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5395.70 ▼ 3.30 LONDON’S top-flight shares index was nearly flat yesterday, closing 3.3 points lower at 5395.7, having risen by 2% on Monday. European markets came under pressure with concerns over the likely success of plans to tackle Europe’s problems, with the Cac-40 in Paris closing lower. Meanwhile, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Index closed 16.88 points (0.15%) down, at 11,416.30, the Nasdaq was up 16.98 (0.66%) to close at 2,583.03, and the S&P rose 0.65 (0.05%), to finish at 1,195.54.


inside Princes agrees barge deal with Peel LIVERPOOL food and drinks company Princes has more than doubled its use of Peel’s Manchester Ship Canal container barge service. PAGE 5

Longer lorries HAULAGE giant Stobart Group has welcomed news that hauliers will be allowed to carry out trials of longer lorries. PAGE 7

Cammell Laird targets £50bn nuclear deals EXCLUSIVE by Neil Hodgson


BIRKENHEAD shipyard Cammell Laird plans to bid for contracts worth up to £50bn to construct Britain’s next generation of nuclear power plants. The plan could create up to 3,000 local jobs over 25 years. It follows the completion of a deal that sees a subsidiary of Italy’s Finmeccanica sign up to take part in a three-way joint venture that also includes Laird’s existing partner, Warrington-based Nuvia. The news comes hard on the heels of a separate £5m deal announced last week that will see the shipyard provide services to RWE’s new Irish Sea wind farm. It is hoped the servicing of off-shore wind farms could eventually lead to £5bn-worth of work, creating 2,000 more jobs at Birkenhead, by 2020. In 2009, the Government announced plans for up to 10 new nuclear power stations around the UK. The process of commissioning new nuclear power plants for Britain was delayed due to safety concerns after a tsunami and earthquake crippled Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant this March. But a report by chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman yesterday gave the go-ahead for construction, with energy secretary Chris Huhne telling Parliament: “The report makes clear that the UK has one of the best nuclear safety regimes in the world, and that nuclear power can go on powering homes and businesses across the UK, as well as supporting jobs.” That should clear the way for the first proposals for new plants being unveiled by developers early next year and Laird’s will be part of the bidding process after forging the joint venture to compete for both UK and future


From left: Ansaldo CEO Roberto Adinolfi, Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret, and Nuvia CEO Keith Collett international nuclear power plant construction. Laird’s formed a partnership with Warrington-based nuclear technology expert Nuvia in August 2010 and has now added Ansaldo Nucleare, part of Italian hi-tech group Finmeccanica, to the venture. Ansaldo designs key modules for the Westinghouse AP1000 power plant and is currently involved in design and construction at the Sanmen nuclear power plant, in China. The UK plants will be either the AP1000 or EPR design, and the Laird’s joint venture has the expertise to build “super modules” for both. Laird’s business development director David Williams says they can


exploit a change in the nuclear industry’s approach to power plant construction, where huge modules are built in “weather-protected” conditions and then transported to the construction site, reducing construction costs, while improving quality, safety and delivery performance. He said Laird’s construction hall is the “jewel in the crown” which will be able to handle modules of up to 5,000 tonnes and then ship them out. He insisted the partnership is “robust and unique”, compared with other consortia, and added: “While there are rivals, we have a geographic advantage over them. “Most of the consented sites in the UK are on the West coast and we are


central to that split, or spread of sites.” He said the £50bn of potential business, just from the UK programme alone, is a conservative estimate. He explained: “If we are successful in winning just one site, we could see 500 jobs in 18 months. Then, depending on the scope of our success, there could be another 2,500 long-term, sustainable jobs.” He said the joint venture will bid for contracts as soon as developers announce the design of their plants, adding: “It will probably be the first or second quarter of 2012 when we find out what technology the developers have chosen for their sites. There could be a very quick evolution through the next phase.”



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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business






The latest from the creative and digital industries

Updates throughout the day

‘Past performance and qualifications aren’t always indicators of future potential’ businessbeat/


TOP FIVE 1 MBNA sale is still on 2 Creatives mourn death of Jobs 3 MBNA may be broken up 4 Science park to build IC3 5 Premier profits warning

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Eco firm in move to new home RENEWABLE energy installation firm Eco Environments has moved to a new north Liverpool head office as its rapid expansion continues. The company has signed a five-year lease on 9,000 sq ft of office and warehouse space at Langtree’s Wellington Industrial Park South. The premises are seven times bigger than its previous Bootle home. The four-year-old firm now employs 38 people, compared to 11 at the same time last year, and it is on course to increase turnover from £1.4m to £5m during the current financial year. Staff numbers will also rise to approximately 60 during the same period. Eco Environments designs, installs and commissions renewable energy systems for the domestic, commercial and construction sectors. It offers a comprehensive range of technologies including solar photovoltaic, wind turbines, solar thermal and air source heat pumps. Managing director Mike Clarke said: “We had been planning to move to bigger premises during 2012, but the company is growing so quickly we had to bring the date forward.”

University in bid to back food and drink industry by Neil Hodgson


THE University of Chester has announced proposals to support the food and drink industry, which is already worth an estimated £8bn a year to the North West region. A North West Future Food Solutions Exchange would offer leading research and advisory facilities, as well as incubator space for fledgling firms in the sector. Situated on the university’s main campus, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)-backed centre could help hundreds of companies, from one-man operations to large organisations. Prof Graham Bonwick, of the University’s ERDF Food Growth Project, said: “In spite of the recession, the North West is the country’s largest food and drink-producing region, worth around £8bn . “And it is also home to the highest concentration of food and drink manufacturing businesses in the UK. “There is a real wealth of business talent in this area and we’re seeing a whole range of organisations from across the spectrum setting up across the region. “Everything from craft breweries and homemade jam, to food technology, research and development companies.” He added: “Chester is our first choice for this initiative, and we believe that centre would make a vital contribution to the local economy, as well as the wider region. “The exchange would support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the sector, giving them the opportunity to capitalise on new technologies and advancements so that they can reach their growth potential. “We would be able to offer services

A computer-generated image of the proposed North West Future Food Solutions Exchange to help them every step of the way, which could be anything from testing a product for contaminants and allergens, nutritional analysis and food labelling, or shelf life measurement, to providing information about food safety and quality assurance, lean manufacturing, and business efficiency, as well as giving them access to emerging technologies.”

“The European Union has set out a clear vision of where Europe should be in 2020 and the kind of economy it wants to have; smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive of research and innovation – the kind of which will take place at the proposed Exchange would have at its very core. “The university has a successful track record of working in this field,

and has developed some excellent partnerships within the industry. “As food and drink SMEs are seen to be the future of economic growth, the proposed North West Future Food Solutions Exchange will support businesses in the food sector, putting them at the cutting edge of their industry, as well as attracting investment locally and retaining talent in the region.”

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business




Barista who turned down LFC has now found the right blend

Alan Rawling may have missed out on a career as a top footballer – but he is now passionate about his team at Optimum Coffee

Tony McDonough meets ALAN RAWLING, operations manager of Optimum Coffee THERE is no shortage of people in Merseyside claiming they could have played football for Liverpool – but, in Alan Rawling’s case, it really is true. More than 30 years ago, Rawling was a promising teenage footballer and Liverpool FC were keen to snap him up. Rawling, now general manager of Costa Coffee franchisee Optimum Coffee, said: “A Liverpool scout – Johnny Bennison – was so keen to sign me he offered my mum and dad a colour TV. Unfortunately, I was more interested in my girlfriend at the time and turned them down.” Rawling, 48, went on to play semiprofessional football for top nonleague clubs South Liverpool and Marine, and he still regrets turning down the offer. However, the passion, drive and will to win that could have made him a favourite with the Kop now serves him well in the world of business. Liverpool-based Optimum Coffee operates 13 Costa branches across Merseyside, West Lancashire and Cheshire. They include outlets in the Albert Dock and in the heart of the city’s central business district. It is part of the wider Optimum Holdings group, which also includes an Energie Fitness Club franchise,

an electrical firm and an alarms and CCTV business. It was set up in 2004 by husband and wife team David and Emma Connor to operate their first Costa venture, and is now the most decorated Costa franchise in the UK. Its awards include store of the year, manager of the year, franchisee of the year and the weekly sales record at its Albert Dock site. Optimum, which currently turns over £4.5m, secured £200,000 in loans from Merseyside Special Investment Fund in September. It aims to take on a further 50 staff and grow its turnover to £6m by 2013. Whitbread-owned Costa keeps a tight control over the look and products of its franchised outlets, but Rawling insists it is the efforts he and his staff have put in which have made the difference to the success of the Optimum coffee shops. He said: “The franchise manager from Costa will come in every three

q&a Age: 48 Highest educational qualification: A Level art Biggest achievement in business: Running and growing the Optimum Costa franchises Biggest regret: Not signing for Liverpool FC, despite them offering my parents a colour TV Best advice received: Never believe you’re too big to ask for advice Main unfulfilled ambition: Not to have made myself a millionaire

months to check on things – it is very much an advisory role. “Costa does set out the tight parameters on how it wants the shops to be run. The products are all set – we do not have any say in that. The store layouts are also set, although we do have some input into the design when we open a new outlet. “At Optimum, we have the most decorated franchises in the UK and the reason for that is the great management and the teams we have in place. “When someone comes in to work for us for the first time, they are buddied up with someone else and will be given excellent training. “Demographics are very important when we are hiring and placing staff. For example, if someone came from Formby, we would probably not place them in the Huyton outlet. “It is important the staff get to know the customers and know what products they like – it is something that keeps people coming back.” Although Costa supplies the products, the coffee still has to be blended properly by trained staff, known as baristas, who ensure the flavours are consistent throughout all of the outlets. Rawling, who is a trained chef, is himself a barista and insists he leads by example. “I have trained all the managers myself,” he added. “And I believe I am still the best barista in the company. “There is a real skill in making sure the coffee is right because customers expect the highest standards.

