship Ambassador to Business who attended the launch said: “The opening of the new Siemens’ sponsored laboratory was a fantastic event, it is great to see Siemens getting involved with Trafford College, ensuring the training of young people to the standards Siemens and other high tech manufacturing companies require. I met a number of high quality apprentices who will be the future of this country”. Siemens is now actively recruiting its next intake of apprentices, and the application window is now open. For more information:

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strong case for investment and explain how the funding will assist in creating and/or safeguarding jobs. They should also provide a business plan, which must show the business’ vision for growth and its ability to service a loan. For further information email thenorthwestfund@businessfinance- or phone David Martin on 0161 245 4952.

“Working with Trafford College is a vital part of helping to create the jobs of the future, as we are able to develop the skills to stay ahead of international competition.” J U ER GEN M A I ER, S I EM EN S U K



December/January 2015


Altrincham SME CEO elected to Australian board curricula, support for ICT R&D and start-ups and the need to drive sophisticated eGovernment capability. She will undoubtedly be a great asset to our organisation and to the Australian ICT industry generally.”

Elizabeth Vega, CEO and Jorge Fernandez, Informed Solutions Director of Operations, Australia, with the Sydney Opera House in the background, showing just how far-reaching Trafford Business Connect has become!

techUK’s CEO Julian David added; “I am delighted by this news. There is a strong connection between the Australia and UK tech industries and we have a long and extremely positive association with AIIA. Having one of our Board members elected to their board clearly reinforces that. Elizabeth has made a significant contribution to techUK and our industry and we congratulate her on this remarkable achievement.”

Elizabeth Vega, CEO of Altrincham based IT and Management Consultancy Informed Solutions, has been elected to the National Board of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the leading representative body and advocacy group for the ICT industry in Australia. Already a Main Board Director of techUK, the equivalent IT Industry representative body in the UK, it is the first time an individual has been elected to the Boards of both

of these prestigious bodies at the same time. Speaking of her recent AIIA election, Elizabeth said; “It is an honour and privilege to be appointed to the National Board of such a highly respected and influential body as AIIA. I am committed to making a positive and meaningful contribution to the AIIA, its membership and also to the Australian ICT industry through enlightened advocacy and thought leadership.

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My work, not only with AIIA in Australia and techUK in the United Kingdom, but in the global market in which my company operates, makes me acutely aware of the shared challenges and shared experiences facing ICT industries around the world; the digital skills gap, the demand for greater innovation, higher productivity and delivering better value. As individual companies we all wish to play our part in addressing these challenges, but I passionately believe that we are much stronger through effective collaboration.” AIIA CEO Suzanne Campbell said; “Elizabeth’s election to the AIIA Board clearly demonstrates the respect of her industry peers and their confidence in her ability to represent the interests of the ICT sector in Australia as our economy transitions to an increasingly global and competitive digital economy. Elizabeth brings with her both deep knowledge of the ICT industry as well international experience relevant to the current issues facing the sector such as ICT skills development, the integration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) into school

December/January 2015



Chafes recruit new faces L-R Laura Farndon, Christopher Hughes and Lisa Parkin

Robyn Saphier is Chafes’ first Legal Services apprentice. A Legal Services Apprenticeship is an excellent way for young people to combine studying with learning the practical aspects of the law. Joining the firm earlier this year, Robyn has become an invaluable member of the team working closely with Gail Carberry, Head of Residential Conveyancing.

the tasks she is asked to do and fits really well into the team. I’m looking forward to seeing her develop as she embarks on her legal career path.” In additional news, joining the team at the Alderley Edge office are Christopher Hughes and Lisa Parkin. Christopher joins from Wains Solicitors in Macclesfield and has over eight years experience, specialising in residential property. Lisa was called to the Bar in 2008 before cross-qualifying as a solicitor in 2011 with Cantor Law Limited. Lisa is joining Chafes’ Investment Property department which works primarily with property portfolio investors.

Robyn Saphier

Robyn said, “I always wanted to be a solicitor. I went to college but felt it wasn’t for me and I was never interested in being a full time university student. I prefer to experience things ‘hands-on’ which is what this apprenticeship is allowing me to do. “I also attend Manchester Metropolitan University, studying one day a week which will allow me

Laura Farndon also joins from DWF and brings over three years experience. Laura specialises in commercial property and will be based at Chafes’ Wilmslow office.

to learn the theory to support the practical experience I am getting, and my long term goal is to qualify as a solicitor specialising in conveyancing.” Gail Carberry said, “Robyn joined the team at a very busy time for the firm but she has really thrown herself into office work and the conveyancing process. She is positive and enthusiastic in her approach to all

Managing Partner Jon Roberts said “Christopher, Lisa and Laura bring a wealth of expertise with them. As we grow, we wanted to be sure we are still able to deliver the same high quality service we are known for.”

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A new way to wine cellar Wine Merchants Cork of the North are raising a glass to toast their new venture this winter – as they have now expanded from the retail sector into the wholesale market – and have now started supplying restaurants, bars and clubs with their quality wines. Based in Sale, Cork of the North are a small, independent wine merchant business that specialise in authentic, value for money wines from around the world that are seldom seen on the high street. They offer a bespoke wine package for bars and restaurants, supplying wines that are perfect for their clients’ needs – on both suitability, quality and of course, price. What’s more, many of

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December/January 2015

the wines on their list are a credible alternative to the mass-produced offerings currently being sold wholesale by the so-called ‘big-boys’ – the breweries and large drinks companies. Cork of the North, who have just celebrated their first anniversary of trading, are now specialising in helping bars and restaurants put together the perfect wine list for their establishments, and their team of friendly and enthusiastic wine experts offer a very personal service – a key part of their offering from which has seen their retail business go from strength to strength. Managing Director Marc Hough says: “We pride ourselves on our customer service – and as a small, independent wine company, we always take the time to build up special personal

RMS PR toasts Warburtons win Warburtons, Britain’s biggest bakery brand, has appointed Altrincham-based RMS PR following a competitive pitch. RMS beat six agencies to win the PR brief to revamp and re-launch ‘W’, the Warburtons internal magazine and design and develop a microsite and mobile app. RMS’s consumer account director, Caroline Eardley, will lead the account, supported by a team including lead creative, Andrew Avery, account executive, Rachel Leamon and head of digital Alastair Fallon. Tearmh France, corporate and internal communications manager at Warburtons, said: “RMS demonstrated a thorough understanding of our communications objectives and presented some excellent ideas and creative work. “They have a ‘can-do’ attitude and are clearly passionate about making a real difference to our business.”

Ruth Shearn, managing director of RMS PR, said: “Warburtons is the second biggest grocery brand in the UK and our appointment is testament to the quality of our consumer PR team and in-house creative, design and digital departments. “Warburtons loved the creative work and ideas we pitched and also our capability for delivering across multiple platforms, with everything managed within the agency.” Warburtons is one of a number of new client wins for RMS PR in recent weeks, with the agency also having been appointed by property developer HB Villages and law firms LHS and Farley Hilton Dwek. Shearn added: “The agency has a long tradition and excellent reputation in corporate and B2B public relations so it is particularly exciting to see our consumer team flourishing, too.”

December/January 2015



stock your

TREAT YOUR CLIENTS AND CUSTOMERS TO THE PERFECT GIFT CORK OF THE NORTH is a new independent online wine merchants based in Sale, Manchester. We offer a superior range of QUALITY wines with REAL character, at DECENT prices, delivered STRAIGHT TO YOUR DOOR. Treat your clients and customers to quality festive corporate wine gifts from Sale’s independent online wine merchant.

relationships with all of our clients by getting to know their individual tastes and requirements. “Our satisfied retail customers consider us to be their ‘personal wine merchant’ – because we get to know their individual tastes and supply bespoke wines that we know they’ll love, directly to their door. “Too often, buying wine in a shop or supermarket is a lottery, as you don’t always know what you’re going to get – but we take the chance and doubt out of buying wine by ensuring we always deliver wines we know are perfect for our customers’ tastes and budgets. What’s more, because our ‘shop front’ is on the internet, our overheads are lower and we pass

those savings directly onto our customers. “We apply the same principle to our new wholesale business – and a growing number of bars are now feeling the benefits of having their wine supplied by such a customerfocused local company.” Cork of the North also offer a range of corporate services, including informal wine tasting sessions – and a special service for festive corporate gifts – which includes gift wrapping and free delivery.

We supply direct to customers or offer great trade deals to restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels. We can put together the perfect wine gift packages and a delivery service is also available. Take the guesswork out of buying wine. Call Marc at Cork of the North now to see what we can offer:

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December/January 2015


Hollywood comes to Manchester

between literary giant Thomas Wolfe and renowned editor Max Perkins.

Independent business, Jones And Co. Styling Opticians has been featured in a new film staring Jude Law, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. Jones And Co.’s building, 82 King Street in Manchester, was selected by Pinewood Films as the backdrop for the film’s opening scene with Jude Law. Tony Clarkson, Location manager at Pinewood Films said: “The building was originally home to the Bank Of England so it is suitably grand, and we dressed it with American flags hanging from the flagpoles to re-create the exact look of a specific building on 5th Avenue, New York in the 1930’s.” Conor Heaney, Owner of Jones And Co. said, “It was an amazing transformation. The film company built an intricate set with old New

York style street-side newspaper stands and coffee stands. They even removed a bus stop, parking signs and took up all the road markings. There were 100’s of extras all in costume. And Jude Law and Colin Firth performed the opening scene right on our doorstep.”

Finding fame and critical success at a young age, Wolfe is a blazing talent with a larger-than-life personality to match. Perkins is one of the most respected and well-known literary editors of all time, discovering novelists like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Wolfe and Perkins develop a complex friendship; which will change the lives of these brilliant, but very different men forever.

The film company dressed the upper end of King Street, Manchester as 1930’s Fifth Avenue, New York for shooting the opening scenes. The businesses located on King Street all played their part. The UK film industry brings many positive aspects to the locations where they film, and as a result they find local businesses helpful and cooperative with filming.

Conor Heaney said, “The project generated a lot of interest from our clients as well as attracting lots of on-lookers throughout filming. I brought my wife and kids along and we had a fun day being part of a real movie set for the day. It was ironic that they needed to bring along a Hollywood rain machine to create the rain for the scene. The Manchester weather disappoints again!”

The film is called Genius. It’s set in depression-era 1930s America. It centres on the real-life relationship

Adrian Stewart, Business Development Manager of Caunce O’Hara Insurance Brokers,

also located at 82 King Street commented: “I’ve read of late that Hollywood is so impressed with Manchester and that areas around Dale Street look more like New York than New York, so the fact that 82 King Street was used as a focal point for Jude Law’s upcoming film is no surprise.” Genuis will be released in 2015.

