Page 1


18

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

BUSINESS INTRODUCTION

Your voice for Lancashire

by DAVID COATES, Lancashire Evening Post business reporter

W

HEN the history books are written for 2008, the impact of the credit crunch and the subsequent recession will loom large. As the first pages of 2009 begin to be drafted, Lancashire stands on the brink of what is expected to be a downturn like none ever encountered before. The challenges which face the business community over the next 12 months will come as no surprise to anyone running a company, large or small, and as the next 28 pages will tell you, there is no room to be ill-prepared. But alongside the doom and gloom which is inevitable in such circumstances there is hope and opportunity. Not ‘green shoots of recovery’, because even the most optimistic person would admit it is foolish to speak in such a way yet, but there are those people not willing to be knocked down by the potentially fatal squeeze gripping our

economy. In the last few months, the Evening Post’s new-look business coverage has reported on a surge in start-up businesses in Lancashire as those made redundant as a result of the recession look to go it alone. Millions of pounds of government cash is being pumped into supporting them and Preston’s business community is leading the fight against insolvency. Today, business leaders from across our county’s sectors give us their views on what has brought about the situation we find ourselves in, and what is needed to get us through it. The key theme which I hear time and time again is never to ignore problems as they develop and to act upon them with the best available advice as soon as possible. That does not have to mean expensive insolvency experts, solicitors or ac-

countants, it can mean a simple, free telephone call to an organisation like Business Link North West, the group responsible for handing out the bulk of the cash being pumped into Lancashire from Westminster. That simple piece of advice will no doubt be the difference between surviving and failing over the next 12 months for many companies large and small. And, while there will undoubtedly be some casualties big and small the is no doubt that the entrepreneurial spirit which has driven Lancashire since the days of the Industrial Revolution will remain come New Year’s Day 2010. We at the Lancashire Evening Post shall endeavour to bring you the latest news – both good and bad – affecting your business and most importantly make your voice heard at the very highest level.

ADVERTISING FEATURE

Office suites to suit

M

oving into a new office, or simply reconfiguring an existing office? Create the right environment using relocatable partitioning systems, with a wide variety of specifications and finishes. These systems are an attractive compromise between luxury partitioning and a down-to-earth price tag. The basic reason for the economy is that unlike other partitioning systems, the design has been reduced to extreme simplicity with only the minimum number of component parts, all fully finished eliminating the needs of decorators and other wet trades which in turn allows fast, efficient installation. The systems can include:

■ Non-fire rated or fire rated solutions ■ Sound reduction properties ■ Solid or glazed elevations ■ Modular design ■ Factory glazed windows with integral blinds ■ Quick to install ■ Disruption minimal ■ No other trades required on site Easy to relocate so future expansion will be accommodated at minimal cost. From a single wall to a complete office complex. Call for more information 01257 240000 Whether it is for: ■ Offices ■ Boardrooms ■ Training rooms

■ Meeting rooms ■ Reception areas ■ Quiet/classroom areas ■ Consultation areas ■ Stock rooms ■ Post rooms ■ Clean rooms The list is endless. What do you need? A range of finishes to suit every budget? Call now for a free, no-obligation quote. In helping you create the right environment Brysdales will ensure your new interior fittings meet all current legislative standards including Building and Fire Regulation Approval.


lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

Deep recession can be averted – if the government does the right thing BABS MURPHY, chief executive of North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

T

he results from the fourth quarter of the British Chambers of Commerce Quarter Economic Survey for 2008 highlighted a frightening deterioration in the UK economic situation. The results confirmed what most of us already knew – that the UK economy is facing a very serious recession and that the downturn is deepening at an alarming pace. All this indicates that 2009 will be particularly ominous for the Lancashire business community. We have to focus on holding the productive sectors of the economy together. If we are to climb out of this downturn we will need a strong business base particularly in the small to medium sized sector which, after all, makes up over 95% of the UK business base. All of us have a role to play in helping small firms to survive not only because they will get us out of this downturn but because the businesses we lose will never return. The measures taken by the Government in recent months have failed so far to alleviate the downturn. However we believe that a prolonged recession can still be averted providing the Government adopts urgent and additional forceful corrective measures. We would hope that the Government takes heed of what the business community is saying by cutting business taxes, delivering flexibility on tax payments, and reducing red tape. One of the key issues facing businesses during 2009 will be managing the relationship with their bank. Our own surveys have highlighted that access to cash and cashflow are major issues facing businesses and that this is likely to get worse unless banks can be persuaded to start lending again. The smooth flow of finance to businesses must be sustained at all costs but this must be at a rate that businesses can afford. Businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and the banks have a vital role to play in helping small firms in particular manage their cashflow and their liquidity. Whilst the biggest story in 2009 will undoubtedly be the recession – and, hopefully any signs of a recovery - we believe that 2009 will also be dominated by the run-up to the next general election.

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

19

LEPBUSINESSYEAR INDEX BANKING PROPERTY LEGAL LEGAL&FINANCIAL REGENERATION COMMERCIALPROPERTY ENGINEERING LEISURE&RETAIL AEROSPACE EDUCATION ETHNICBUSINESS INSOLVENCY

20 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 31 37 37 38

NEWS INDEX Start-up plan for empty PAGE 44 buildings

Leyland Truck bailout awaited

Last year was a bad year for the Government in the eyes of the business community and there is no doubt that ministers will have their work cut out to gain the confidence of businesses as we get closer to the next general election. Getting business on board will be a key part of the next election campaign and we will be waiting with interest to see how all the political parties will be dealing with this challenge. The Government’s engagement with the Lancashire business community has been scarce over the past decade despite many invitations to Ministers inviting them to visit. If Ministers (and their advisers) are serious about winning the hearts and minds of the local business community then they must engage more fully with business-led organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce. Despite the doom and gloom there are signs that things locally aren’t all doom and gloom. The Tithebarn plans for

Last year was a bad year for the Government in the eyes of the business community

Preston city centre remain on track as do plans to regenerate Leyland and Blackpool. The Business Improvement District for Preston will be going ahead in April and plans to develop a Central Business District for the city are progressing. None of this would be happening unless there was confidence in the future of the city.

PAGE 40

Councils must do a U-turn on parking persecution

PAUL HEATHCOTE: PAGE 40

SHARES&CITYROUND-UP

44

Our weekly digest of vital business information PAGE45


20

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

BANKING YORKSHIREBANK&TAYLORPATTERSON

Banks will be wary of big risks

All eyes on Barack to lead the world to economic recovery A

SEAN WILLIAMS, managing partner at Yorkshire Bank’s Financial Solutions Centres in Preston and Lancaster

I

n terms of bank lending in 2009 there are two aspects. Banks will continue to be more risk averse in lending to largescale speculative developments like housing schemes and commercial centres, but will continue to lend to trading businesses. Certainly, our stance is that we are very much open for business and will continue to lend, as we always have, for the correct opportunities. We continue to support SMEs and trading businesses. We are still approving nine out of 10 business loan applications – just as we did a year ago. Interest rates are likely to fall further still in 2009, but the banks will have to balance the interests of borrowers with the interests of savers too and that is certainly true for Yorkshire Bank. Despite these worrying times, there are causes for optimism. Supermarkets and grocery chains will weather the storm, benefiting from people who decide to stay at home and spend their money on household goods, rather than eating out or going abroad on holiday. Some parts of the leisure sector may also benefit if fewer people are going abroad. Generally, I think we can expect to see a lot of companies, even those in a relatively healthy position, thinking a lot more about their areas of risk. Businesses that rely heavily on one supplier, for example, will be looking to spread the risk across a number of different suppliers. Companies will also be forced to look at alternative markets and uses for their products. I think we will see a lot more businesses deciding to take preventative action earlier than they might have done normally, speaking to their bank and their other financial advisers. Certainly, we are committed to supporting our business customers through these difficult times and helping them to be successful. 2009 will be a challenging year but, if the business community works hard and remains competitive and optimistic, then we will certainly come out of the other side sooner.

dvisers at Taylor Patterson admit that it has been a tough 2008 for individuals and many in the business community – and the difficulties are likely to continue throughout 2009. Although good news is likely to be thin on the ground in the first quarter of 2009, many analysts believe that America could prove the catalyst to repair confidence as Barack Obama takes office as President. A change in US leadership could provide the stimulus required on the back of the clean-sweep pledged by Obama both in terms of internal and foreign policy. America has undoubtedly played a hugely significant role in setting the scene for tackling a global recession, a point that is not lost on the incoming President. Phil Rogers, director of Taylor Patterson Financial Planning, said: “Change at the top has been largely welcomed, particularly as Barack Obama appears to have a clear objective in terms of setting the foundations for recovery. “One of the immediate problems for 2009 is what investors should do with their capital. Traditional investors are seeing less than the rate of inflation returned on cash deposits which, in turn, is increasing the attraction of alternative low risk investments such as Government Securities and Corporate Bonds. “Borrowers should continue to benefit from further cuts in interest rates, particularly if they have a tracker mortgage. The major concern remains that the aggressive policy of cutting interest rates has not had the effect of stimulating the property market. Market data continues to support the view that property remains in a downward spiral and, as long as investors feel that they could end up losing money, they simply will not invest.” Edgar Cankalis, senior financial planning adviser, added: “During 2008, the right steps were taken to step in and save the banking system. The effect of one of the major banks failing would have

SETTING THE AGENDA; President Obama appears to have clear objectives for the recession been catastrophic and would have shattered what little confidence remains in the system. “Although interest rates have been cut on an unprecedented basis, there will continue to be uncertainty while banks are not passing on the benefits to the customers. Consequently, the customers are not passing on their savings by spending on the high streets. “One of our key messages to clients is to think long-term and continue to invest during these conditions. However, it is going to take quite a sustained period of good news to start a real global financial recovery.” Steve Jackson, financial planning

adviser, said: “Mortgage applications are down, prices are down and mortgages are increasingly difficult to obtain. The big problem for borrowers will be the revised criteria that lenders will apply where a 15% deposit – or higher – will be required as standard. “The VAT cut has been a nonevent and has made no impact whatsoever. What we need to help the market recover is the banks to pass on the cut in rates to those looking for residential mortgages. “If the housing market can be kick-started, it will have a huge knock-on effect on the rest of the economy.”

One of the immediate problems for 2009 is what investors should do with their capital” Phil Rogers


lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

21

ADVERTISING FEATURE by Monica Giddins

L

ancashire printer b&d Print have moved away from rubber and petroleum based inks in favour of an organic-based pigment ink. Now this may make you applaud the company for its up-to-date attitude, but they made this decision in 1982, a long time before the words ‘green’ and ‘organic’ had become fashionable. The reason they made the change, despite the then new ‘inks’ being more expensive, was they offered a more consistent colour reproduction and involved fewer chemicals. So 27 years ago b&d was already ahead of its time. The same year the company also gradually introduced a no smoking policy and rewarded employees who stopped smoking, once again setting the standards that have been adopted across society as a whole. When you look at the history of this Lancashire printer it has consistently taken a position that has been in later years widely accepted, not just by the printing industry but by the way we live our lives. In the late 1980s b&d took the decision to move into digital printing, it also took delivery of what was then called an Apple Mackintosh, one of the very first in the region. The Mac and colour printer alone was an investment in excess of £10,000. So

The big green printing machine invests in the future what prompted this huge investment at a time when interest rates were running at more than 12% and unemployment stood in excess of 1.5 million? The answer is consistent with the business philosophy; digital print reduced waste, used fewer chemicals, and consumed less energy than conventional print. The Mac was the cleanest most efficient technology the industry had seen in its history. Ever since its inception, more than 30 years ago, b&d Print have been successfully serving the business community, not just locally, but as far afield as Europe and even on occasion North America. This begs the question, having survived many difficult trading periods growing year on year and investing constantly in new technology how do they do it? Maybe it is the willingness to change that has been the secret of its success. Recently the company recognised the need for a broader approach to its strategic planning and with that in mind added five new directors to the board. They found all of the required talent

within the company, a tribute to the way they nurture and improve their staff and a confirmation of the belief in the ‘b&d way’. Between them the new board members bring more than 100 years of experience in serving the company’s clients. So what has this new board done with b&d’s award-winning reputation? This week they took delivery of a new digital five-colour Nexpress with high glossing unit from their close business partners Kodak. February sees the installation of their new five-colour 75 XL, from another business partner of many years, Heidelberg. When you combine that with December’s installation of Kodak’s Magnus Quantum CTP imagesetter, you can see why they have been at the forefront of this industry for so long. You may think that those three investments in ground breaking technology would be enough? However the new board that are privileged to guide b&d decided that you, the business community, needed more.

