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LDP BUSINESS NOVEMBER/ DECEMBER 2008 ISSUE 05

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PROPERTY

GUIDE

EASTERN PROMISE Liverpool looks to Shanghai for investment

ARE CITY LAW FIRMS STILL SEXIST?

No frills Tennant drives TJs expansion Stores chief revives branch roll-out ON THE MOVE: HOW TRANSPORT IS DRIVING THE ECONOMY WHAT DOOM AND GLOOM?: THE WINNERS FROM THE DOWNTURN


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Professional Liverpool is the business network and sector support organisation for ÄUHUJPHSHUKWYVMLZZPVUHSZLY]PJLÄYTZHJYVZZ[OL3P]LYWVVS*P[`9LNPVU

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Professional Liverpool is the Regional Development agency’s sector delivery vehicle for Financial and Professional ServiceÄYTZHJYVZZ[OLLiverpool City Region, supporting £8.3bn of GVA and almost 200,000LTWSV`LLZ -VYTVYLPUMVYTH[PVUVUOV^`V\YI\ZPULZZJHUILULÄ[MYVTTLTILYZOPWJVU[HJ[\ZVU! T: 0151 795 0125 E: denise@professionaliverpool.com www.professionaliverpool.com


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Editor’s Comment Bill Gleeson on the impact of the global banking crisis

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News

November December.08

City retailer revives expansion plans

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The Big Interview Sue Tennant - TJ Hughes

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Corporate Deals All the key transactions

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The Big Feature On the move: How transport drives the economy

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How I Launched My Own business Geraldine McEntegart on leaving the comfort zone

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International Trade Liverpool looks to Shanghai for investment

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Legal Sector Is sexism still rife in the region’s law firms?

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Commercial Property Estuary Business Park’s decade of growth

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How Green Is Your Business City lawyers get on their bikes

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Wealth Management Investing in a changing world

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Economic Review Focus on St Helens

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Credit Crunch Who are the winners in the downturn?

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Ask the Expert Creative Industries Advertising pays off for Littlewoods

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Management & Recruitment

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The Networker Carolyn Hughes’ business social diary Corporate Entertainment

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Dealing with recession stress

Ringside for the big fight

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The List Essential dates for your diary

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Business Lunch The Monro’s gastro makeover

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Top Tipple A look at autumn wines

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Executive Motors Barry Turnbull test drives the Freelander 2

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Business Travel Be kings at Conwy Castle

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Notworker Laura Doyle’s living on her wits


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EDITOR’S LETTER

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LDP

BUSINESS EDITOR

Bill Gleeson billgleeson@dailypost.co.uk DEPUTY BUSINESS EDITOR

Tony McDonough tonymcdonough@dailypost.co.uk

BUSINESS FEATURES EDITOR

Barry Turnbull barry.turnbull@liverpool.com WRITERS

Alistair Houghton alistairhoughton@dailypost.co.uk

Alex Turner alex.turner@liverpool.com SENIOR ART EDITOR

Rick Cooke DESIGN

Colin Harrison Tracy Smith Charlie Hearnshaw Matthew Barnes PICTURE EDITOR

Richard Williams MARKETING EXECUTIVE

Litza Gorman 0151 472 2352

WHERE do we go from here? The road ahead has suddenly become steep. Progress is going to be slow. After 16-years of unbroken growth, we are undoubtedly in a period of recession, though the QED proof that the country’s economy has met the technical definition of recession, namely two consecutive quarters of falling economic output, is still three months away.

may find themselves in a position to win greater market share. For example, in the airline industry, those with strong balance sheets, including plenty of cash, can move into new markets as weaker competitors fail or need rescuing. The same will be true in virtually every nook and cranny of economic life. Looking beyond the recession, say to two or three years time, the economy will pick up

Efforts will need to be doubled and every opportunity to do business will need to be taken

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There is nowhere to hide from the facts and figures, the most telling and worrying of which is that unemployment is rising sharply, including in our region. Locally, the opening of Liverpool One may have acted as padding that has softened the impact of the economy’s bumpy landing, but it’s still going to be a bruising experience. Efforts will need to be doubled and every opportunity to do business will need to be taken. Costs will have to be kept under tight control and the more ambitious expansion plans will have to be put on hold. That said, there are some businesses that will come out of the downturn stronger than they went into it. Firms that had foreseen the rainy days and prudently stored up reserves

again. Britain, hopefully, will be well placed to take advantage of the upturn when it comes. The principal cause of hope is that the country is today a much more enterprising place than in previous times. Now that the banking sector has been cured of its ills, the risk to our future prosperity comes from government, particularly the state of the nation’s finances. Tax rises or public spending cuts would exacerbate the woes, both deepening and prolonging the downturn. And yet without them, we face the likelihood over the mid to long term of a prolonged period of higher inflation, which would be the worst of all outcomes.

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“You need to be able to make the move when it’s needed and not have endless meetings”

QUOTE

SUE TENNANT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TJ HUGHES

OF THE MONTH

TJ’s expansion boom back on track DISCOUNT CHAIN LOOKING FOR NEW SITES BY BARRY TURNBULL DISCOUNT chain TJ Hughes plans to revive its stores expansion programme in 2009. Executives are looking at potential sites around the country with a view to spreading the brand in new locations including in the south. It is envisaged that three or four new department stores will open a year. The latest move marks a reversal of last year’s decision to call a halt to an earlier expansion plan. Chief executive Sue Tennant called an immediate halt to those plans when she took over the top job at the retailer in the summer of 2007, saying at the time that a “backs to basics” approach was needed. She said: “I think maybe the business had lost its edge

and as well as that the discount market has become much more crowded so it is a tougher environment. We definitely needed to get back-to-basics and that has given us the confidence to go forward now. “I called a halt to the expansion because there was enough to put right in the core business. Now we are in a position to move forward again.” She said new stores in the North East, Yorkshire and the Midlands show there is a big appetite for the TJs brand. “The south is also a target too,” she added. “Our customers are the same in Romford as they are in Runcorn.” See interview with Sue Tennant on page 12.

Peel warning The UK’s biggest regeneration blueprint could collapse if plans are called in by the government, says property giant Peel Holdings. The company has drawn up a £10bn double-headed scheme on both sides of

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the Mersey but says it cannot afford to get bogged down in protracted planning enquiries. Director Lindsey Ashworth said: “If they go to a public inquiry, all bets are off.” Peel wants the government to sanction a fast-track planning system for both Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters.


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A 100-strong highpowered delegation comprising Liverpool’s political, private and public sector leaders is travelling to London in an attempt to generate more investment into Merseyside’s professional and financial services sector. Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley, the council’s chief executive Colin Hilton, Northwest Development Agency chief executive Steve Broomhead, Liverpool Vision chairman Mike Parker, Liverpool Chamber chief executive Jack Stopforth and a host of senior business people will be on the trip on October 29. Virgin Trains is also giving the effort its full backing by ferrying the party to and from London for free. The delegation, led by Mark Chadwick, chief executive of Professional Liverpool, will meet

with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Ian Luder and other senior professional as well as financial services people. Mr Luder is a key figure in the sector. His main role is to promote the City of London and the rest of the UK to global corporations. Mr Luder will return the compliment in November when he comes to visit Liverpool. Mr Chadwick told LDP Business: “Over the last few years the City of London has become arguably the number one global location for financial and professional services. “If Liverpool is to gain any benefit from that, then it is important we present the right image to the leaders of large multi-national corporations, and the Lord Mayor of the City of London is someone who can help us to do that.” Mr Chadwick and inward investment agency, The Mersey Partnership, which is also supporting the trip, believe that the downturn in the financial and professional services sector may present an opportunity for cities like Liverpool. Their logic is that many large financial institutions are now under pressure to cut costs and therefore moving functions out to the regions is a viable option. Grade A office space in Liverpool is far cheaper than in the City of London.

Crowds flock to car park opening Phase 2 of the Liverpool One shopping development clocked up 500,000 visitors in its first week after being opened by Princes Anne. Shoppers flocked to the site to see a reshaped Chavasse Park and a new mall filled with eateries. But bosses of Q-Park, the multi-storey car park on site, claim they have also been a big draw. Chief executive Nigel Williams said at the launch night that he had stopped to help two people he thought were lost. He said: “It turned out they didn’t have a vehicle but had stopped to admire the car park.

IN BRIEF DOCK SURGE The Albert Dock reported a surge in visitor numbers, up 48% on last year, with local bars and restaurants also seeing a boom in new business.

www.ldpbusiness.co.uk

Delegation heads to London

FLATS SOLD At nearby Mann Island, three-quarters of the 376 apartments have been sold, bucking the downward trend in the property market.