New University Technical College for Trafford Employers The UTC@MediaCityUK is a new school (due to open in September 2015) for 14-18 year olds who have a passion for shaping digital and creative content. GCSE and A level students will develop professional digital and media skills, get hands-on experience in TV & Film, Graphics

& Design, Radio & Audio, and Interactive Media & Gaming, and work closely with industry-leading companies. Employers are fundamental to University Technical Colleges. They play a central role in UTCs right from the very beginning to

identify business needs and the skills shortages in the local region. Getting involved in UTCs offers employers the opportunity to ensure the next generation has the expertise, employability skills and knowledge needed to meet the future needs of business. Businesses also benefit from being

able to access the high-tech kit and expertise within the UTC, along with a highly skilled future workforce. For more information please contact Alan Brooks at UTC@MediaCityUK on 0161 312 1515 or email


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December/January 2015


Partnership announced with China’s leading institute for building research The first phase of a significant new partnership between China’s leading institute for built environment research and the University of Salford has been announced with the launch of a new Joint Doctorate programme in the Built Environment. The new collaboration with China Academy of Building Research (CABR) has been facilitated by Manchester China Forum, a business-led initiative aimed at increasing Greater Manchester’s commercial connectivity with China. The partnership, which was officially signed at a special event held at the University’s THINKLab last month, will see the University build upon its existing and highly-regarded research capabilities in the fields of smart cities & building information modelling, big data & e-health, inclusive housing design, and low carbon retrofit. The Doctorate is to be promoted across China and will be available to postgraduates of building-related and engineering disciplines. In addition to the joint supervision of PhD students the programme will also incorporate a research staff exchange and a series of research collaborations. Those studying for the PhD qualification will spend half of the course (1.5 years) in Beijing and half in Salford, working with CABR

representatives. The programme is expected to deliver initially 20 PhD awards per year. The Doctorate has launched as the first phase of a wider programme of work between the two institutions which seeks to boost existing expertise and skills within the University and thus on behalf of the Manchester city-region. Rhys Whalley, executive director of Manchester China Forum, said: “Following the recent launch of Manchester’s investment portfolio in Beijing, this is another significant milestone in our continued engagement with China. “The partnership has particular relevance to on-going dialogue and collaboration between Manchester and China in the fields of smart cities and urban regeneration; bringing unprecedented access to data and knowledge from one of the world’s leading academies in construction and engineering. “CABR is China’s top research institute for the built environment and it sets out all of China’s codes of practice, building regulations and material testing requirements. We’re therefore extremely excited about how this project will develop as we believe it will help to unlock further opportunities for collaboration and development.” Steve Turner who leads Manchester

L-R Professor Nigel Mellors, PVC (Research & Enterprise), Professor Huang Qiang, Vice president of CABR

City Council’s smart city activity, said: “Manchester is rapidly positioning itself in the vanguard of UK-China smart city work. This new initiative will add to the pioneering, Foreign Office funded work that we are doing with Greater Manchester’s SMEs through Digital China, alongside our leading role in the EU China Smart Cities Forum.” Professor Martin Hall, vice chancellor at University of Salford, said: “This is a very important relationship with such a prestigious Chinese Academy and the School of the Built Environment and the School of Computing, Science and

Engineering which are our flagship research centres. “This partnership will complement the £800m Manchester Airport City project where Beijing Construction and Engineering Group is now a primary contractor. It is also an exciting opportunity for the University of Salford to develop further partnerships as over 50% of world construction is currently in China.”



December/January 2015


Bluebird Care Trafford wins

top award Bluebird Care, one of the UK’s leading home care providers, has named its Trafford office finalists of its prestigious Business of the Year Award at its tenth annual awards held in Warwickshire at the end of October. With almost 200 offices across the country offering the highest quality home care to customers, owner of Bluebird Care Trafford, Ian Helsby, was recognised for his outstanding service in the home care industry, as well as his business’s role in contributing to 20,000 care visits carried out by Bluebird Care every day.

L-R Ian Helsby of Bluebird Care Trafford receiving his award from Bluebird Care COO Simon Dalziel

Helsby who have been instrumental in helping Bluebird Care to establish itself as one of the fastestgrowing care companies in the UK. Commenting, Chief Operating Officer, Simon Dalziel said: “Bluebird Care has been delivering high quality care to thousands of customers at home for over a decade, and I’m thrilled to recognise the hard work Ian Helsby and his team have been doing in Trafford.

“They provide the highest standards of care to our customers Bluebird Care is dedicated to ensuring that people have the option and are leading the field in delivering a high quality service that to receive high quality care in their own homes, and it is committed and goes above and beyond on every enthusiastic business owners like Ian single visit.”

Owner of Bluebird Care Trafford, Ian Helsby said: “We’re delighted to be recognised for all the outstanding work we’ve been doing for our private and NHS customers in Trafford. Being recognised with this award is incredibly special.

Our office management team and our care workers take huge pride in the job they do, delivering the best possible service to all of our customers in Altrincham, Sale, Stretford and Urmston, and that’s really reflected in this award today.”



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December/January 2015



Paul King joins the Shield Group as Regional Director Paul King has been appointed as Regional Director at The Shield Group, the UK’s largest independent Total Security Solutions (TSS) provider. Paul, who joined the Group in October, brings with him 25 years of security industry experience, of which 15 years have contributed to his exceptionally strong leadership and expert client relationship abilities through senior management positions. He will be based in The Shield Group’s Manchester Office and will be looking after the Group’s Northern portfolio, where his commitment to customer service and officer welfare will ensure that The Shield Group’s standards are maintained at its highest level, and that back-up and support are always available to his onsite

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teams to ensure consistent service delivery. Paul has also been a dedicated member of the Manchester City Crime Prevention Panel for eight years, of which he was appointed Chairman at the end of 2013.

opportunity to join The Shield Group gives me great pleasure and I happily look forward to embarking on this new chapter

in my career. The Shield Group enjoys a great reputation within the industry and I am pleased to be able to contribute further to their already long list of achievements with my own personal experience and network and work with their exceptional team.”

Following the appointment, Chief Executive of The Shield Group, John Roddy commented on Paul’s appointment: “We are delighted to be welcoming Paul to The Shield Group. Paul’s reputation has preceded him and his achievements, both in his previous role and with the Manchester City Crime Prevention Panel over the past eight years, have been impressive and will make him a great fit within our team.” Paul King commenting on his appointment said: “The

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December/January 2015


Developing Trust

within the Comm

Jonathan Coupe, Lead Member of Trust Development for Trafford Council, explains the relationships between Trusts, local business and making improvements in Council services. As part of our regular looks into Trafford Council’s relationship with the local business community, this edition we are chatting with Jonathan Coupe, Lead Member of Trust Development for Trafford Council. We asked him about the role of Trusts in the recent heavy reduction of council budgets for services across the borough, and specifically the role of local businesses in that process: Can you explain how your role in Trust Development works and what kind of impact it has to services across the borough?

Trust Development is an ongoing process looking at new opportunities within the community to find better and more rewarding ways of administering value for the borough. It is a way of bringing business, community and council together to sustain the provision of leisure and cultural services that we enjoy in our everyday lives.” How does the process work in creating trusts, and how are they administered? “Across Trafford, a key player is the Trafford Community Leisure Trust and they have been responsible for provision of leisure centres and sports activity across Trafford for many years. As the funding pressures faced by the Council continue to increase, the Council are looking at expanding the range of methods available for service provision, and this may include the expansion of a Trust model to ensure services remain high quality and value for money. This is a key part of the Reshaping Trafford Council programme.

“The way those services are now administered has by necessity become completely different to previous traditional methods. It’s now essential that different ways of funding and administering those services are found, and it is in this role of Trust Development that we can bring together business and the community to safeguard and enhance an increasing range of local services.

“A great example is Trafford Music Service, which is now run by the original management as a new business venture. The service provides music tuition and performance opportunities for schoolchildren across the borough, and since the service has been cut loose to generate it’s own funding, the original management have started to develop the service in a positive and focused way ensuring it’s continued growth. This shows just how successful the development of an autonomous organisation can be in the delivery of essential services across Trafford, especially when control is passed to the very people who have historically managed that service. This also opens the door to external business involvement that wouldn’t normally be included when run as a strictly council-run service.”

“As well as ensuring the continuity and support of existing services,

Going back to Trusts, how are they typically set up and what is the role

“Over the past few years the delivery of council services have totally changed. We have to ensure culture, leisure, sport and indeed all essential public services continue to be catered for in spite of the heavy cuts imposed on all Councils across the country.

of local business in their structure? “Trusts are actually businesses in their own right. A good example is Trafford Community Leisure Trust, run by a board which includes two active Trafford Councillors. The board needs to ensure the trust is profitable – with profits re-invested into the organisation – while at the same time accountable to the community mandates adhered to by the Council. “Another example has a board that I am trustee on – Stretford Sports Barn. Although overseen by the Leisure Trust, the board has representatives from big business

on board – the LCCC, Manchester United, Salford Reds, etc. As a Trust, it’s important to bring local business into the community, and with the case of Tesco’s recent large store being built in Old Trafford, an arrangement was agreed that as a large business moving into the local community, Tesco would also invest in the re-development of Old Trafford Cricket Ground, plus additional investment into Stretford sports facilities. As a recipient of that investment, the Trust then ensures that the sporting facilities are available to Stretford High school by day, and is then open to the wider community at evenings and weekends.” Now that we’ve established the positive

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munity influence of overseeing some services through administration by Trusts, do you see this continuing as the economy comes out of recession?

future, I think that by doing things differently we have the choice and opportunity as a Council to not just deliver those services, but to improve on them.”

“The idea that the level of funding from Council could ever get back to levels seen a few years ago is just simply not tenable. The model of administering those services through the development and implementation of organisations such as Trusts is very much a positive development from a very bleak period of austerity, and even as we look to a more favourable economic

Jonathan Coupe has been a local Councillor for over 15 years and most of that time has served on the Executive Committee. Currently Lead Member for Trust Development, Jonathan has always tempered his Council duties with running a successful family owned Kitchen design and installation business called the Kitchen Gallery, based in the heart of Timperley village.

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December/January 2015


There’s a bright new light coming through the North West’s clouds and its heading straight for your business Recent improvements in connectivity in the North West have opened the door for SME’s in the region to look for new and better ways to manage their IT infrastructure both hosted and in-house. Until now companies could be dealing with anything up to 5 different providers, for e-mail, telephony, connectivity, maintenance and back up. A situation that costs both time and money that businesses can ill afford. All that, with no guarantees that these providers themselves, can or will work responsibly together. The key to good business is simplicity. That’s where Synextra comes in. Synextra can provide every user with a

seamless service across voice over IP, infrastructure, connectivity, data back up and support for a single fixed fee from a single, user friendly provider. Synextra’s MD Chris Piggott says: “We set up Synextra with the sole intention of helping business owners compete in an ever more complex technological world by simplifying their IT infrastructure requirements using our own blend of unique technology products. “Products that make everything from simple telecommunications to maintenance and IT support, to virtual filing and storage in their own in-office cloud a seamless hassle-free operation.”

Synextra’s SmartStac blend of advanced technologies can deliver shared cloud, public cloud, on-site infrastructure or all three, enabling SME’s to tailor their IT requirements to fit their business model. Advances that make hosted IT affordable for even the smallest business.

Synextra are a totally unique provider of end to end IT services from desk top level through on-site servers, networking and connectivity. With SmartStac technology, SME’s can now have the peace of mind of never being caught out by problems with multiple service providers, so enabling them to focus on their core business.

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December/January 2015


Castle Keep Law Castle Keep Law has been providing legal services as part of the One Advice Group since it was granted its ABS license in December of 2013. Their mission is to provide quality, professional services at competitive rates, delivered in a way that’s approachable and flexible to meet the needs of modern customers. Currently on offer is 30 minutes free legal advice over the phone to individuals locally and nationally that may need support in a variety of legal situations.

an expanding workforce, having recently moved from Sale Point.

As a business, they are keen to be involved with and contribute to the local community, including being part of various Business in the Community initiatives.

Dominic Timmons

That’s worth about £100 and the firm are hoping it encourages people to tap in to their expert knowledge as it can really make a difference to the outcome. The first 30 minutes is free and should people need further assistance, there’s a comprehensive suite of services available at competitive rates. Where certain legal services cannot be provided because they are particularly specialist, or niche, Castle Keep Law have established relationships with experts in those areas, so potential customers can be referred quickly.

Director Dominic Timmons, has volunteered to mentor students at Trafford College, and with two teenage sons of his own, he’s well qualified.

Customer service is key, and staff are approachable, professional and friendly, plus the advice on offer is wide ranging - from resolving landlord or employment disputes to advising about a wide range of commercial and consumer issues.