With that in mind they have further invested in efficient communication technology. Once again you may think that b&d have done enough, however they thought that you and the world at large deserved more from them, so they drove forward an accreditation from the Forestry Service Commission. The FSC logo is your reassurance that b&d has a responsible approach to renewable sustained forestry. With the upgrade of the company’s workflow there has been an immediate reduction in paper proofs, more and more clients are using Insite, the secure web-based proof approval portal. With the recent FSC accreditation this amazing success story that is b&d has cemented its already-earned, rite of passage into the ‘green’ community. Using only sustainable paper materials, conserving energy, reducing waste, employing – wherever – natural solutions, b&d are, as always, considering the way forward. The board are currently looking at making use of some spare land at their Leyland site, and want to place wind

turbines that will put energy directly into the National Grid. Is this company altruistic? Or just very well run? They make profit year on year and take pleasure in delighting their clients, something obvious in any dealings you have with them. I will leave the last word to one of their business partners Kodak. “b&d is one of the most forward thinking companies I hav e ever dealt with. They have a clear and honest desire for continu ous improvement. They never let up, and they push you to provid e the best available technology, and then the business as a whole ado pts it as theirs. They have loads of people that have been with the company for well over ten years and quite a lot for more than 20 wh ich is a great tribute to the com pany. In their board they have som e of the industry’s clearest thin kers who have, over the years, pus hed at the boundaries of technolog y. Having said all of that, they are all very straightforward people that make you feel very welcome. They do business in an honourabl e way with a smile on their fac e which is wonderful.” John Morley Sales Manager Kodak UK


22

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lepbusinessreview2009

lep.co.uk

PROPERTY NAPTHENS

End in sight to gloom on housingmarket T

he past 12 months have been a difficult one for everybody involved in the property market, from those hoping to move house, to estate agents, mortgage brokers and conveyancing solicitors servicing this industry. Many property-related organisations have had to make redundancies and estate agents have been hit particularly hard with branch offices being closed or firms folding completely. Due to difficulties caused by the credit crunch, banks and building societies have severely tightened their lending criteria and the days of the 100% plus mortgage are now long gone. That said, lenders are still insisting that buyers have large deposits available (sometimes in excess of 25% of the purchase price) which

SIMON AINSWORTH, partner and head of residential property at Napthens solicitors

continues to cause difficulties, particularly to first-time buyers, leading to a stagnation of the market. Whilst some areas have reportedly remained relatively buoyant, such as Lytham and the Ribble Valley, we have seen a significant drop in transaction levels which is now leading to noticeable decreases in property prices. National figures indicate that property values have decreased by 16% in 2008. Prices are reportedly back at 2004 levels with an average nationwide sale price of just over £155,000. It is not all bad news, however, as there are now some signs of improvement. The Bank of England base rate, at 1.5% is lower than it has been in the bank’s 315 year history and

this, together with the libor rate (the rate at which banks lend to each other) starting to come down, should show more favourable mortgage products coming into the market. Furthermore, the fall in house prices and more realistic expectations from sellers should bring significantly more confidence back into the market, leading to the kick start that the property industry is hoping for. In the medium to long term, it has to be right that this correction has taken place as both levels of lending and property prices were starting to get out of hand and become unrealistic. But I am hopeful that we will see a significant market increase by the middle of this year as confidence returns.

MARKET CORRECTION: Estate agents have been hit hard


lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lepbusinessreview2009

23

LEGAL HARRISONDRURY&BRABNERSCHAFFE

Get sound, local advice for 2009

T

DELAY FEARS: The Tithebarn project is a long-term benefit – but objections could increase uncertainty for other businesses

Bold decisions are required this year T

HERE is no escaping the fact that the credit crunch hit Preston’s property market in 2008 – and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Over the last year there has certainly been a slow down in the number of transactions completed in and around the city, largely due to the availability of credit being curtailed quite drastically. There are deals out there to be done, however, they have been held back because people either can’t get the finance or the terms are just too prohibitive. On the lettings front, many Preston businesses are tightening their belts and asking “do we really need to rent bigger premises?” Businesses are cautious and reluctant to expand or acquire new premises, more often that not they are looking to cut costs and even down size to limit their overheads. Fortunately, there are several niche sectors which continue to grow in the Preston area. Student accommodation, such as Ice Blue Developments’ £7.6 million Living City scheme on Walker Street and also businesses involved in renewable energy and waste disposal have long-term futures

JOHN CHESWORTH, managing partner of Harrison Drury & Co Solicitors, which has offices in Preston and Blackburn and are in positions to expand and acquire news sites. Preston’s biggest ever regeneration project, Tithebarn, is clearly a good thing for the long-term benefit of the city. However, in the short-term, there are some genuine concerns for businesses and prop-

erty owners in the proposed Tithebarn area. Although the consortium appears to be making progress there is the real possibility that several neighbouring local authorities might oppose the planning application, which could then be “called in” by the Secretary of State. The consortium has admitted that could add another year on to the timescale – which would obviously prolong the uncertainty faced by businesses in the Tithebarn area. Unfortunately, I believe it will be another difficult year for house builders and others in the construction sector who rely upon them. The market for new homes is driven by first-time buyers, many of who have had their fingers burned in the current crisis and there is a real reluctance to take on a mortgage loan – as well as the banks’ reluctance to lend. Going forward, the Woolworths store on Fishergate will be a good barometer as to how Preston’s commercial property

market is faring in the current economic crisis. When the prime city centre site is put on the market, it will be interesting to see just how quickly it is snapped up – as not that many months ago it would have been acquired before the for sale signs had even gone up outside. An up turn in 2009 will depend on businesses and the banks making bold decisions. We will have to see how the banks react to the recent bailout from the Government, the interest rate cuts and constant calls to lend more money to businesses and home buyers. So the onus is on the banks, and also on businesses that are in a position to make brave decisions to grow and either rent new premises or acquire sites to build on, which will help drive the local economy and, more importantly, confidence. Until they take that step, or the economic crisis finally shows some sign of improving, then caution and uncertainty will continue to be the driving forces in 2009.

Businesses are cautious and reluctant to expand or acquire new premises ... fortunately, there are several niche sectors which continue to grow in the Preston area”

he last year has been a strong one for Brabners Chaffe Street, with all practice areas performing well, in particular employment and litigation. Client retention has been a key element of this success. The long-term relationships we’ve established with companies we work with have meant we understand what they want to achieve, and can provide relevant advice that supports their commercial aims, despite difficult market conditions. Preston’s commercial profile has continued to grow over the past year. Some of the region’s top companies are based in the city and they’re increasingly looking to procure professional services closer to home. The traditional view of large firms that they have to go further afield or to Magic Circle firms for top legal advice is changing rapidly. Many understand that the increased partner involvement and insight that staying local brings gives an added dimension to their legal advice. Put simply, it’s a question of making your investment work

KEVIN JAMES, partner at Brabners Chaffe Street, Preston harder for you, so there’s an excellent opportunity for local service providers to expand, even in tough times. No-one is under any illusions about the year ahead and the tough commercial conditions that will dominate. 2009 is likely to bring more changes to financial and trading regulations, which companies will need to incorporate into their everyday business. Companies must act now to ensure their plans are robust enough to support the business strategy, but flexible enough to adapt to market conditions, whatever the year may bring.


24

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

LEGAL&FINANCIAL FORBES&MOOREANDSMALLEY

Lean year ahead for property law, but for litigation... “

W

hen I wrote a review for this paper at the end of 2007 I commented that it seemed “to be widely accepted that 2008 will not again be a year of steadily rising property values and that there may well be falls in the value of both residential and commercial properties”. What I think very few of those in the property market anticipated was the severity of the falls in property values. In the residential market it is now thought by many commentators that the fall in property values from the top of the market in the summer of 2007 to the point where it reaches the bottom will be about 30%. Substantial falls have also been experienced in commercial property values where it is estimated that values have fallen by between 15% and 20%. However, there is so much uncertainty about property prices that some of the leading lenders have declined to make their customary year end forecasts for property price movements for 2009. Unfortunately the result of all this is that potential purchasers are reluctant to buy today what they think they may be able to buy more cheaply tomorrow. It is also reported that UK lending by major banks has fallen sharply, approvals for house purchases are now 60% lower than a year ago. The combination of these two factors means that the number of transactions, both for residential properties and commercial properties, has been substantially reduced. While some commentators may say that it is a good thing, that prices had risen too far, the economic consequences of this reduced activity

It seems likely that everyone involved in the property market and in the sale and transfer of property, whether as developers, builders, surveyors, estate agents or lawyers, will be contemplating very much reduced activity and having to reduce their overheads as a result”

JOHN BARKER, Forbes Solicitors both on a national and a local scale are substantial and worrying. New building of residential property has substantially reduced. It is thought that new starts in 2009 will plunge from the already low level of 110,000 in 2008 to under 80,000 in 2009. This is, of course, well below the Government’s target of building two million new homes by 2016. The risk

here is that in the future there will be a serious housing shortage which will drive further substantial house price increases once loans are more readily available. That may be a long term consequence, but for 2009 it seems likely that everyone involved in the property market and in the sale and transfer of property, whether as developers, builders, surveyors, estate agents or lawyers, will be contemplating very much reduced activity and having to reduce their overheads as a result. Inevitably for some, this will result in job losses. So, while the prospect for property lawyers may be of reduced activity for 2009, the prospects for employment lawyers and commercial litigators are of substantially increased activity.

Thank goodness for Big Brother

A

BOUT the best thing that can be said about 2008 is that it is over. I think all the events of 2008 have been well documented and opined on so I will not dwell on them. One of the most interesting observations of the year was the impact of the media on events, this is essentially the first economic downturn, crisis, call it what you will, that has played out over the Internet. The amount of information and opinion, right or wrong, and the speed at which it has spread has been phenomenal, in this respect all previous recessions have played out in slow motion. Question: Who had heard of Robert Peston this time last year? I believe that this has contributed greatly to the volatility we have seen and also the impacted on confidence of the collective psyche. We professionals are struggling to make sense of all the news, data and economic theories and predictions being made, so is it any wonder that the man on the street is worried particularly given the media’s love of the bad news story. It was with relief that I noted the recent return of Celebrity Big Brother which kept the red tops occupied with their more standard fair for a while. 2009 is without doubt going to be a tough year but there are certainly grounds for optimism. It is going to be a year where the strong and the brave benefit. Businesses with robust business models and strong balance sheets will benefit from the failure of weak businesses and will be presented with acquisition opportunities. Brave and experienced investors, who can and will take a longer term view, will see value and opportuni-

LIGHT RELIEF: Michelle Heaton in Celebrity Big Brother

ROB KENMARE, corporate finance partner at Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers ties in all types of investment, including, dare I say, it in property. Keep an eye on the FTSE as this will be one of the first indicators of a turn in fortunes, the expected bad news for 2009 has effectively been discounted into today’s valuations. On a more specific note, I think the North West will do well on at least two fronts. Our manufacturing sector will benefit from the current weakness in sterling, improving both domestic and export competitiveness. Similarly our leisure and tourism sectors will benefit both from the impact of sterling and also from the consumers’ current aversion from committing to significant advanced expenditure.


lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25


26

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

REGENERATION DOWTOWNPRESTON

Getgoing onGuild beforeit’s toolate F

RANK McKenna, chairman of Downtown Preston In Business, has warned that planning for the Guild year must start immediately in order for the city to benefit properly from the landmark event. A former high-profile politician and leader of the private sector lobbying and networking group, Mr McKenna is concerned that without proper preparation the city leaders will simply

not be able to put in place an exciting year of initiatives to promote and market Preston to full effect. Mr McKenna feels the Guild celebrations, and the planning process, should be a key focus for 2009, and could be a good ‘antidote’ to the current gloomy economic climate. He is also calling for changes to the local government structure, which he feels is seriously disadvantaging Preston

SHOWTIME: Razorlight on stage during the Radio One Big Weekend in 2007. The Guild would be a bigger boost to Preston’s economy – but more needs to be done to give the city charge of its own destiny, says Mckenna

to the extent where the city is ‘not in charge of its own destiny’; and for central Government to put more pressure on banks to encourage lending again. He said: “Focusing on the Guild celebrations may be an ideal chance for the city to forget its troubles for a time and focus on long-term improvements for the area. The Guild is an unparalleled opportunity to promote and market the city, to increase tourism and boost the local economy that simply cannot be overlooked. “If we look back to the BBC Radio One Big Weekend event in Preston a couple of years ago, the millions this brought into the service and leisure sector is nothing compared to what the Guild could do for the economy, but we haven’t seen much sign of planning yet. “However, there is plenty which needs to be done in the meantime to help move the economy forward in the current economic climate. “For instance, the two tier local Government system simply does not work for business in Lancashire. Preston is particularly disadvantaged as a city not in charge of its own destiny – look at the opposition it faces to its Tithebarn regeneration plans from unitary authorities Blackburn and Blackpool – and removing this stumbling block could be an enormous benefit. “Government also needs to put more pressure on banks to start lending again. Empty property tax should be abolished completely, and there should be a rethink on proposals to allow councils to charge a Supplementary Business Rate. “These are the key messages we hear

The millions brought in to the service and leisure sector by Radio One’s Big Weekend is nothing compared to what the Guild could do for the economy, but we haven’t seen much sign of planning yet” Frank McKenna, above

from Downtown Preston members who are concerned they are being penalised by policies such as the empty property tax at a time when they should be supported and given every encouragement to thrive.”