BIO BUYOUT Runcorn-based Protherics was taken over by rival BTG in a £218m deal, creating the UK’s biggest biotech business.

NEW FLEET Widnes-based Suttons Group has invested £5m on a fleet of 77 new vehicles.

SALES SLUMP House sales in Liverpool have slumped 50% in a year, it was reported earlier this month. That’s what I call a result! Hopefully this will be an award winner.” Facilities at the 550 space multi-storey include free loans of baby buggies and umbrellas. There is also a golf buggy to take overloaded or less mobile customers to their car, a shoe-cleaning machine, 100 bicycle racks, a tyre inflator and jump-start equipment, a heart defibrillator for medical emergencies and an alcohol level tester.

CONTRACT FIGHT Bibby Line Group is being forced to fight to renew a £200m contract with its longstanding custiomer Nisa-Today. The convenience stores group has launched a competitive tender process in order to save money and improve service.

Ships shelved

Vauxhall cutback

Norfolkline’s plans to buy new vessels to beef up its Irish Sea operations from Liverpool have been put on hold. The company has been hit by rising fuel prices and is facing a bill for millions in backdated business rates along with many other maritime organisations.

Production days at Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port were cut amid a drop in sales. The company says it had to cut back on making 650 cars a day as part of an overall plan to reduce European manufacturing by 40,000 vehicles. Halewood based Land Rover reported September sales 49% down on last year. M A G A Z I N E

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THINK INDIA SUMMIT India’s Tata Group is ready to listen to businesses who want to get a connection with industry on the sub-continent. Amit Mehta, vice president of Tata Capital, speaking at a Think India event held in Liverpool, said his door is open. Mr Mehta said: “If you are interested in the automotive, chemical or construction sectors give me a call.” Industrial giant Tata recently bought Jaguar/Land Rover, which has its X-type and Freelander plant at Halewood. Around 200 delegates from across the North West attended the UK Trade & Investment/UK India Business Council ‘Think Business… Think India’ event, held at Liverpool’s Arena & Convention Centre. Sandra Brusby, speaking on behalf of UKTI North West India Unit said: “This event has come at a very important time for regional businesses with the attendance figures highlighting the importance companies are placing on seeking out overseas opportunities. “The event has already delivered a huge boost for local industry with Amit Mehta offer to help interested parties.” Mr Mehta can be contacted on 01925 715175.

New warehousing under construction at the port

No storm in this port NEW BUILD TO KEEP UP WITH DEMAND WAREHOUSING space of 400,000 sq ft is to be constructed at the Port of Liverpool to keep up with demand. Around 150,000 sq ft of new space is required each year but existing supply has run out, triggering plans for fresh development in 2009. The new units at Liverpool Intermodal Freeport Terminal will bring the total warehousing accommodation at the docks to 4m sq ft.

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AN initiative to harness knowledge exchange between government, industry and higher education was launched at Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus. The collaboration involves the Universities of Liverpool,

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Peel Ports’ marketing manager Frank Robotham said: “We are leasing warehousing space at the rate of 150,000 sq ft a year and our existing stock is exhausted. The need for Phase 2 at the LIFT development reflects the enthusiasm among logistics operators for modern facilities. “Two of the new warehouses will be directly linked by rail, enhancing the port’s strategy of encouraging the movement of freight by train.”

Manchester and Lancaster and is supported by the Northwest Development Agency. Prof Murray Dalziel, Liverpool University management school director, said: “Becoming more innovative, and more

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importantly bringing innovation to life, is one of the most critical issues facing business leaders today. “At Daresbury we believe we can significantly shorten the cycle from discovery to exploitation.”


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Right: Raj Anantha of the Four Seasons Pay Point store in Clubmoor where punters can play the New Football Pools. Below: The pools4all.com homepage

Online football pools to rival established players NEW VENTURE AIMS TO CASH IN ON REVIVAL LIVERPOOL has cemented its place as the centre of the football pools universe with news of a new gambling venture. Merseyside oil workers in Kazakhstan plan to rival the established brands such as the New Football Pools, formerly Littlewoods, Vernons and Zetters. To win on Pools4all.com punters need to predict correct scores instead of the traditional method of picking draws. Niels Cook and Dave Plumton dreamed up the idea and got a licence from the Isle of Man. 10 M A G A Z I N E

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Mr Cook, 59, from Allerton, explained: “We were working 72 hour weeks and needed some distraction at weekends. We were all into football so came up with the idea of pools on a computer and ran it out there for four years.” It grew in popularity with colleagues and they saw the potential. Pools4all managing director Tony Poskitt said: “As word spread and more people on rigs around the world started playing we realised we were on to something. “We want everyone to get excited

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about the rebirth of football pools. Pools4all.com brings the game into the digital HD age and makes it a lot more fun.” Depending on the number of players, weekly, winnings could hit more than £100,000 for a £2 stake. Meanwhile the old brands of Littlewoods, Zetters and Vernons have been rolled up into the New Football Pools by owner Sportech. The new brand was launched to coincide with the soccer season in August.


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LDP INTERVIEW

One, big, happy

family STRAIGHT-TALKING LIVERPUDLIAN RETAILER SUE TENNANT RETURNED TO TJ HUGHES AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE AFTER SEVEN YEARS AWAY. SHE TELLS BARRY TURNBULL IT WAS SOMETHING OF A CULTURE SHOCK. howling gale sent a broken umbrella cartwheeling down London Road as rain swept down from a sullen sky. I hurried up to TJ Hughes where brolly sales rocketed by 70% in the summer thanks to the wet weather and chief executive Sue Tennant’s ability to spot an opportunity. Flexibility is her mantra. Quick decisionmaking is essential in an industry where you can be a hero one day and forgotten the next. In TJ’s boardroom, she gave a demonstration of the alacrity with which she runs the business. Opening a copy of The Sun newspaper, Tennant pointed to a four page advertising supplement, explaining: “I signed that off at 1pm yesterday. I know on some of the top brands that we have the cheapest price available today. “Flexibility is absolutely essential, you need to be able to make the move when it’s needed not have endless meetings about what should be done.” But fast moving business decision making was not part of the culture she encountered

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on returning to TJs seven years after leaving to take up a post at Ethel Austin. The company’s legendary team spirit had been lost and it’s way of doing business had become regimented. “I found that things had changed - and not for the better. Morale was at a low ebb and the structure of management and the way of working was too rigid. There were too many meetings and not enough people had the authority to make decisions,” said Tennant. “The first task was to put that right and sort out the buying teams. I brought in some key people from Ethel Austin and had to get to grips with sorting out the staff and getting them to believe in the business again. “I had read a motivational book on management change called ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ and used the ideas in that to inspire our people,” she said. Buyers travel the world snapping up stock bargains, mainly using middle-men. As Tennant points out, you could order direct from a supplier and find a boatload of wollen clothes on the way when the weather turns into a mild P O S T


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“I had read a motivational book on management change called ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ and used the ideas in that to inspire our people.” M A G A Z I N E

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LDP INTERVIEW spell. Again, flexibility to change things is key to her philosophy. She reshuffled the management team, halted an expansion programme and got “back to basics”. The new policies paid off with an alarming slump in profits of £1.1m in 2006 turned into a £5m surplus just six months after she rejoined the business in the summer of 2007. Deals on lingerie, fragrances and household goods drove earnings forward. The halted stores roll-out programme will be back on track next year. The idea is to identify new sites and look at opening three or four stores a year. She continued: “I called a halt to expansion plans because there was enough to put right in the core business. Also, the landscape had changed a lot. When I was here previously there was not that much competition in the discount sector but that’s not the case now. “That’s why you constantly have to review how you operate. Now, I feel the time is right to increase our presence and I know it’s a challenging retail environment, but when hasn’t it been? “We have done fantastically well in Yorkshire, the North East and the Midlands. I am also confident the brand can grow in the south as well, as far as our market is concerned there is no north-south divide. “Customers in Runcorn are just the same as those in Romford.” Another way of growing trade will be to expand online operations which currently restricted to a small number of lines. That may change as time moves on.

“Flexibility is absolutely essential, you need to be able to make the move when it’s needed not have endless meetings about what should be done.”