“We have a number of customers who regularly use more than one of our stores because they like what we do so much.” Rawling was born and brought up in Liverpool and attended Shorefields Comprehensive, Dingle. His ambition as a teenager was to make it as a footballer but, as explained at the top of this article, that was not to be. He did continue to play at a semiprofessional level, but he also followed in his father’s footsteps by going into the catering sector. “I went to college at Colquitt Street in Liverpool (then the city’s main destination for would-be chefs) and was also working as a pizza chef to earn some money,” said Rawling. “I qualified as a chef when I was 20 and went down to London and worked as a cocktail barman for Peter Stringfellow.” In the mid-1980s, Rawling returned to Liverpool where he began working for Dial-A-Pizza, then the city’s first pizza delivery service. He added: “At that time, pizza deliveries were a real novelty, and we would do the deliveries in Mini Metros with lights on the top – people thought they were police cars.” He worked as a manager there for two years before working as a chef for renowned Liverpool restaurant Est Est Est for three years. However, Rawling had ambitions to get out of the kitchen and back into management and it was this ambition that took him down to Aylesbury, where he became a trainee manager for the Deep Pan

Picture: JASON ROBERTS/ jr101011costa-2

Pizza restaurant chain. He said: “I was with them for 15 years and worked my way up to quite a high level in the company. “We had 130 restaurants and I was in charge of training and putting together the menus. “But then they rebranded as Frankie & Benny’s, and I didn’t like the change in the way it was run. “I have to be passionate about a product if I’m going to sell it – that is very important to me.” So Rawling returned to Merseyside and spotted a tiny advert in the Daily Post’s sister paper, the Liverpool ECHO, looking for the manager of a Costa Coffee outlet. That was the first store in Ormskirk, opened by David and Emma Connor, and, since joining, Rawling has helped them build the business up into one of the most successful Costa franchises in the country. He still plays football, likes to keep fit and is also a keen artist. His commitment to running and growing Optimum Coffee is total, and reveals the plan is to grow the business to at least 30 outlets. He is confident they can continue to be successful, despite fierce competition in the market from the likes of Starbucks and Caffè Nero. “If I believe in the business, then I am very loyal,” he said. “We have ambitious plans and we will open at least two more Costas this year. “I don’t think the coffee shop market is saturated at all, and there is room for expansion. “Coffee shops are the new pubs.”


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business Directors to leave metals test firm THE man who led the 2006 management buyout of metals testing firm Stewart Group is to retire this month. John Notman-Watt led the private equitybacked buyout of the then Alex Stewart Group, renaming it in 2009. It was bought for £146m in July by the Australian ALS Group. Stewart tests samples of metals and ores for mining companies who need to find out how much of a particular metal or mineral there is in a particular mine. It has annual sales of £50m, with 900 staff in labs around the world. Finance director Christopher Fisher, who joined the business as part of the CBPE Capital-backed buyout in 2006, is also to retire. Mr Notman-Watt said: “I am sure the business will continue to prosper, and I look forward to witnessing the next stage.”




LittleAtomsdelightedaseventscompanytakesshape THE creators of Liverpool’s Club Geek Chic nights have launched their own event management company. Gemma Aldcroft and Karen Podesta launched Little Atom Productions at a scientificallythemed event at the Foresight Centre, at the University of Liverpool. Their previous events have included Club Geek Chic’s popular series of “In Conversation With” events, which have seen stars including Mike McCartney and Peter Serafinowicz interviewed on-stage. Ms Aldcroft said: “Karen and I are delighted to finally consolidate our commercial and client-focused work under the Little Atom brand. “We have already completed contracts for educational organisation Curious Minds, and actor David Morrissey’s new charity, C.A.S.T., and we have several exciting clients in our sights.”

Karen Podesta, left, and Gemma Aldcroft, directors of Little Atom Productions

Big D firm seeks savings as rising nut costs hit profits EXCLUSIVE by Alistair Houghton LDP BUSINESS STAFF

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HIGH raw materials costs have hit profits at Big D nuts firm Trigon Snacks, despite a rise in sales. Trigon, which also makes Planters nuts, reported a turnover of £22m in 2010 – up by 21% from the £18m reported in 2009. But accounts filed at Companies House show pre-tax profits for the year fell 65% to £47,000. Aintree-based Trigon is best known for “cheeky peanut brand” Big D, which is still promoted by “Big D babes”. In 2009, its overall gross profit margin rate fell from 9.5% to 7.3%. Its directors’ report said: “The year under review has been satisfactory, given the competitive nature of the snack nut market, and the ongoing problem of increased raw material costs which impacted the business as the year progressed. “Volumes and price rises were achieved to offset these raw material price changes, but there was a time lag which impacted profits for a couple of months. “The sales team continue to be successful at increasing the selling prices to cover raw material price increases which are impacting all processors.” Stocks of raw materials at the end of the year stood at £2,3m, compared to £1.5m at the end of 2009, as the company stockpiled to shield itself against further price increases. Trigon, led by managing director Brian Cardy, is continuing to invest for future growth. It said: “The company continues to invest in new product development and in the efficiency of its manufac-

Rosie Jones was named ‘Big D Babe’ in July, 2010 turing operations. The benefits of the investment are being realised through both improved productivity and reduced wastage. “There is an active programme in place to achieve further cost efficiencies, with focus on continued improvement in productivity, reducing wastage and improving energy efficiency. In addition, overheads continue to be tightly controlled. “Significant improvements have also been seen in the ‘on time in full’ delivery performance, and the company has achieved its aim of providing the highest levels of customer service

across the entire extensive product offering, with record service levels to our customers. “Additional resources have also been devoted to sales and marketing activities to enable the company to maintain its sales level and margin performance despite intense competition through focus on developing added value products which are difficult to replicate. “In particular, new branded products have been listed in UK supermarkets during 2010 and a greater spread of customers has been achieved.”


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business Liverpool bullying seminar LIVERPOOL law firm Maxwell Hodge has teamed up with Health@Work to host a seminar looking at the legal and well-being implications of workplace bullying. Titled De-mystifying Workplace Bullying in 60 Really Useful Minutes, the hour will guide employers and employees through the minefield that is workplace bullying. The seminar takes place at the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, on Old Hall Street, on Friday, October 21. Attendees will gain information on how to spot signs of bullying and give advice on simple things that can be done to deal with the issue. Health@Work’s Keith Gorman said: “Statistics show that cases of bullying in the workplace increase during tough economic times.”




Princes‘ Ship Canal switch saves 500,000 road miles by Peter Elson


Making headway: a pusher tug propels container barges the on Liverpool to Salford Manchester Ship Canal service

LEADING Liverpool food and drinks company Princes has more than doubled its use of Peel’s Manchester Ship Canal container barge service. Princes and Peel Ports signed an initial agreement to switch 3,000 TEU (20ft containers) per year from road to barge after a successful pilot project. Buoyed by these potential savings, Princes now plans to send 6,500 TEUs annually on the barges to save 500,000 road miles and reduce its carbon footprint by more than 500,000 kg of CO². The Liverpool Docks to Salford Quays service started in 2007, and is best known for carrying Tesco wine. Demand for the service resulted in barge capacity being doubled in 2010. A Princes statement said: “We reduced our carbon footprint by starting to import through the Port of Liverpool a few years ago. “Then we looked at utilising Peel’s Liverpool to Manchester barge service to reduce it even further.

“This has been a great success and by removing thousands of containers from the UK’s roads we have delivered a real environmental benefit. ” Stephen Carr, head of business development at Peel Ports Mersey, which operates Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal, said: “Currently, 70% of goods that come within a 150-mile radius of the Port of Liverpool enter the UK via southern ports. “The journey by road and rail to the north of England adds extra strain on the transport network and creates unnecessary CO² emissions. “Liverpool is the most centrally positioned deep-sea port in the UK, ideally situated to serve all cargo bound for northern Britain. “We are delighted this is recognised by Princes and other food and drink suppliers, including AB World Foods, Heinz and Kingsland Wines. “This is a great example of how using Britain’s central gateway lowers carbon emissions and congestion.” The River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal together form a “unique 44mile port-centric logistics platform” from Liverpool to Manchester, he said.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business



Concerns voiced as work starts on latest city hotel by Bill Gleeson


WORK has started on the latest Liverpool city centre hotel scheme. The plan to build a 123-bedroom hotel on Dale Street was first unveiled two years ago. The £10m project to restore a disused building is expected to be completed by 2013. Northern Irish developer Benmore Group says it has signed up a major hotel brand to operate what is thought by some local observers to be a budget hotel. The scheme, however, has rekindled concerns about the oversupply of hotel rooms in the city. The scheme will see the retention, renovation and safeguarding of the historic façade of the Pioneer Buildings, which is not listed but is in the Castle Street conservation area, and is the boundary of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site. The scheme includes a car park, which will have just under 300 spaces behind the hotel, together with retail space on the ground floor. Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for regen-

eration and transport said: “This is a high-profile street which has languished too long. This will help to transform the entire street and improve the entire environment. It’s long overdue and extremely positive.” Benmore chief executive David Burrows said: “We believe this proposal offers the right blend of assets for a street which is in danger of missing out on the regeneration which has benefited so much of the city centre over the last four to five years. “There is undoubtedly a demand for further quality hotel beds in the city, and we believe our investment will help to attract other investors and to encourage plans which may be on hold at the moment.” However, his views are not shared by others in the city’s hotel industry. Mike Dewey, chairman of the Liverpool Hoteliers Association, has previously claimed there are already too many hotels in the city. Mr Dewey, general manager of the Hard Day’s Night hotel, told LDP Business: “The city is swamped with budget hotels, and then you get the cry that the city is full of stag and hen parties.”