GETTING A MOVE ON: Runners start the road race during Preston’s last Guild in 1992


lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lepbusinessreview2009

27

COMMERCIALPROPERTY ROBERTPINKUS&CO

Credit crisis and Tithebarn chill Preston property scene T

he lettings market fared a lot better than the sales market across all commercial property sectors in 2008. We found that the demand for good property across all sectors was and still is high, but the problems the property market face are not demand but finance driven. Commercial sales and investment markets slowed down significantly due to the banking crisis in the summer months. The lack of finance available to prospective buyers, developers and investors resulted in a lack of building and site purchases at a time when prices were becoming more sensible. We felt that many businesses were affected by a general lack of confidence in the market which resulted in them putting their property requirements on hold temporarily. This can only go on for so long until it is to the detriment to the occupier. With doom and gloom all around, many businesses went into hibernation and effectively “gave up looking” because of a lack of confidence in the property market. Premium prices on properties generally across the board have not been achieved, forcing many pragmatic landlords to offer deals, rent-free periods, short lease terms and various incentives. We feel that many businesses have been waiting until 2009 to see what the outlook is like and will start looking for property soon. Some businesses will have a need to move and, if they don't do it soon, they may see a negative impact on business. On the up side, now is an excellent time to secure some great deals and the most pragmatic and flexible landlords will fair the best.

Retail

In the retail sector, the proposed Tithebarn Development continues to negatively affect the retail market in Preston city centre. As more plans and information are released into the public domain, more questions remained unanswered over the timespan and the finer details of the development. The feeling within Preston’s retail core is that traders remain worried and uncertain of their future in the city centre The uncertainty surrounding

DANNY PINKUS Partner at commercial property consultants Robert Pinkus & Co. the development is also having an impact on the length of new leases being taken up in the city centre, as people do not want to be tied to a property without knowing what is planned for the centre. A further potential danger of Tithebarn project, and what will be interesting to watch throughout 2009, will be whether Lend Lease and Grosvenor find an additional funding agent for the project at a time when funding is incredibly hard to find, especially when such a high level of investment is required. We do recognise that the proposed Tithebarn regeneration will hopefully have a positive effect on Preston as a whole, depending on what form the scheme emerges. Projects of this size inevitably involve a certain amount of suffering but hopefully this will all be forgotten once the development has been completed. Despite the uncertainty of 2008, there remains very little prime retail space available in the city centre and occupancy rates remain high, which is good news for Preston. Following a succession of high profile retailers falling into administration, the biggest story to hit the headlines in 2008 was Woolworths, and concerns that its demise could be detrimental for the high street. In reality, we believe that there is already a healthy interest in these premises and we would expect discount retailers to express interest in this space and also would expect the unit will be snapped up in the coming months. There are big changes on the

END OF A HIGH STREET GIANT: Last day at Woolworths in Preston City Centre

There were concerns that the demise of Woolworths could be detrimental for the high street. In reality, there is already a healthy interest in these premises”

British high street. With people having less disposable income, shopping habits and attitudes will change and discount retailers will look to capitalise on this. The secondary retail market in Preston, where rents are lower, is still consistently busy and faring well.

Offices

As with the retail market, prime rents in the prime office locations are not being achieved as potential tenants are looking for discounted premises and incentives with shorter leases and lower rentals. Although the sales market has slowed down in recent months, the rental market is steady and deals are still being done both in the city centre and at out of town business parks. The key requirement for people looking for properties in the current economic climate is flexibility on both rents and length of leases. Smaller rental units continue to do well and there is still good quality stock in quality locations coming through to market." Industrial The industrial market is gener-

ally a more resilient one. The smaller units historically have a good turnaround and we are still seeing good take-up in this sector. The introduction of empty property rates in April last year was a considerable blow to landlords at a time when demand began to dip. The increase in online sales has

resulted in increased demand for well located warehousing in this sector. Modern units located close to motorways remain in good demand but again, prospective tenants are looking for incentivised rents to reflect the current market. There remains an oversupply of older, dated, second-hand accommodation but with the lack of speculative development, the existing supply of accommodation is gradually reducing.

2009 and beyond

On a positive note as we start 2009 we can say confidently that Preston seems to be fairing reasonably well compared to its neighbouring cities. This is part-

FEARS: Preston’s retail sector has concerns over unanswered questions in the Tithebarn project

ly due to the fact that Preston is much less reliant on financial institutions for city centre occupation and tends to have many more independent and local companies as residents. Without a doubt, 2009 is going to be a difficult year and we expect more retail casualties . We will be working hard to ride out the storm and early signs are showing that companies looking to move wrote off the end of 2008 and we anticipate these requirements to emerge in Quarter 1 of 2009. We are also anticipating that fewer companies will pay attention to the reports of doom and gloom in 2009.


28

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

ENGINEERING EEF

Mutual friends can help your business grow ROBINSON & Martland NFU Mutual’s Preston Agency, at Riversway Business Village, has been providing insurance to farmers and the rural community since 1983. Although the existing client base has a strong agricultural bias – akin to NFU’s Farm Combined Insurance and Tractor Insurance – with retention rates and numbers of policies per customer above average, the firm has recognised the potential to provide the same excellent service and professional advice to wider markets across the north west. Various campaigns in 2008 promoting the NFU’s new Home and Lifestyle and Light Commercial Vehicle products captured the attention of new customers who enjoy the benefits of a mutual company. This year, NFU Mutual will be sharing over £85m with customers by way of mutual bonus discounts on their renewal premiums. And to celebrate the firm’s centenary year, it is doubling the mutual bonus in 2010. As existing customers have grown and diversified so have the products NFU Mutual offers – car, tradesman, packages, property owners and commercial vehicle in-

surances. New developments in technology have enhanced the agricultural industry, while lifestyles have changed, promoting the move from city to countryside and new business opportunities have been realised from their natural resources. However, Robinson & Martland customers demand a personal service and face-to-face relationships are very important. Getting to know the person and their business is paramount to providing quality service, so not only does the firm offer a local office with experienced staff, it also has an external sales team to look after insurances and provide financial and risk management advice. This has allowed the firm to grow its core business and expand into other sectors. In 2008- 2009, the agency was awarded Mutual Challenge High Achievers by the NFU and Top Agency in the region which is recognition of its professionalism, service, competence and, above all, the relationships it builds with its customers. 2009-2010 promises to be another challenging year, Robinson & Martland believe it has the team to meet those challenges together.

Difficultyearbeing offset by positives

ANDREW SEMPLE, spokesman for the manufacturers’ group EEF

I

t is crystal clear now that the coming year is going to be one of the most difficult that manufacturers have faced. Official figures out in December showed GDP contracted 0.6% in 2008 quarter three representing a major slowdown. In addition, output from production industries fell 1.4% mainly due to declining manufacturing output. This is the start of recession – it is a question now of how bad and how long. The repercussions of the credit crunch that we saw unfold in the middle of 2008 are now crashing out to hit every sector of business in the UK. Indeed, it seems that the recession in the UK will be mirrored across the globe, hitting all major economies which are, of course, major trading destinations for manufacturing exports. The UK has fallen into recession very fast and some sectors of manufacturing – those related to construction for example – have seen the most serious impacts equally as fast and have been unable to plan mitigating measures. The automotive sector remains very vulnerable and that goes for the whole supply chain. With consumer confidence plunging, it will be a major challenge for manufacturers to tempt customers to place orders. Investment has always been the backbone of the recent robust performance of the manufacturing sector in Lancashire and for a number of years EEF

DIGGING DEEP: The engineering industry needs to be innovative during the gloom figures on capital expenditure have been good. It is clear that there has been a big turnaround in the last two quarters of this year but the historical pattern at least puts the sector on the front foot. It seems increasingly likely that the Bank of England will reduce interest rates further with the possibility of rates at 1% or lower very real. This should be

good for capital spending but the banks need to pass on the cuts to business and free up their lending – that is the main issue for our members. EEF is realistic about the situation its members face and we are doing all we can to ensure our services are those required at this time. One positive element is that companies are doing all they can to retain key

staff with an eye to a turnaround. Training initiatives are being brought forward to fill down time and that has to be welcomed. Economics runs in cycles and while this one is heading downhill, it will come back and, while manufacturing prospects in the medium term are pretty gloomy, the sector must continue to be innovative and forward thinking.


lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

LEISURE&RETAIL HI-LIFE&PRESTONMALL

Changing retail trends

T

PLENTY OF BITE: Hi-Life had a record year with 130,000 members and 3,000 partner restaurants, says Heeley

Innovation will be key in tough 2009 D

avid Heeley is founder and company president of Hi-Life, the UK and Ireland’s largest dining club with 130,000 members and a network of over 3,000 partner restaurants, including 800 in the North West. Hi-Life eateries in the Preston area include: Healey’s Restaurant and The Walled Garden at Barton Grange Hotel on Garstang Road, Springfield House in Pilling, Haighton Manor in Haighton, So Noodle Bar on Ormskirk Road, Victoria’s India in Longridge, The White Bull in Bilsborrow, Pipers in Garstang, Lorenzo’s in Freckleton, Chiquito in Ashton-on-Ribble, Fleece Inn and Salvatore’s in Penwortham, Les Bushells at Goosnargh, Inside Out in Walton-leDale and Burlingtons at Broughton crossroads. Based in Blackpool, Heeley is a former Penwortham resident. He has worked closely with some of the leading names in the dining world over the last 25 years. Of the state of the dining industry in 2008, he said: “The credit crunch has impacted on us all and there has been increasing pressure on restaurateurs, particularly towards the back end of the year. “We recently undertook some research of our own into dining out plans, which revealed that the vast majority of people (81%) expect to eat out less this year than last. “We polled 2,000 consumers in the run-up to Christmas and found that nearly three quarters (74%) had altered their festive and New Year dining out plans as a result of the credit crunch. “Of course, we all need to eat and people still want to dine out and

The restaurant industry needs to be competing with the likes of the £10 M&S meal for two and finding innovative and cost effective ways to attract drinkers and diners. enjoy themselves. “From Hi-Life’s point of view, 2008 was a record year. Our membership figures reached the 130,000 mark and our network of partner restaurants grew from just over 2,000 to more than 3,000. “Our members spent more than £50m at Hi-Life restaurants in the last 12 months. “In these straitened times, consumers are, more than ever before, looking for ways to make their leisure pound go further.

“The restaurant industry needs to be competing with the likes of the £10 M&S meal for two and finding innovative and cost effective ways to attract drinkers and diners. “Competitive pricing, meal deals and incentives are key. “Our two-for-one incentive at Hi-Life is just one example. “It benefits thousands of restaurateurs who struggle to attract new customers in the quieter times and see their monthly profits continually squeezed. “I’m sure this is one of the reasons why our network continues to grow at such a pace during difficult times. “Early indications are 2009 will continue in much the same vein as 2008, with consumer spending power weakened and diners searching for well-priced dining out options. “Ultimately it will be the restaurateurs who take a long-term view, offering something extra to entice diners away from their sofas, who will outperform the competition in 2009.”

HERE is no mistaking the fact that 2008 has been a turbulent year for retail, with the effects of the worldwide economic situation certainly being felt towards the last quarter of the year. However, the first nine months of the year saw many retailers in Preston trading extremely strongly – in particular around the Olympic period in June and July with results and footfall into The Mall Preston being markedly high. There are many different reasons why this trend could have occurred. After all, it was the start of the peak summer holiday season. Also throughout my retail career I have noticed that whenever the country is going through a particularly buoyant period – in this case a substantial medal haul by British athletes at the Olympics – consumer outlook

KEN WILLIAMS General manager at The Mall Preston changes and the tills start ringing. It was in mid-September that the full effects of the economic situation were felt, with October being one of the toughest trading periods in many years. However, shops remained busy despite consumers biding their time in making Christmas purchases.