DOING BUSINESS IN A DOWNTURN AND CONSIDERING LIVERPOOL ONE Tennant predicts high street conditions will be challenging, recession or not. She said: “I’m not sure all this talk of the discount market benefiting from a general downturn will necessarily be the case. Yes, the food retailers like Aldi and Lidl providing essentials appear to be doing well, but we are not in that category. Our customers have to watch their spending as much as anyone, probably more so. “You have to be sharp and focused and above all honest. I think business up to Christmas

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should remain good but it may well be the Last Supper syndrome. People may spend and then worry about the consequences in the New Year. “I expect traditional lines to go well and clothing will continue to be a big seller. “We have changed some areas of the business. For instance, I have brought back childrenswear which was discontinued. I don’t see how you can have a family store without selling kids stuff. “Similarly we will be having a big push in the toy department as well.” Tennant says she doesn’t lose any sleep about neither the arrival of both Liverpool One in the group’s home town nor the rise of discount chain Primark. “Not our audience”, says Tennant. “Primark is a different age group and Liverpool One is upmarket. If I had been here I might have considered a move to Liverpool One, but we have been successful on this site for 90 years and I don’t see why that can’t be repeated for another 90. “We have a particular market, a lot of mature customers, but they say the grey pound is strong these days, don’t they?”

RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES Liverpudlian Tennant got her big break with Littlewoods. She says even getting an interview with the Moores empire was considered something of a success back in 1979. The Huyton teenager was offered a chance to further her education with the firm and gained A levels and a HND. She spent several years as a buyer based in Old Hall Street but got itchy feet. A trainee management position with Ethel Austin followed before she was poached by London footwear firm Bata and spent some years travelling round the world. On returning to Merseyside, she was wooed by Owen Owen, but ended up at its subsidiary TJ Hughes, which had just two stores at the time. Tennant recalls: “TJs was the poor relation in those days, selling the cast-offs from Owen Owen. “However the vision of Eric Hodge ensured that the business could grow and when I left we had 38 stores and turnover had grown from £18m to £250m. “It was a great time to be part of a growing

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business and it floated on the stock market during my time there.” After 11 years which ended with her as a main board director, Tennant thought it was time to move on and took up a senior position with clothes retailer Ethel Austin. The business did well, although the Austin family sold out and private equity owners came in, proving to be much harder taskmasters. She left to join Roseby’s in 2005 and last year was lured back to TJs. “It remains an exciting time even in a downturn. We have a very strong brand and have raised our profile by national newspaper advertising which has been very successful, so I am optimistic about the future.”

TJ HUGHES TIMELINE 1912… Store opens in Liverpool selling ladies and childrenswear 1929… Becomes part of Owen Owen 1992… Floats on London Stock Exchange 1998… Opens first southern store at Eastbourne

CULTURE SHOCK Tennant comes from a close-knit, down-toearth community, just the sort of place that

2000… Announces stores expansion programme 2001… Stock discrepancies cost £3.6m. Chairman Eric Hodges leaves company 2002… JJB Sports buys TJs for £43m and takes it back off the stock market 2003… Changes hands again as chief executive George Foster leads a management buyout backed by PPM Ventures 2004… The group sells its London Road headquarters plus Edge Lane premises in a sale and leaseback scheme 2006… Profits slide to £1.1m. Chief executive Robin Dickie leaves. 2007… Tennant joins. Profits up to £5.1m on turnover of £239m 2008… Celebrates 95 years in business with fresh plans to add to its 49 stores. 16 M A G A Z I N E

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she believes has been forgotten by Capital of Culture. “This has had no impact on our business at all. In fact, what annoys me is the fact that neither TJ Hughes nor our customers were invited to the party. “As Liverpool’s longest established store, you would have thought we’d have some role to play, but we were never asked to become involved. “It’s the same with our customers, I don’t see anything for them. “Why hasn’t there been a giant street party day with firms giving people a couple of hours off. “That sort of event would be truly something for the people of this city. “I mean, how many of our customers have heard of Gustav Klimt? “It’s been very disappointing from that point of view.”


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Cluster Groups at the launch of the Wirral Business Forum

WIN Partnership welcomes Wirral Business Forum WiN (Wirral Investment Network), Wirral’s leading public and private sector partnership has welcomed Wirral Council’s launch of its ‘Wirral Business Forum’, an innovative and exciting way for businesses to communicate across the Borough. Wirral Council Chief Executive, Steve Maddox, who hosted the official launch ceremony at the Thornton Hall Hotel during October, announced that the forum will include the formation of a number of sector based ‘Cluster Groups’, who will work together to identify, discuss and develop opportunities for growth and investment by supporting businesses in Wirral. The cluster groups are: manufacturing, food & drink, digital and media, financial, professional and business services, construction, tourism and retail, maritime and logistics, and science, technology, environmental and health. Both the Business Forum and the Cluster Groups are open to any business trading in Wirral and are ‘no cost’ initiatives, aiming to engage the private and public sectors and maximise the economic success of the Borough.

commercial opportunities for businesses through online networking, offering accessible, user-friendly information that saves time and enables faster, better informed decision-making. This will also include news updates, events and exhibition opportunities, together with links to business advice agencies. Businesswirral.com builds on the cluster approach by giving businesses the opportunity to join cluster groups of businesses and relevant providers of business support. Each cluster has a chair and vice-chair drawn from either Wirral’s business community, or from a leading business support organisation with particular expertise in that sector.

Cluster Groups Membership of each cluster is open to any business trading within the borough with a commercial interest in that particular sector. Cluster chairs and vice-chairs will also form the Wirral Investment Network (WiN) Executive Board, the function of which will be to provide strategic direction and sector specific expertise to Wirral Council and the main WiN board. Wirral Council will consult the Executive Board on a variety of policies and developments that will impact on Wirral’s business community. Cluster forums will be held quarterly and will be used to discuss a particular theme or relevant issue that affects business development and growth in the Borough.

The Invest Wirral Business Online Network (businesswirral.com) Is a new and exciting way for businesses to communicate across Wirral. Businesswirral.com has the potential to open up great

(from left) – Speakers - Steve Maddox (Chief Executive, Wirral Council), Paula Basnett (Head of Investment for Invest Wirral), Jim Wilkie (WiN Chair and Deputy Chief Executive of Wirral Council) and Frank Rogers (Business Development Partner, Lees Lloyd Whitley)

Businesswirral.com has been developed by the Invest Wirral team, it is free to use and is available to all businesses in Wirral. To sign up simply visit www.businesswirral.com and complete the simple registration process. Further information regarding Wirral Investment Network (WiN) can be found at www.winpartnership.org or call 0151 650 6915.

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SPONSORED BY

CORPORATE DEALS

David Chestnutt, chief executive of Proventec, left, with chief commercial officer Thomas Stucken

Proventec still cleaning up LIVERPOOL-based steam cleaning specialist Proventec completed two acquisitions in six weeks as it continued its expansion plans. The Rodney Street group, listed on the Alternative Investment Market, bought a 60% stake in German engineering company Frank GmbH in late August. Frank, founded in 1607 by the Earl of

Nassau, makes and distributes hygiene products including portable high pressure washers. Earlier this month, Proventec bought a 60% stake in Rotterdam-based CryoJet Industrial Services. CryoJet’s technology uses dry ice to clean surfaces without leaving residue. Its clients include Royal Dutch Shell, AkzoNobel and Quality Bakers.

Proventec is best-known for its steam-cleaning technology used by hospitals to kill superbugs such as MRSA. Its chief executive David Chestnutt said: “With our controlling stake in CryoJet, we will be able to access a proprietary, successful and profitable new technology and an impressive new blue-chip industrial customer base.”

RISING DEMAND

TAXI FIRM HAILS TAKEOVER DEAL TAXI firm Merseycabs has been taken over by a Singapore group. The 50-year-old company was bought for an undisclosed “six figure sum” by CityFleet (UK) – part of Singapore-based transport multinational ComfortDelGro Corporation. CityFleet also owns hackney cab firms in London, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Birmingham. Simon Haynes, a spokesman for the new owners, said it would be “business as usual” for the 700 drivers who operate the 400-strong hackney cab fleet on a double shift. CityFleet (UK) chief executive John Lee said: “This acquisition is an excellent fit with our other UK operations and I’m confident our investment will bring benefits to all parties including customers, drivers and staff.”

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SOUTHPORT bakery Mellors has secured an extra £500,000 of working capital from Royal Bank of Scotland to help with its expansion plans. The bakery, which supplies to supermarkets including Asda as well as the food service sector, specialises in traditional sticky buns. It says the increase in its working capital facility, from Royal Bank of Scotland Invoice Finance, will enable

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it to meet the rise in demand for its products. Joint owner Chris McLintic said: “As we take on more work, it’s essential to have the necessary funding structure in place to cover the cost of our overheads. This facility is a good solution and will support our future growth plans.”