From left, Benmore Group chief executive David Burrows, Cllr Malcolm Kennedy and Benmore chairman Kevin Mackay, alongside the new hotel in Dale Street, Liverpool

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Verderg expands in Wirral WIRRAL-BASED Verderg Connectors is to consolidate its production operations at new premises in Bromborough. The move will mean the diverless submersibles firm will vacate its current premises in Birkenhead. It follows an increased order book from the oil and gas exploration industries. Verderg, which has its head office in Surrey, is taking 21,500 sq ft at premises on Tebay Road, Bromborough. The units at Tebay Road were built on a speculative basis by Andrews Property Investments. The new units have been awarded a BREEAM Excellent Certification which recognises the buildings’ sustainable criteria. Property agents Legat Owen say there is still one unit left to let at the development.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business




Liverpool Science Park can be the city region’s five-star facililty

Alex Turner THE confirmation of funding this week for Liverpool Science Park’s third building is exciting news. Of course, much of the competition comes not just from science parks across the UK, but also from huge

science cities in China which house 100,000 people or more. On that measure, building another 42,000 sq ft of science facilities in Liverpool is like trying to fix the Greek economic crisis by buying a tub of taramasalata. But as former American President, and one-time aspiring scientist, Theodore Roosevelt said: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” And while I don’t tend to be a fan of symbolism in business, the growth of the science park into a third building will be important symbolically, as well as scientifically. Situated within the knowledge

quarter and close to the universities, it demonstrates to the thousands of students walking past every day that they can stay in the city doing innovative work. It would be great to see some current students start their careers – even start their businesses – in IC3 when it opens in less than two years’ time. The science park’s growth is alongside the plans for 2m sq ft of life sciences facilities at Liverpool BioCampus. Bringing that to fruition will be hugely significant to the city as it would elevate the city’s corpor-

ate brand within the scientific sector. This isn’t, though, an argument that we should diminish the way we push Liverpool as a visitor destination to promote Liverpool as a scientific centre of excellence. We must do both. In this week’s Times Education Supplement, there was a piece about children in Bali whose parents work very hard to enable their children to go to school to learn English, with the hope they will go on to work in the relatively well-paid tourist industry. In Bali, the tourist industry is vis-

‘As a city, we need to extol the virtues of science’

ible and the route into a career there is also clear. We need to take the same attitude to science in Liverpool. As a city we need to extol its virtues and encourage the students in schools to think of themselves as the scientists of the future. But the industry has to play its part, by being as visible and open as possible. The developments at Liverpool Science Park and Liverpool BioCampus can be our equivalent of Bali’s five-star beach resorts. ■ ALEX TURNER is the general manager of financial training firm, Ambitious Minds

JLR retains Knowsley crown

One of Eddie Stobart’s prototype extended vehicles

CAR maker Jaguar Land Rover has been named Knowsley Business of the Year for the second consecutive year. It secured the honour at the council’s Business and Regeneration Awards, at the Huyton Suite. The event honoured innovation in business and positive contributions to the growth of the Knowsley economy

and regeneration. Gearbox manufacturer Getrag Ford was named employer of the year, while Bob Taylor, Getrag Bari plant manager, was confirmed as business person of the year. Two new awards were for knowledge economy and best housing scheme of the year, which were won by ColorMatrix Europe and Keepmoat Homes, respectively.

Other winners included Village Housing Association, in the regeneration category, for their Stockbridge Village scheme, which has improved the quality of accommodation provided in the area, and was delivered on time and to budget. Kirkby-based Barclaycard picked up the corporate social responsibility award.

Longer lorries BETTER trial welcomed OFFICES... by Alistair Houghton LDP BUSINESS STAFF

HAULAGE giant Stobart Group has welcomed news that hauliers will be allowed to carry out trials of longer lorries. The Government said yesterday that it would allow hauliers to carry out trials of “high volume semi-trailers”, which are 2m longer than the longest trailers that currently use British roads. Though the current weight restriction of 44 tonnes will not change, hauliers say that allowing lorries of up to 18.75m in length will allow them to transport more goods with fewer journeys. The Department for Transport is allowing a trial of up to 900 trailers over 10 years. Warrington-based Stobart, whose Eddie Stobart lorries are among the most familiar sights on British roads, will be taking part. Meanwhile, Merseytravel

says it will monitor the trial closely to see how the Mersey Tunnels are affected. William Stobart, Stobart Group chief operating officer, said: “Eddie Stobart has long campaigned about the benefits of longer trailers, and the environmental benefits they bring fit well within Stobart Group’s policy of developing sustainable distribution. “Eddie Stobart has already undertaken significant evaluation of two key sizes of trailers and we see considerable opportunities for the metre option within our operations. “We believe these trailers will help take trucks off the road and reduce carbon emissions from the industry, and we are looking forward to seeing the operational and environmental benefits the trial will bring.” In August, Merseytravel warned that allowing longer lorries on UK roads would disadvantage Merseyside, as the extended lorries would not be able to use the Mersey Tunnels.

“The length restriction for vehicles using the tunnels is 18.3m, as longer vehicles would not be able to clear the toll booths. A spokeswoman for Merseytravel said last night: “We welcome the trial and will use it to assess any potential implications on the operation of the Mersey Tunnels. “We will work with the operators and if any issues arise we will act accordingly.” In a written statement to the House of Commons yesterday, roads minister Mike Penning said: “Our baseline research shows that the ability to operate longer semitrailers would provide clear benefits to business and a spur to efficiency and growth. “We expect the trial itself to offer a net present value of £33m, largely due to the financial benefits operators should see over the 10-year length of the trial . We would expect many of these benefits to flow through to the consumer.”




Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business Bill Gleeson Must we measure everything in monetary terms? I RECENTLY read a university student’s blog about student finance. A classicist, she calculated the cost of her tuition fees per “contact hour”, a calculation that takes account of all of the time she spends being taught in lectures, seminars and tutorials. I can’t remember her exact answer, but it was circa £15 an hour. The student felt this represented fantastic value. However, she went on to question whether students facing higher tuition fees next year will feel the same. She calculated that the cost per hour could triple. Her blog was published in the same week that The Times Higher Education supplement published its annual league table of the world’s best universities, which is based principally on their teaching and research performance. As always, British universities compared very favourably to those in other countries. Nevertheless, however good the education on offer, our classicist has to be right. Some potential students will be deterred from taking on debt, not only harming their career chances, but also aspirations to improve social mobility and Britain’s competitiveness in the global knowledge economy stakes. What surprised me most about the blog was the scathing comments it attracted. Some described reading ancient literature and history as a “hobby”. Others demanded to know how she dared ask them to subsidise a subject that would not lead directly to productive employment. I couldn’t believe how so many people saw no value in the classics or the other humanities. Surely the study of the literature and history of any age offers value to society. Good literature, whether it be the classic realism of Charles Dickens when he took on the dark side of Victorian life, or Jane Austen when she wrote satirically

about the marriage market, has something important to tell us about what it is to be human and what needs to change to make life better. I guess that’s one of the things that is wrong with the modern business world. The philosophy of Gradgrind still prevails in any workplace dominated by the need to make more and more profit with each year that passes. Isn’t there such a thing as enough: an optimum rather than a maximum amount of profit? I guess the student’s mistake was to talk about pounds, shillings and pence in the first place. It invited the skinflint penny pinchers who think everything boils down to money to have a go at her. THE suggestion that Bank of America might find it hard to sell its European credit card business, Chester-based MBNA, puzzles me. I understand that credit card businesses thrive best when consumers are spending like there is no tomorrow and that we are presently far removed from such conditions, but this is a fine business. Following the American firm’s arrival here in the UK, there were many who said British credit card providers had missed the boat. MBNA would come here with its new affinity marketing techniques and gobble up market share, which is exactly what it did. As a result, MBNA quickly expanded its UK operation, employing more than 4,000 staff in Chester at one point. Its partnership agreements with banks, football clubs, professional bodies and charities remain in place. The market will return one day. British consumers will start spending again, and when that happens this business is already well-placed to take advantage. A buyer will surely be found.