Various mutually beneficial partnerships have been set up with local retailers, so that the 600 staff in the Group are encouraged to use independent retailers, services and eateries - the aim being to keep wages within the local economy. Similarly, staff events are organised with local establishments in mind, from going to local pub quizzes to housing Christmas market stalls at our Winter Wonderland staff party.

Castle Keep Law now has offices in Jackson House, Sale, to house

As part of the One Advice Group, whose customer base is primarily

those in debt or experiencing insolvency, they know the importance of financial education, and the enormous affect money problems can have on people’s lives. That’s why Castle Keep Law has invested in a team that specialises in representing customers in all types of creditor actions, including preventing County Court judgments, dealing with enforcement applications, and bailiff issues. They also know how admitting to and discussing financial problems with a professional can make a difference to a person’s outlook and physical and mental wellbeing. That’s why Castle Keep Law is also partnering with PeopleValue staff motivation and rewards, to promote staff wellbeing and welfare, and are looking to partner with other businesses in the future.

As a Director of Castle Keep Law, Dominic Timmons brings nearly 20 years experience to the role, which he shares and uses to drive the ethos behind the business: “The industry must be entirely customer driven” he explains, “and lawyers need to understand customers’ needs and demands, then be able to service them, rather than expecting customers to simply accept a level of service and cost which is unattractive.”

My Care Claim Castle Keep Law has a dedicated team focusing on health and social care advice for the elderly,

Kerry Blackhurst

headed up by Director and Solicitor Kerry Blackhurst. Kerry’s capability in the field has been recognised as a featured expert in the Independent on Sunday and by her membership of the independent, national organisation Solicitors for the Elderly. Kerry and her team can advise on a number of issues affecting elderly people and their families, ensuring they receive the care and funding which they are entitled to. Castle Keep Law is currently seeking to recover £7m worth of financial support which should have been provided to its clients by the NHS and Local Authorities. A recent survey by the CIPD and Simplyhealth has shown over a third of employers have reported a rise in absenteeism due to caring duties, with an estimated three million people balancing their job and looking after a loved one. Every year, around 20,000 families sell their homes to pay for a relative to receive care – it’s thought around three quarters of over 65’s will enter the care system and in many cases, this should be funded

by the NHS or Local Authority. Castle Keep Law is also now supporting The Generation Project which seeks to reduce loneliness and social isolation amongst elderly residents of Wythenshawe, and will be hosting regular coffee mornings and promoting befriending initiatives. In addition staff chose Forever Manchester as their charity of the year. Staff members have taken part in amazing fundraising activities including 10k runs, long distance cycles, baking days and even abseiling down the side of the Printworks. Kerry commented: “The department was initially set up to assist members of the public to reclaim privately paid care home fees which should have been funded by the state. However we have since built up a wealth of experience on a wide range of community care issues and complaints regarding the care received by elderly people.



December/January 2015

We are absolutely committed to protecting the rights of this vulnerable sector of our community and providing valuable professional help to those in need.”

Darren Smith leads FCS, and his experience as a successful senior consultant has been instrumental in the development and consistent progression of the business.

Financial Claim Services (FCS)

As with all of the trading styles within Castle Keep Law, Financial Claim Services is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so they are bound by high standards of professional conduct.

Darren Smith

Financial Claim Services (FCS) is devoted to reclaiming money for those who have been mis-sold financial and insurance products.

FCS have won back over £14m in PPI claims for almost 5,000 customers, and research shows that there is over £10bn that has yet to be claimed. The average claim amount is £2,900 – which many see as a nice windfall, to go towards a holiday, to pay off existing debts or to put into savings as a financial safety net. Though not as widely publicised, many paid-for bank accounts have also been mis-sold. Often, customers were told that there was no free banking option, or were paying the fee for insurance products that were of no use to

them. FCS also has expertise in these claims, and their largest fee reclaim to date is £3,800. To retain a fair and competitive edge, the team operate on a “no win, no fee” basis, so customers can be confident they are working as quickly and efficiently as possible. There is often a lot of confusion around how to approach a claim with a financial provider or bank, and many people have concerns about disrupting a current agreement if the customer is still with the provider. Financial Claim Services advisers manage every stage of the process, so it’s a hassle-free way for claimants to ensure they claim back the maximum amount that they are entitled to.

If you think your staff and/or customers could benefit from the services of Castle Keep Law, MyCareClaim or Financial Claim Services call 0330 102 0110

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December/January 2015

focus L-R Andrew Bennie, Richard Gadd, Ben Roberts

Brooks Macdonald

Asset Management

Brooks Macdonald Asset Management Ltd (BMAM) is a private client investment manager specialising in managing the wealth of private clients, trusts, charities and pension funds. They are part of Brooks Macdonald Group plc, an AIM-listed, integrated wealth management group. BMAM strongly believe in offering a personalised service, combining traditional values with a sophisticated investment management process. Since formation in 1991, the Group has grown significantly, expanding from offices in Park Street, London, to a further eight locations throughout the UK. The Manchester office opened in mid 2007, with a team of three investment managers, led by Claire Bennison, Regional Director. 2011 saw a move to new premises in Manchester city centre and today the team numbers ten, with five investment managers, two business development and three executive support staff. Claire is supported by Ben Roberts, Investment Management Director, who holds a Masters in Wealth Management; Investment Manager Andrew Bennie, who heads up the Manchester Young Professionals networking group and is involved in a number of charitable events; and Richard Gadd, Investment Team Director, who is a founding member of the Manchester office and a Fellow of The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI). As a business they aim to put the client at the heart of everything they do, and client relationships are long-term. They see the process as a journey, ensuring changing

investment objectives are met throughout their clients’ lifespans and for their next generations. BMAM work closely with their private clients, charities, and trusts to ensure that their tailored approach is appropriate to their client’s needs. This is achieved by working closely with their partners, such as professional advisers, solicitors and accountants.

Consistent, long-term returns BMAM has been a leader in developing innovative products that meet their clients’ needs in the longer term. Individual tailored portfolios are designed to provide optimal risk-adjusted returns on a longer-term basis. This can be achieved by considering a diversified range of asset classes and investment vehicles, and by managing a composite portfolio that maintains exposure to the best direct investments and fund managers within each asset class. The technical expertise and knowledge of investment managers are harnessed to provide investment solutions to their clients’ investment objectives. Clients generally remark not only on the “grand returns the investment strategy is producing” but also on BMAM’s “impeccable service” and “calm professionalism”.

Industry recognition and awards BMAM have won a variety of awards for both investment management and investment performance, ranging from the title of Best Discretionary Fund Manager at the 2014 Professional Adviser Awards to

being the first investment manager to be awarded a 5 Star Rating on each of their core services by the independent financial researcher Defaqto. The Group has also been named one of the ‘100 Best (Medium) Companies to Work For’ by The Sunday Times. This award, based on responses from Brooks Macdonald employees, is recognition of the strong values and principles the company is run on.

Charitable giving BMAM have always prided themselves on their culture of charitable giving. In 2010, a company-wide employee vote saw the group establish a Charitable Trust, called the Brooks Macdonald Foundation. Key recent fundraising projects have included the “Coast to Coast Challenge”, consisting of a bike ride from Blackpool to Scarborough in an effort to raise over £3,000 for the Barnardo’s School in Yorkshire and Fields of Life, and “The Sunshine Coach Project” to support Variety, a charity for sick, disabled and disadvantaged children. Staff are supported by the Foundation in their own charitable endeavours. In September 2009, Manchester office leader Claire swam the English Channel for the Nema Foundation, and has more recently completed the super six challenge solo. They are also delighted to be part of the Manchester Million club, initiated by the Forever Manchester foundation. The charity is renowned for supporting community projects across Greater Manchester and aims to raise £1 million per year from companies based in the area.

Supporting the local area Since opening the Manchester office, BMAM have hired staff from the local area. This is part of their effort to support the area they work in and provide the best possible service to their clients. Their support for the local community also extends to the sponsorship of events such as the Manchester Jazz Festival and founding the Manchester Young Professionals group, a social network set up by Andrew Bennie in May 2013 which is now approaching 900 LinkedIn members. The group has organised a number of well attended events, most recently at Lucha Libre in July. The Christmas event will be held on Wednesday 10 December. BMAM ensure they maintain the high quality of their service to clients as well as their professional introducers. They have built a strong reputation throughout the UK and hope to continue growing their business across the North West.

If you would like to find out more please call 0161 861 4110 or visit

IMPORTANT INFORMATION The value of investments and the income from them can fluctuate and it is possible that investors may not get back the amount invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. Brooks Macdonald Asset Management is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England No 3417519. Company Registered Office: 111 Park Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 7JL



December/January 2015


Greater Manchester looks to the future The Midland Hotel was the venue on 16 October for an informative business lunch hosted by business development organisation pro-manchester.

remained the same at £22-23billion. Sir Howard started his speech with a review over the last 12 months: “A lot has happened in Manchester since our last annual lunch. Notably we’ve completed work on the new academy around the Etihad Stadium, and I’m personally pleased to note that Manchester City Football Club have become members of pro-Manchester! Also started was construction on the Metrolink 2nd city crossing development across the city.

In his trademark ‘straight to the point’ address Sir Howard focused on advances in the city over the past twelve months including developments at The Etihad stadium and East Manchester, the extension to the Metrolink system and what he called ‘remarkable progress’ in the aim to create greater rail connectivity from East to West. The main focus of his address however was the future for Manchester. Never one to dwell on the past for long he outlined his vision for the next twelve months, championing the cause for devolution, and the fact that skills shortages in many major cities are a result of being unable to develop their own business support models. He suggested we currently have to rely on national models which are falling far short. Public sector spending was also on the agenda with the statement that despite obvious local authority cutbacks, spending for Manchester

“We’ve almost completed development of First Street which has progressed at a remarkable rate. The Universities and Hospitals have enjoyed increased development, and Manchester Science Park has bought Alderley Park in Cheshire – so crucial in driving our life science activities.


“Construction on Airport City

is underway with a Chinese-led consortium of key investors, and we’ve announced one of the biggest housing schemes in memory with the development of 830 new homes in the East of the City.

“We’ve come a long way in 12 months, and I think the sense of business confidence, and the greater levels of liquidity gives us a platform for cautious optimism, and over the next 12 months we’ll see even more activity and strong growth. “There are two principal events that have developed over the last 12 months that will shape our city over the next decade. “We all know of HS2 and the advantages it will bring the region, but what we need to look at are the East-West connections. Over

the last several months we’ve seen remarkable progress with this. Not just business and political leaders, but with a really strong platform of a new approach to transport planning that is vitally important in our city. If you go anywhere in Europe and start to address what makes cities successful you’ll see that connectivity is at the heart of that success.

“The way in which we have planned transport over the past 20-30 years has not been good. We’ve seen new port facilities being built in Liverpool which had not been connected particularly well to the motorway or freight system. Essentially we’ve not seen a holistic approach to transport planning across all nodes to enable Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle to be properly connected. The Chancellor’s speech a few months ago regarding the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ – the way in which

You cannot reform public services at a national level - this is about how we make public services more sustainable for all. We have an opportunity to drive a strong and vibrant devolution agenda and the role the business community can play in this cannot be overstated.


Main speaker was Manchester City Council’s Chief Executive Sir Howard Bernstein, with sponsors for the event Watts Commercial Finance represented by Managing Director Phil Gray.