As expected there was a surge of last minute shoppers rushing to buy gifts in the last few days before Christmas and The Mall Preston’s footfall figures are up 1.5% on last year. As I have said before, consumers’ shopping habits are changing and instead of ‘buying for want,’ people are increasingly ‘buying for need’ and I believe that the first and second quarters of 2009 will illustrate this. Hopefully we will begin to see an upturn in the economy and consumer confidence towards autumn and tills will ring loudly again. 2009 is a year full of opportunity. There is certainly room for new businesses to enter the retail market by seizing new opportunities that have emerged as a result of changing trends on the high street, and those brave enough to take a risk may well reap the rewards.

29


30

lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lepbusinessreview2009

35

AEROSPACE BAE&NORTHWESTAEROSPACEALLIANCE

Highperformanceis thenameofourgame KEVIN TAYLOR, Managing Director, Military Air Solutions

T

he Military Air Solutions business within BAE Systems made strong progress during 2008; both on improving performance, delivering its programme commitments and working in partnership with its customers to provide effective air power. Our sites at Warton and Samlesbury have continued to deliver on the Eurofighter Typhoon in conjunction with our European partners. In fact, 57 aircraft were de-

livered to the UK, including the first Tranche 2 aircraft, and 95 across the other European partner nations. A total of nine aircraft have been delivered to Austria and in October the first flight of a Typhoon aircraft in Saudi livery took place, marking the start of the flight test programme for this important customer. In the UK, RAF Typhoons are operational in Air Defence and Quick Reaction Alert roles with the multi-role operational effectiveness declared in July. On our Hawk contract for India, 23 of the 24 UK built aircraft and the first training systems have been delivered to the Indian Air

Force. In addition customer acceptance of the final of the 24 Hawk aircraft for South Africa took place in December. Production of the Hawk Mk128 Advanced Jet Trainer for the RAF progressed well in 2008, with first deliveries to RAF Valley planned for early 2009. Meanwhile, provision of simulated training to RAF fast jet pilots continued at RAF Valley throughout 2008, as did Hawk TMk1 support under the Hawk Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) programme at RAF Valley and four other UK bases. The Nimrod MRA4 aircraft development programme progressed with all nine aircraft in manufacture against an incentivised production programme, with the first production MRA4 successfully achieving ‘power on’ in November. The Tornado availability programme, known as ‘ATTAC’, began full service and performed in line with contractual milestones and, following a contract award in December 2007, work progressed to upgrade the aircraft. The Harrier GR9 upgrade programme continued to deliver to schedule and cost and, vitally, the aircraft provided close air support to UK operations in Afghanistan.

I

t was a big year for the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter. All three F-35 aircraft variants were in various stages of manufacture and the STOVL variant of the F-35 Lightning II had its maiden flight in June. BAE Systems continued to leverage its expertise in unmanned air systems (UAS) to position itself in this growth market. The portfolio

includes the Taranis and Mantis UAS Technology Demonstrator programmes, (of which final assembly for both programmes commenced in December), the HERTI surveillance system, the GA22 airship and Fury armed vehicle. The redundancy programme affecting the Brough and Woodford sites is progressing. The reasons for the redundancies are changes in workload.

I

n 2009 Military Air Solutions is committed to working jointly with its customers to ensure it delivers real advantage to the men and women of the armed forces. Our key focuses will be partnering, efficiency, delivering timely through-life solutions and ensuring we make the most of UK and international opportunities. We will work to develop leadership in the global supply chain. On key programmes such as Tornado and Harrier we will work to deliver on our promises and ensure our UK customer’s operational requirements are met. On both programmes we will be ensuring the platforms are available to the crews and have the capability to fulfil their current and future roles, both through planned programmes and the effective delivery of Urgent Operational Requirements. On Typhoon it is vitally important that the negotiations on Tranche 3 are concluded in the early part of 2009, ensuring that the partner nations have production continuity. While negotiations on Tranche 3 are ongoing, maintaining the delivery of the Tranche 2 aircraft and the Tranche 1 aircraft being upgraded to be multi-role

capable is crucial in providing the RAF with the required level of operational capability. The implementation of the Typhoon Availability Service contract is also a significant step forward in the support being provided to the RAF fleet by the Military Air Solutions business. This year also sees the delivery of the first Typhoons for the Royal Saudi Air Force. We will be working to ensure we maintain support for Hawk fleets. In the UK, we will be delivering the new Hawk AJT fleet into RAF Valley and continue supporting the existing Hawk fleet. It is also a significant year for the Nimrod MRA4 programme with a number of key milestones ahead as we move towards the aircraft’s planned in-service date of 2010. On the F-35 Lightning II, the programme will continue from development to initial production. Significant infrastructure improvement work on our Samlesbury site is under way to deliver the facilities needed to meet future production requirements. We expect to see maiden flights of the conventional take-off and landing, and carrier variants. In autonomy, we will deliver on the two jointly-funded Technology Demonstrator programmes, Mantis and Taranis, with ground trials for Taranis and first flight trials of Mantis planned for 2009. Work will go on to develop HERTI to its production solution. We will develop a strong global presence for our unmanned systems portfolio and capturing market opportunities. We continue to embed a high performance culture, underpinned by a focus on safety, quality and good service.

BAE highlights of 2008 January The first Hawk aircraft to take off from Brough in over 10 years. The last RAF Tranche 1 Typhoon was delivered. February Hawk inducted into the Indian Air Force. March Nimrod MRA4 completed Ice trials. April Manufacturing started on F-35 Lightning II production aircraft. HERO Unmanned Autonomous System (UAS) trials with UK Border Agency. May HERTI UAS completed overseas trials. Fatigue tests started at Brough on Nimrod MRA4. June FURY UAS unveiled. Successful first flight of STOVL F-35. July RAF Typhoon declared multi-role capable. Mantis UAS unveiled at Farnborough show. August The first UK Hawk AJT maiden flight from Brough.

UP TO THE TASK: The RAF launched the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet as a "multi-role-capable" aircraft today. The jet is now be able to carry out precision ground attacks as well as take part in air defence operations.

It’s ‘business as usual’ for the high flying aerospace sector

S

trong order books and international commitment to the key programmes that sustain the aerospace industry in the North West mean it’s business as usual for the sector. Martin Wright, chief executive officer of the Lancashire-based North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) is not hearing any alarm bells from the sector, at least for the time being. However, he believes that data

MARTIN RIGHT, executive chairman of the North West Aerospace Alliance from the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) highlighting some issues with financing within the aerospace supply chain must be acted upon in consultation with the Government. Prime manufacturers in the area such as BAE Systems, Airbus and

Rolls-Royce plc are involved in key programmes including the Typhoon, Joint Strike Fighter, A400M heavy transport aircraft and the Airbus family of airliners. Work from these programmes filters down the supply chain to the NWAA’s 300 plus members, many of them classed as small to medium sized companies. Mr Wright says: “Soundings from key players in the region indicate that it’s business as usual for the moment.”

The NWAA is asking for feedback on any financing issues from its member companies. Mr Wright adds: “Maintaining a strong aerospace sector in the region is vital and the global financial situation may even create opportunities. Whatever the case, the collective strength of the industry that we have built over past years will be a factor we can rely on.” For its part, the NWAA will continue its Aerospace Supply Chain

Excellence (ASCE) Programme, which is dedicated to helping companies achieve world competitiveness and will have provided training and learning experience for around 1,000 people by spring. Now half way through, the £8m plus NWAA programme, supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the industry, is planning a second phase of the initiative which aims to examine the prospects for companies

sharing services, to stimulate innovation, look at wider collaboration, establish commodity-based supply chains and develop a dedicated aerospace skills academy. The NWAA is currently in talks aimed at securing the £11m funding required for the second stage of the programme. It is also working on a regional skills capacity model to identify skills necessary to take the North West aerospace industry forward in the future.

IV Squadron visited Warton. September Samlesbury development topping out ceremony. October Delivery of first Tranche 2 Typhoons to the RAF. First flight of Saudi Typhoon. GA22 Airship made its first flight. November Nimrod MRA4 successfully achieved ‘power on’. December Mantis UAS final assembly began. Taranis UAS final assembly began.

UNMANNED: Shape of the Mantis revealed at Farnborough Air Show


30

lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lepbusinessreview2009

35

AEROSPACE BAE&NORTHWESTAEROSPACEALLIANCE

Highperformanceis thenameofourgame KEVIN TAYLOR, Managing Director, Military Air Solutions

T

he Military Air Solutions business within BAE Systems made strong progress during 2008; both on improving performance, delivering its programme commitments and working in partnership with its customers to provide effective air power. Our sites at Warton and Samlesbury have continued to deliver on the Eurofighter Typhoon in conjunction with our European partners. In fact, 57 aircraft were de-

livered to the UK, including the first Tranche 2 aircraft, and 95 across the other European partner nations. A total of nine aircraft have been delivered to Austria and in October the first flight of a Typhoon aircraft in Saudi livery took place, marking the start of the flight test programme for this important customer. In the UK, RAF Typhoons are operational in Air Defence and Quick Reaction Alert roles with the multi-role operational effectiveness declared in July. On our Hawk contract for India, 23 of the 24 UK built aircraft and the first training systems have been delivered to the Indian Air

Force. In addition customer acceptance of the final of the 24 Hawk aircraft for South Africa took place in December. Production of the Hawk Mk128 Advanced Jet Trainer for the RAF progressed well in 2008, with first deliveries to RAF Valley planned for early 2009. Meanwhile, provision of simulated training to RAF fast jet pilots continued at RAF Valley throughout 2008, as did Hawk TMk1 support under the Hawk Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) programme at RAF Valley and four other UK bases. The Nimrod MRA4 aircraft development programme progressed with all nine aircraft in manufacture against an incentivised production programme, with the first production MRA4 successfully achieving ‘power on’ in November. The Tornado availability programme, known as ‘ATTAC’, began full service and performed in line with contractual milestones and, following a contract award in December 2007, work progressed to upgrade the aircraft. The Harrier GR9 upgrade programme continued to deliver to schedule and cost and, vitally, the aircraft provided close air support to UK operations in Afghanistan.

I

t was a big year for the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter. All three F-35 aircraft variants were in various stages of manufacture and the STOVL variant of the F-35 Lightning II had its maiden flight in June. BAE Systems continued to leverage its expertise in unmanned air systems (UAS) to position itself in this growth market. The portfolio

includes the Taranis and Mantis UAS Technology Demonstrator programmes, (of which final assembly for both programmes commenced in December), the HERTI surveillance system, the GA22 airship and Fury armed vehicle. The redundancy programme affecting the Brough and Woodford sites is progressing. The reasons for the redundancies are changes in workload.

I

n 2009 Military Air Solutions is committed to working jointly with its customers to ensure it delivers real advantage to the men and women of the armed forces. Our key focuses will be partnering, efficiency, delivering timely through-life solutions and ensuring we make the most of UK and international opportunities. We will work to develop leadership in the global supply chain. On key programmes such as Tornado and Harrier we will work to deliver on our promises and ensure our UK customer’s operational requirements are met. On both programmes we will be ensuring the platforms are available to the crews and have the capability to fulfil their current and future roles, both through planned programmes and the effective delivery of Urgent Operational Requirements. On Typhoon it is vitally important that the negotiations on Tranche 3 are concluded in the early part of 2009, ensuring that the partner nations have production continuity. While negotiations on Tranche 3 are ongoing, maintaining the delivery of the Tranche 2 aircraft and the Tranche 1 aircraft being upgraded to be multi-role

capable is crucial in providing the RAF with the required level of operational capability. The implementation of the Typhoon Availability Service contract is also a significant step forward in the support being provided to the RAF fleet by the Military Air Solutions business. This year also sees the delivery of the first Typhoons for the Royal Saudi Air Force. We will be working to ensure we maintain support for Hawk fleets. In the UK, we will be delivering the new Hawk AJT fleet into RAF Valley and continue supporting the existing Hawk fleet. It is also a significant year for the Nimrod MRA4 programme with a number of key milestones ahead as we move towards the aircraft’s planned in-service date of 2010. On the F-35 Lightning II, the programme will continue from development to initial production. Significant infrastructure improvement work on our Samlesbury site is under way to deliver the facilities needed to meet future production requirements. We expect to see maiden flights of the conventional take-off and landing, and carrier variants. In autonomy, we will deliver on the two jointly-funded Technology Demonstrator programmes, Mantis and Taranis, with ground trials for Taranis and first flight trials of Mantis planned for 2009. Work will go on to develop HERTI to its production solution. We will develop a strong global presence for our unmanned systems portfolio and capturing market opportunities. We continue to embed a high performance culture, underpinned by a focus on safety, quality and good service.