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

THE LOCAL TRANSPORT BILL The Local Transport Bill is due to complete its progress through Parliament and receive Royal Assent during the current Parliamentary session. It is designed to empower local authorities to take appropriate steps to meet local transport needs in the light of local circumstances. It would: ■ Give local authorities the right mix of powers to improve the quality of local bus services; ■ Allow for the creation of an influential new bus passenger champion; ■ Give local authorities the power to review and propose their own arrangements for local transport governance; ■ Update existing legal powers so that, where local areas wish to develop proposals for local road pricing schemes, they have the freedom and flexibility to do so.

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Keeping Merseyside moving HOW DOES A REGION AS DIVERSE AS MERSEYSIDE MAKE SURE THAT THE WHEELS WILL KEEP TURNING INTO THE COMING DECADES? WITH A PLAN WHICH THINKS ABOUT EVERYONE ON THE MOVE, FROM TODDLERS ON TRICYCLES TO OUR MAJOR INDUSTRIES CITIES and towns can be freed or choked by their transport systems. Like health services, we take them completely for granted until they somehow inconvenience us. We are not interested in the how (or the how much), we just need them to get us or our products and services from A to B. Unlike earlier generations, we are hugely demanding of transport. We want frequency, punctuality, environmental friendliness, low cost, safety. Often we can be contradictory in our demands; we want clear routes to move products and supplies, but we don’t want lorries slowing us down when we are driving to work. We want cheap off peak travel for our student offspring, but we are reluctant to pay the corresponding full rate to travel during rush hours. We support carbon reduction, but don’t want the cost added to our balance sheets. Merseyside’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) is the meeting point for all our transport demands – and a great deal is asked of it. Produced by the Merseyside Transport Partnership (comprising the five Merseyside local authorities and Merseytravel), the LTP has a clear purpose – to provide an integrated network that helps the region grow and be a better place to live. Economic prosperity is at the top of the list of goals. If businesses are to attract the best

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staff and grow in a sustainable way, then everyone in the region needs to be able to travel easily to work, with less congestion and with the option of a reliable public transport service. The region needs a healthy workforce living in a better environment, so carbon emissions must come down – but more people need to realise that their journey to work could also help keep them fit by walking or cycling. The LTP brings together public and private sectors, passengers and transport operators, road planners and users. It is concerned about road safety, road conditions, public transport standards. Importantly, it is not just about big building projects. Training local school children to cycle safely is vital – as is encouraging them to walk to school or to use public transport. Businesses are encouraged to think – sometimes for the first

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time – about how their staff travel to work and how they can make some really quite small changes (showers and secure cycle storage, for example) to help them make more sustainable choices. Merseyside is good at planning its transport; the LTP itself was rated “excellent”, as was delivery of that plan for the period 2001-6. As a result the region was awarded additional cash to continue working to make sure that people are not isolated and cut off from jobs by a lack of transport. Over the coming months, companies throughout Merseyside will be invited to get more involved in thinking about not just what transport planning can do for them, but what they can do to make sure that transport works effectively and sustainably for everyone. If Merseyside is to keep moving, and moving towards greater prosperity, then everyone has a part to play.


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Happy commuting MERSEYSIDE workers could ease traffic congestion and save hundreds of pounds a year thanks to a new TravelWise initiative under which employers can offer staff tax-free bus travel as an additional employee benefit. Traffic into Liverpool city centre is expected to rise 12 per cent by 2011 and the Merseyside Transport Partnership is working to manage this increase. Chair of the Merseyside Strategic Transport Committee, Cllr Jean Quinn, hopes the taxfree bus travel scheme will encourage commuters to swap their cars for the bus. She said: "Thousands of people across Merseyside could benefit financially from this tax break, while easing congestion and reducing their carbon footprint."

The Shop Direct Group and Wirral Council will be among the first employers to roll out the scheme to staff. Phil Spick, Travel Plan Manager at the Shop Direct Group, welcomed the initiative. He said: "There has already been lots of positive interest internally and I’m sure the scheme will prove to be a big success for us." How does it work? Employers buy an annual bus pass for staff who then make monthly or weekly repayments from their gross salary, saving money on tax and national insurance. Exact savings vary, but a higher rate taxpayer using a £649 annual Solo pass for all Merseyside areas will save £290.23.

Green light for Sefton and Wirral road schemes TRANSPORT Minister Rosie Winterton (pictured with Sefton's Cabinet Member for Technical Services, Cllr John Fairclough) has announced funding of £91.8m for two schemes in Sefton and Wirral. The Thornton-Switch Island Link Road will receive £15.6m and could open in 2012/2013. Cllr Fairclough said: "Over the coming months, we will be working very hard to ensure this

project moves forward as quickly and as smoothly as possible." The Wirral’s Bidston Viaduct will receive £76m to allow the route from the M53 to the Kingsway Tunnel to take HGVs in both lanes. A spokesperson for Wirral Council said: "Good transport links are vital for Wirral to attract investment and we are pleased that congestion will be reduced on this vital link." Transport Minister Rosie Winterton with Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton’s Cabinet Minister for Technical Services, when she visited the North West recently.

www.LetsTravelWise.org, or call 0151 330 1253

Full steam ahead for rail freight scheme

Planning for the future Business leaders in Liverpool have been helping to plan an effective and efficient future transport system across the city region. Pictured at the first meeting of Merseyside’s Planning for the Future Forum, are, back row (L-R): Nigel Kirkwood, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport; Paul Young, British International Freight Association; Paul Falconer Falconer Chester Hall; Kevin Riley Faber Maunsell. Seated are Maresa Molloy, of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Liverpool’s John Flamson. Find out more at www.transportmerseyside.org

A VITAL rail artery linking the Port of Liverpool to the West Coast mainline will re-open in January 2009. The £7.6m Olive Mount Chord scheme will boost rail freight access to the Port of Liverpool easing road congestion. The Merseyside Local Transport Plan scheme to re-open the half mile disused stretch of line after 20 years will link Bootle with the London to Manchester line. The project is being delivered by Merseytravel in

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partnership with Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, Network Rail and Northern Way. Cllr Mark Dowd, Sefton Councillor and Chair of Merseytravel, said: “Improved rail access to the Port of Liverpool is a high priority. "It will also bring direct benefits to people living in Bootle and near the Docks by reducing the number of heavy vehicles passing through the town from Switch Island."

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PLANES, TRAINS

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AUTOMOBILES TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IS ESSENTIAL TO THE GROWTH OF MERSEYSIDE’S ECONOMY. WE TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT HOW WE STAY ON THE MOVE

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SPONSORED BY

HOW can the region reconcile ever rising demand for plane or road use with the need to save the planet from the harmful effects of carbon emissions? In the pages that follow, we talk to the movers and shakers of Merseyside's transport world and ask what are they doing to tackle increasing levels of congestion and growing passenger numbers. We look at plans to make better use of our rivers and canals and to switch freight from our roads to the nation’s railways. Can airports, like Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, continue to plan for growth? Will the post-Panamax in river roll-on/roll-off ferry terminal at Seaforth underpin the ambition to the turn the combined facilities of the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal into a “superport”? There is also the matter of a second bridge over the Mersey at Runcorn and the vexed question over whether yet another tram proposal is really worth pursuing. Merseyrail plans to increase its train fleet while Arriva is putting 275 new buses on the road. If you are a car user, is this going to tempt you to leave your vehicle and use public transport to commute to work? 23


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TRANSPORT

Buses and trains provide vital link INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC TRANSPORT NECESSARY TO KEEP ECONOMY MOVING. BY ALISTAIR HOUGHTON

EVERY great city needs a great transport system – because congestion brings economic growth as well as traffic to a halt. Liverpool may not be able to boast an iconic urban transit system such as the sunken marble canyons of the Moscow metro or Shanghai’s 431km/h Maglev train link, but its Merseyrail and bus networks are vital cogs in the city’s economic engine. Millions of pounds are already being invested in the Merseyrail infrastructure, while bus company Arriva is also buying dozens of new vehicles to encourage people to leave the car at home and take the bus. Merseytravel’s chief executive Neil Scales says only continued investment in public transport will keep the region moving. 24 M A G A Z I N E

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Mr Scales said Merseytravel and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce carried out a survey of 59 large businesses and 401 SMEs, in which 47% of those surveyed thought the cost to their business from transport delays had increased over the past five years. He said: “We need to work with our partners to make sure we do what we have to do to manage the growth that will inevitably come. “Congestion will be a big problem. It will blunt our competitiveness. “We don’t want to wait until we are like our colleagues in Manchester, who suffer tremendous congestion. We want to make interventions so we don’t get the problems.” In Manchester, plans are under way for a massive £3bn investment