Sir Howard Bernstein Chief Executive, Manchester City Council

December/January 2015



the Government has now embraced what we describe as the ‘One North’ proposition – I think is extremely significant indeed. “The next big item of course is devolution. The general awareness of this seemed to be on the back of the Scottish vote. However, these recent events only brought to the surface what many of us knew already, which is that the Whitehall model is ‘bust’. If you think of housing, skills, business support and in particular transport - these are all key elements of a strong, integrated and coherent economic strategy - you will see how national delivery models consistently fail. “There are skill deficits in all our cities. We’re not building the numbers of houses that we need because the policies that are developed at a national level are not responsive to the needs and priorities of housing markets in places like Manchester. We’re currently not able to develop our own business support models. We have to follow national policies, so therefore the particular needs of our own business space are not met. There are many examples of how those national delivery models do not meet our needs. “The difference now is that this problem is being increasingly recognised at a national level, and we now have a chance to drive a strong and vibrant devolution agenda for the benefit of Greater Manchester over the coming months. This is a challenge for not just this government but for all the main political parties. “What this means is that it’s not just a quick fix. There are many years of working new legislation into place. However, there are things we can do now around skills, business support and transport, plus health and social care is extremely important. We are looking to establish new legislation on those areas, and it is crucially important that organisations like

pro-manchester are involved. Not just local authorities and political leaders should have influence on how things develop, but the wider business community needs to start representing our perspective over the changes to come. “Four years ago we were spending £22-23 billion per year. This

accounted for not just local government expenditure but all public sector spending in Greater Manchester. Even with austerity measures applied this figure is still the same today, and this goes to show you cannot achieve reductions and make changes in the way public sector are reformed at national level. This can only be effectively addresses at a local level. “So this is not just about how we make Manchester more productive and competitive economically, this is about how we make Manchester financially self-sustainable.”

pro-manchester is a corporate membership organisation representing the 240,000 employed in the financial and professional service community in and around Greater Manchester. Boasting more than 300 corporate member firms, pro-manchester engages with over 5,000 individuals. For more details call 0161 833 0964 or email: admin@



December/January 2015


Forever Manch Many of Manchester’s most successful and forward thinking businesses descended on iconic restaurant and bar, Manchester House on the evening of Monday 6 October for an exclusive invitation only event, as Greater Manchester’s Community Foundation Forever Manchester unveiled important research on corporate social responsibility and citizenship. Spinningfields offered the perfect destination and Manchester House (which opened last year) provided an exciting venue (along with drinks and a great selection of canapés) for the launch of RESET – Forever Manchester’s latest campaign aimed at Greater Manchester’s business community. The research at the heart of the RESET campaign has been produced by the UK’s leading independent charitable research and member organisation, think tank CLES (the Centre for Local Economic Strategies), and demonstrates that for every £1 invested by Forever Manchester in local communities across Greater Manchester there is a social return of £4.11 on investment. The findings also explore the enormous potential benefits if the approach were to be multiplied across the region. Sponsored by BDO and the E-word, over 100 guests attended the

Simon Webber, Forever Manchester Chairman


event and heard from Phil Jones - Managing Director of Brother UK and Forever Manchester President, CLES Chief Executive, Neil McInroy and Nick Massey, Chief Executive of Forever Manchester. Simon Webber, Forever Manchester’s Chairman warmed up proceedings: “I’m absolutely delighted that Phil Jones has joined us as President, particularly in this our 25th year. A year that we have coupled an absolute clarity of purpose with a real momentum, and I am convinced that this will combine to achieve something really important and lasting that will bring a real change to our city. With Phil as President I have no doubt that the next few years will be very exciting for Forever Manchester.” President Phil Jones then took to the mike: “We’ve put this event together primarily from a conversation I had with Nick Massey that highlighted a massive communication problem. The issue was in bringing the amazing work that Forever Manchester does to the attention of the wider community, particularly the wider business community. “We found that when asked, people had heard of Forever Manchester, but didn’t know exactly what we did. This ‘disconnect’ needed to be addressed. We had to ‘RESET’

Neil McInroy, CLES Chief Executive

Nick Massey, Forever Manchester Chief Executive

the messaging, especially in terms of the business audience. “One of the principle reasons I accepted to be President of Forever Manchester was that I felt we are on the dawn of a new age in the way that business looks at it’s citizenship and it’s talent, recruitment and retention strategies. When I talk about this I highlight the difference between enlightened and unenlightened business leaders. There are many organisations still working to the old paradigm of pyramids, exercising command and control in a structure that doesn’t nurture internal communications within that organisation. This means the people within that structure are not passionate about what they do, and certainly don’t feel they are making a difference. “When you look at purpose-driven businesses it is this distinction that becomes crucial. They are recruiting the very best talent, and will continue to do this into the future. When talking to business leaders there is one main attribute that they, as an organisation aspire to - that is agility. In order to be agile they must recruit the very best and the very talented. Those leaders talk about retention, recruitment and high performers, and in my view, you cannot be an agile business unless you have people within it (and stay with it) who have the capability of being agile. These people are highly valued, they work on purpose, and they are extremely motivated giving everything to their business. It’s not until

Phil Jones, Forever Manchester President and Brother UK Managing Director

It’s my aim to ensure everyone knows and understands the role of Forever Manchester. It’s my aim to ‘RESET’ this, and create an understanding that there’s a new culturally intelligent organisational model, and that if you want to be one of those leading, enlightened businesses, Forever Manchester would be an organisation that you could connect with to bring meaningful change to your local communities.


Phil Jones, Forever Manchester President

December/January 2015



hester helps businesses RESET their thinking you build a workplace community with these key people in place that an organisation can be truly agile. “Agility and purpose within a business means results are gained through the application of those values at a cultural level. This is where the act of giving within your own community in my opinion is changing. It has become investing – investing in communities, investing in people who live in those communities, because that is where your top talent can be found. On your doorstep. Right now. It’s the combination of people, place and purpose that a forward thinking business can both be part of and benefit at many levels. “As business leaders, we can already see some of the big changes and challenges happening in employee engagement, organisational citizenship and business agility. We all know that it’s no longer just about what an organisation does, but how it aligns its purpose with its people. “Corporate citizenship, employee engagement and talent management are three important pillars of future performance and competitiveness, and Forever Manchester can help in bringing those components to life in your business.” Neil McInroy, Chief Executive for CLES, then expanded on the results of the research: “At CLES, we are particularly interested in Forever Manchester’s work, because I do believe in a policy of RESET, and how we think ourselves and our communities grow, and the role of local business in that process. “I’m interested in new forms of business citizenship which invest in people. I get very tired of the reference to ‘them and us’. In my opinion there are only us, and it’s up to us as a whole to make sure everyone, and especially the less fortunate in this region, do well. I’m excited by the idea that those most in need can receive not just a handout in the traditional sense but instead get a hand up. A sense of investment directly in local citizens to help them help themselves. It’s

the analogy of not giving fish but instead a fishing rod, and that in a sense is what Forever Manchester are all about.” Chief Executive Nick Massey then talked about the role of Forever Manchester and the value it brings to the thousands of community projects it supports across Greater Manchester: “Most of us, after we finish work and travel home to return to our own communities, have something in common regardless of the sort of area we live in. Weather its a prosperous neighbourhood or not doesn’t matter, affluence and wealth may sound good, but ultimately it’s happiness that people strive for, and this can be achieved in a sense of community and belonging. “So, Forever Manchester support volunteer-led community groups, which mean local people, like you and I, creating good within communities. These aren’t charities, they are locally-led, grass roots groups of people who want to make a difference in their own communities. They haven’t got celebrity sponsors or big marketing budgets, and that’s where we come in. We are experts at making sure money gets into the places it’s needed most. We connect people with projects, we connect projects with purpose, and we give people a sense of belonging to their local communities. “We’ve carried a phrase with us for a long time now: ‘Helping local people do extraordinary things together’. These are communities where we live and work, and where our families, friends and colleagues live and work. Together we can build a real power for change, and develop a legacy of competent citizens across Greater Manchester. “It’s estimated that around 600,000 people are living in poverty across the region, so there’s no doubt that there are problems and a lot of needs that need to be addressed

in our local neighbourhoods, but there are also a lot of talented local people, who as well as having problems have skills, talents, resources and passion. It’s time to look at what’s strong - not what’s wrong.” Phil Jones then summed up the evening: “When you look at giving, most people think about causebased charities, benefitting specific areas. What Forever Manchester can do is deliver across every welldeserving cause. Also, it doesn’t matter where you or your business are located, Forever Manchester covers all areas of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester. So, no matter what the cause, or the location, Forever Manchester can deliver that help and support, and has been doing so for the last 25 years.” “It’s my aim to ensure everyone knows and understands the role of Forever Manchester. It’s my aim to ‘RESET’ this, and create an

Bringing the RESET message to Greater Manchester’s Business Community. Nick Massey and Phil Jones presents a credible business model for corporate citizenship that will support local communities and make a real difference to the entire region.

understanding that there’s a new culturally intelligent organisational model, and that if you want to be one of those leading, enlightened businesses, Forever Manchester would be an organisation that you could connect with to bring meaningful change to your local communities.” The RESET event marked the start of a year long campaign, which sees Forever Manchester aiming to raise an additional £1million to support grass roots community activity through support from Manchester’s business community.

For further information please contact: Jean Mills, Business Development on 0161 214 0955 or by email



December/January 2015


100 Club rises to the ‘‘


A new business networking forum kicks off at Sale FC Rugby Club

As a magazine we tend to gravitate to businesses and organisations who offer regular opportunities to do networking. We are regular supporters and partners of promanchester and Forever Manchester, both of which run regular business networking events. We are also aligned with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and of course in association with innov8

sponsor the yearly Trafford Business Expo. Our support of networking and business events also involves SaleFC Rugby Club, who, under new Chief Executive Mike Jefferson, have made a conscious jump into the corporate arena in what is turning out to be a very successful way to raise the profile of the club. Mike has started to bring many larger local businesses on board, and has just recently brought back City Centre Insurance Brokers Caunce O’Hara as main sponsors, along with a host of other businesses in an ongoing show of corporate support of the club. In a conversation with Mike, an opportunity arose to get involved with local charity the Alex Hulme Foundation. This charity has been running for a few years, and was

set up in the memory of Alex by his parents Dave and Nicola Hulme, plus aunt Brenda Jackson. The foundation supports cutting edge research into the devastating form of childhood cancer that young Alex died from in 2011 at the age of 12. To support the foundation Mike had an idea to host a themed corporate networking event, and from there the concept of the ‘100 Club’ was developed. The aim was to put on a Friday afternoon business dinner, offering a relaxed and entertaining event that over 100 local business people would attend. This was firstly to raise money for a well-

deserving charity, and also to bring businesses together – something we couldn’t fail to ignore! So, the event was organised primarily by Mike Jefferson and Brad McBride (Cartridge World Sale and Timperley), both on behalf of Sale FC, and of course the Alex Hulme Foundation themselves. Trafford Business Connect of course stepped forward as sponsors, and on the afternoon of Friday 14 November over 100 business leaders arrived at Sale FC. For the first hour or so everyone enjoyed a relaxed drink at the bar and a great opportunity to network. From there we took our seats for what turned out to be a great afternoon of entertainment. Hosted by Eamonn O’Neal we were treated to a delicious three course

It was both a privilege and a pleasure to attend the recent 100 Club Dinner as a guest of the Alex Hulme Foundation Charity. In September 2011 Alex Hulme lost his battle against Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma at just 12 years old. Alex’s parents, Dave and Nicola, have not rested since losing their beloved son and set up the Alex Hulme Foundation.

Through their devoted efforts, in a very short period of time, they have made a major contribution to support research into this terrible illness in Children – which is not currently funded – and in doing so have provided a lasting legacy to honour Alex. This is a truly amazing Charity.


Perhaps the one thing that defines Trafford Business Connect is a commitment to business networking. As it says on our disclaimer we are ‘connecting businesses across Manchester’.