Fighting for lo Merseyside has rallied to become a key site for offshore energy schemes. Neil Hodgson reports

EARLY in 2009, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published a report on suitable UK ports to support the offshore wind industry, which came as a shock to the system, and served as a wake-up call for Merseyside. For Liverpool was a glaring omission in a map that showed 20 ports around the UK coastline with potential to support the industry or provide manufacturing opportunities. It showed first generation, round one, wind farms, including the 25-turbine Burbo Bank development, and round two opportunities such as the 160-turbine Gwynt y Môr site, off North Wales, and potential round three wind farm developments, such as a huge 1,000-turbine scheme between Liverpool and the Isle of Man which energy firm Centrica intends to build. But the only North West ports deemed suitable to support such developments, according to the DECC document, were Barrow and Mostyn. Fast forward to last week’s deal by Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird to provide port facilities for German-owned energy group RWE’s Gwynt y Môr wind farm, which is testimony to the enormous effort that inward investment agency The Mersey Partnership (TMP) and key industry players such as Cammell Laird and Mersey Ports owner Peel have invested to catapult the region into the forefront of offshore wind energy, to such an extent that it is now on the cusp of establishing itself as a “centre of excellence” for an entirely new generation of wind farm developments. TMP low carbon economy manager Mark Knowles admitted: “When we saw the DECC document, we wondered, ‘How did that happen that we weren’t on the map.’ “You see some of the smaller ports and it was probably a case of, ‘it is this or nothing’. “But Liverpool is a different beast and a much bigger port operation, and the journey we have been on since that map was published was to convince people like Peel and Cammell Laird that there is something there for them.” However, TMP also had to convince the rest of the industry that the region had something to offer them and embarked on wooing key players in the energy and manufacturing sectors, as part of its strategy to argue the region’s case for investment. Mark Basnett, TMP director of investment, said: “It was not so much lobbying, just about convincing industry and making them realise we have the assets here that we can meet the needs of the industry.” Merseyside was fortunate that the wind farm energy industry’s annual conference was held at the city’s Echo Arena in both 2010 and this year. Early in 2010, TMP commissioned an 80-page report in response to the DECC document, highlighting the region’s strengths, from port facilities, to manufacturing and technical expertise, as well as an abundance of business parks that could offer vital back-up or storage

The TMP, Cammell Laird and Peel stand, at this year’s wind farm conference, held within the city’s Echo Arena capacity. Mr Basnett said: “We felt from very early on that we had all of this, but the consultants had not seen that because it had not been put before them.” The 2010 conference provided invaluable access to developers and manufacturers, and was deemed a success. Mr Knowles said: “The industry was very responsive and their line was, ‘we can see how that would work in Liverpool’.” Mr Basnett added: “The event has been here for two years. “In 2010, we were pushing our stake, but by 2011 people were coming to us on the stand, and there was a real level of awareness of what the offer was. “There was surprise in the industry that Liverpool had not been included on the DECC map. “But the penny started to drop and it was pretty well road-tested with the industry who got it, and our dialogue has been more readily received by the industry.” However, following the first conference, TMP realised it needed to broaden the potential appeal and involve more players. Mr Knowles said: “We had to turn that into something more tangible.”

‘We have the assets to meet industry needs’

Cammell Laird had been in prolonged talks with RWE over the Gwynt y Môr development, and so TMP collaborated with the Birkenhead business to raise awareness of the bottom line and jobs potential of offshore wind farms to the supply chain industry that would be required for such large-scale operations. Mr Basnett said RWE’s existing suppliers would look at how they could integrate within the region, but there was still much more potential for local firms who could either tap into the market or diversify to exploit new opportunities. He said: “Round three will need hundreds of acres of quayside sites. There’s few locations that can offer that, but business parks are part of our offer.” Mr Knowles added: “The infrastructure exists here with both business parks and training facilities.” He said Burbo Bank was such a small-scale development, by comparison, that it was not commercially viable to set up major manufacturing or supply operations on Merseyside, and most components were shipped in from Europe. “However, round three (Centrica) is more than 1,000 turbines and is very different.” Mr Basnett said: “We have reached a


Wednesday, October 12, 2011 IN ASSOCIATION WITH

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ow carbon future

TMP wants Merseyside to become a world leader in wind power

Region could serve world’s next-generation wind farms

very important milestone here, but we are going to be very much keeping that collaborative push going so industry realises this is the start of our ambition. “We could look at making all the components here, instead of barging them from Europe. “The prizes for us is getting as much here as we possibly can. We are hoping this will send ripples around the industry that someone like RWE has committed to Liverpool. “They have not done that lightly, because it is a very significant investment. The next step is working with the big players and their supply chains to roll out more.” Mr Knowles said there are 140 supply chain businesses currently involved in the offshore wind farm industry, but he added: “A lot of local companies haven’t realised what is at stake here, yet.” He said the region can benefit hugely from the lucrative supply chain and ongoing post-development maintenance opportunities that wind farms can present. “The spectrum of businesses who can get involved in this sector range from

people sitting behind computer screens to people in overalls.” He highlighted, in particular, two hi-tech Merseyside firms in Birkenhead-based marine oceanography expert Osiris Projects and Enspec, in St Helens, which specialises in harmonics related to electrical cabling, which is essential to transmit energy ashore. These companies and more traditional engineering and manufacturing firms are all capable of deriving huge rewards from Merseyside’s role as a support port for the industry, creating a second tier of opportunities from round three developments. And TMP and its partners, such as its private sector members and the six Merseyside local authorities, are convinced that the region can offer the best incentives for future wind farm schemes, and beyond. Mr Basnett said: “What we will do with suppliers is support them, find the right premises, or sort out planning and property and finance issues. “There are a also opportunities for businesses who could diversify into this area.”

‘A lot of firms not realising what is at stake’

NOT only has the region managed to make up ground in fighting its corner for a slice of the low carbon future, it could become a world-leading player in the development of the next generation of offshore wind farms. Mark Knowles believes that round three schemes could be followed by round four sites that would push technological boundaries – and Merseyside could seize a major stake in taking the industry forward. He said the depth to the seabed currently decides wind farm zones. “The deepest is 72 metres, but after that there could be floating devices,” he added. He said the offshore wind farm industry is likely to follow the oil and gas industry, which moved from seabed anchored rigs to floating platforms to extend the boundaries of developments farther from shore. And, given the region’s growing status in the industry and its bid to participate in Centrica’s round three scheme near the Isle of Man, it could position itself as a world leader in

supporting and developing such schemes. He said: “We will have a level of expertise that no one else does. This is market-leading technology, because no-one has gone so deep before.” Outlining possible areas of development, Mark Basnett said: “In 10 or 15 years, are there going to be more efficient turbines to generate more power? “As a base port, we can service and support that. “The UK is going to be leading the market in offshore, so companies here can serve the rest of the world or Europe. “This is a real opportunity for UK plc to develop expertise to serve the industry. We can service the world from Liverpool. “The prize is to use the fact that we are the centre of this industry for the next 10 years, to really embed the capabilities to service the wider UK, Europe and beyond.” And he said that could also involve a support network to encourage leading European practitioners in the industry to set up a Merseyside base.

private business

Sparkling sales give bounce to Ball CAN manufacturer Ball Packaging Europe saw sales and profits rise in 2010 as the soft drinks sector continues to grow. Accounts newly filed at Companies House show Ball reported a turnover of £303m in 2010 – up 4.5% from £290m in 2009. Pre-tax profit stood at £38m, up 11.8% from £34m the previous year. The UK operation makes cans in Wrexham and Rugby, and can ends at Deeside Industrial Park, and has a sales office at its UK headquarters at Chester Business Park. It said: “Trade turnover was up by 6% and trade can sales volumes were up by 8%. The majority of this additional turnover and volume growth was derived from the growing soft drinks sector. “A lower level of growth in the European marketplace this year, compared to the previous year, resulted in fairly flat inter-company sales. Inter-company volume growth was only up by 2%, and inter-company turnover was up by 1% from 2009. “Operating profit was up by £2m from the previous year (£38m in 2010 compared to £36m in 2009), largely attributable to the aforementioned increase in trade turnover. “The cost base of the company, while still challenging, has been stabilised to some extent by the adoption of some currency financial instruments.” Two-thirds of Ball’s sales come from within the UK. It said: “The UK beverage can business has undergone a period of moderate growth during the past few years. This is expected to continue and be led primarily by the growth in soft drinks sales.” Total shareholders’ funds at the end of the year stood at £93m – up from £68m, in 2009. The company paid out a dividend of £2.8m.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business briefing




Home shopping giant warns of ‘volatile’ trading

Rolls-Royce in £64m deal with US Navy ENGINEERING giant Rolls-Royce has picked up a $99.9m (£64m) contract to provide support for the F405 engines that power the US Navy’s T-45 training aircraft. The award is part of a five-year contract worth $477m (£304m).

Olympics win for contractor BUILDING contractor Interior Services has won more work at the 2012 Olympics, with a contract for the off-park and non-competition venues. The contract comprises 24 off-park sporting venues, 12 of which are outside Greater London and will be delivered by the group’s regional teams.

Growth boost CHEMICALS, food and minerals carrier Interbulk has reported strong revenues growth in the second half of its financial year with margins boosted by a fuel cost recovery programme implemented in the third quarter.

Wary Walters RECRUITMENT firm Robert Walters’s thirdquarter income has risen by 13% to £48 million as growth in Asia, Europe and the Americas offset a 4% decline in the UK. Net fee income growth, while positive, has slowed as markets have become more challenging, it added.

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England cricketer Andrew Flintoff has been signed up by N Brown brand, Jacamo


HOME shopping firm N Brown reported a rise in half-year profits, but said its customers aged 60 and above were being hit hardest by the economic squeeze. The online and mail order catalogue group increased sales by 4% to £363.7m in the 26 weeks to August 27 – a rise of 1.5% after the impact of acquisitions and new store space is stripped out. Average selling prices rose by 12%, but the group – a rival to Liverpool-based Shop Direct – said more customers had waited for promotions before ordering, which had hit product margins. Chief executive Alan White added that current trading was also “extremely volatile” at present, with like-for-like sales down by 1.5% in the first six weeks of the second half, with significant variations from week to week. A strong showing from its menswear brands helped first half profits rise 5.9% to £44.8m, with Jacamo, which recently signed up cricketer Freddie Flintoff as its ambassador, posting a 66% sales increase. Simply Be, which sells fashionable clothes for plus-size women, is also moving onto the high street for the first time, with a store in Liverpool One.