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“Congestion will be a big problem. It will blunt our competitiveness. We don’t want to wait until we are like our colleagues in Manchester, who suffer tremendous congestion”


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in public transport, including an expanded Metrolink tram system. A peak-time congestion charge would then be introduced to further reduce congestion. The bid’s backers say the project is needed to prevent congestion and tackle overcrowding on public transport, though it faces huge opposition from several campaign groups. Asked whether he wanted to see a congestion charge in Merseyside, Mr Scales said, “No chance.” He added: “That’s a really blunt tool. Liverpool was built for 1m people, and today we’ve got 440,000-odd people here. We’ve got a really solid road network. “Merseytravel and partners will monitor the situation, but we’re not going down that road.” The region could yet see the return of trams. The Merseytram Line One project from Liverpool to Kirkby was scrapped in 2005, but Merseytravel bosses have put the £344m project at the top of their transport “wish list” the Local Transport Plan. But while that project is still up in the air, other investment schemes are continuing. This year Merseytravel completed a £4.25m rebuild of Bootle Oriel Road

station. Its £6m revamp of Sandhills station and bus interchange is ongoing, as is the £7.9m Olive Mount Chord project to create a key freight link between the Port of Liverpool and the West Coast Main Line. But Mr Scales says more investment in rail infrastructure and rolling stock is needed to prepare it for future growth. Passenger numbers, he said, had risen 52% from 1995 to 2005. In August the Daily Post revealed that Merseyrail passenger numbers for the first six months of this year were 10% up on the first half of 2007. If that trend continues, the network could carry another 3.5m passengers this year, taking its annual passenger total to 38.5m. Merseytravel and Network Rail want to spend £12m to revamp tired-looking Liverpool Central station and another £8m on further refurbishment at James Street station – but as LDP Business went to press they were still waiting to see whether the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) would give the plans the goahead. The ORR had refused to back the proposals as it disagreed with the predictions for increased passenger numbers. Merseyside’s largest bus operators

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TRANSPORT Arriva and Stagecoach believe there are signs throughout the UK of a general shift towards public transport. Tom Balshaw, operations director for Arriva North West, said bus use in Merseyside was still “fairly stable” but said the company was preparing for future growth. Arriva is spending £14.8m on 115 new buses this year and next year £22.2m on 161 new vehicles. “It’s our job to make public transport more accessible,” said Mr Balshaw. “Public transport over the years has got a little bit of a bad image. We have to make it more attractive. “I feel we’ve got to invest to grow for the future. If you introduce new vehicles, you attract new passengers.” Liverpool Chamber of Commerce is consulting with Merseytravel to ensure business input into the next Local Transport Plan. Its head of policy, Maresa Molloy, said: “Even limited amounts of congestion are harmful to business

productivity in terms of lost business time and uncertainty about delivery and travel times.” Ms Molloy said that businesses wanted to ensure that public transport in Merseyside, which is largely focused on routes in and out of Liverpool city centre, also met the needs of businesses outside the city centre. She said: “The movement of people into the city centre is undoubtedly important, but ring routes and connectivity between the outer parts of the city region must not be neglected. “In a city where 35% of households have no access to a car, it is particularly important that public transport provides the vital bridge between employees and employers.”

A rubber model of one of the proposed trams for the city’s tram network

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“In a city where 35% of households have no access to a car, it is particularly important that public transport provides the vital bridge between employees and employers”


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Ryanair is one of the biggest carriers at JLA

Future is up in the air

LIVERPOOL John Lennon Airport’s growth in the past 10 years has been nothing short of phenomenal. In 1998 it was known as plain old Liverpool Airport and handled around 875,000 passengers. By 2007 this had grown to more than 5.5m and is projected to rise to a maximum of 12m by 2030. A big factor in its success over the past decade has been the parallel growth in the low-cost airline sector. Since the mid-1990s the British public’s appetite for budget shorthaul air travel has shown little sign of abating. The two biggest players in this market - Ryanair and Easyjet - are by far the biggest carriers at JLA. Dublin-based Ryanair flies to more than 40 European destinations and

LIVERPOOL JOHN LENNON AIRPORT AIMS TO KEEP ON GROWING. BY TONY MCDONOUGH

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TRANSPORT Easyjet 20. Other operators include Flybe and WizzAir as well as a number of holiday charter outfits. Other airlines have been less successful from Liverpool. VLM has made two attempts to offer a regular service to and from London aimed at business travellers. It made its latest attempt in 2004 when it launched a five-times-a-day service to London City Airport. This followed a successful campaign by the Liverpool Daily Post called Fight for a Flight, which sought to reinstate the air link between Liverpool and the capital. However, not long after, Virgin Trains made a dramatic and sudden improvement to the frequency, speed and reliability of its service between the two cities and, as a consequence, VLM struggled to attract enough passengers and the route was eventually withdrawn. Scottish carrier Flyglobespan also made a stab at launching a regular service to New York but that has also foundered. Nevertheless, JLA has shrugged off these setbacks and has continued to drive passenger growth and this year has come close to making its first profit under the ownership of property group Peel Holdings, which acquired a majority stake from British Aerospace in 1997. But the airport, along with the rest of the aviation sector, now faces challenges which could pose a threat to future expansion. At the end of last year, the credit crunch started to bite into the UK and global economy. As 2008 has progressed, the economic situation has worsened, and we now teeter on the brink of recession. Airlines have been hit in two ways. A downturn in consumer spending has hit passenger numbers while a surge in the price of oil has pushed aviation fuel costs up to crippling levels. Luckily for JLA, both Ryanair and 28 M A G A Z I N E

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Easyjet, with their huge cash reserves, seem to be weathering the storm better than most. But already this year we have seen airlines like Euromanx, which operated out of Liverpool, Silverjet, and travel operator Excel go to the wall. Aviation’s other big challenge is the might of the environmental lobby. The prevailing political wind is now very much behind those who say man-made CO2 emissions have pushed us to the brink of ecological catastrophe. Aircraft are large and very visible burners of fossil fuels and the case for expansion of air routes, particularly domestic services, is becoming increasingly hard to make. Despite these huge obstacles to growth, JLA’s managing director Neil Pakey remains upbeat about its medium to long-term prospects. “Clearly we are in the middle of an economic downturn and we don’t know at the moment how long it is going to last,” he said. “But when it does bounce back, our main objective will be to make sure we are in a position to benefit from that. “We do have some protection in terms of the operators we have here but obviously the sector is now not performing as well as earlier forecasts. “But the other thing to remember is that any long term forecasts are made in terms of trends. At this moment, we are experiencing a blip, but trends usually come back on track.” Pakey said the airport had achieved a “critical mass” in terms of the budget airline market, largely thanks to the success of Ryanair and Easyjet, adding the next big aim was to establish JLA in the long haul market. “Connectivity with the rest of the world is the key to putting Liverpool on the global aviation map,” he said. “We believe there

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“Clearly we are in the middle of an economic downturn and we don’t know at the moment how long it is going to last.”

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will be real opportunities for us in the long haul market once the economy picks up again, and that is a real priority.” Pakey has long been irritated by the Government’s stance on taxation of domestic air services and was not impressed by the recent doubling of Air Passenger Duty (APD), a move designed to make airlines pay for the environmental damage they cause. However, Pakey does not believe this will help the environment at all and argues that services withdrawn from UK airports will simply be moved to airports in countries with a more favourable tax regime. He added: “We think there can be huge economic benefits for Merseyside from providing domestic air services but

the doubling of taxation means the price is now too high for the market.” Inward investment agency The Mersey Partnership (TMP) has long identified JLA as one of the key drivers of economic growth for the region and Pakey said this “partnership” approach was now a vital tool in helping to grow the airport. He said: “I believe we have played an integral part in Liverpool’s economic turnaround and I think we are still on an upward curve. “Key to our success has been the partnerships we have with organisations like TMP and the Northwest Development Agency. When we go out there now and talk to airlines, we do so with one voice.”