Theresa Grant Chief Executive, Trafford Council

lunch followed by one of Oldham’s most famous sons, Rugby League legend Barrie McDermott, who was an inspirational as well as highly entertaining after dinner speaker. The Rugby theme was an obvious link as we were guests of Sale FC Rugby Club, with a few players in the audience enjoying the event. Sam Tuitupou from Sale Sharks, Rob Parker and Chairman John Roddy from Leigh Centurions were in attendance, as well as a host of local businesses and organisations. Tables were taken by Sale FC main sponsors Caunce O’Hara Insurance Brokers, Carlsberg, MediaCom, Altrincham & Sale Chamber of Commerce, ‘Me and my Mates’ Business Directory, plus two tables for local business networking group Timperley and Sale Business Club,

not forgetting ourselves with two full tables. There was also Trafford Council’s Chief Executive Theresa Grant, ex-mayor and Alex Hulme Foundation Patron Councillor Jane Baugh, and current Trafford Mayor Ejaz Malik supporting the event. There were a number of thankyou’s made throughout the afternoon, with a notable acknowledgement of the recent cross-channel swim by local IFA David Randall of DJ Financial Solutions, who was thwarted after a valiant attempt by terrible weather, but still managed to raise a fantastic amount of funds donated to the Foundation. After the meal and the speeches came some serious money raising activity in the form of a raffle and auction, with all proceeds going to the Foundation. The raffle prizes included a free quarter page



December/January 2015

top of the league David Randall receiving a thankyou gift from the Alex Hulme Foundation in a presentation by Mayor Ejaz Malik

‘‘ “

What a fantastic event which, not only raised an amazing £3408.30 towards helping the Foundation meet it’s aims, but also enabled us to offer a formal thank you to David Randall for his sponsored channel swim attempt and to the many people and businesses who have helped us achieve so much in such a short time. We feel privileged to have been able to provide a vehicle for local organisations to come together and develop business opportunities.


All of this would not have been possible without the organisational skills of Mike Jefferson and Brad McBride, the fantastic team at Sale FC and the support of Trafford Business Connect. We owe a massive debt of gratitude to everyone who helped make this a day to remember.

Eamonn O’Neal

Dave Hulme Chair of Trustees, Alex Hulme Foundation

Dave Hulme

Barrie McDermott

advert in this magazine (won by Andy Garner from Mobile Marketing), plus a year’s Zest fitness membership from Trafford Community Leisure Trust, a photography voucher from Venture Rochdale, a signed Ricky Hatton autobiography from Reddish Joinery, a meal voucher from Aamchi Mumbai in Cheadle and Champagne from Councillor Jane Baugh. The auction prizes consisted of a pair of flights to Dubai offered by All About Flights, a signed Fran Cotton framed photo from Sale FC, an overnight spa break courtesy of

L-R Sale FC Chief Executive Mike Jefferson, Major Ejaz Malik and Dave Hulme, a signed Sale Sharks shirt from the team, and two large, framed BBC World Cup prints signed by BBC commentators and donated by ex Sale FC coach Anthony Hodge. These were won by Adrian Stewart of Caunce O’Hara, and immediately given as a surprise gift to Alex Hulme’s brother Matt. Of the many highlights of the afternoon one detail that stood out was the slick organisation, plus the fantastic décor of the venue that made the whole event feel rather special. Many thanks go to Mike Jefferson and Brad McBride for this, and once the dust has

settled it certainly feels that Sale FC Rugby Club is starting to make a big corporate shout to make itself heard amongst the local business community. For further information about the Alex Hulme Foundation please contact: Dave Hulme, Chair of Trustees on 0161 973 1343 or by email For further information about Sale FC Rugby Club please contact: Mike Jefferson, Chief Executive on 0161 610 0400 or by email

L-R Paul Mirage, Andy Garner (Mobile Marketing) and Jon Cheetham from Trafford Business Connect



December/January 2015

report The Trafford Pledge score Since it’s launch in July this year, following the success of pilot scheme the Partington Pledge, this was the 2nd event welcoming new businesses aboard. In attendance were Director Gary Neville and Managing Director Stuart Procter from GG Hospitality, parent company of the new £23m, 133 room Hotel Football which is due to open at the end of 2014. Hotel Football were a recent boost to the ever-growing list of businesses signing up for the Trafford Pledge, and they confirmed they were offering 200 new jobs, many of which are available to local, unemployed young people in Trafford. Gary and Stuart then gave a talk to the students in attendance, and also took part in a question and answer session with the young people who had just completed a two week ‘Big Hit’ employability training programme run by Trafford College. When asked to describe the role of Hotel Football in supporting opportunities for young, local unemployed people Gary said: “We want to offer a business where we can breed loyalty and develop a culture where people stay with us for a long time. If we can train young people to understand our culture and what we need then we can offer them a pathway to the very top of our organisation. “Young people have to see a pathway, and reflecting back to my experience with Sir Alex Ferguson who was my Manager for 20 years –

with support from MUFC’s finest

he promised us that if we were good enough we would get a chance. He stuck to that word and he promoted us, while at the same time moving and selling much more highly experienced players, giving us the opportunity to come through. Over 15 years there were 5 or 6 of us who come through the process – we were best mates who played for United. “Looking at the Hotel which will be open in the next few months, it will be great to get a group of young people who can start at the very beginning with us and develop their skills and increase their abilities while they grow with us – that would be our best story as we do want people to stay with us for a long time. It’s the only way we believe we can achieve stability in the business. Changing people all the time doesn’t work, so Stuart and his team are looking out for talented young people. People who want to work hard, have a good attitude and are willing to take the opportunities that we want to offer them.”

always been committed to recruiting locally and funding young people through their training. The benefits to our business of developing local talent are immense. By signing up to the Trafford Pledge we are re-affirming our belief in giving opportunities to local young people.” As well as signing the Pledge, the businesses were also on hand to


and personal development. After the graduation ceremony a jobs fair took place to match young people with job opportunities. The Pledge is an exciting Trafford-wide initiative which matches businesses offering jobs, apprenticeships, work experience or mentoring, with unemployed local young people. It’s growing from strength to strength with more

We have recruited young people locally, some with criminal records, for many years now and they have contributed enormously to the growth and development of SIS. They show great loyalty and we are proud of their achievements. We feel that the Trafford Pledge is a positive step forward and hope more employers take advantage of this excellent opportunity. David Child Sale Insurance Services Ltd (SIS)


Businesses big and small made their commitment to support young unemployed people by signing the Trafford Pledge at Trafford College’s successful ‘Big Hit’ event on 24 October at Emirates Old Trafford.

Gary Neville and Stuart Procter

Gary then took part in the graduation ceremony presenting certificates and posing with all the graduates. Cargills, Community Change Foundation, Controlled Event Solutions, Davey’s Chemist, the new Hotel Football, L’Oreal, McDonalds, Right at Home, Sale Insurance Services Ltd, Sale Sharks, Unilever, Wates Living Space, Whistl, Advanced Hall Sensors’ and Vickers Electronics all signed the Pledge. Mark Ravenscroft from Vickers Electronics observed: “We have

support the success of the latest group of unemployed young people to complete the two week ‘Big Hit’ employability training programme. Through a combination of preemployment training and work experience within local businesses, the Big Hit provides the chance for 18 to 24 year olds to build confidence, boost their motivation

businesses and more young people being matched. Anyone wanting more information about the Trafford Pledge can visit the Council’s website at trafford-pledge; contact the team on 0161 912 4176; or email



December/January 2015

social media Classic Social

Media Marketing Fails for Start-up Businesses

In my hometown I see a lot of Start-up Businesses open, and like many towns I see a lot closing less than a year later. The official business failure statistics vary depending on which report you read but range from Theo Paphitis stating: “50% of all small businesses fail in the first couple of years” to figures as high as “eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses will fail in the first 18 months”. Whilst there are many variables and reasons a business fails, marketing in its many forms plays a large part in a business’s success. Here we look at some of the classic Social Media marketing fails of Start-up businesses:

The Hare You may remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare is one of the many flawed personality traits of a start-up business. You’ll hear about the business ran by the hare – because they all go in a few weeks after the business launches. The signs often look like the business will be a major success and then the moment the business opens they get tired, drop their pace down after the early significant sprint and start to lose that earlier traction. Remember the hare never did win the race – consistency counts – so look at the skill set of the tortoise.

The Late Starter The late starter knows the importance of Social Media, but doesn’t have the knowledge or the inclination to start using it when they are launching their business. They say to themselves Social Media is something that they will look at in a few months after the business has launched. They tend to have the belief that word of mouth will work organically, and when that doesn’t work they tend to go down the traditional route of newspaper adverts. When that doesn’t work immediately, they

will often go down the discount voucher route. By the time it comes around to trying that “bolt on” of Social Media they often find it’s too late to make the turn around before the 2nd big rent and rates bill comes in.

The Poor Distributor The Poor distributor is a relatively new character on the start-up scene. The Poor Distributor actually has great content – they understand what works in terms of content from how they use Social Media on a personal level. In many ways they understand the nuances of the social media platforms and understand what sort of images and text updates work across each platform. What they suffer from is generating that traction with an actual audience, and months later you look back and think - if only this business had 700 quality followers rather than 70 followers 6 months after opening - the business would be a huge success. Quality is key for social media but having an audience is terribly important. Build it!!

The Busy Fool The busy fool likes to be hands on with everything and therefore Social Media marketing is something that comes under their control. They might not understand the marketing intricacies of Social Media. But like the admin, the HR, the accounts, the PR, the front of house customer service – they like to be hands on and run the Social Media themselves. They share many of the personality traits with the hare in that from the outset it looks like all is well and they’re going to be a shining success. When the doors open however they’re overwhelmed with everything in the business, and Social Media becomes something put on the back burner. They’ll still keep their hands in

on Social Media – but it will be something done after everything else has been done – in the early hours of the morning when most people won’t see their updates.

Outcare the Competition

So how do you avoid these character traits?

What is meant about outcaring the competition is actually going the extra mile - taking time to talk to customers online even when you’re not selling to them or after they’ve already bought from you.

Consistency is key when it comes to great marketing and it’s the most effective way to extend the opening buzz into something more substantial. By being consistent you build longevity into your business plan and keep customers coming back time and time again. Here’s how you build consistency:

Plan Plan the Social Media Marketing 3-4 months in advance looking at not just the huge seasonal marketing opportunities, but also the micro moments to market that come through on a day by day basis. These plans may include weekly themes, competitions or re-energised focus on a specific area of the business or the businesses USP. During the planning process you should also highlight what extra content you will need in the lead up to this - this might be design, print or photographs. Right up the moment of delivering the marketing campaign you should develop your content calendar and expand on the initial ideas.

Customer Testimonials / Feedback are Key

There are many who would say every business cares about their customers or otherwise they will go out of business.

So many businesses care so much about the sale or that one moment that they forget about the relationship. If you care about the relationships then the sales will take care of themselves.

Benchmark and Measure Set accepted standards and benchmark vs previous months and long term vs annual figures. Marketing without measurement is a fools game and with online marketing you have the stats and analytics to hand to back up what you intuitively feel. Between Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights you have a huge amounts of stats to actually feed back into your marketing campaigns.

RECAP - Plan your marketing - Get customer feedback - Outcare your competition - Benchmark and measure your marketing

Lesson: 1 customer review is worth 100 tweets from yourself saying how great you are. Whether it’s Tripadvisor, LinkedIn or Freeindex - or a customer tweet or facebook post - authentic customer feedback is essential to not only grow your customer base but also to highlight issues. When it comes to negative feedback you need to take it as seriously as positive feedback.

Alex McCann Altrincham HQ



December/January 2015

digital marketing Panda 4.1

- how to keep your website from being deindexed

Last month we saw another Google algorithm update in the guise of Panda 4.1. in an effort to dismiss sites that offered a poor user experience. The update is predominantly content based. Little or poor content has been penalised, quality and quantity content has been rewarded.