Manufacturing woes raise fears UK is ‘stagnating’ by Jamie Grierson


THE manufacturing sector shrank for the third month in a row in August, figures revealed today, adding to evidence that the wider economy is stagnating. Manufacturing output declined by 0.3% between July and August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, after declining 0.2% in July and 0.1% in June. The fall in manufacturing was driven by the wood and paper products and metal products industries, the ONS said, while the overall index of production, boosted by the oil and gas sector, rose 0.2%.

The weak data come shortly after the Bank of England announced an emergency £75bn injection into the economy as the threat of a double-dip recession became increasingly serious. The figures come amid deepening fears over the health of countries and banks in the eurozone – the UK's biggest export market. Elsewhere, weak data for the powerhouse services sector and softer trade data have damaged prospects for overall economic growth in the third quarter of the year, which will be revealed on November 1. Meanwhile, Bank governor Sir Mervyn King last week warned the UK could be facing its worst financial crisis since the depression of the 1930s. Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics, said: “August’s

industrial production figures provide yet more evidence that recent turmoil in financial markets and slowdown in the global economic recovery has taken its toll on the manufacturing sector.” There was some cheer within the manufacturing figures as food, beverage and tobacco industries saw 1% growth in August. The rise was driven by a 2.9% increase in alcohol production as evidence suggested Asian markets were buying more exports, especially spirits, the ONS said. Within the wider index of production, mining and quarrying increased by 2.1% month on month, with oil and gas rising 2.3%. Energy supply also rose by 1.9% between August and July.

Sainsbury’s unveils digital deal SAINSBURY’S eyed a bigger slice of the digital downloads market yesterday, after snapping up a firm with a database of 3m films, games and albums. The supermarket is already Global Media Vault’s major customer, after the launch of a website last year that

allowed users to order CDs, books and games online. The £1m acquisition gives Sainsbury’s an entry into the download market, which is expected to double in value from £7.3bn over the next four years. Luke Jensen, Sainsbury’s group develop-

ment director, said taking full control would enable it to enhance the functionality, and would mean customers “will soon be able to buy, rent or stream content from Sainsbury’s”. Global Media’s 15 employees will transfer over to Sainsbury’s. The supermarket is

paying £1m to struggling CD and games wholesaler MBL for Global Media. Leyland-based MBL put itself up for sale earlier in the year after it lost nearly four-fifths of its revenues when Morrisons scrapped a huge CD and DVD supply contract.

But David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said the Bank’s move to increase its quantitative easing was not enough to stimulate growth. He called on the Government to speed up plans revealed by Chancellor George Osborne to buy corporate bonds from companies to stimulate credit supply – a move known as credit easing. He said: “The recent move to increase the QE programme is helpful, but not sufficient. The Government must urgently implement its plans for credit easing, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized businesses. “The Government for its part must be more proactive in pursuing growthenhancing policies, and look to reallocate priorities within the overall spending envelope.”

Paris plans HIGH street retailer Marks & Spencer resumed trading in France yesterday, after a decade-long absence in the country. The UK stalwart has launched a French-language website offering more than 10,000 products across its clothing and homeware ranges. This will be followed later in the autumn with a three-storey store in Paris, and other shops in and around the French capital.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business



Greece wins cash lifeline by Ingrid Melander


GREECE should receive a vital lifeline next month in order to avoid bankruptcy, its international lenders said yesterday, buying time for a broader EU response to a debt crisis. After a weeks-long review of the country’s finances, inspectors from the European Union, IMF and European Central Bank said an 8bn euro loan tranche should be paid in early November after approval by eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund. But they warned Greece had made only patchy progress in meeting the terms of a bail-out agreed in May last year. And Germany, the eurozone’s biggest economy, said a decision on whether to make the aid payment was still open. “It is essential that the authorities put more emphasis on structural reforms in the public sector and the

economy more broadly,” the trio said in a statement. It said additional measures were likely to be needed to meet debt targets in 2013 and 2014, and a privatisation drive and structural reforms were falling short. A German Finance Ministry spokesman said the verdict showed “both light and shadows”. “We’ll wait and look at the report, analyse it and then decide what will happen with the sixth tranche,” he added. That money would anyway only buy Greece and its eurozone partners a small window of time. Germany and France, the leading powers in the 17-nation eurozone, have promised to propose a comprehensive strategy to fight the debt crisis at an EU summit delayed until October 23. After Athens admitted it would not meet its deficit target this year, there is a growing acceptance that a second Greek bail-out agreed in July may need to be renegotiated.

Greek civil servants yesterday protest against austerity measures


Retailer chief to quit firm THE boss of struggling retailer Mothercare is to step down a week after a dire sales update triggered a 35% slump in the company’s share price. Chief executive Ben Gordon will leave on November 17 by “mutual consent” after nine years with the group, Mothercare said, amid tumbling sales and a fading profits outlook. The mothers-to-be, babies and children’s goods retailer, which has seen its share price slide more than 60% since the start of the year, warned investors last week that its fullyear performance was set to be disappointing.


BANK SUPPORTS LOCAL COMMUNITIES VIA SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AWARD Social enterprise, an already vibrant and dynamic sector in the North West is set for a windfall thanks to Santander’s new Social Enterprise Development Awards. Businesses which trade for social and environmental purposes are being invited to enter the awards for a chance to win up to £50,000. With approximately 700 social enterprises in Greater Merseyside alone, the sector plays a vital role helping to deliver social regeneration in the region.

and I’m really looking forward to seeing a range of diverse entries.” Entrants can win prizes of £50,000, £30,000 and £15,000 depending on turnover, to fund one of three community benefits: improving social inclusion, supporting disadvantaged people or creating a greener environment. Jamieson continued, “The sector has developed considerably over the last 20 years and these awards target social enterprises that have been established for more than two years and are trying to grow.” The programme is being run as part of Santander’s strategy to support small businesses in the UK. “We recognise that the sector looks set to play an increasingly important role in the economy.”

The SEDA scheme aims to help those looking to expand to realise their goals, and at the same time support economic development in the region. Alongside the prize money, winning social enterprises will receive access to support from Santander including mentoring programmes, funding Winning enterprises will also be supported by for internships and university business the Community Foundation Network, which courses and training. will work with them to assess the social impact of their business and the prize fund on local Colin Jamieson, Relationship Manager, communities. Cathy Elliott, Chief Executive of Santander Corporate Banking said, Community Foundation for Merseyside said: “As we all know the economic situation “A wide range of organisations in our area are is very challenging at the moment engaged in social enterprise as a means of and we have an opportunity to ensure helping our communities. Through this award disadvantaged people do not move down scheme Santander will be able to help some the agenda. These awards will allow the of the best in this field have an even greater winning social enterprises to continue and impact.” grow the support they offer their community

To enter the competition, organisations can complete a short entry form downloadable from detailing how an award could be used to grow their business to benefit the community. The deadline for applications is 28th October 2011 at 12:00 and the winners will be announced in November.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BUSINESS to BUSINESS Commercial Property

LDP business


Code offers guidance for landlords and tenants

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by Sian Evans, of Liverpool law firm Weightmans

THE Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published a new edition of its Code of Practice for Service Charges and Commercial Property. The second edition of this code


On the instructions of Edward Dry and Roger Phillips, Joint LPA Receivers

comes into force this month, and gives guidance on alternative dispute resolution as a cost-effective means of resolving service charge disputes, sustainability issues, fair and reasonable service charges and to promote better communication between landlords and tenants. The 2011 code will affect managing agents in their day-to-day management activities and in the way they keep and certify accounts. The code defines what best practice is for surveyors. Observing it (or failing to do so without good reason) will be a relevant consideration if the manager is alleged to have been neg-

ligent in the performance of theirmanagement duties. Non-compliance will not always be negligent. The code will also affect landlords, lawyers and accountants, although it is not binding on them. The new code includes model lease clauses designed to assist complying with the guidance given. It suggests that landlords and tenants should always have regard to the recommendations of the code when they negotiate lease renewals. The code is good practice and surveyors are not obliged to follow it. It is also not binding on land-

lords, tenants or their lawyers. However, surveyors should encourage the parties strongly to adopt the code. The parties may depart from it where appropriate in the light of such issues as size, nature or type of property, the extent of the service charge costs or their apportionment between occupiers, or to achieve best value. Badly-managed service charges are a regular cause for dispute between landlords and tenants. It is hoped, by setting out clear best practice in the management and administration of service charges, the level of disputes will decrease and the quality of service improved.

Vanguard House signs up trio of firms


Cock and Trumpet Garage, Halebank Road, Widnes WA8 8NB • Industrial unit with residential development potential • Currently producing £16,800 per annum • Total GIA 5,684 sq ft • Site area 0.42 acres (0.17 ha) All enquiries: James Kinsler Emma Smyth

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Commercial Premises


Freestanding Chester City Centre Office Building 14,000 sq ft with car parking Potential for Re-Development

HRH the Duke of York, at Vanguard House THREE biotech businesses have become the first tenants at the £8.5m Vanguard House building, at Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus (Daresbury SIC).

The trio – Byotrol, Optimised Energy Solutions and Arcis Biotechnology – has each arrived from other parts of the Cheshire campus as Daresbury SIC continues

John Downes, chairman of Daresbury SIC, said: “Vanguard House is the latest example of the campus’s commitment to supporting the growth of hi-tech companies.”