BAE highlights of 2008 January The first Hawk aircraft to take off from Brough in over 10 years. The last RAF Tranche 1 Typhoon was delivered. February Hawk inducted into the Indian Air Force. March Nimrod MRA4 completed Ice trials. April Manufacturing started on F-35 Lightning II production aircraft. HERO Unmanned Autonomous System (UAS) trials with UK Border Agency. May HERTI UAS completed overseas trials. Fatigue tests started at Brough on Nimrod MRA4. June FURY UAS unveiled. Successful first flight of STOVL F-35. July RAF Typhoon declared multi-role capable. Mantis UAS unveiled at Farnborough show. August The first UK Hawk AJT maiden flight from Brough.

UP TO THE TASK: The RAF launched the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet as a "multi-role-capable" aircraft today. The jet is now be able to carry out precision ground attacks as well as take part in air defence operations.

It’s ‘business as usual’ for the high flying aerospace sector

S

trong order books and international commitment to the key programmes that sustain the aerospace industry in the North West mean it’s business as usual for the sector. Martin Wright, chief executive officer of the Lancashire-based North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) is not hearing any alarm bells from the sector, at least for the time being. However, he believes that data

MARTIN RIGHT, executive chairman of the North West Aerospace Alliance from the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) highlighting some issues with financing within the aerospace supply chain must be acted upon in consultation with the Government. Prime manufacturers in the area such as BAE Systems, Airbus and

Rolls-Royce plc are involved in key programmes including the Typhoon, Joint Strike Fighter, A400M heavy transport aircraft and the Airbus family of airliners. Work from these programmes filters down the supply chain to the NWAA’s 300 plus members, many of them classed as small to medium sized companies. Mr Wright says: “Soundings from key players in the region indicate that it’s business as usual for the moment.”

The NWAA is asking for feedback on any financing issues from its member companies. Mr Wright adds: “Maintaining a strong aerospace sector in the region is vital and the global financial situation may even create opportunities. Whatever the case, the collective strength of the industry that we have built over past years will be a factor we can rely on.” For its part, the NWAA will continue its Aerospace Supply Chain

Excellence (ASCE) Programme, which is dedicated to helping companies achieve world competitiveness and will have provided training and learning experience for around 1,000 people by spring. Now half way through, the £8m plus NWAA programme, supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the industry, is planning a second phase of the initiative which aims to examine the prospects for companies

sharing services, to stimulate innovation, look at wider collaboration, establish commodity-based supply chains and develop a dedicated aerospace skills academy. The NWAA is currently in talks aimed at securing the £11m funding required for the second stage of the programme. It is also working on a regional skills capacity model to identify skills necessary to take the North West aerospace industry forward in the future.

IV Squadron visited Warton. September Samlesbury development topping out ceremony. October Delivery of first Tranche 2 Typhoons to the RAF. First flight of Saudi Typhoon. GA22 Airship made its first flight. November Nimrod MRA4 successfully achieved ‘power on’. December Mantis UAS final assembly began. Taranis UAS final assembly began.

UNMANNED: Shape of the Mantis revealed at Farnborough Air Show


36

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk


lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

37

COMMERCE&EDUCATION ETHNICMINORITYBUSINESSFORUM&UNIVERSITYOFCENTRALLANCASHIRE

Entrepreneurs among ethnic business people

by KHALID SAIFULLAH relationship manager at Business Link North West and a member of the regional Ethnic Minoroty Business Forum

W

hile every time we switch on the television or log on to the internet, the news is of doom and gloom for all industries, on the ground there is a growing entrepreneurial spirit within the North West. In my role as a relationship manager with Business Link North West, I am seeing this growth and there are certain ethnic minority groups, particularly the South Asian and Chinese communities, where this entrepreneurialism is strong. It is because of this that when we came to the point of considering postponing the Ethnic Minority Business Forum North West annual awards in March, we decided to press ahead. Because, while there are challenging times facing all businesses, both now and in the future, we wanted to show that there is still life out there and that entrepreneurialism needs to be rewarded. We all recognise the challenges but many people out there in the North West business community will see that as an opportunity rather than a reason to put a stop to things. Recession can breed many things and entrepreneurial spirit is one of the more positive aspects. We may well see a lot of people in the ethnic minority communities and beyond leaving their jobs in the next year, including some of our biggest and best-known employers, but I believe this could also be the breeding ground for the big businesses of the next ten years. Through Business Link North West there is a lot of support available, both financial and advice, which is tackling the root cause of this recession – a lack of access to finance. My fellow relationship managers and I are seen as the eyes and ears on the ground for government, feeding back real-time information about how its reaction to the recession is working, or not working. Generally speaking I think people accept that the quick and decisive response taken has been the right way forward but equally they recognise things will not happen overnight. We may well have to wait a further six or 12 months before the impact of interest rate cuts, VAT cuts and the other measures taken nationally start to show rewards. The second annual EMBFNW awards will take place at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester on Thursday, March 12, go to www.embfawards.co.uk for further details.

SCREEN GRAB: The UCLan Media Factory features a nine-metre wide computer projection screen to help stimulate debate

UCLan will be ‘business-facing’

by Nick Lancaster, deputy director of Knowledge Transfer at the University of Central Lancashire

F

OR as long as universities have been going the voices of business have been screaming loud. They have wanted to know what we can do to support them, and in today’s climate of a country entering a recession, those voices are louder than ever. At the University of Central Lancashire in Preston we are listening more than ever about what we can do to help them now. One crucial way we can do that is to ensure our graduates are making an immediate impact. There has been a notion that it takes a graduate time to embed themselves into the world of work. To do this we are not only giving those students the education they need, we are giving them the ‘soft skills’ through schemes like our work placement programmes which we believe help us create graduates who are job-ready for whatever industry they choose to go into. On top of that we help through schemes like Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Innovation Voucher Schemes, which are both government schemes, whereby we get grad-

uates to go into businesses to look at solving problems and making companies more efficient. The key thing to remember about any downturn is that it will always be followed by an upturn and schemes like these are ways of ensuring businesses are prepared to be in the best possible situation for when that upturn comes. In the last year, UCLan has undergone a number of transformations, most notably our Media Factory which is not only a hub for a number of our business programmes, it is also an incubation unit for small businesses in the area. We do aim to be as ‘business-facing’ as we can through facilities like the Media Factory and through projects targeting specific business sectors we are aiming to stimulate the economy in areas such as digital media, advanced manufacturing and design. I can say the bricks and mortar of the university are likely to stay the same as they are today, but we aim to make the most of the vast array of skills we have here at UCLan both in our staff and our graduate population.

We aim to make the most of the vast array of skills we have here at UCLan both in our staff and our graduate population


38

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

INSOLVENCY BEGBIESTRAYNOR

Few will be spared the pain

Leisure industry and architects may soon be hit by downturn

A

t the start of 2008, few people would have predicted the dramatic financial events of the past year. There was a complete eradication of confidence within the credit and financial markets which is now having an impact much nearer home. A number of steps and measures have been taken by the government to stabilise the position but any impact will take time to filter through to the local SME market. Many companies have, until now, continued trading because they could release cash from their properties and other assets but now their refinancing options have run out. Unfortunately we are now seeing a growing number of corporate insolvencies where there are no assets whatsoever left in the business – it has simply been leveraged and refinanced to its limits. Official receivers are getting involved

STEVEN WILLIAMS, partner at business rescue, recovery and restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor in Preston more often because private practice liquidators can’t identify any assets that can be recovered even to pay their own fees

– let alone leaving anything for the creditors. There is no doubt that we will see more compulsory liquidations in 2009 in which the creditors owed the money will wind up the company through the courts. Of course, where the director volunteers to pay the liquidation fees personally, someone will take on the job and this does still happen because they want the company to come to a sensible conclusion for the sake of everyone involved. If company directors decide to continue trading although the business is technically insolvent, they could be held personally liable. If found guilty of wrongful or fraudulent trading, then they cannot hide behind limited liability status and ultimately the liquidator could come after their house and other personal assets. Many have also given personal guarantees to the banks and they will almost certainly have that called upon very soon. Owner-managed businesses counted the days with dread to when staff PAYE/NI had to be paid on January 19 followed by the self-assessment tax to be paid on January 31. This is crunch time for those businesses which the recession has left with empty kitties. We have lived in a throwaway society fuelled by cheap credit. Now it is time to go back to basics,. Throughout 2008, the economic slowdown has had an impact on pretty much all sec-

MORE TO COME: Sectors such as construction, left, have already been hard hit by the recesssion but others like corporate hospitality, above, may have a big struggle yet to come as big clients cut their entertainment budgets

The days of quick fixes are well and truly over”

tors with household names going bust left right and centre. Consequently I predict a further rise in unemployment that will continue the vicious downward spiral. As people lose their jobs, we will see more personal insolvencies. I doubt that all this unsecured credit card debt has come home to roost yet and many have been paying only the minimum monthly pay-

ments while it was still interest free. Those with jobs will start putting away cash in case their employment is affected. There will be less money to spend on leisure so pubs, restaurants and cafés will start to suffer. Financial institutions will now only lend money against sound business plans and I suspect the professional services sector will come into its own again because businesses will

need a good accountant and a good lawyer to set them up and see them through. Many sectors have already been hit hard, such as construction and residential property. We will increasingly see the knock-on effect on architects, plant hire, building suppliers and others. Those specialising in corporate hospitality will struggle as the big spenders cut their entertainment budgets. Some venues may have survived until now on the back of deposits paid months ago but I doubt anyone will have booked anything for the past two-three months. What we are seeing is, of course, depressing but it is a natural correction of the marketplace. Unfortunately is has come as a sharp shock for many but it was inevitable. It seems very few businesses actually had contingency funds in place – keeping something for a rainy day. The days of quick fixes are well and truly over.


lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

39

ADVERTISING FEATURE

Excellence is recognised

R

unshaw Business Centre is one of the first in the country to achieve Training Quality Standard status, and the first organisation in Lancashire to hold the esteemed award. It has also been recognised for its excellence in the areas of Leadership and Management, and Adult Social Care. The Training Quality Standard award has been developed to help employers by creating a quality mark which will highlight the best organisations from which to access training and development solutions. TQS was developed to give employers a simple benchmark for choosing training providers. Achieving the standard demonstrates that Runshaw Business Centre has the ability to offer high quality training at a time and place to suit employers – setting the college apart from the competition. TQS recognises and celebrates the best organisations delivering training and development solutions to employers. It re-

flects employers' priorities and expectations in sourcing training and development solutions, and the practices of the organisations proven to be the best at delivering them. Adrian Roscoe, RBC Manager, commented on the success of the achievement of this prestigious award: “I am delighted that Runshaw Business Centre has achieved the new Training Quality Standard. This accreditation is recognition of the excellent work that we do with employers and testimony to the efforts we make to meet their needs. This endorsement is further confirmation of the excellent work-related training and education provided by Runshaw and an assurance to all those who choose to use our services.� To find out more about courses at Runshaw Business Centre log on to www.runshaw.ac.uk/rbc email: rbcenquiry@runshaw.ac.uk Tel: 01772 643008

AWARD HOLDERS: Runshaw Business Centre achieves Training Quality Standard with excellence in leadership and management


40+

lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

College calls on experts PRESTON College has appointed an expert in business rates to advise it on how to handle its property portfolio. The rating team at Knight Frank’s North West office has been retained as an advisor to the college which has plans for a £90m expansion of its Fulwood campus, Partner Martin Howard said: “We pride ourselves in guiding our clients through the good times as well as the bad. “The fact that so many of our existing clients have already reinstructed us for the forthcoming rating revaluation in 2010 demonstrates the team’s ability to deliver.”

Unions give output a lift TRADE unions are back on the increase at companies in the North West, a study shows. Two-thirds of bosses surveyed said they found unions helpful in improving performance. However, the survey showed that communication between bosses and staff was still weak. Regeneris director Neil Evans said: “Despite evidence that communication with employees can deliver tangible benefits, employers are again polarised, between those keen to communicate with employees and those which are not.”