CELEBRATING 75 YEARS LIVERPOOL John Lennon is one of the UK’s oldest operational airports and this year celebrates its 75th anniversary. The site was chosen for three main reasons: its close proximity to Liverpool, the geography of the site, which was seen as ideal for aircraft movements, and excellent all round weather (fog is rare). Other significant milestones over the past 75 years include: • Official opening ceremony took place on July 1, 1933. • A dedicated passenger terminal was constructed at the end of the 1930s. • Government took control of the site during World War II and a hard runway was built to accommodate heavier military aircraft. • Government relinquished control in 1961 and by 1966 a new runway was built, allowing Liverpool to become a 24 hour airport. • In the 1970s, the airport fell under the control of Merseyside County Council, but after the abolition of the Council, the five Merseyside Councils took on ownership. • In 1986, the Airports Act saw ownership transferred to British Aerospace. In 1996, the company sold its 76% stake to North West property giant Peel Holdings. • Peel acquired the remaining 24% stake from the councils in 2001 and over the past decade has spent more than £100m upgrading the airport’s passenger facilities. • In July 2001, with the support of Yoko Ono, the airport was renamed Liverpool John Lennon Airport with the strapline “Above Us Only Sky” taken from the song Imagine. • In 2006, JLA published its masterplan outlining its future expansion ambitions to grow both passenger and freight traffic. This went out to public consultation and has now been submitted to the Department of Transport.

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TRANSPORT

The Mersey Multimodal Gateway in Widnes is becoming an increasingly important logistics hub

Gateway to Mersey expansion INFRASTRUCTURE CHANGES TO TRANSFORM CITY REGION’S LOGISTICS SECTOR. BY ALEX TURNER HALTON is at the forefront of changes to the region’s transport infrastructure as the Mersey Multimodal Gateway (3MG) aims to establish the borough as a logistics hub. The major £430m investment in the Mersey Gateway is for a second bridge across the River Mersey and forms part of the Ocean Gateway developments. The six-lane highway will provide direct access to the Liverpool city region, linking the M56 to the M62 and M57 together with Liverpool John Lennon Airport and the region’s commercial and business areas. It will supercede the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge, which will continue to carry local traffic. It currently handles more than half a million vehicles a week, ten times the volume it was designed for when it was opened in 1961. 30 M A G A Z I N E

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The project has been planned for several years and building is scheduled to begin in 2011 and ready to be operational in 2014. David Parr, chief executive of Halton Borough Council, said: “The Mersey Gateway is a project of regional significance and it is important that it remains a priority for the North West.” He expects the bridge to have a transformational effect on the region and its businesses. “We have a unique opportunity here to unblock this congestion bottleneck which is restricting our region from reaching its full potential,” he said. “It is vital we deliver our vision for the Mersey Gateway that will see new jobs, investment and the continued transformation of Halton and the region.” The cost, which stood a little more

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“There is a growing consensus that we must take action to tackle the growing problem of our outdated road network”


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than a year ago at £390m, has risen steadily. Project leaders have said that, while increasing costs had been factored into the budget, every month’s delay on delivering the project adds a million pounds to the costs. In September, it was announced the project will face a public inquiry, which is expected to take place in early 2009. Cllr Tony McDermott, leader of Halton Council, was unfazed by the move. “We have said all along that a public inquiry is important and would be needed for the Mersey Gateway as this is such an important and complex issue,” he said. He believes that, despite early opposition, people are increasingly being won round to the need for a radical solution to the problems on the roads. “There is a growing consensus that we must take action to tackle the growing problem of our outdated road network,” he said. “Local people and businesses in and around Halton need a more reliable and more effective transport system, and the Mersey Gateway is central to this.” A key beneficiary of the Mersey Gateway will be 3MG. The logistics park, previously known as Ditton Strategic Rail Freight Park, is being expanded to have 3.5m sq ft of developments. The site currently has 750,000 sq ft of warehouse space and has outline consent for a further 1.8m sq ft, with plans to increase again in the future. It is scheduled to be completed in 2012. As well as being well-located for transporting goods by road – Liverpool, Manchester and their airports, as well as Preston and Chester are all within an hour’s HGV drive – the site also has excellent rail and sea links. It has direct access to the West Coast

“The Mersey Gateway is a project of regional significance and it is important that it remains a priority for the North West” A map of the UK showing HGV drive times from the 3MG site

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TRANSPORT Main Line, which provides direct routes to the deep sea container ports, including Felixstowe and Southampton, and the Channel Tunnel. 3MG Programme Manager with Halton Borough Council, Sally McDonald, said: “When the expansion is finished we will be able to offer businesses a fully integrated service allowing them to operate out of one location, with more office and warehousing space and connectivity with motorways, rail, sea and air. “This will have massive economic and environmental benefits, which will encourage more companies to invest in Merseyside and create more jobs.” It already has an intermodal terminal which has five trains each day to the deep sea ports carrying more than 60,000 containers each year as part of a total of 150,000 containers per year. The capacity of the park’s freight

terminal has been upgraded to hold up to 6,200 containers. About 5,000 jobs will be created once the development is complete, which has a catchment area of 450,000, based on a 35-minute journey to work time at peak hours. The 3MG project is being delivered by a partnership comprising of Halton Borough Council and O'Connor, a division of the Stobart Group, and supported by the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA). The O’Connor Group has provided container transport services in the Halton area for almost 40 years and now represents the specialist container handling and port operations arm of the Stobart Group. The company operates the major intermodal container terminal and storage facility and also the Port of Weston on the Manchester Ship Canal, now re-branded as the Mersey Gateway Port.

The Mersey Gateway is planned to open in 2014

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Cllr Tony McDermott and David Parr believe the second Mersey Crossing will have huge beneficial effects for the region

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Age of sail comes full circle FUELS COSTS AND ENVIRONMENT FORCE SHIPPERS TO THINK AGAIN. BY BARRY TURNBULL LIVERPOOL's fortunes have ebbed and flowed along with the types of vessels using the waterways. It all began with canal barges for internal traffic and the age of sail for international routes when the River Mersey became a prominment departure and arrivals point. Sail was eventually replaced by the steam engine, an advance along with the rest of the industrial revolution that made the port a leading global brand. Diesel propulsion followed but as the 20th century advanced, the dockside operations declined, although they have rallied somewhat in recent years with the growth of containerisation. Now, with environmental concerns high on the agenda and fuel costs soaring, the ages of sail and barging are making the first tentative steps towards a comeback. Tesco now ships its North Westbound New World wines to Liverpool where they are transferred to a barge for shipment to a bottling plant at the

other end of the Manchester Ship Canal. Some 600,000 litres in 20ft containers are transported 35 miles three times a week, taking 50 lorries a day off the roads and cutting carbon emissions by 80%. "This move will be like taking a step back to the pre-car days of the late Victorian era, when a lot of cargo was still transported by canal," said Laurie McIlwee, the supermarket chain's distribution director. "We are continually reviewing alternative green methods of transporting cargo and this is our first waterborne project within the UK. We are already looking at other areas where we can move freight on waterways. "Reducing carbon emissions and looking at how we can make the business more environmentally friendly is a priority, and by 2012 we aim to halve the amount of carbon emitted per case of goods delivered." Sailing has returned in the form of the Kathleen & May, a schooner that transported 30,000 bottles of wine M A G A Z I N E

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from France to Dublin. The 108-yearold wooden, triple-masted vessel was chartered by the Compagnie de Transport Maritime à la Voile (CTMV), a shipping company established in France to specialise in merchant sailing. “This is beyond anybody's dreams,” said Steve Clarke, the owner of the Kathleen & May, which was built in 1900 in Ferguson and Baird's yard at Connah's Quay near Chester. “When I bought this boat in 1966 it was going to be cut up with chainsaws. Nobody ever imagined it would ever sail again.” He said that amid high fuel costs and concern over carbon emissions, commercial sailing ships could have a future, adding “I think they might have hit on something.” His initial contract is with 80 vineyard owners from the LanguedocRoussillon region of southern France to carry their bottles to Ireland on the tall ship. CTMV is finalising another deal to bring Irish whiskey and Scotch back to France by the same method. L I V E R P O O L

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TRANSPORT SHIPPING FIRM MAERSK LEADS WAY ON GREEN SEAS INITIATIVE

Container giants could harness wind power A CARGO ship crossed the Atlantic using wind power for the first time in 100 years during the summer. The 10,000 tonne Beluga Skysail launched a giant kite which trailed behind the vessel saving an estimated 10-15% of heavy fuel. In the future it could mean freight carriers and container ships being kitted out with sails as big as 5000sq metres, the size of a football pitch. Christine Bornkessel, of the Bremen-based Beluga line, said: "This is a serious attempt to reduce bunker costs and polluting emissions. We are convinced it will revolutionise cargo shipping. We would consider fitting them to all our ships." The ship's maiden voyage used a 160 sq metre kite but in time it will be fitted with much larger kites, possibly saving 30-35% on fuel. Nearly 100,000 cargo ships transport 95% of world trade by sea. But the cost of shipping or "bunker" fuel has nearly doubled in the past two years, forcing the industry to consider alternatives. In addition, it is estimated that commercial shipping, which traditionally uses the most polluting fuel, uses nearly 2bn barrels of oil a year and emits as much as 800m tonnes of CO2, or 4% of the world's man-made emissions. The notoriously conservative industry has so far failed to harness renewable energy, either because conventional fuel used to be cheap, or because modern cargoes, mostly carried in containers, need to remain stable on deck or in holds. The kite system, which has been developed over 10 years with help from the German government, uses an automatic pilot, and is controlled by computers. The kite is not designed to replace engines, however. There are still questions about how the system behaves in high winds and what would happen if the kite landed in the sea. According to the company, orders have been placed with trawlers and a super-yacht. The system could be applied to nearly two out of three boats registered at Lloyd's register of shipping in London. 34 M A G A Z I N E