Meridian offering nursery incentive by Tony McDonough


Further information please contact Neil Dryburgh or Euan Ross at

to expand to accommodate the growth of tenants. The lettings were announced as the Vanguard House site was officially opened by HRH the Duke of York

NURSERY operator Kiddy Academy is to offer a 5% discount to parents working for new occupiers signing up for space at Meridian Business Park, in south Liverpool. Meridian owner Prospect (GB) has announced the deal with the firm, which opened its facility at the Hunts Cross park in January. Under the deal, subsidised by Prospect, new occupiers will receive a 5% discount on their first year’s nursery fees when their children enrol at Kiddy Academy. Prospect’s managing director, Neil Waddington, said: “Having Kiddy

Academy on site at Meridian provides parents with the opportunity to drop their children off as they arrive at work and collect them as they leave, and so avoid having to take time going out of their way. “We anticipate that the deal will increase the park’s appeal to potential new companies looking for premises that will help to boost the job package to staff. “We are also offering recession-busting rents of only £1 per sq ft, so Meridian really is the place to be.” Rita Purcell, partner at family-run Kiddy Academy, added: “We are delighted to be able to offer this deal, and to give companies one more reason to locate at Meridian.” Kiddy Academy at Meridian offers

100 places for children from birth to five years old and also runs an after school and holiday club for older children. Ms Purcell added: “We like to think that we help parents to perform their daily duties, confident in the knowledge that their child is happy, secure and well cared for.” Meridian offers 22 self-contained office units from 700 sq ft to 5,400 sq ft which are available on a freehold or leasehold basis through joint agents Hitchcock Wright and Keppie Massie. ■ PROSPECT (GB) has appointed Robert Roddy as its new commercial property manager. He has worked in the sector for 12 years, and spent four years at Peel Holdings.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Knowsley Business & Regeneration Awards Knowsley Council Knowsley once again celebrated its business and regeneration success at a prestigious awards ceremony on Friday.

Jaguar Land Rover Halewood was once again crowned Knowsley Business of the Year. They had overseen an exceptionally busy 12 months, with the production of the new Range Rover Evoque. In the process they have recruited over 1,500 people directly into highly skilled jobs, and an additional 700 jobs have been created in the local supply chain. L to R: Sheena Ramsey, Chief Executive-Knowsley Council, Cllr Ron Round, Leader Knowsley Council, Neil Roscoe Communications – Jaguar Land Rover Halewood, Mike Harden-Deputy Chief Executive, Knowsley Council, Cllr Dave Lonergan-Cabinet Member for Regeneration Economy and Skills

More than 220 invited guests and key figures from the business community celebrated some fantastic achievements at this year’s event. Cllr Dave Lonergan, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economy and Skills, said: “It has been another really challenging year for business so it was extremely encouraging to hear about some of the ways in which our local businesses have managed to adapt and thrive. “In fact, since 2008 and the start of the economic downturn, there has been £1.1bn of investment in the borough, a phenomenal achievement and testimony to Knowsley as a location.” The awards took place at the prestigious Huyton Suite, and were hosted by Knowsley Council. This year’s main sponsor was Neptune Developments

Business Person of the Year was presented to Bob Taylor- GETRAG FORD. Bob was recognised for driving the business forward with his people skills and technical and business expertise over a long period of time. Last year, he led his company’s most successful ever launch with the introduction of a new £100m production facility and remains committed to Knowsley with his encouragement and support for a wide range of graduate and apprenticeship opportunities. L to R: Rob Mason, Divisional Director-Neptune Developments Ltd, Bob TaylorGETRAG FORD Transmissions, Cllr Dave Lonergan, Mike Harden.

Winners of the 2011 Knowsley Business and Regeneration Awards were:

SME of the Year, Sponsored by GETRAG FORD Transmissions: Tuff X Processed Glass

Employer of the Year, sponsored by King Construction: GETRAG FORD Transmissions

Corporate Social Responsibility, Sponsored by British Gas: Barclaycard

Best Housing Scheme, sponsored by Villages Housing Association: Keepmoat Homes

Visitor Economy Award, sponsored by SSE Contracting: National Wildflower Centre

Excellence in Customer Service, Sponsored by Barclaycard: Maureen Ashcroft, Knowsley Housing Options (Part of New Charter Housing Trust)

Regeneration Award, sponsored by Plus Dane Group: Villages Housing Association

Knowledge Economy Award, Sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover: ColorMatrix Europe Ltd

Low Carbon Award, Sponsored by Keepmoat Homes: QVC

Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Knowsley Chamber: Euroliters Ltd

Sponsored by:

Further details can be found on our website If you are interested in sponsoring the 2012 awards email


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business 324


Avon Rbbr



73612 485




24558 16812 Cobham



39758 30378 Meggitt




55712 Rolls-Royce








Index 2117.39 ▼ 10.84 18014





7678 2678 Cble&W Wwide 2734



Automobiles & Parts





Index 3551.74 ▲ 32.13


39112 26312 Sainsbury



35614 Tesco



4414 Thorntons




Food Producers


Index 5295.25 ▲ 4.37





1958 Ryl Scotland




116912 Stan Chart


Beverages Index 9898.24 ▲ 57.73

1182 940

1218xd +15

50312 28978 Britvic


1307 1112 Diageo


2340 1979 SABMiller

229112 +1512

770 xd 677




42478 325

Dairy Crest

3518 434

Premier Foods 434




2119 1523 Johnsn Mat



Construction & Materials Index 3351.92 ▲ 16.95 +314 +512

1111xd -4212

1418 1097 Kier Group



7634 4214 Low Bonar



12412 9034 Marshalls



Electricity Index 8307.37 ▼ 49.45 35358

Drax Gp



44858 27938 Intl Power

332 xd +338

1423 1108 SSE


Index 2504.04 ▲ 24.30 705 207

12778 Laird

Domino Ptg




35718 22214 Morgn Cru



1010 495

Oxford Inst

754 xd







Equity Inv Instruments Index 5420.53 ▲ 3.57 39234 31014 Alliance


14012 109

Br Assets

11812xd +112



Candover Inv 433



Dunedin IncGth 211 xd

15734 124

Dunedin Sml

49214 41478 Edin Invst 66034 546

96 612 28712 1251 92 35714 3812




-78 -312


32334 24714 Hend Smllr Cos 260 xd




Edin US Trkr Tst 602 xd

32778 26112 Forgn & C



Aga Rngmstr 79




1257 860




1922 1183 Schroders



General Industrials Index 2585.10 ▼ 8.95 72412 39534 Cooksn Gp












26614 16338 Smith DS



1429 90712 Smiths Gp




178 AEA Technology 23112 Albany Inv Tst 74012 AMEC 2614 Anglesey Mining 22858 Balfour Beatty 2712 Beale


51112 Compass Gp


99712 Dee Valley


1634 90012 Antofagasta



62912 452

263112 1667 BHP Billiton



2954 2282 Daejan Hldgs 2676

-12 -158


2150 1223 Fresnillo




53118 348

Glencore Intl







1671 730








Software & Comp Servs

7215 4425 Randgold Res 6410


Index 722.42 ▲ 4.06

4712 271212 Rio Tinto



5514 3014 UK Coal



9838 Redrow



39734 22558 Bodycote



87612 53812 Charter



2812 1012 Dixons Retail 1238





10518 Home Retail








33734 784 xd +512

71912 38934 Inmarsat


86 xd

18234 155

5412 Molins



-4 -58





31618 21114 Resolution 24434 172




Standard Life 20838xd -218

Index 3807.18 ▲ 3.34 61812 BSkyB




2986 1936 Signet Jwlrs



59012 46114 Reed Elsevier 518




24012 854 44 26812


1030 +9

+2+11312 +2


+314 +2412


36 579 14912 50

28 536


+712 +2312 -10





420 xd






9014 STV Group




3712 Trinity Mirror





Utd Business 47734xd +414





84612 578




301 easyJet 75312 JD Sports Fashion 1112 JJB Sports 2334 Johnson Serv 410 Nichols 10212 NWF 28 Park Gp


+6 +312

up 4.40

364 835

Var 5Day

+258 +2514 - 12

1714 2934

-19 - 34




+134 +1934

12012 xd




+ 12

AEA Tech

39114 Berendsen


+1 8

81212 67612 Bunzl


79412 63512 Capita

71612xd -212


85312 54912 De La Rue


Index 7830.69 ▼ 7.79



29478 18214 Electrocmps





83312 665







23734 G4S

27512xd -118

2336 189012 Ryl D Shell B






1493 94512 Tullow Oil

1397xd -11

36314 BP


Premier Oil

Oil Equipment & Services




Burberry Gp




32012 PZ Cussons



3359 254312 AstraZeneca


1390 112712 GlaxoSmthKln 138712 50

3014 Vernalis


14312 34






Menzies J







21 Speedy Hire

16858xd +234

10478 6434 Rentokil


+1 2

12012 79

Smiths News 8512



Speedy Hire


+1 2

Travis & P




2261 1404 Wolseley

ARM Hldgs




2712 17



+7 8

10234 51




16014 10912 Spirent Comms 12512




Enterprise Inns 3634


41258 30134 FirstGroup


-1 4

1598 1097 Go-Ahead Gp 1388




1435 955 285

Greene King

Intercontl Htls 1077xd


-6 -158

9378 +434

Punch Taverns 912

15334 10912 Rank Gp 335










Jpan Spec Sits




MoneyBuilderDividend -



Spec Sits




Sth East Asia





Euro Sel Opps


Pratical Inv

-1 4 +58


27178 13714 TUI Travel

Index-Linked Acc




International Acc




Pacific Acc




Property Bonds

-2028.19 2112.70








30758xd -214

1265 99712 Dee Valley



-10 -6

73712 58412 Pennon Gp

691 xd


1571 1333 Severn



63112 54312 Utd Utils



Index 704.31 ▲ 0.88 4958 15



1034 178

Armour Gp




Crimson Tide 114



Dawson Intl





818 xd

11712 1112 JJB Sports

-3 4



European Smllr Cos A Sterling Bd Unit Tst UK Equity Inc A


- 52.87 -



289.10 1.20




Inc & Gwth








North Amer Acc





2334 Johnson Serv 2934


3034 Man Brnze







Portmeirion P 44712








6214 2314 Scapa Gp






9618 67





Young A


-1 2

Redhall Gp


Low Funds



£1001132 £761132 Cons 4% ............... £92316




£50 Cons 212% ............ £66116



£69 Cnv 312%.................£8678


£50916 Tr 212% ................. £611516


Treasury Buy






£1141316 £1061532 Tr 9% 12................£10834












European Union









860 Rathbone





1777 Unilever





9838 Redrow





54312 Utd Utils





In order to give a greater range of Unit Trust information, covering a larger number of trusts, the list of funds changes each day as follows: UNIT TRUST MANAGERS DAYS PUBLISHED A to Com ................................................... Tuesday F to Inv....................................................Wednesday JP to Pru...................................................Thursday Roy to T .........................................................Friday