We have all seen a slew of Google updates which have decimated low quality sites with poor or little content. The major difference with this update is the number of higher quality or established sites which have been negatively impacted. What triggers a Google penalty? There are no tears shed for blatant affiliate sites, designed as a pre-sell page to direct users to affiliate products, feeling the wrath of Google. With little or no real content or value for the user, these sites are carefully prepped to falsely dominate rankings and force impulse sales. There are concerns however when legitimate sites, many of which have significant age and page rank, are subject to scrutiny and declassification. Even though they are offering what users are looking for they have to be careful to adhere to stricter guidelines or face censure too. Although Google has purposely not defined the criteria from the latest update, careful analysis of the affected sites gives us a clear indication of factors which triggered site penalty: • Affiliate sites without useful information that were basically leading to others sites • A list of affiliate links being featured on the page before genuine content • Top organic listings with broken or blank pages • Keyword stuffing, doorway pages, deceptive content,

security warnings, pop-up ads, forced downloads

• ‘How To’ sites with quantity but low quality content As mentioned earlier, this is nothing new but this update has been far more thorough. Affiliate sites which have been ranking form as far back as 2012 have now been penalised. Did this update effect Local Business websites? The new twist however has seen local business sites negatively impacted. It is no longer enough just to have a website and expect to appear in local organic listings. The factors which have affected the affiliate sites have now been rolled across the full spectrum of business sites too. Anything which detracts from the user experience will have a negative impact on your site performance. Ads above the fold and image heavy pages (which slow page performance for mobile visitors) both being prime examples. For maximum visibility you need to focus heavily on the content and experience your site is offering the user: 1. Quality: Low volume, high quality content beats high volume, poor quality content every time. Compose your pages with the exact information your users are requesting. 2. User Experience: Offer relevant content with simple navigation for ease of use and enhanced bounce rates. 3. Optimise Every Page: Treat every page with equal importance to develop a full indexed site that can establish authority in your niche. When is the next Google update? The most concerning aspect

of Panda 4.1 is that Google has stipulated it will no longer be announcing future updates but performing them as and when deemed necessary. This means every site must adhere to guidelines now or face the prospect of deindexing.

we are perfectly placed to provide your site with all the user rich content your site needs and the essential ranking criteria Google demands.

If you have concerns over your site you must get it analysed now. Jungle Associates can perform free of charge a full website audit to indicate where your site is Google compliant and where it needs redesigning. As SEO specialists,

Howard Jones Jungle Associates

Want your website ? at the TOP of google ABOVE YOUR COMPETITORS! Let our expert team run a deep analysis of your website to identify quick fixes you can make now to boost your Google ranking. We will also reveal your competitor Google strategies. Contact us today and we will run a deep analysis of your website, and of three of your main competitors for you to compare! Simply call:



0161 813 1730

or drop me a line today!

s Make those searcher become finders... and those finders Jungle Associates Ltd, HQ, Clippers become your Quay, Salford Quays M50 3XP


December/January 2015




Christmas gifts in the business environment – the tax implications It’s Christmas and even though there is growth and reason to celebrate in the SME market, not every business will have the budget to spend on employees, clients or suppliers this year. However, for those that do, it is important to be aware any expenditure of a festive nature may come with a tax bill attached. In most cases, this will depend on the value…

Gifts to Employees from Clients or Suppliers HMRC Help Sheet 207 focuses on non-taxable payments or benefits for employees, and highlights that certain gifts from third parties are non-taxable if all of the following conditions are satisfied: The person making the gift must not be your employer or a person connected with your employer, and the gift cannot have been directly or indirectly procured by your employer or by a person connected with your employer. The gift itself can consist of goods, or a voucher or token only capable of being used to obtain goods, and should not be given either in recognition of the performance of particular

services in the course of your employment or in anticipation of particular services which are to be performed. The cost of the gift by the donor must be £250 or less, and furthermore, the total cost of all gifts made by the same donor to you, or to members of your family or household, during the tax year is £250 or less. Further information on benefits for Employees can be found at hs207.pdf.

Gifts from Employers An employer may provide employees with a seasonal gift, such as a turkey, an ‘ordinary’ bottle of wine (please search EIM21861 to find out what HMRC mean by this!) or a box of chocolates at Christmas, as all of these gifts can be treated as trivial benefits. It is important to note that even for an employer with a large number of employees, where the total cost of providing a gift to each employee may be considerable, if the gift to each employee is considered a trivial benefit, this principle applies regardless of the total cost to

the employer and the number of employees concerned. Trivial Gifts should not be included in a PSA (PAYE Settlement Agreement) as a more flexible way of dealing with some expenses payments and benefits in kind.

Christmas Parties Companies have a total allowance of £150 per employee as costs towards a ‘social function’ in any one tax year. This can include a Christmas party, regardless of when the social function takes place, i.e. it does not have to be in December.

VAT on the purchase as input tax. To work out the VAT cost of your gifts, please see Notice 700 on the HMRC website, ‘The VAT Guide’. It is always advisable to work with your accountant at this time of year, to ensure you can maximise festive expenditure, after all, Christmas is a time for giving and sharing as unfortunately the Tax Man (aka Mr Scrooge) doesn’t always find the festive cheer!

Does VAT apply on gifts? As long as the total cost of all business gifts in any 12-month period made to the same person does not exceed £50 (excluding VAT), you will not have to account for VAT. However, where the following statements apply, you will normally have to account for output tax on the total value of all the gifts: • Where the total cost of business gifts given to the same person in any 12-month period exceeds £50.

Les Leavitt

• You were entitled to claim the

Leavitt Walmsley Associates Chartered Certified Accountants

Do you want to maximise the benefits of using the various social media platforms, but don’t have the time or the skills?

We have the solution.

“Bringing Business Back”

0161 834 6112



December/January 2015

web design

Improving your website conver Clients often approach us with the same dilemma: “We love our new website but we’re not getting any enquiries or sales.” It can sometimes take businesses by surprise when their website just doesn’t work for them in the way that they had hoped, despite it looking the part.

saw and which has now disappeared, you will have a frustrated client. A slider can reduce the interactivity between the user and the site and can create Banner Blindness, which is when a viewer bypasses the slider completely. Remove the distraction and replace with a static offer that will encourage your client to hit that Call-To-Action button!

Don’t Use Jargon Visitors to your site are regular people who don’t want to be wowed with fancy lingo and complicated sentences. They also don’t want to feel excluded by the use of words that they need to look up in a dictionary. Write your copy as though having a conversation with a friend; if you wouldn’t say it in normal day-to-day use, don’t say it at all!

now! Don’t let that prospective client leave the site to come back later, as often they won’t. Give them a deadline: “Place your order before 2pm for next day delivery.” “Only 2 hours and 25 minutes remaining to qualify for 25% discount.” “Only 2 left in stock.”

Have Fun With A/B Testing

By creating two sites that are identical and making small changes to one of them, you can easily see, after a short amount Stop Using Stock Photos Add Real Testimonials of time, which site your visitors prefer and Stock photography can be very It’s very obvious when fake testimonials which site has the most success. Have a play with your wording, images, headlines off-putting when your client really have been used and very often, the and Call-To-Action buttons. All of these wants to see the real deal. Opt to take real testimonials contain the most photos of your actual team, within your useful information for the prospective small amendments can contribute to big own office or workplace. This builds improvements in conversion rates. client. Reading obviously fabricated We’ve put together a few tried and their trust and makes you look far more testimonials breeds mistrust. tested methods that all contribute to Add Badges and Security Seals approachable and real. significantly improving your conversion Give a Special Offer Deadline If you have been handed an award, display rate and ultimately the effectiveness of Use Relevant Images Present the user with a reason why they it on your site. Similarly, if your check-out your site. Don’t use images to fill the gaps. should click that Call-To-Action button process features a banking security system Images should be informative and not Choose a Simple Layout used to make your site look pretty. Use When a visitor lands on your your A/B testing to see which images page, they need to be able to see are more appealing to your visitors. the information that they require immediately. Is your menu visible? Add a Video Are your contact details available? ...but make it a short one! Prospective Are your products or services easy to customers like to see videos of locate? Make sure that the relevant products and services. However, information is not being hidden in a video should be 2 minutes long or favour of big graphics and stunning less if you want to really grab your visuals. client’s attention. Thankfully, optimising your conversion rate - which basically means turning your site visits into sales or enquiries isn’t as challenging as it sounds. It actually involves a bit of common sense and a lot of it you can do yourself without the need to hire a professional web studio.

Make Your Call-To-Action Button Obvious Don’t hide your ‘Contact Us’ and ‘Buy Now’ buttons at the bottom of your page amongst a load of text and other images. Your CTA button should stand prominently on your page, in a contrasting colour, and it should definitely look like a button rather than a link. Test a few options in your A/B testing and see what happens!

Think About Ditching the Image Slider Whilst the carousel at the top of your home page may look very impressive, it might not be getting the attention that you think it is. It stands at the forefront of your website, in the most useful space that you have. If your viewer cannot keep up with reading the text that keeps sliding away, or can’t decipher how to go back and look again at the product that they just

Reduce Form Fields Make it as easy as possible to buy from you and to contact you. Do you really need to know that much about the client? A long form with a lot of fields to fill in is off-putting. You can always have the option to ‘Register’ as a separate optional form, or if you are offering a service to your client, you can gather more information from them at a later date. When we drastically cut down on our fields earlier this year, the result was immediate and quite staggering!

Provide a Phone Number So many websites do not provide contact details. By displaying your phone number prominently at the top of your page in big lettering, you automatically appear to be more approachable, and the user is reassured that they can contact you if they wish to.


December/January 2015

rsion rate like Norton, make sure your users know this on the homepage - they will know that they are in safe hands.

Keep Blogging! If you have a blog, keep it updated. A blog serves as an insight into the business and builds trust between the client and the service you are offering. It should almost serve as your shop door, where the visitor can come in, have a look around, have a chat and feel more informed. An out of date blog suggests that business is not going well, the doors are closed, that you don’t care too much about your customers and that you don’t have very much to say of any importance.

optimising your site is an ongoing process. Once you reach your target conversions, there is no reason to stop tweaking - keep going. See if you can make even more of an improvement. Have fun with it and explore what works best for you and your clients and business.

All of these suggestions are things that you can do yourself.

Alex Peterson

It’s worth noting though that

Pixel Air




December/January 2015


Holiday pay and overtime EAT decision on holiday pay and overtime – what it means in practice

After the announcement of the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision on Tuesday, 4 November 2014 that overtime should count in holiday pay and what businesses should consider, we examine the implications a little more deeply. The news channels and social media sites are saturated with the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) decision that overtime should be taken into account when holiday pay is calculated. But once we get past the headlines, what does this ruling mean for businesses in practice?

The following points are crucial for companies to consider:

The ruling relates to “non-guaranteed overtime” as opposed to voluntary overtime. “Non-guaranteed overtime” means overtime which the employer is not obliged to offer but that the employee is contractually obliged to do if offered. The requirement to include overtime only applies to the first four weeks (including bank holidays) of holiday taken in each holiday year. The remaining 1.6 weeks’ holiday (as required by UK law) or any additional contractual holiday can be based on normal

remuneration excluding overtime.

If there is a gap of three months or more between claims of qualifying holiday pay then this breaks the chain for any claim. In practice, as the requirement to pay holiday pay only applies for the first four weeks’ holiday then during the last three months of any holiday year employees are likely to be taking the additional 1.6 weeks’ holiday or any additional contractual holidays. This would then break the chain for any claims. The maximum risk to most businesses is likely to be backdated claims for the current holiday year only. So what should businesses do? Firstly, managing directors and HR departments should be ready to answer employees’ questions. Some, for example, may now think they are entitled to 16 years’ back pay. Secondly, firms must decide how administratively they are going to include overtime pay in the holiday pay calculations.