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MAERSK's shipping empire spans the globe and includes Irish Sea services from Liverpool. The company has identified reduced carbon consumption as its number one goal and is working on a number of initiatives to achieve this. An energy and emission reduction group is looking at reducing fuel consumption and air emissions from its vessels through a comprehensive portfolio of projects. The project list includes everything from improved engine design, optimisation of ventilation systems and efficient hull and propeller maintenance, to research projects involving the application of fuel cells and alternative energy sources. The effort starts in the ship design phase, with the energy-efficient construction of the vessels’ hull, propeller and engines. More than 20 container vessels built for Maersk Line have been equipped with a sophisticated waste heat recovery system that enables waste heat to be used for propulsion, thereby significantly reducing fuel consumption. Its subsidiary, Norfolkline, which runs Liverpool-Dublin and Liverpool-Belfast ferries, has introduced a fuel surcharge policy to reflect the increases in the worldwide oil price. A spokesman said: "Although we have previously absorbed these price increases and not implemented any surcharges in sailings, unfortunately we are no longer able to do so."


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her team d n a t r a g McEnte Geraldine

ell. I’ve oing w d d n a friend nning school and ru ld o p u n e a r was we a r who “Now at directo w ebook.” o c ll a rk is th F fe got a the wo up on f e o . ple t y m o c a e e d d oke ith p talk al asp e Mon who lo work w ivation All the t t on th “ ’t ly e o . n n e d r o o m e t d l t r S d e ll ce g: “I e wil e firs Anoth Old Ha she con sists sh plainin r for th but x o in s e o t , y d e r a a n e in Plaza in s a bit scar y,” d g e pho lieves e offic these cEnte h e h a t d t b M e t w g a d n t a h n in io t n “Th ash ney. g is pects a ut ope he mo ’s old-f od thin she res thing b st for t er that .” The go h ju in t . ow I e e g g is one h n h in in o F ’s w t I n MS n flow d that know for any a s daun a n a g s k a r e a w o b h h e it w k e tim n’t wor s sh rk w le I wo I would booknd-bolt ging so utique e peop nuts-a ts and h n e kept rin t a h t e t k n n as a bo li u o I o g “ c e c in is t a v e hether tay.” ound Mark To ad tions w t it to s area ell as s tegart n e lu n w a o h E s s t w c a , s r d M n o atio erne tising. ribes ment munic is conc r adver he dec t she m o S lf r o s e le o c s s . n s it g e r io s e t h er peop keep sines ies, t offerin c rela g, “Oth the bu , publi gency ompan s a g c in . a k n in h l r t c a a in io e f e e h k ar As osit ys t ll mar high-t That’s vious p re alwa four fu that be iality is her pre rtgage.” e now e you a r o s a r in of spec m u e h r o ir e it c in e th “Of ncy nd th deal w me for added. an age e well a used to rely on d,” she as gon ks with e w e h n o c li s n c s s in u e a s ll ny Busin tion to s as we compa motiva ployee nology k time em n and a tech in “I th gto e said: Washin rets. Sh g .I . e r e m k a o gh nn mar t Nottin g your ave bee h in y for e e w r n e o o h n t me m and k o g So far, s in d e im is t h was s I ra about the ’90 et, whic it’s all in fe k ld c o a at ot c ber b but I g ind wh remem t siness g in m u in b r he righ a t m e ’t b o wasn a dotc thing it d t o c o in g t ins ly a probab had an . I just d e n e p hap time.

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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Child’s play for stem cell team MILK TEETH COULD HOLD KEY TO HEALTHY FUTURE PARENTS are being asked to pay £950 to hand over their children’s milk teeth for medical research. The possible pay-off may come later if the child contracts a serious ailment requiring treament as a result of stem cell investigations. The research company BioEden has teamed up with the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering at the University of Liverpool to deliver a non-controversial way of harvesting the cells. The extraction of stem cells for treatment of many serious diseases has previously been a highly controversial issue because human embryos have been used, with many scientists refusing to be involved in such research for moral and ethical reasons. David James, founder of BioEden, purchased the British and European rights to a revolutionary technique in 2007 and with the help of private investors, set up the company, to 38 M A G A Z I N E

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collect and harvest stem cells from children’s teeth. The result is a system allowing parents to have “insurance policies” for their children’s future health. Mr James explained how the system works: “When a tooth falls out it is kept in a glass of chilled milk which acts as a nutrient to keep the cells alive, and then couriered to the laboratory, which must be done within 48 hours. “From there, bio scientists inject the tooth with a special solution to extract the cells. The cells are then observed under a microscope and allowed to multiply to ensure they are healthy stem cells. The benefit is that they may be used to help treat many diseases the child might develop as they grow older.” Bioeden has already developed a national presence since locating at Daresbury SIC. Within months of its

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formal launch, the company had attracted clients from all over the world. It has now progressed, with the help of funding such as UK Trade & Investment money channelled through Daresbury SIC, to exploring the possibility of permanent offices in the Middle East and Australia. With clients all over the world, a close proximity of Manchester and Liverpool airports is essential to meet the 48 hour deadline. The company already has a facility in Austin, Texas in addition to the Daresbury Innovation Centre and is also about to open a laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand. Bioeden is now negotiating the set up of a facility in the UAE, serving the Middle East, where stem cells from baby teeth will be processed and stored. The company plans to launch a similar initiative in Australia, as it strives to globalise the unique service it provides.


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University centralises science facilities 10 YEAR PLAN TO MOVE TO ONE SITE LIVERPOOL John Moores University is masterminding a 10 year plan to amalgamate its science research facilites on one site. At the centrepiece of the plan is a £20m science block and laboratory at its Byrom Street campus. The building will house laboratories, accommodation and a 70-metre running track. The stepped design of the building will have an outer box housing a foyer and cafe. An inner box will be used for specialist laboratories requiring controlled environments and minimal lighting. Around 50% of the building will be used as laboratory space, with the rest being used for teaching, IT suites and staff accommodation. Architect Dominic Wilkinson, from Austin Smith Lord of Liverpool, said: “We opted for a double height entrance foyer because we wanted to give the building a sense of drama, to

Liverpool telescope captures big bang BRIGHTEST EVER COSMIC EXPLOSION RECORDED

give people a real sense of arrival when they enter the building. “As this building is just the first phase of a master plan for Byrom Street, we hope that it sets a high benchmark for future development on site.” The development is the first phase of the university’s 10-year programme to bring the majority of teaching and research in science and technology on to one site. Professor Michael Brown, LJMU’s Vice Chancellor said: “LJMU is the top-ranking university in the North West for delivering research that has real impact, according to a Guardian league table. “The laboratories and advanced facilities in this new building will enable us to take our science research, particularly in the area of sport and exercise sciences, in new and exciting directions. We are striving to become the university whose graduates are most valued by employers.”