+ 78






55.23 3.91




240.10 5.92






236.80 2.91







17312 55



Monthly Inc

34534 28258 Centrica



Gilt & Fixed

National Grid 640

159.80 4.63



1887 1409 Whitbread



25478 Restaurant Gp 28314xd +212

20434 3334 Thomas Cook 4638 xd



12034xd +118

21638 Mitchells&Btlrs 25134

7912 918





14158 Intl Cons Airlns 16134

15514 114


Amer Spec Sits





12234 27


Price Gross







Var 5Day

11214 xd

2912 Telme Gp



▲ 0.38%


1 Ultima






Index 727.29 ▲ 4.01

3412 Sportech

3014 UK Coal


Tech Hardware & Equip




30834 14412 Prem Farnell



106 RSA Insurance


309 xd

Pharma & Biotechnology Index 9676.54 ▼ 10.23

Hyder Cons

34114 18312 Interserve

1127 715




51112 Compass Gp 536


46934 26138 Cairn Energy

Index 20136.19 ▲ 9.08

1207 926


1693xd -47

20778 9938 Ashtead Gp

156412 1144 BG




64912 530

2034 1389 Aggreko




+5 8

RSA Insurance 11214xd -114

Personal Goods




23134 Sage

1753xd -1658

14312 106


2649 1868 Next



202238 153334 Marsh McL

1251 74012 AMEC


8434 xd


Index 20418.64 ▼ 166.56







Var 5Day

8512 xd

1231xd -15

BBA Aviation 180 xd +134

9312 5158 ITV


14714 7378 Logica

Oil & Gas Producers


Index 4102.99 ▲ 21.74 3153 1742 Carnival




Travel & Leisure

Index 4773.58 ▼ 28.96

1754 1227 Admiral Grp

Index 2251.17 ▲ 24.79

47778 27514 Aviva




1667xd +17

59412 34338 D Mail Tst



2218 1375 Weir Gp




7612 Kewill


21014 +1734

Smith Nph



42712 30134 M & S



2063 1649 Spirax Srco

62712 17958 Mothercare



36414 19958 Invensys

Index 4063.08 ▼ 24.52


Index 3301.55 ▼ 16.42

6312 4014 Emblaze

Support Services

12334 8934 Lgl & Gen


Cancel Fund

Gilt & FI


Index 1397.71 ▼ 11.58

24034 156



2550 1271 Autonomy

Nonlife Insurance

Industrial Transportation


23134xd -158



26058xd +212

Health Care Equip & Serv

33114 21018 SEGRO


MS Intl




Vodafone Gp 17212





28718 217

43334 WH Smith


Land Secs





Index 3913.34 ▼ 16.54

1119 63612 IMI

1030 75312 JD Sports Kingfisher

Mobile Telecoms

42212 25518 Fenner

Index 3750.60 ▼ 22.13

45934 26912 Halfords


Gt Portland




Index 1598.90 ▲ 13.12


505 xd



Life Insurance


Brit Land

3648 3015 Reckitt Benck 3345

19014 117

General Retailers



35314 23414 Big Yellow Gp 26414


2231 1784 Imperial Tob




6312 Adv Medical



11718 8458 Marston’s


57012 38334 ICAP

1124 72812 Provident

To assist in the analysis of the market two figures are given for each sector. Firstly an index (set at 100 on January 1 1992) to give a comparison in the performance of various market sectors. Secondly an indication of the percentage change in the price of all the securities within a sector since the previous close.


Index 6388.63 ▲ 34.01


Those securities which have increased in value since the previous close are shown in bold type.

3437 213812 Anglo Amer



s............ dealing suspended xd.............price ex-dividend xs ........ price ex-scrip issue xr ........ price ex-rights issue xc ..... ex-capital distribution xa................................ ex-all £......price value in £ sterling





Index 1958.11

88812 65612 Close Bros

7738 5114 Debenhams


Real Estate

4314 2214 Taylor Wimpey 3634


2783.15 ▼ 0.03%


75312 511

1076 68512 London Stk Ex 86812

FT ALL-SHARE down 0.82

Index 19885.22 ▼ 72.19

Index 5450.31 ▼ 21.54 -2

5219.55 ▲ 0.21%

Index 6465.92 ▼ 86.16

6712 Barratt Dev


2871 228212 Br Am Tob


Household Goods


Ashley L


Oct 11, 2011

Apr 11, 2011

Industrial Engineering

+34 +1


Forestry & Paper

31114 25212 Brown (N) Gp 27158




2514 16









18418 3i

Oct 3 - Oct 7

Share price (pence)


Electronic & Electrical



Index 4803.39 ▲ 3.48

126 xd




45018 Mondi

Sep 26 - Sep 30




General Financial

1738xd -26


49014 Tate Lyle

2081 1777 Unilever

18738 10434 Elementis



61212 Carrs Mill

2081 1367 Croda



58812 Cranswick

Index 6483.16 ▲ 22.96

148778 92338 CRH





AB Foods



1395 1031 Barr (AG)


FTSE-100 Sep 19 - Sep 23

▼ 0.06%




7258 2712 Lloyds Bnkng 3614

35714 22858 Balfour Beatty 26812



45312 Bco Santander 54912

5612 618

5035 4910

29778xd -418




30814 26234 Morrison W


73078 47312 HSBC




Index 4657.63 ▼ 42.98


33312 13878 Barclays

4712 KCOM

Food & Drug Retailers

Index 4383.87 ▲ 42.08 245

Cble&W Comm

down 3.30 20-Day Moving Average


20418 14314 BT Gp 3114

Keep track of all the major share moves of the day with our live FTSE ticker at


Fixed Line Telecoms

36978 24818 BAE Systems 28118 +1034


£10134 Tr 5% 12................£10134

£1201116 £114732 Tr 8% 13................£11414





New Zealand






£10112 Tr 734% 12-15..... £1021132







£310532 Tr 212% IL 16 ........... £341

















new lira




United States







£114132 £109532 Tr 5% 14............. £1112132


£1411316 £1322132 Tr 834% 17 ............... £139


£1511316 £1332732 Tr 8% 21................£14718




£6712 War Ln 312%.............. £87


Last night, the pound was worth: $1.5594 (down 0.0088) .....1.1421 euros (down 0.0046) ..... 120.1350 yen (down 0.1)..... Its trade weighted index was 79.10 (down 0.10) Metals in $ per troy ounce: Gold 1663 (up 2) ............................ Silver 31.37 (down 0.86) ............................ Platinum 1514 (up 1) ............................ UK base lending rate 0.5%


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business London market INVESTORS lost their appetite for risk yesterday, as doubts remained over progress towards solving the eurozone debt crisis. The FTSE 100 Index was nearly flat, closing 3.3 points lower at 5395.7, having risen by 2% on Monday as France and Germany said a response to the debt woes would be finalised by the end of the month. But European markets came under pressure as questions were raised over the likely success of plans to tackle Europe’s problems, with the Cac-40 in Paris closing lower and the Dax, in Germany, making modest gains. Meanwhile, a key vote by lawmakers in Slovakia over an expansion of the eurozone’s bail-out fund was not held until after the market closed. There was more economic gloom in the UK, with weak manufacturing data and a gloomy assessment of the recovery from a leading think-tank. The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output shrank for the third month in a row in August, fuelling fears of a double-dip recession. The pound was hit by the weak manufacturing data and dropped against both the US dollar at 1.55 and the euro at 1.14. Commodity stocks surrendered some of Monday’s gains, with Kazakhmys down 3p to 883.5p, and Xstrata off 1.2p, to 935.9p. The biggest Footsie risers were BAE Systems, up 10.7p at 281.1p, Royal Bank of Scotland, ahead 0.7p at 25.3p, Barclays, up 3.6p at 175.7p, and Johnson Matthey, up 35p, at 1786p. The biggest Footsie fallers were Man Group, down 4.7p at 166.2p, Aggreko, off 47p at 1693p, Old Mutual, down 2.9p at 110.4p and Associated British Foods, off 26p, at 1069p.