MP welcomes move to help truck makers David Coates

Time for a reverse in the parking debate

A

GOVERNMENT announcement this week will help ailing truck manufacturer Leyland Trucks, a Lancashire MP has claimed. South Ribble MP David Borrow said he expects Chancellor Alistair Darling to announce plans to guarantee finance for firms which specialise in lending to hauliers looking to buy trucks. The move is expected to support the car-building industry by offering guarantees to motorists, but Mr Borrow has vowed to press his colleague to include the truck industry in any measures. Jim Sumner, Leyland Trucks’ managing director, announced more than 300 job losses at the firm’s factory in Farington, near Leyland, last year. He has now met with Mr Darling and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson to push for the changes to support the truck industry in recent months. Mr Borrow said: “A lot of big companies can borrow on the

PAUL HEATHCOTE

L

SHIFTING METAL: David Borrow, right, expects special measures for lending by hauliers to ease Leyland’s plight financial markets and lend it direct through there own subsidiaries, and hopefully this will allow them to pick up hauliers that are struggling to get finance from banks for more vehicles. “I am hopeful that while this will support the car industry this will also apply to Leyland Trucks and immediately give access to finance to hauliers which otherwise would not have access to it.” Recent reports have suggested the government intends to

provide credit guarantees to the finance houses that offer loans to motorists, enabling them to offer more 0% deals to people looking to buy cars and commercial vehicles. Mr Borrow visited Leyland Trucks’ factory in his constituency as workers returned to work last Friday, after an extended month-long lay-off. The South Ribble MP said: “There appears to be enough work there to keep the company going for the first quarter of the year, albeit at re-

duced workforce levels they are currently operating at.”

Online

Related stories on www.lep.co.uk:

● Plea to help truck firm ride out crisis, January 22, 2009 ● Truck firm 'needs level playing field', January 8, 2009 ● Trucks chief asks for recession bail-out, December 11, 2008

THE BIBAs

VIP hosts on board for the big night With Lancashire’s biggest business awards just a matter of weeks away, Lancashire & Blackpool Tourist Board has joined the BIBAs 2009 as VIP hosts. Mike Wilkinson, chief executive of the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board said: “We are looking forward to celebrating the achievements of local companies in the magnificent surroundings of the Blackpool Winter Gardens. We are proud to play a role in supporting an event that not only recognises local excellence but also plays a vital part in using local businesses to supply services and products to these awards”. Hailed as the “one they all want to win” the BIBAs 2009 has attracted an exceptional level of entries from many of Lancashire’s top performing companies – almost 900 entries were submitted, 20 sponsors have pledged their support, 14 BIBAs are up for grabs and 1000 guests are expected to attend on the night. Babs Murphy, chief executive of the organisers North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Com-

merce added: “We are delighted that the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board are supporting this year’s event. They join a star line of sponsors and the extent of this support has helped the BIBAs to be the most recognisable and important endorsement of corporate and individual achievement in Lancashire.” Mike Wilkinson said: “ Building on the huge success of the previous year, which gathered more than 750 businesses at the most prestigious business event in Lancashire, BIBAs 2009 is set to be an even grander showcase of the best of Lancashire business.” A 1000-strong audience of leading businesses, will gather for BIBAs 2009 at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool on March 6, 2009 where the winners will be announced. Tickets for the event are now on sale and can be booked online at www.thebibas.co.uk or by calling 01772 653000. ● Find out the final 65 shortlisted entries in next week’s lepbusinessweek

AST week I mentioned in my column about out-of-town shopping parks and how they are part of the problem affecting our city centres these days. In that I mentioned one of the big things the likes of the Deepdale Retail Park or even the Trafford Centre in Manchester has going for them is free parking. Compare that to Preston city centre and the draconian way which parking is enforced in areas like Winckley Square and even some of the major car parks; if you're a minute late getting back to your car, you get a ticket. Over Christmas it always works – we want to get more people to come and shop in Preston, so we ease off on people and give them some free parking here and there. My question is, why now when our shops are struggling and, in some cases, dying on the vine, don't we do the same? Councils have the power to ease up on parking and while I appreciate it is a massive source of revenue which keeps our business rates and council tax bills down, we have to think of our priorities. Do we really want people to walk down a Fishergate full of empty shops, or for those small businesses down side streets off the main high streets to die off? These businesses all rely on people being able to get easy access to them to survive and that means easier parking. Who knows – a little bit of clever marketing in parking tickets might go a long way – how about buy one ticket and get one free? Seriously worth a thought?

These businesses all rely on people being able to get easy access to them to survive

Online

To comment on this article go to www.lep.co.uk


lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lepbusinessreview2009

41

INDUSTRY UKTRADE&INVESTMENT

New Year, – new opportunities By Clive Drinkwater, International Trade Director for the North West

A

s we enter 2009 there is no doubt that we are facing major challenges in the 12 months ahead. However, although times are hard, international trade and exporting in particular has a major role to play in helping companies through the downturn and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is determined to play its part in ensuring Lancashire businesses can make the most of the opportunities that now exist. In the half year to September 2008, UKTI North West’s team of International Trade Advisers helped 85 Lancashire companies either make their first exports or

access new markets, with 22 companies completing the Passport to Export Programme, 45 companies accessing schemes to help research new markets, three companies undergoing an Export Communications Review, and total orders obtained totalling £2.7 million. In challenging times it is of prime importance that firms are competitive, and trading internationally has been shown to improve business performance. When firms start to trade internationally they experience a 34% improvement in productivity on average, and businesses that export also become more adaptable.

Where do we go now? A guide to the future global markets

E

ven though many of the developed world’s economies are in technical recession, there will still be expansion in most of the high growth markets. A study commissioned by UKTI and The Economist called Tomorrow’s Markets examines where longer term growth in world markets is going to come from, and in addition to examining the opportunities in outlying regions of China and India, the report looks at new wave markets such as Vietnam, Argentina, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Poland and Indonesia all of which are predicted to grow at rates of around 6-7% over the next four years. If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s available to download from www.newwavemarkets.com China will see its growth rates reduce but will still achieve at least 7.5% growth this year.

Working with CBBC (China-Britain Business Council), UKTI has published a report into 35 regional cities in China with the best opportunities for British firms. There are in fact around 270 cities in China with a population of a million or more and the message is that there are tremendous opportunities for companies outside of the usual destinations of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In fact, given the very competitive position in these cities the regional cities may represent much better prospects for our customers. More than ever, it’s important to hunt down new markets for your business, but also not to overstretch. However you should be looking at any market where the economy is growing, including Mexico, South Africa, the Gulf and

other South East Asian markets. None are completely immune from the downturn but all are still expected to grow and are worth checking out. There is also the major competitive advantage we are now presented with as a result of the weakening of Sterling. To put it simply, every £1 product or service sold by a UK company to a European company would have cost 1.48 Euros last year, but will now cost 1.10 Euros, equivalent to a 25% reduction. This also applies to transactions in US dollars and in Japanese yen as well. If you plan carefully, place great emphasis on how you’re going to get paid and get appropriate advice, new markets can help you to achieve your aims of becoming more productive and profitable.

CHINA INDIA VIETNAM ARGENTINA UKRAINE SAUDI ARABIA POLAND INDONESIA MEXICO SOUTH AFRICA THE GULF

Evidence shows that when a business begins exporting it also grows its home sales. Exporting firms invest more in technology, plant, equipment … and their greatest resource – people. As a result exporters have a 12% higher survival rate than firms that don’t export. It is also worth bearing in mind the relative competitive advantage our firms will have following the weakening of sterling versus other major currencies. Of course, there will be an increase in cost for anybody importing materials and paying in these currencies but for anybody exporting from a sterling base the weak pound gives us a good advantage. UK Trade & Investment has a wide range of services available to help Lancashire businesses through the downturn. We will ensure that they have International Trade support when they need it, whether they are new and inexperienced exporters, or established international companies who need specific help with sector and market research, or support in forming complex strategic alliances such as overseas joint ventures. UKTI also organise a wide range of trade missions and market visits, as well as offering the expertise of our hundreds of staff in embassies overseas – all of whom can give you real local sector specific knowledge and warmed leads to ensure your business trip abroad is really worthwhile. Another initiative we are justifiably proud of is our Meet the Buyer programme, which brings influential buyers from around the world to the North West. Meeting lots of international buyers in one convenient location is a very powerful tool for Lancashire suppliers, and over the next few months we will be holding a number of events covering the health, technology, music and chemicals sectors. Looking through the business prospects posted on the UKTI website recently I found a wealth of information on opportunities from 10 countries, China, Australia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Austria, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Lithuania and Bangladesh. The sectors concerned were energy, construction, advanced engineering, ICT, transport, creative, textiles, healthcare and aerospace, and UK Trade and Investment offer a free service which will regularly alert your businesses to these chances – all you have to do is visit www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk to register. So despite the negative predictions made for 2009, there are plenty of international opportunities available. The North West International Trade Team have a dedicated team of advisers on hand to help you with whatever international trade queries you may have.

Contact us on 0845 603 7053 or info@uktinorthwest.co.uk to see how we can help.


42

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk

lepbusinessreview2009

ADVERTISING FEATURE Toyota’s Avensis looks as dependable as ever in its latest guise. Steve Walker reports

The Toy Wonder Y

ou can always rely on a Toyota Avensis and the latest model is unlikely to be any exception. Improvements across the board with a particular focus on safety and the environment should go down well with buyers. Medium range family cars might not be the most enthralling category of vehicle in today’s marketplace but that doesn’t mean that the thousands of motorists who end up behind the wheel of one don’t want some excitement. Whether they’ve shelled out their own money or been handed the keys by

their company’s fleet manager, drivers of family saloons and estates are just as eager to be exhilarated as the punter who’s re-mortgaged his house to buy a Lamborghini, maybe more so. The problem is that these large mainstream cars must speak to an almost impossibly broad church. Running costs, build quality, practicality, reliability, all of these essential factors and more have got to be nailed down before designers and engineers can even think about instilling sporty dynamics or concocting a beguiling exterior. Toyota’s Avensis has traditionally

Facts At A Glance CAR: Toyota Avensis range PRICES: £15,760-£24,570 on the road INSURANCE GROUPS: 7-12 PERFORMANCE: [1.8] 060mph 9.0s / Max Speed 127mph FUEL CONSUMPTION: [1.8 saloon] (urban) 33.2mpg/ (extra urban) 52.3mpg / (combined) 43.5mpg STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: seven airbags, active head rests, ABS, EBD, VSC+, ISOFIX child seat fixings WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: (length/width/height mm) 4695/1810/1480 [saloon]

done the basics with aplomb. The latest car aims to put the icing on the cake. Toyota is eager to emphasis that this Avensis has been designed to appeal to European tastes. When manufacturers say that, it always leads you to wonder who the previous models were aimed at and it’s certainly safe to say that the old Avensis was typical Toyota. Like any number of the marque’s other efforts, it was eminently reliable and built like a Sumo wrestler’s rocking chair but ever so slightly staid in its design.

Created in the South of France and manufactured in the UK at Toyota’s Burnaston plant, today’s Avensis is off to a promisingly European start. Toyota has wheeled out its latest engine technology to power the Avensis. The petrol engines are of the Valvematic configuration which improve efficiency and increase power through an advanced combustion process. There’s a 1.8-litre engine with 145bhp and a 2litre packing 150bhp that can reach 60mph in a swift 9s when fitted to the saloon body. The design builds on the solid foundations laid down by the previous model

and its attempts to bring a little extra sparkle to the look and feel of the package appear to have been successful. The increased focus on the environment and safety in the latest Avensis should pay dividends and Toyota has also introduced a raft of new technologies both in the engine bay and elsewhere on the car. The medium range market is closely fought and highly populated with buying decisions often coming down to the smallest detail. Worryingly for its rivals, this car seems to have got the details right.


lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

‘Too good an opportunity to miss’ for PNE board man Switch of cities for law firm partner David Coates

A

NEW CHIEF EXEC: Anthony Hughes

BOARD member at Preston North End FC has quit the company where he led a major merger to take up a new top job. Club legal advisor Anthony Hughes, the former managing partner of Preston-based Ricksons which merged with national firm DWF in 2007, has been appointed the new chief executive of Manchester-based Horwich Farrelly. He is currently on “gardening leave” after resigning his post as head of personal injury at DWF’s office in Winckley Square, Preston, and will start his new job at the end of June. But he has insisted there was no falling out with his former employers and he had received “too good an opportunity to turn down.” Mr Hughes said: “The only rea-

son I decided to leave DWF was because I was excited by the challenges with Horwich Farrelly. I would not have left for just any job. “The world of legal services is a small one and I was approached by people who I knew well and they made me a great offer and I took it, there was never a problem with DWF. “The merger with Ricksons created a stronger business and, from a personal point of view, the revenue of the personal injury department I have taken over at DWF has grown revenues by 30%, so there was and still are exciting times ahead there.” He said that taking over at Horwich Farrelly, with its head office on St Ann Street in Manchester city centre, would be “a similar challenge” to when he took over at Ricksons and led the company into the merger in 2007. The North End director said he had spoken with PNE club chairman Derek Shaw about

his career move and offered to step down from the club’s board. Mr Hughes said: “I told him I would like to continue with the club but said I understood if the club wanted to work with someone working in Preston. “I was delighted and relieved when they said they were happy for me to continue. “These are exciting times for the club with all Derek’s hard work paying off with the new Invincibles’ Stand and the club having a great manager, a great team, and a great chance to make the Premier League, so I did not want to leave.”