Are you looking to promote your business within Altrincham, Sale and the surrounding area? Then join the Chamber today and start saving £££s Did you know the Chamber can provide you with: • Business Support • Business Mentoring • Unrivalled Networking • Training Sessions • Local Knowledge • Invaluable Database And huge savings across a range of services from telephone costs and accountancy to meeting rooms and video conferencing; VAT checks and printing costs to advertising and radio commercials and much more...

The Chamber really is the ‘One Stop Shop’ to service your business. To enquire about membership contact Paul at the Chamber on; 07708 987518 or call 0161 941 3250 Follow us on Twitter @altichamber

Businesses should also decide whether they are going to include overtime in the first four weeks of holiday pay only, in the 5.6 weeks’ holiday pay or the full contractual holiday pay entitlement (if greater). This is likely to be based on a consideration of the administrative costs of having a two-tier holiday pay balanced against the costs of paying holiday pay that includes overtime for more than the required four weeks. It will be important for firms to consider whether they need to budget in the current financial year for any valid claims their employees may have for backdated pay. Rather than settling any claims now, it may be worth waiting to see whether the employees bring claims or at least invoke the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (ACAS) conciliation process. Finally, to minimise the financial

impact of this case, businesses should review contracts and processes. For example they should:

• Change contracts to provide for voluntary rather than “non-guaranteed overtime”. As part of the review we expect all overtime, or at least regular overtime, will have to be included as it will classed as “normal” pay. • Limit or refuse holidays after periods of high overtime. • Use agency or bank staff to cover periods traditionally covered by overtime. The case still leaves a lot of unanswered questions and issues including: • over what period do you include holiday pay in the calculations; • should bonuses, commission or other premiums be included; and • should it apply to the 5.6 week’s of UK holiday as opposed to the 4 weeks only. We understand that Unite has decided not to appeal this decision but we are waiting to see if there is an appeal by the employers. The government has appointed a taskforce to consider the implications of this case. We are also awaiting guidance from the President of the Employment Tribunals. We haven’t heard the last of holiday pay and will have further developments over the next few months.

Karen Bexley MLP Law

December/January 2015




7 Secrets of successful networking Over a professional lifetime it is easily possible to build a substantial network of business associates and contacts. If you are a serial networker and wish to develop a successful business network it is crucial that you are able to build, develop and maintain a database of influential people, both on-line and off-line. It was following a meeting with a business school lecturer from Manchester Metropolitan University that I was offered the opportunity to deliver a guest seminar, and I chose to answer the question ‘What are the Seven Secrets of Successful Networking?’

Why and where to network were also discussed at the seminar, and the participants were transported to a mythical networking event where they learned how to prepare, both physically and mentally, and how to adopt the correct behaviour, including rules on alcohol consumption and meeting and greeting. They learned how to ‘work the room’ and be interesting to new people by talking about what they are rather than who they are, and then how to follow up their new contacts. So, what are the seven secrets of successful networking?

The interactive lecture was delivered to a room full of students at the University, who were initially told a story of a chance meeting where I was offered the opportunity to purchase £78 million worth of residential property being sold by a property development company and, after having done my own due diligence, found thirteen potential investors from my own contact list each with the money required.

1. Be There - You need to get out there and join a few organisations, not just networking groups. What about sports clubs, golf societies, religious groups, charities - the list is endless. Don’t forget though when choosing a group to join that you are interested in the type of club. People will get to know and like you as an enthusiast before they even think of discussing business. Remember - it’s a long-term business strategy rather than a get-rich-quick approach.

This story relates to my background not just in property but as a long time networker and collector of useful contacts. It is so important to build a strong network and also to maintain contacts. This can be achieved by both on-line and off-line methods, and by far one of the most effective methods in initially building this database is through Networking.

2. Give to Get - Be generous in business. You only get out of any organisation what you put in. If you give free help and advice to other people they’ll remember you and return the favour. Make sure they know you are happy to talk about any business issue that relates to your skillset without obligation (at least initially).

At a later seminar delivered to the Chartered Institute of Marketing the emphasis was more on personal branding, of which networking is a vital part, which is crucial to building a successful long term career. I suggest writing a blog, tweeting and joining LinkedIn, with emphasis on the importance of completing your profile. I would also urge everyone to have professionallydesigned business cards, and to have an ‘elevator speech’ committed to memory that is not simply just a sales pitch but a quick, succinct method of leaving the desired impression with a potential client or key person in your network.

3. Look Good - You never get a second chance to make a first impression so dress well and be well groomed. Don’t over-do the aftershave or perfume, but remember when networking you will have to stand close sometimes when in conversation, especially when everyone else in the room are talking at the same time. 4. Be Interested rather than Interesting - People love good listeners so ask questions and find out more about the people you’re meeting. 5. Be Tooled Up - I’m constantly amazed by business people who do not personally brand themselves.

Carry your business card in every jacket, in your wallet and in the car. Make sure your card works it’s socks off as a marketing tool! 6. You’re Only Selling Yourself - Many business and professional people still think that networking is all about talking non-stop about your business. It isn’t. Contacts will always decide first if they buy into you. If they do, business may follow.

personal business network. The seven part guide above will certainly help you network better, but there is so much more you can do to make networking feature as a crucial part of your marketing strategy regardless of the sort of business you run.

7. Follow Up, Keep In Touch - This phrase makes an interesting acronym so you won’t forget it! Don’t harass contacts by phone or email after a meeting. But a short email saying how good it was to meet them and suggesting a meeting - if you didn’t do so at the time - can be very effective. By following a few simple rules, networking can be an incredibly powerful tool in building your

Mike Samuels Great Oak Capital

learn how to create a



Grow your business effectively, positively and inexpensively with a seminar on the seven secrets of successful networking. Learn to say what you are rather than who you are. Understand personal branding, online networking, working the room and following up and maximising the connections that you make. Mike Samuels will present a seminar with a comprehensive, entertaining and interactive content that will engage your audience and deliver real benefits. The following events are covered - Conferences, Exhibitions, Seminars, Networking events, Charity events and Trade shows. For further information and to see how Mike can make your event a truly memorable experience call:

0161 928 8285 or email:

Great Oak Capital Ltd Business Seminars

41 Great Oak Drive, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 8UH



December/January 2015


Express yourself well - say how you feel So many of us can feel that we’re automatically programmed to say ‘yes’ when something is asked of us. It’s so difficult to resist the temptation to be useful, do the right thing, help someone in need, not disappoint or cause offence. Yet saying ‘yes’ when we don’t want to can eventually lead to feeling used, unappreciated and resentful.

But if, over time we gradually start to notice that we’re the one who always helps out, is obliging, says ‘yes’ when we’d prefer to say ‘no’ and gets nothing in return we can start to feel frustrated and hurt. Rarely receiving consideration or even a simple ‘thank you’ can ensure that saying ‘yes’ begins to feel really negative and that we’re letting ourselves down.

Learning to be assertive and say how we feel in an appropriate way means that when we do agree we are happy to undertake that extra task at work, go for a drink or do that favour.

Sometimes, though others may not fully appreciate the magnitude of our ‘yes’, the fact that we may have given a massive concession, a major investment of ourselves may have escaped their notice. They may have simply asked a question which they expected us to answer honestly. When we said ‘yes’ they assumed that we were happy to do what was asked, maybe even appeared enthusiastic about the invitation or request. They simply took us at our word.

We’re not feeling cajoled, bullied or guilt-tripped. Sometimes saying ‘yes’ to things we don’t want to do can be okay; we may feel it’s good manners, have rationalised our reasons for going along with something on this occasion, feel that it’s important to gain brownie points or be flexible. But if we sense that it’s becoming a negative pattern, that others expect us to always agree we may need to consider the unspoken messages that we’re giving. Have others started to view us as a pushover? If that’s the case then ‘yes’ has become the most negative word in our vocabulary. Saying how we feel means that we’re investing in our relationships and are keen to continue working towards being open, honest and comfortable together. When we’re at ease and prepared to give, share and be real about our feelings it helps us build trusting and mutually respectful relationships where communication occurs without a second thought. We’re not counting or keeping a record of our good deeds compared to the other person’s or having to think about everything before we speak.

I remember a client, a top female manager in a male-dominated national company. She was seriously stressed, working long hours with virtually no free time or personal life. She always said ‘yes’ to her manager because she was concerned that if she didn’t he would assume she wasn’t coping and was perhaps not up to the job. One evening she was driving home late at night and her boss called and asked her to do an urgent report for him. Her confidence and assertiveness had improved, so she felt able to explain what she was already working on, say she was happy to do the report but needed his advice on rescheduling her workload to incorporate the new request. It turned out that he was unaware of her other commitments, was enquiring if she had any spare capacity and was happy to get someone else to do it.

She dealt with his request calmly, efficiently and effectively, avoided going into old patterns of automatically saying ‘yes’ and having to work throughout the night. Good communications are important. Being open and honest, expressing clearly that you’re happy to do something, want to be supportive, spend time together, show willing but need others to reciprocate, understand and appreciate your point of view is a fairer way of experiencing your relationships. You express how you feel, where you stand and are clear about what you want from your partner in return.

It can be useful to reflect on why we have this mindset, why this pattern has evolved in our relationships. Were our role models peoplepleasers, always compliant? Was disagreement regarded as argumentative, unattractive, unacceptable? Were our views and wishes criticised and dismissed? Learning to become more confident and express ourselves in a positive, assertive way can add significantly to the quality of our relationships and consequentially improve our relationship with ourself.

If we feel obligated, pressurised or second-guessed we can start to feel resentful. Always being the ‘good guy’ can quickly wear thin and appear less attractive, especially if it becomes apparent that others automatically assume we will go along with their wishes. We can feel unappreciated, disregarded, inconsequential. But if we don’t speak up and say how we feel we have to accept some responsibility for other people’s assumptions. It’s important to deal with a situation before it causes serious damage to the dynamics of our relationships. Looking at other people’s relationships and comparing them to our own can cause jealousy to rear its head, especially if they appear to be having adult conversations, discussing their wishes, compromising and negotiating. We may feel annoyed, jealous, disappointed if we suspect we’ve become invisible, the easy-going, selfsacrificing one with a strong sense of duty and a desire to make other’s lives easier.

Susan Leigh MNCH (ACC)

Susan runs Altrincham based Lifestyle Therapy offering a tailor made combination of counselling and hypnotherapy on a one-to-one or group basis. For more articles, information or to make contact please call 0161 928 7880 or visit



December/January 2015

diary dates 4N More Than Just Networking!