market comment

Banksmay havetoraise 100bneuros topassEU stresstests

EUROPE’S banks will have to achieve a significantly stronger capital position under a quick-fire regulatory health check, and may need to raise some 100bn euros, banking and regulatory sources said yesterday. The European Banking Authority (EBA) wants banks to hold a minimum core Tier One ratio of 7% under a recession scenario, and those who fail will be asked to bolster their capital Eurobank and the other four top position, two banking sources told lenders could need more than 30bn Reuters. euros under the tougher scenario. The data was requested on Friday, Based on the end-2010 data, used in and banks had been asked to submit it the most recent stress tests, other by the end of yesterday, three sources banks that would need capital said. The data is based on the include Royal Bank of Scotend of June. land, Commerzbank, Societe “A significant number of Generale, Deutsche Bank, and banks are expected to fail the Unicredit. stress tests,” one of the Some of that data changed sources said. significantly in the first half A stress test of 90 banks run of the year, however, and some by the EBA this summer was banks have complained that Email us with criticised for not being tough methodology in the past test your views at enough. was flawed and should be letters@ It required core capital of, changed. 5% to be held, but did not or write to us Deutsche Bank, for PO Box 48, Old apply severe losses on holdexample, has cut its sovereign Hall Street, ings of Greek and other sovholdings and been profitable, Liverpool ereign debt. and will be above the higher L69 3EB The current test is expected pass mark, a senior source to mark peripheral eurozone close to the bank said. debt to market prices. Similarly, RBS said in July that Using a 7%pass mark, previous including a big de-risking of its loan stress test data, and current market book would have lifted its “stressed” prices for sovereign bonds, some 48 capital ratio over 7%. banks would fail the test and need to It remains unclear whether capital raise a total of 99bn euros, according to that qualifies as core Tier One will be Reuters “breaking views” data. defined according to rules known as Only eight banks had failed the test Basel III, or whether a more lenient in July. Greek banks would be hardest earlier version, known as Basel 2.5, hit and National Bank of Greece, will be applied, the sources said.

What do you think?

Some banks. including Royal Bank of Scotland, insist the methodology in the past test was flawed and should be changed Picture: DOMINIC LIPINSKI

The EBA said it had asked for updated data on capital and sovereign exposures, but refused to provide further details. Eurozone leaders have stepped up plans to bolster bank capital as part of a wider rescue package, which was given greater impetus by this week’s rescue of Belgian-French lender Dexia, which comfortably passed the July health check. Risks from the sovereign debt crisis are increasing rapidly and have put Europe’s banks in the danger zone, Jean-Claude Trichet, the head of

Europe’s central bank and its watchdog on financial stability, said yesterday. “Over the past three weeks, the situation has continued to be very demanding,” Mr Trichet said. “The crisis is systemic and must be tackled decisively.” The concerns have prompted leaders to ask the EBA to carry out its swift revised “stress test” so it can better assess potential trouble spots. Mr Trichet called for a clear decision on recapitalising banks, saying there was no time to lose.

For all the latest local and national business news online, log on to

business diary Friday, October 14 How to source and win international tenders is the latest presentation in Liverpool Chamber of Commerce’s 60 Really Useful Minutes series, where Jim Williams, of Tender Management Consultancy, will speak

on where to find contracts and information and offer tips on risk management, pricing strategy, persuasive writing techniques and golden rules when tendering and procuring. The venue is the Chamber’s Old Hall Street offices, 9-10am.

Attendance is free for members and £10 for non-members. Book online at Liverpool Friday, October 14 Mersey Advice is holding its latest free employment law course, which will be five one-day Friday sessions starting from October 14, covering basic employment rights; dismissal and

redundancy; contracts; discrimination and tribunals. They will be in St Anne Street, Birkenhead, from 10am-2pm. Ring 0151-666 1999 or email mersey to register. Tuesday, October 18 AFC Liverpool Business Club is staging its second 8am meeting. Liverpool’s Anfield

stadium is the venue, and the cost is £10. Book at www.afc liverpoolbusclub. Tuesday, October 18 Law firm Brabners Chaffe Street is hosting its latest Business Law Update, part of its series of free workshops for in-house lawyers covering subjects such as agency worker regulations, business

disruption, contractual disputes, and digital and social media. The workshop, which offers 3 CPD, takes place at the firm’s Horton House offices between 8am and 12 noon. To confirm your place, email bcsnews andevents@brabner Wednesday, October 19 Free asbestos aware-

ness training for local tradesmen is being offered by Pennington Choices as part of the Health and Safety Executive’s ‘Hidden Killer’ campaign to raise awareness about asbestos-related deaths. The courses take place at Pennington Choices’ Runcorn HQ. Email hsnowden@ or ring 01928 568 842.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LDP business trading gossip ■

THERE are as many types of corporate Twitter accounts as there are birds tweeting in the sky. Users of the social networking service can follow companies offering bland updates – or they can choose to follow the likes of gambling site Betfair Poker (@betfairpoker) with its surreal ramblings. In recent days, it has discussed the loss of Superman’s red underpants and how he has had to make Alan the fax machine redundant. And locally, there’s another arrival of note – Howard Hunter, boss of Coulton’s Bread, in Aintree, who tweets as @mrbakestone. As you’d expect from the enthusiastic Hunter, below, it’s simply punt-



the back page

Norwegian choristers provide a grand finale

working day

Mally Best is the general manager at Liverpool One’s multi award-winning Catalonian restaurant, Lunya. This is her day . . .

7am: Weekday mornings always begin with me being woken up by my five-year-old daughter, Grace. She has only just started school, so breakfast time is always lively and filled with her excited conversations about friends and teachers.

astic. His pearls of wisdom include: “Just been cutting carrots in the kitchen and saw the grim reaper, I was dicing with death”. And: “So I told my wife I had a job in a bowling alley. She said ‘Tenpin?’ I said, "No, it's a permanent job.” And: “My wife and I were married in a toilet – it was a marriage of convenience!” But it’s not all jokes – he also reveals he’s looking “for agents for our expanding business”. So, if you’ve an eye for business, use your loaf and give him a tweet.

DAILY Post business editor Bill Gleeson was once able to boast he’d “moved the markets” following the publication of an interview he did with Bank of England policymaker, Andrew Sentance. And now, is Liverpool Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jack Stopforth following in Bill’s illustrious footsteps? Last Wednesday morning’s LDP Business featured Jack’s strong call to extend the Bank’s quantitative easing programme. Later that day, they did just that – by £75bn. The Beatles may have been “four lads who shook the world” – now step forward Jack and Bill.

8.15am: I take Grace to school before driving to the restaurant. I really look forward to going in, as there is always a real buzz among the team. Lunya has gained a lot of acclaim since it opened and we were delighted to recently win the title of Liverpool’s Favourite European Restaurant. 9.30am: As I walk into the restaurant, I am greeted by the divine aroma of freshly baked bread made that morning, and there is nothing like that to start the day with. I grab one of our delicious traditional Spanish pastries and a coffee, greeting staff as they arrive. I head to my office to check emails, plan for the day. 11am: A new delivery of authentic products arrives. We source only the best ingredients from artisan producers across Spain, and I am always excited to see what we will receive next. This morning, it is orange blossom honey from the superb Alemany of Lleida, in Catalunya. 12 noon: I manage the placing of our new products either for our extensively-stocked deli or for the kitchen ready for the day ahead and take the time to talk to our morning customers. I love how varied our client base is – one moment I can be talking to the elderly Spanish lady who comes in daily for authentic groceries, the next I will be seating Liverpool FC’s latest Spanish signing, Jose Enrique and his girlfriend. 12.30pm: I make my way upstairs to the kitchen to meet with the chefs and discuss the day’s specials. Lunya’s menu extends to more than 100 dishes. 1.30pm: Fortunately, it is not just Liverpool that benefits from these Lunya delights as our in-house deli now delivers its bespoke Spanish hampers nationwide within 48 hours of an online order being placed.

There’s no lie-in on weekdays for Mally Best, thanks to her five-year old daughter, Grace I spend part of the afternoon in the deli making sure that all orders are processed, and it is a hub of excitement and, with Christmas on the horizon, we expect to be working like elves to get our artisan hampers out in time for them to be Christmas gifts. 3.30pm: We start our daily management meeting, which is the time we come together to brainstorm and discuss our plans not only for the night ahead, but also for continuing Lunya’s development. We’re very mindful we need to keep constantly evolving as even with numerous awards we need to keep a constant attention to detail. 4.30pm: Just enough time to check my emails and make calls to some of our suppliers. As well as some great Spanish producers, we also have a very strong focus on more local suppliers. 5.30pm: The restaurant will start to get really busy now and we have a

final full staff meet-up in the kitchen to run through the evening’s menu. Tonight, we have a wide range of tapas, paella and wood-oven cooked dishes. I test the staff ’s knowledge of the carefully-crafted wine list. We are proud to sell some of Spain’s finest wines and always ensure that our customers experience something a bit different and, of course, that they receive great value for money. 6pm: The bar begins to get busier as the after-work customers arrive for cocktails. I like to greet each guest as they arrive so that their experience is more personable. 8pm: I spend time catching up with the restaurant and kitchen staff, co-ordinating orders and seating tables. I like to be very hands on and so grab a can of Red Bull to keep me going. I must run up and down the stairs at least 30 times a night, which is a great way to keep fit.

9.30pm: The restaurant is bustling and the atmosphere is fantastic as tonight we have a booking for a Norwegian choir – the table of 15 is very lively, after their performance in Liverpool. 11pm: The restaurant is winding down and customers are beginning to leave happy and full. While I am saying goodbye at the door, a member of the choir makes me stand on a table while they sing a thank you song to me and the staff – I think we can assume they had a good time. 12.30am: The restaurant is restored to its pre-shift glory, the tills get cashed up and the place is peaceful again. All the staff sit down with a drink. 2am: The short drive back to Crosby has allowed me to unwind from the evening’s excitement and I cannot wait to collapse into bed. There will be no lie-in for me, as Grace will soon be awake and eager to get to school.

LDP Business - 12th October 2011  

16-page business news supplement from the Liverpool Daily Post