Online

Related stories on www.lep.co.uk: ● Economic climate fails to hit law firm November 17, 2008 ● Law firms ranked in elite of

big fee earners September 24, 2007

NEWS BRIEFS

Boost for MB Faber A NUCLEAR specialist who has worked on some of the country’s biggest facilities, including Sellafield and Aldermaston, has been appointed general manager at Leylandbased engineering firm MB Faber. John Hurley joins the company, which employs 70 people in School Lane and recently completed the takeover of nuclear design company Remac Ltd, boosting its nuclear division. Mr Hurley, 51, will lead the development of the former Remac site in Egremont, Cumbria, along with the base in neighbouring Frizington. He said: "Not only did the acquisition considerably extend MB Faber's routes to market, but it complements the skills already present within the company's Cumbria operation." MB Faber managing director, Derek May, said Mr Hurley’s appointment would assist in "better positioning" the firm for the future.

Moremoveto ‘safe’investing

INVESTORS in Lancashire are moving their money into safe investments as confidence in the financial markets continues to dip. Nearly a quarter of those questioned said they have moved all or part of their money into cash and bonds, a 7% increase on 2007's figures from Lloyds TSB Wealth Management's annual Investor Outlook North West report. It also showed more than two-thirds are apprehensive about stock market investments, with six in ten saying they had reviewed their investments since the summer.

BusinessClub issettomeet

SPECIAL RATES: Debra Martin, the owner of second-hand furniture store Auntie Wainwrights, is offering a 15% discount to all her customers

Debra cuts prices to help her hard-hit customers THE owner of a Preston furniture shop has offered support to people hardest hit by the recession. Debra Martin, who has run Auntie Wainwright’s secondhand shop on Plungington Road, for the last 11 years, has launched a 15% discount for people out of work due to the

economic turmoil. She is offering the deal to people who have been made redundant or who are currently claiming unemployment benefit or Working Families Tax Credit. The 38-year-old, of Jemmett Street, Plungington, said the move was her way of supporting customers who had been

loyal to her business in “the good times.” She said: “We have had tremendous loyalty from our customers over the last 11 years and they have kept us going, so now some people are finding things a bit harder we want to do what we can to help. “We are selling suites for £95 which is cheaper than some

43

THE Central Lancashire Business Club is holding its monthly meeting at Lancashire College, on Southport Road, Chorley, next Tuesday. Attendees are advised to arrive at 7.45pm for an 8pm start, for further details go to www.businessclub.uk.com.

Savepoundsto savetheplanet

SAVING money is the top priority for companies looking to go green, according to one environmental group. The study by Envirowise, a government-funded business support group, found 64% of firms said reducing costs was the main aim in ‘greening’ their business.


44

lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MARKETS

energy

local sharewatch Company Amec BAE Systems easyJet Experian Findel Home Retail JJB Sports Johnston Press Parkwood Hdgs Preston North End RSA Insurance Gp Scapa Speedy Hire Torotrak Victrex Whitbread

Price 567 40814 31112 402 63 204 6 34 7 12 73 11712 13814 1512 66 1234 445 846

+/+1112 +5 +612 + 12 -2 +112 + 58 + 38

+614 +534 -12 +1 +16

High 951 50512 46634 455 56112 293 13214 25112 12412 13712 16534 3012 85812 2614 829 1395

Low 37712 30212 22014 27434 3312 16312 2 78 6 12 6812 110 11614 1512 39 9 37112 690

exchange rates Country

Australia Canada Czech Republic Denmark Egypt Europe Hong Kong Hungary India Israel Japan Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Norway Philippines Poland South Africa South Korea Sri Lanka Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand Turkey USA

CITY BULLETIN

LANCASHIRE ROUND-UP

Rate

Currency

1.9796 1.6009 27.05 7.4804 6.6923 1.0067 10.02 272.77 58.19 4.9026 114.79 4.6225 16.99 2.4124 8.9974 55.05 4.0799 13.02 1649.00 146.32 10.65 1.5055 40.03 42.39 2.1379 1.299

dollars dollars korunas krone pounds euro dollars forints rupees shekels yen ringgits pesos dollars krone pesos zlotys rand won rupees krona francs dollars baht new lira dollars

FTSE 100 up 156.54 at 4209.01 at close

GettheessentialLancashireand nationalbusinessnewsbyemail For a FREE subscription go to ww.lep.co.uk and click on the lepbusiness newsletter panel

Nuclear reactors poised for restart TWO nuclear reactors at a Lancashire power station are expected to come back online open “over the coming weeks”. British Energy, which owns the Heysham One power station, near Morecambe, said it expects the reactors at the station to return to service in “a phased process” alongside its second reactor in Hartlepool, County Durham. It announced yesterday it was reopening the first reactor at Hartlepool following a number of engineering modifications.

plumbing

Firm warns of slump in profits A SUPPLIES group with a Lancashire base has said its half-year profits will slump by two-thirds. Wolseley UK, which employs 250 people at its base in Buckshaw Village, has blamed the battered housing market for a 66% drop in year-on-year pre-tax profit. Chief executive Chip Hornsby said: “We continue to act decisively and rapidly in response to the unprecedented market conditions we face and seek to ensure the business is well positioned to benefit when the markets begin to recover.”

marketing

Free advice to help you survive A BUSINESS support group is holding a free workshop to advise companies on marketing and public relations. Enterprise4All, which targets businesses run by under-represented groups in Lancashire, is hosting the event on techniques to promote business, retain customers and generate new sales through marketing. The event is being held at the Swallow Hotel at Samlesbury, on Thursday from 5.30pm, contact Carolyn Hayes on 0845 607 0786 for further details.

Start-up plan for empty premises David Coates

E

MPTY council-owned business premises in Preston could be turned into incubator units for start-up businesses. The council’s City Business Review Panel is investigating how it can support people wanting to get started in business and is meeting key business leaders to discuss ways forward. It met with David Bagley, the head of Student Employability and Enterprise, Peter Rawling, the Business Incubation Manager, from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and businessman Steve Jackson, who has incubation units in his Recycling Lives base on Kent Street, Deepdale. Panel chairman Coun Michael Onyon said using council premises was “one of several things” the panel was looking at to try and draw business support groups together to boost start-up firms over the next year.

OPTIONS: Michael Onyon He said: “As a council we are in a position where we have a limited budget and resources, therefore we have to be creative and maximise what we do have and use our role to facilitate other businesses to tackle the issues unique to Preston.

“In the current economic situation we realise this support is needed more than ever before and we are keen to bring together anyone who wants to promote start-up businesses in Preston.” Coun Onyon added the panel was hoping trade unions and other support bodies would attend its meetings in the coming months. Mr Jackson said that a large percentage of council-owned business properties, both offices and industrial units, were currently empty and there was potential in developing these as incubator units. He said: “These businesses are current lying idle which is no use to the council which is using tax revenue. Therefore, the potential is to work with an organisation like Recycling Lives to put forward these as a lifeline to new start-up businesses.” ● Anyone interested in working with the City Business Review Panel is asked to contact them. Details of members are available at www.preston.gov.uk

Company looking for a property upturn WORKERS at a major Lancashire employer have been told there are no imminent plans for further job cuts. Plumbing and heating parts supplier Wolseley UK, which employs around 250 people at its centre in Buckshaw Village, near Chorley, said it had laid off 7,500 of its international workforce after seeing half-year profits slump by twothirds. It cut 2,000 jobs in its UK operation last year and chief executive Chip Hornsby said there could be further cuts, but declined to say when or how many.

CLOSE-UP PLUMBING Today, a spokesman said that news of any job losses currently planned had already been “disseminated” to staff in the UK and that plans for future cuts would be announced when a management decision is made. He said: “The last announcement we made at the end of 2008 signalled the start of a consultation programme which is due to end this month, so anyone who is affected by that will already know.”

Wolseley saw 85p wiped off its share price as stock value plunged by 29.7% to close trading yesterday at £2.01 per share following the trading update to the London Stock Exchange. It blamed the battered housing market for a 66% drop in year-on-year pre-tax profit adding that it does not expect to see an upturn in its markets until the property market improves. Mr Hornsby said the priority of the firm,

which supplies the construction market, would now be meeting its commitments to banks and shareholders. "We continue to act decisively and rapidly in response to the unprecedented market conditions we face. "We must seek to ensure the business is well positioned to benefit when the markets in which we operate begin to recover." The firm has its Parts Centre, Neville Long, Encon and Brandon Hire divisions represented at its a 310,000 sq ft base on the former Royal Ordnance Factory site.

Steel giant axes 2,500 posts STEEL giant Corus is axing 2,500 UK jobs. The move, which represents more than 10% of its UK workforce, was described by unions as a “body blow for UK manufacturing”. It came on another day of jobs gloom in the retail and banking sectors, with administrators being appointed to shoe chains Barratts and PriceLess, where 5,450 staff work, and 95 job cuts announced for the troubled Land of Leather chain. Corus, owned by Indian firm Tata, announced a series of cost-cutting measures including the mothballing of a mill in Llanwern, South Wales. The firm, which employs around 42,000 workers worldwide, said it will make every effort to achieve the cuts through voluntary redundancies. Chief executive Philippe Varin said the move was “essential for the future of the business.”

Barclays shares soar BARCLAYS shares ended a nine-day slump in dramatic fashion today after an open letter from management insisted the bank was well-funded and profitable. The unusual attempt by chairman Marcus Agius and chief executive John Varley to ease market jitters paid off as Barclays shares jumped more than 60% and its rivals Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland also rallied. Investors were relieved that 2008 profits would be “well ahead” of the £5.3 billion

Another high street casualty THE collapse of Stylo, which traded as shoe chains Barratt and PriceLess, adds to the dismal start to the year for the retail sector. Woolworths, Adams, USC, Zavvi, Officers Club and Whittard of Chelsea all hit the wall in the last week of 2008, and other retailers have followed suit in 2009.

ONLINE NOW

at www.lep.co.uk GettheessentialLancashire andnationalbusinessnews roundtheclock


lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

AGENDA Planning Applications

Preston City Council University Residences Site Victoria Street/Brook Street and Ashmoor Street Preston 14no. wall signs, 2no. freestanding signs, 2no. post mounted signs (all non-illuminated) (following removal of existing signage) University Of Central Lancashire Facilities Management Vernon Buildings Vernon Street Preston PR1 2HE 06/2009/0020 14 Moss Avenue Ashton-onRibble Preston Erection of single storey extension to rear of dwelling (following demolition of existing conservatory) Mr Raymond Farrer 14 Moss Avenue Ashton-on-Ribble Preston 06/2009/0022 Crystal Hall Care Home Whittingham Lane Whittingham Preston Erection of 2no. single storey extensions, detached greenhouse, and installation of 4no. 2 tonne underground liquid petroleum gas tanks (following removal of existing 1 tonne above ground LPG tanks) Crystal Hall Care Home Whittingham Hall Whittingham Lane Whittingham Preston PR3 2JE 06/2009/0023 24 Duchy Avenue Fulwood Preston Erection of two storey extension and single storey extension to side of dwelling (resubmission of planning application 06/2007/0892) Mr Mustaq Patel 24 Duchy Avenue Fulwood Preston PR2 8DH 06/2009/0024 23 Burrow Road Preston Raising of yard level and erection/alteration to boundary walls to rear of dwelling (part retrospective) Mr Mustaq Yusuf 23 Burrow Road Preston PR1 6JU 06/2009/0026 7 Queens Road Fulwood Preston Erection of two storey extension to side and rear of dwelling including 2no. dormers to side elevation Mr I Adam 7 Queens Road Fulwood Preston PR2 3EA 06/2009/0027 Preston Audi Admiral Way Ashtonon-Ribble Preston Siting of 3no. temporary buildings to rear of premises Total Solutions Portakabin Ltd The Drove Bridgwater Somerset TA6 4AG 06/2009/0028 43-45 Watling Street Road Fulwood Preston Conversion of 2no. semi-detached dwellings to 6no. self-contained flats Mr Ian Burgess 41 Watling Street Road Fulwood Preston PR2 8EA 06/2009/0029 12 Regent Drive Fulwood Preston Erection of two storey extension to side, single storey extension to rear and dormer extension to side and rear of dwelling (following demolition of existing garage and rear extension) Mr I Tailor 12 Regent Drive Fulwood Preston 06/2009/0031

Sherwood County Primary School Sherwood Way Fulwood Preston Erection of sectional garage Lancashire County Council County Hall PO Box 61 Preston 06/2009/0035