Business Planning Workshop

pro-manchester Festive Lunch with Phillip Blond

Timperley & Sale Business Club

Fri 12 Dec 12noon - 2.00pm

Thurs 8 Jan 9.30am - 4.30am

Thurs 18 Dec 12.00noon - 2.30pm

Weekly Networking every Friday - early


Red Hot World Buffet,


Mercure Bowdon Hotel,


Park Inn by Radisson Hotel,

networking includes breakfast 6.30 - 8.30am

48 Deansgate,

Langham Road, Bowdon WA14 2HT

Manchester City Centre,


Bean and Brush Café, The Old Sorting

Manchester M3 2EG


£150+VAT (Early bird £95+VAT)

4 Cheetham Hill Road,

Office, 12 Hayfield Walk, Sale M33 7XW

Manchester M4 4EW Cost £35 Contact Siobhan Teader 0161 833 0964


£5 for guests

Regus Networking Group

Trafford Business Expo 2015

Contact Alison Tilzey 07565 948943

Contact Mark Dyble 07931 882 555

Altrincham & Sale Chamber of Commerce

Carrington Business Park

Breakfast Matters - Networking and breakfast

Tues 16 Dec 9.30 - 11.30am



Carrington Business Park,

8 Jan, 12 Feb, 5 Mar 8.30 - 10.00am

Carrington, Manchester, M31 4DD


Cresta Court Hotel, Church Street,



Altrincham WA14 4DP

Contact Susan Renshaw 0161 776 4000





Mercure Bowdon Hotel,

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Langham Road, Bowdon WA14 2HT

Action for Business Salford



Weds 10 Dec 12.00noon - 2.15pm

Christmas Lunch Friday 12 Dec noon - 2.30pm

New Year Lunch Friday 6 Feb noon - 2.30pm Venue

The Belmore Hotel, Brooklands Road

Sale, Cheshire M33 3QN



Thursdays - 18 Dec 4.30 - 6.30pm Venue Regus, 3000 Aviator Way, Manchester M22 5TG Cost Free Contact Simon Edmondson 07766 493 428

Contact Jon Cheetham 07971 575977

Laura Evans 07976 894419

Tuesday 30 June 10.00am - 4.00pm Venue

The Point,

Emirates Old Trafford LCCC,

Talbot Road, Old Trafford M16 0PX Cost


Rotary Club Altrincham

Contact James Caldwell 0844 887 1550

Networking, Dinner - Every Monday 7.00pm


Cresta Court Hotel, Church Street,

Altrincham WA14 4DP



Urmston Networking at the Grill


Copthorne Hotel,

Contact Ken Garrity 0161 929 0142

Clippers Quay

Salford Quays M50 3SN


£15 (members free)

Second Thursday of every month 11 Dec, 8 Jan, 12 Feb 3.00 - 5.00pm Venue

The Grill at 27, 29 Station Road,

Rotary Club Sale

Urmston M41 9JG

Networking, Dinner - Every Tuesday 7.00pm



Contact Anne Jardine 0161 941 3250

Stockport Breakfast Club


The Belmore, Brooklands Road,

Contact Alex McCann 07806 774279

Thurs 11 Dec 7.15am - 9.00am

Sale M33 3QN


Alma Lodge Hotel,

Contact Peter Munday 0161 969 1391

149 Buxton Road, Stockport,

Cheshire SK2 6EL


£30 (£15 members)

Bizspace Networking Mondays - 5 Jan, 2 Feb, 2 Mar 6.00 - 8.00pm Venue Bizspace, Empress Business Centre, 380 Chester Road, Old Trafford M16 9EA Cost Free Contact Simon Edmondson 07766 493 428

Bowdon Business Group Thurs 18 Dec 9.00am - 11.00am Venue

Café Seven, Vicarage Lane

Bowdon, Cheshire WA14 3BD



Contact David Bellin 0161 883 0308

Bowdon Business Club Weekly every Friday - early networking includes full breakfast 6.45am - 8.30am Venue

Mercure Bowdon Hotel,

Langham Road,

Bowdon WA14 2HT



Contact @BowdonBusinessC

Business Breakfasts First Tuesday of the month Breakfast and Networking 8.00am - 9.30am Venue

47 King Street West,

Manchester M3 2PW



Contact Barry 0161 839 1929

Business over Breakfast Networking, plus breakfast - Fridays - 19 Dec, 16 Jan, 30 Jan, 13 Feb, 27 Feb 7.00 - 9.00am Venue

La Vina, 105/107 Deansgate,

Manchester M3 2BQ



Contact Tracy Heatley 07812 076946

Action for Business Stockport

Mari Griffin 0161 962 6078

Vibrant Network Networking, plus breakfast

Sale Business Group

Tues 16 Dec - every fortnight

Weds 17 Dec 9.00am - 11.00am

9.30 - 11.30am


1 Hereford Street, Sale


Chiquitos, Salford Quays, Capital Quay, Manchester M50 3WL £15

Thurs 15 Jan 12noon - 2.00pm

Manchester M33 7XN


Village Hotel Cheadle, Cheadle Road,




Cheadle SK8 1HW

Contact Alex McCann

Contact Rose Cleaver-Emons 07739 748978


£15 (£10 members)

Weds 20 Aug - every fortnight

The Great Manchester Business Conference

Simply Networking

11.30am - 1.30pm

Fri 6 Mar 8.30am - 4.00pm

South Manchester Lunch


The Point, Emirates Old Trafford

Weds 17 Dec 12noon - 2.00pm

Manchester M16 OPXB


EventCity, Phoenix Way,


£125 (£95 pro-mc or chamber)

Off Barton Dock Road, Urmston,


Central Perks, 77 - 79 Chapel Street,

Manchester M3 5BZ



Contact Jo Burgess 07792 149537

Women in Business Lunch

Manchester, M41 7TB

Women’s 20/20

Tues 17 Mar 12noon - 2.00pm


£10.50 (Pay in advance)

Women’s networking - second Wednesday


The Memorial Hall,

Contact Mark Greenwood 0844 858 909

each month - 10 Dec, 14 Jan, 11 Feb

Alberts Chop House, Albert Square

The Business Network Manchester Business Lunch

12.15 - 2.30pm

Manchester M2 5PF

Weds 10 Dec, Weds 28 Jan 10.00am - 2.00pm


£50 (£25 members)


The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Place,


Salford, Manchester M3 5LH



0161 359 3597

Kaplan Networking Group

Contact Helen Bennett 0870 751 7523

Mondays - 8 Dec, 12 Jan, 9 Feb, 9 Mar 5.00 - 7.00pm Venue 6th Floor, St James Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M1 6FQ Cost Free Contact Simon Edmondson 07766 493 428

The Talk

Lowry Networking Group Mon 15 Dec 6.00 - 8.00pm Venue The Lowry Mill, Lees Street, Pendlebury M27 6DB Cost Free Contact Simon Edmondson 07766 493 428


Mercure Bowdon Hotel,

Langham Road, Bowdon WA14 2HT


£15 for non-members

Contact Julie Gray

The Talk of Manchester Business Awards 2014 Thurs 4 Dec 7.00pm - 1.00am Venue

Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel,

Portland Street, Manchester M1 4PH



Making your own videos for Social Media Workshop Tues 20 Jan 12.30pm - 5.00pm Venue

The Offices, 53 King Street

Manchester M2 4LQ



Contact 0845 689 0226

Please note If you plan to visit any of the above events please ensure all details are correct in advance. Whilst every effort has been made to confirm accuracy some details may be subject to change.


places to meet 24 The Downs Address 24 The Downs, Altrincham WA14 2PU Contact 0161 926 9552 Facilities Function Room, Music, Cocktails

Bean and Brush Art Café Address 12 Hayfield Walk, Sale M33 7XW Contact 0161 973 2140 Facilities Café, Food, Drink

Bizspace Address Contact Facilities

Bizspace Address Contact Facilities

Atlantic Business Centre

Atlantic Street, Altrincham WA14 5NQ 0161 926 3600 Conference Rooms, Café Empress Business Centre

380 Chester Road, Manchester M16 9EA 0161 877 5579 Meeting Rooms, Offices

Bowdon Rooms The Cinnamon Club Address Contact Facilities

The Firs, Bowdon, Altrincham WA14 2TQ 0161 926 8992 Conferences, Boardroom, Live Music

Café Gourmand Address 221 Ashley Road, Hale WA15 9SZ Contact 0161 929 6050 Facilities Coffee and Patisserie Shop

Carrington Business Park Address Contact Facilities

Carrington Lane, Carrington, Manchester M31 4DD 0161 776 4000 Café, Conference Rooms

Costa Coffee Address 75 School Road, Sale M33 7YF Contact 0161 973 2259 Address 33-35 George Street, Altrincham WA14 1RN Contact 0161 929 0382 Address Century House, Ashley Road, Hale WA15 9SF Contact 0161 926 9913 Address Golden Way, Urmston, Manchester M41 0NA Contact 0161 926 7707 Facilities Coffee, Snacks

Cresta Court Hotel Address tact Facilities

Church Street, Altrincham WA14 4DP Con0161 927 7272 Snack, Rest, Hotel, Free Parking

DeVere Venues Address Contact Facilities

Cheadle House, Cheadle Royal Business Park, Cheadle SK8 3FS 0161 492 100 Conference, Leisure, Restaurant

Eaton Place Business Park Address 114 Washway Road, Sale M33 7RF Contact 0161 905 1424 Facilities Meeting Rooms, Offices

Friends’ Meeting House Address 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS Contact 0161 834 5797 Facilities Meeting Rooms, Conference Venue

Gastronomy Address 191 Ashley Road, Hale WA15 9SQ Contact 0161 928 7870 Facilities Deli, Coffee Shop

McGregors Address Contact Facilities

29 Stamford New Road, Altrincham WA14 1EB 0161 928 1487 Natural Organic Food Served


Manchester Airport Marriott Hotel Address Contact Facilities

Hale Road, Hale Barns, Cheshire WA15 8XW 0161 904 0301 Leisure Club, Spa, Conference Centre, Restaurant

Mercure Bowdon Hotel

December/January 2015

Are you squeezing the most from your advertising budget?

Address Langham Road, Bowdon WA14 2HT Contact 0161 928 7121 Facilities Hotel and Leisure, Free Parking

Mersey Farm Address Contact Facilities

Carrington Lane, Ashton On Mersey, Sale M33 5BL 0161 962 8113 Restaurant, Hotel, Free Parking

On The 7th The Landing Address Contact Facilities

The Blue Tower, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays M50 2ST 0161 686 5500 Bar, Restaurant, Conference Rooms

Red Rooms Meeting rooms for hire across a range of Bruntwood properties Address Station House, Stamford New Road, Altrincham WA14 1EP

111 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2HY

Centurion House, 129 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WR

City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester M1 4BT

Lowry House, 17 Marble Street, Manchester, M2 3AW

Manchester One, 53 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 3LD

St James, 61-95 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FQ

For a FREE review of your marketing and promotional activity CALL NOW on

0161 291 0224

Contact 0843 504 4753 Facilities Offices, Meeting Rooms

Runway Visitor Park Address Contact Facilities

Sunbank Lane, Altrincham WA15 8XQ 0161 489 3932 Conference Room, Conference area underneath Concorde, Restaurant, Concorde Experience and Tours, Meeting Rooms

St Anthony’s Centre Address Contact Facilities

Eleventh Street, Trafford Park, Manchester M17 1JF 0161 848 9173 Conference Rooms

San Carlo Fiorentina Address Contact Facilities

Manchester Airport, Marriott Hotel, Hale Road, Hale Barns, Cheshire WA15 8XW 0161 904 5043 Bar & Restaurant

The Life Centre Address 235 Washway Road, Sale M33 4BP Contact 0161 850 0770 Facilities Meeting Rooms, Café



The Little Deli Company Address Contact Facilities

42 Stamford Park Road, Hale WA15 9EP 07921 717548 Meeting Rooms, Café 42 Highcrest Avenue, Gatley, Cheadle SK8 4HD e.


Leavitt Walmsley Associates Ltd is an award-winning independent firm of chartered certified accountants based in Sale, headed up by directors Les Leavitt and Steve Collings. The firm provides a range of business solutions to a national client base including: • Audit and accountancy • Business support and networked services

I have had the pleasure of having LWA as both our company accountants and personal

advisors for the last 10 years. I have always found the

• Company secretarial and payroll • Corporate and personal taxation • Non-executive Finance Director solution • Specialist audit and compliance expertise for Academies

practice very helpful and most importantly very practical. Our business has grown dramatically during the last decade and LWA have proved very diligent advisors. In short I cannot recommend LWA highly enough.

Richard Dears, Managing Director, Remstone Group

For a no-obligation opportunity to find out how LWA can help you with a FREE business review illustrating your business’ growth potential, please get in touch and simply quote ‘TBCM review’ to book your appointment.

Leavitt Walmsley Associates Limited, 8 Eastway, Sale, Cheshire M33 4DX T 0161 905 1801 E

Trafford Business Connect December.January 2015  

December/January Edition of Trafford's leading B2B Magazine

Trafford Business Connect December.January 2015  

December/January Edition of Trafford's leading B2B Magazine