South Ribble Borough Council

Gatecote Farm Green Lane Samlesbury Preston Erection of two storey dwelling house with attached triple garage to replace existing dwelling. Mr Rob Day Gatecote Farm Green Lane Samlesbury Preston 07/2008/0907/FUL 154 Todd Lane North Lostock Hall Preston Part single and part two storey side extension. Ms S Broad 154 Todd Lane North Lostock Hall Preston 07/2009/0009/FUL Mercers Farm Grange Lane Hutton Preston Erection of part steel framed building to provide extension to existing milk parlour Mr Richard Critchley Mercers Farm Grange Lane Hutton Preston 07/2009/0013/FUL 10 Tolsey Drive Hutton Preston Single storey extension to rear with balcony attached and replacement detached garage to rear. Mr John Lund 10 Tolsey Drive Hutton Preston 91 Liverpool Road Penwortham Lancashire Change of use of (class C3 dwelling) to a mixed use comprising a ground floor (class A1 retail use) and at first floor (class C3 apartment), together with associated external alterations. Mr Andreas Evangelou C/o Agent 07/2009/0018/COU 110 Hoghton Lane Hoghton Preston Formation of hipped roof over flat roofed area and formation of balcony to rear. Mr Andrew Clayton Victoria Mansions 14 Navigation Way Preston 07/2009/0019/FUL Oldfield Barn 4 Leigh House Courtyard Hennel Lane WaltonLe-Dale Preston Change of use of land into domestic curtilage. Raising ground level to existing garden level together with 1m high retaining wall and 1.8m high garden wall. Mr David Oldfield Oldfield Barn 4 Leigh House Courtyard Hennel Lane Walton-Le-Dale Preston Stanley Cottage Skip Lane Hutton Two storey extension to side, single storey extension to rear and roof lift to provide 2nd storey accommodation following demolition of existing extension to rear. Mrs Marrion Kerrigan Stanley Cottage Skip Lane Hutton 07/2009/0025/FUL 28 Hugh Barn Lane New Longton Preston Single storey rear extension following demolition of existing conservatory. Mr Nigel Beline 28 Hugh Barn Lane New Longton Preston 07/2009/0024/FUL 26 Sheephill Lane New Longton Preston Single storey extensions to front, side and rear. Erection of car port to

side. Mr Oliver Flinn 26 Sheephill Lane New Longton Preston 07/2009/0028/FUL

Chorley Council

Friday Street Depot Friday Street Chorley PR6 0AA Outline application for the demolition and clearance of existing warehouse and outbuildings and erection of proposed 2 storey primary health care centre (Use Class D1) including ancillary office accommodation Mrs Doreen Hounslea, Central Lancashire PLT Jubilee House Lancashire Business Park Centurion Way 09/00044/OUTMAJ Land 580m South Of Little Hanging Bridge Farm Meadow Lane Croston Erection of agricultural workers dwelling including erection of wind turbine to provide power to the dwelling (15m high to hub), and ground source heat pump. Mr V Fitzell 09/00039/FUL Northolme Private Nursing Home 67 Preston Road Chorley Outline application for the demolition of existing building and erection of a 4 storey apartment building providing 28 one and two bed roomed apartments with associated car parking W Marsden & Sons 09/00033/OUTMAJ 28 The Ridings Whittle-Le-Woods Chorley Erection of a first floor front extension over existing garage, Mr J Nelson 09/00026/FUL 14 Cheam Avenue Chorley PR7 3AR Erection of a single storey rear extension. Mrs Brigitte Maple 14 Cheam Avenue Chorley 09/00005/FUL Land 73m South Of 62 Lancaster Lane Clayton-Le-Woods Erection of one detached dwelling on land to the rear of 62 Lancaster Lane, Clayton Le Woods (utilising access road approved by 07/00685/FUL and 08/00862/FUL Wainhomes Developments 08/01070/FUL

Remove existing concrete driveway and replace with impermeable block paving. Mr Smith 61A Thorntrees Ribby Road Kirkham 08/1073 Land Adj. Division Lane, St Annes, Lytham St Annes Extension To Approved Development For Agricultural Building Mr Ellis Edgeley House School Road 08/1092 10 St Annes Road West, St Annes, Lytham St Annes Proposed change of use of a first floor hair salon to a one bedroom flat and a Studio Apartment. Refurbishment of the second floor. Mr Davies Brooklands Great Cornbow Halesowen West Midlands 09/0018 34 Forest Drive, Lytham, Lytham St Annes, Extension To Existing Garage Mr A Mason 34 Forest Drive Lytham Lytham St Annes 09/0021 Kirkwood, Church Road, Treales, Roseacre And Wharles, Preston, Pr4 3s conversion of existing garage with studio above to dwelling including landscaping and external works Mr thompson Kirkwood Church Road Treales Preston 09/0015 14 Lamaleach Drive, Freckleton, Preston Proposed Disabled Ramp To Front Of Dwelling. Mrs Donna Orchard 14 Lamaleach Drive Freckleton Preston 09/0004 Warehouse, Goyt Street, St Annes, Lytham St Annes Change Of Use From Warehouse To Two Bedroom Residential Unit And One Commercial Unit Mr John McNicholas 550 Midgeland Road Marton Blackpool 08/1083

Deals in association with corpfin

Fylde Borough Council 24 Poulton Street, Kirkham, Preston Change Of Use Of First Floor From Hair Dressing Salon To A Residential Flat Mr Mahmud 24 Poulton Street Kirkham Preston Lancs 08/1082 Land On Occupation Lane/East Chain Lane, Staining, Blackpool, Fy3 0d Outline Application For 3 Dwellings Mr D Butterworth 40 Bleasdale Ave Staining Lancs 09/0001 24 Church Road, St Annes, Lytham St Annes, Fy8 3 Single Storey Rear Extension Mr Fenwick 24 Church Road St Annes 09/ 0016 61a Ribby Road, Kirkham, Preston,

Toumaz Holdings Ltd, Geneva, Switzerland, a specialist investor in the nanotechnology sector, acquired an additional 31.25% stake in Sentinel Healthcare Solutions Ltd, Bury, Lancashire, England, developer of innovative intelligent healthcare solutions, from Continum Group Ltd, Bury, Lancashire, England, provider of specialist information technology (IT) and communications technology services. Terms not disclosed. NetPlay TV Plc, Lancaster, Lancashire, England, provider of special interest information and

entertainment services via digital distribution channels, acquired toucanwin.com, Aland, Finland, operator of an online games portal, and Venturygames.co.uk, Lancaster, Lancashire, England, provider of casino, bingo entertainment products for mobile phone users, from InfoDownload Ltd, Lancaster, Lancashire, England, provider of mobile phone content services, a subsidiary of Zed Worldwide SA (formerly La Trefick Ltd, Isle of Man, a property investment vehicle owned by Jack Petchey, acquired 38,711,800 shares, or a 21.3% stake in Lookers Plc, Manchester, England, retailer of new and used motor vehicles. The shares were purchased at a price of 30p per share, representing a total consideration of GB£11.61m. Management buy-out of Eurosimm Ltd, Heywood, Lancashire, England, a distributor of computer hardware products. Co-op Bank funded the deal. Consideration not disclosed.

Company Notices Winding-Up Orders

Name of Company: Cliff Lingard Limited. Company Number: 04639462. Address of Registered Office: 207 Knutsford Road, Grappenhall, Warrington, Cheshire, WA4 2QL. Court: High Court Of Justice. Date of Filing Petition: 4 November 2008. No. of Matter: 009810 of 2008. Date of Winding-up Order: 14 January 2009. Official Receiver: Seneca House, Links Point, Amy Johnson Way, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 2FF. (715566)

Final Meetings Notice

In the Medway County Court The Old Baloney Press Limited Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 146 of the Insolvency Act 1986, that a Final Meeting of Creditors of the above named Company will be held at the offices of Freeman Rich, Chartered Accountants, 284 Clifton Drive South, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire FY8 1LH, on 24 February 2009 at 10.00 am for the purpose of having an account laid before them and to receive the report of the Liquidator showing how the winding up of the Company has been conducted and its property disposed of, and determining whether the Liquidator should obtain his release under Section 174 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Proxies to be used for the meeting must be lodged with the Liquidator at 284 Clifton Drive South, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire FY8 1LH, not later than 12.00 noon on the business day before the meeting. J. R. Duckworth, Liquidator

Other Notices

Notice to the creditors of an insolvent company of the re-issue of a prohibited name Moorland School Limited (Company Number 02923760) On December 23 2008, the above-named company was

45

placed into administration. I, Arthur John Harrison, of Northfield, Ribblesdale Avenue, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2HZ was a director of the above-named company on the day it entered administration. Pursuant to Rule 4.228 of the Insolvency Rules 1986 I give notice that I am acting and intend to continue to act in one or more of the ways to which section 216(3) of the Insolvency Act 1986 would apply if the above-named company were to go into insolvent liquidation in connection with, or for the purposes of, the carrying on of the whole or substantially the whole of the business of the abovenamed company under the following name: Moorland Private School Limited trading as Moorland School.

Disqualified Directors Name: David Anthony Darley Age: 29/03/1967 Case Type: Undertaking Date of Order: 22/12/2008 Disqualification: 7 Years Date Starts: 12/01/2009 Date Ends: 11/01/2016 Company Name: Humber Freight Limited Company Number: 03014859 Type of Business: Other transport agencies Trade Address: Griffin Court, 201 Chapel Street Manchester Type of Insolvency: Creditors Voluntary liquidation Deficiency: £752,673.00 Misconduct details: Between 21 June 2007 and 29 June 2007, Humber imported five lorry loads of alcohol on behalf of a customer together with another freight company and incurred a liability to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) for excise duty of £521,178, jointly and severally with the customer and the freight company. Humber received £532,898 into its bank account from the customer specifically for payment of the excise duty. Between 22 June 2007 and 29 June 2007, less than two weeks before Humber went into administration and at a time when he knew or should have known that Humber was insolvent, he, improperly and in breach of his fiduciary duty, failed to ensure that Humber paid £532,898 received specifically for the purpose of paying excise duty to HMRC or the freight company but caused Humber to pay the monies into its own bank account, which was overdrawn by £295,425, and used it to pay various trade creditors and pay a personal liability of £14,893. As a result, a) Humber’s bank overdraft was reduced to nil and he was released from his personal guarantee of £175,000 in respect of this; b) Humber paid £14,893 in respect of a personal liability of his; c) The customer and the freight company remained liable for the duty of £521,178, even though the customer had made payment to Humber for the full amount of the duty; d) The customer has claimed £128,172 and the freight company £393,006 in the liquidation of Humber.


46

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk


lep.co.uk

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Businesses for Sale

Business

Industrial & Commercial Property To Let

FULLY LICENSED & EQUIPPED BAR Preston Town Centre New 15 Year Lease Rent £350 Per Week Price 20K o.n.o. Contact Bob Collins On 07721 329999 0151 708 6544

SANDBANK ESTATE LONGRIDGE

WORKSHOPS/WAREHOUSE Unit 10 3,250 sq ft With

300 sq ft Office & Secure Shop Front

Unit 8 - 2,000 sq ft Also Available New Office Block

900 Sq Ft Brand New Fully Air Conditioned Office & Storage Space Call For Further Details Tel 07967 107821 07967 106795

Business Opportunities

PRESTON. On-line details of available premises at preston.gov.uk/prestoncity or tel Preston City Council 01772 903430 for free list. TO LET MAWDESLEY Offices & Units From £50 P/W Inc. Rates T: 01704 822207/07802 361541 INDUST.UNITS TO LET Large & Small In Preston & Wigan TEL 07624 277432

EARN £40 - £50 K P/A With DIAL A DOG WASH

Mobile Grooming Franchise For Sale Training Provided £18,000

T: 07804 877653 www.dialadogwash.com

PART TIME/FULL TIME

LOCAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Tel 01772 797203

£3K INCOME! Shop rented to plc £15k Tel: 01254 708010

Business Finance CASH LOANS FOR ANY AMMOUNT Cash Loans For Any Purpose,MOBILE MONEY 01772 788716 www.mobilemoney.co.uk

TO LET Preston Ind Unit 1500 sq ft 0779 1425654

Business Services TAXBAK Fixed Price Tax Returns,Online Filing Guaranteed 01772 909111

TO ADVERTISE in this section, please call - 01772 202122 ext 2914

Industrial & Commercial Property LARGE LOCK UP Garage Suit Builder Tel 01772 433492

47


48

Evening Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

lep.co.uk

lep business year  

The Lancashire Evening Post's supplement, rounding-up the 2008 business year

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you