ASTRONOMERS are studying data from the Liverpool Telescope following the capture of the brightest explosion ever recorded. The Liverpool John Moores University facility at Las Palmas was one of a number of telescopes around the world to record the Gamma Ray Burst. Lenses were trained on the night sky after an early warning satellite called Swift alerted observatories to a powerful event halfway across the universe. Dr Andrea Melandri, one of the JMU astronomers closely involved in GRB research, said “The study of GRBs is still a very young field compared to many branches of astronomy, and in just the past few years we have seen enormous M A G A Z I N E

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advances in our understanding of their physics. Among all the bursts we have studied, this one is so important because just by chance the narrow jet was pointing straight at us. That provided us a unique and revealing view on the properties of these explosions.” Professor Iain Steele, director of the Liverpool Telescope, explained, “Because our telescope is robotic, it can generally respond much quicker to an alert from a satellite than a conventional instrument. This has allowed the telescope to follow up over 30 gamma ray bursts since it was built in 2004, of which this latest example is the brightest and most exciting yet. We probably won’t see another one like this for 10 years.” L I V E R P O O L

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INTERNATIONAL TRADE

The Maglev train in Shanghai, with a top speed of 431km/h, shows the city’s commitment to building infrastructure of the highest quality

City has the knowledge to win Chinese investment LIVERPOOL SCIENCE PARK TO OFFER A “SOFT LANDING” TO CHINESE COMPANIES LIVERPOOL Science Park is to provide “a soft landing” for Chinese companies who want to locate in Europe. The park will complete its 40,000 sq ft second phase next spring and its chief executive Dr Sarah Tasker wants the city’s knowledge economy to be at the forefront of efforts to have closer links with China. She said: “I have suggested that we 40 M A G A Z I N E

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use the next phase of the science park to establish a soft landing for Chinese companies that want to come into the UK or Europe. “The city council’s leader Warren Bradley has welcomed it as an idea and it shows the city is coming together. “The city council is the majority shareholder of the Liverpool Science Park. The recent trip to Shanghai has been very useful to see with them

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what is going on because it gives us common understanding and we can really have informed discussions.” Dr Tasker is convinced that Liverpool has to raise its horizons to show ambition and commitment, as it did in the city’s heyday, in order to compete. “We need to raise our game,” she said. “It’s a challenge to us: how do we compete with these gigantic


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economies that are rail-roading phenomenal change through? “There are positives but there are also huge challenges and it challenges us to pull together as a city. “Liverpool has got a huge history of science and technology and it built that with an advanced infrastructure. They built docks, railways, tunnels, they used the latest technologies, they invested massively and they risked hugely and cornered the market. “Liverpool does have a history of innovation but it needs to recapture that vision.” Shanghai has several large science parks, including Zhangjiang Science Park which has grown in 16 years to become home to companies with a total of 118,000 employees. Dr Tasker said: “We need to invest, that’s what China is doing. They are investing massively and we need to do it as a city and as a nation. “They build the infrastructure then build the companies, we need to do that to progress. “Liverpool is aiming to develop its knowledge economy and Shanghai has been phenomenally successful in that over the last decade. “The two science parks I visited are of a scale we don’t see in Europe.”

“Liverpool has got a huge history of science and technology and it built that with an advanced infrastructure”

Dr Sarah Tasker, chief executive of Liverpool Science Park M A G A Z I N E

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INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Lindsey Ashworth, development director of Peel Developments

Cllr Warren Bradley leads the Liverpool delegation at a meeting with Mr Feng, the chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

Liverpool’s Eastern ambitions reach for the sky TRADE DELEGATION TO SHANGHAI PUSHES FOR CHINESE INVESTMENT IN SHANGHAI TOWER PROJECT THE landmark plans for Peel's Shanghai Tower received encouragement from representatives of the Chinese city who were enthusiastic about the ambitious project during a trade delegation to China. The 60-storey tower, which could cost up to £500m to build, is the first phase of development planned as part of Peel's £5.5bn Liverpool Waters project. Heging Luo, the director of Shanghai Foreign Investment Development, offered to organise a seminar so that the idea could be pitched to a number of Shanghai companies. He also expressed a desire for Shanghai-based companies to move in to the building when it is completed. Lindsey Ashworth, Peel Holding’s development director, has been encouraged by how the plans have been received. 42 M A G A Z I N E

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“We want to make Liverpool great again through our £50bn Ocean Gateway development,” he said. “The Shanghai Tower was inspired by last year’s delegation visit here and is an integral part of that vision. “We could pay for the building ourselves, we could go to the bank. But we want a Shanghai partner for their building expertise and, critically, so the tower can act as a beacon for Chinese investment in the UK.” Peel's plans have also excited a key advisor to the Shanghai government. Mr Feng, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and a former mayor of Shanghai, demonstrated real enthusiasm for the project. Mr Ashworth said: “The reception we have had is warmer and the friendship closer than last year. We are not forcing it, the local government has welcomed us and

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has set up meetings with potential partners at the highest level.” Liverpool Vision’s director of Investment and Enterprise, Mike Taylor, said the visit was the most productive since Liverpool’s twinning with Shanghai began in 1999. “The twinning is starting to bear fruit,” he said. “Last year we came here to reaffirm and re-energise our twinning relationship and there was necessarily more formality and ceremony to the meetings. “Now we are back to confirm our commitment and there is much greater interest in Liverpool. China only does business with people it believes it has a genuine relationship with.” A 26-strong delegation, led by Liverpool city council leader Warren Bradley, visited Shanghai in late September to develop Liverpool’s commercial relationship with the Chinese port.


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Shanghai supernova means chances for professionals CITY’S BUSINESSES MUST ACT NOW, SAY LEADING FIGURES PROFESSIONAL services firms in Liverpool must build relationships in China now before the opportunities are seized by other cities, according to two leading city figures. Mark Chadwick, chief executive of Professionaliverpool, and Philip Rooney, office managing partner of DLA Piper in Liverpool, are both fervent in their belief that China offers huge potential to the city’s firms – as long as action is taken now. Mr Chadwick, who met with businesses in Shenzhen, Chongqing and Shanghai, wants his members to take advantage of positioning themselves to benefit from the growing Chinese economy. He said: “Shanghai, and China, is a massively important opportunity for Liverpool firms.

“Shanghai will overtake Tokyo to become the eastern financial centre, and join London and New York as one of the key global centres of finance. “China will become the preeminent market economy and the Chinese currency will become as important as the dollar to the worlds economy. “It is vital that Liverpool’s professional services firms grasp the opportunity now so they can reap the benefits in the years and decades ahead.” Mr Rooney supports the work that has gone into the sister city relationship with Shanghai and believes that now is the time for companies to take the lead. He said: “We are in a unique position having the sister city status

Part of the Liverpool delegation at the new DLA Piper offices in Shanghai with Philip Rooney, managing partner of their Liverpool office (third from left) and Roy Chan, from DLA Piper Shanghai (fourth from left). M A G A Z I N E

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with Shanghai. What I want to do is exploit that jointly with the DLA Piper office in Shanghai. “The profile of Liverpool as a city will increase enormously when it exhibits at the World Expo in 2010. It’s a great accolade for Liverpool to be on a world stage such as that and to be chosen as a city to exhibit. “It will produce an upsurge in interest in Liverpool from Chinese companies and we would like to be well-positioned to take advantage of that. “Also because there will be a great push to promote what is happening at the Expo there will be more companies in Liverpool looking to explore opportunities in China and I see that as something we will be able to assist them with.”

Mark Chadwick, chief executive of Professionaliverpool T H E

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Female lawyers still struggle to get in the game? BY BEN SCHOFIELD A BOOK celebrating 175 years of the law in our city looks at the contribution made by 40 senior solicitors, barristers and judges during the 20th Century. The book, A Century of Liverpool Lawyers, published by the Liverpool Law Society, places only five women in the ranks of the city’s legal elite. Clearly sexism was rife. And things are not much better in the present day. An analysis by LDPBusiness shows that less than one-in-five partners in Liverpool’s main commercial law firms are women. So does the city’s legal profession remain a bastion of old fashioned sexism? We asked four female corporate lawyers what life is like in what still appears to be a “man’s world”.

MICHELLE HELSBY “ALTHOUGH far out numbered by their male counterparts, there were a number of females who had achieved the dizzy heights of Partnership in the legal practice where I qualified in 1997. “Thinking I had found a job for life, I too believed that one day my name would make the headed notepaper. “However, the world of complacency where the lawyers made vast amounts of money without too much stress was fast becoming a distant memory. Clients were switching on and commercial practices were forced to become much more accountable when it came to providing value for money. “From partner to trainee, everyone was working longer hours whilst belts were being tightened. “In 2002 I became a mother. In 44 M A G A Z I N E

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denial for a while, deep down I knew that unless I sacrificed time with my family, partnership would always elude me – not because of any discrimination but because, without support, I could not give the job the commitment it required. So with that went the drive and motivation I needed to continue. “I was lucky in that the sinking feeling was soon replaced by an overwhelming desire to start my own business. Whilst not without difficulties, the sacrifices were on my terms.

BOOK FIGURES BREAKDOWN ● DWF, 42 partners, 7 female ● DLA Piper, 18 partners, 5 female ● Hill Dickinson 78 partners, 16 female ● Brabners Chaffe Street 35 partners, 5 female Totals: 173 partners, 33 females that’s fewer than 19% female. “Five years on, legal practices are recognising that they must address the imbalance that forces many women to take a step back or indeed off the career path. “With the correct infrastructure, effective use of flexible hours and recognition that if a woman has a family it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have career aspirations, so much more could be achieved to the benefit of all.”

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LOIS WIEGAND “I HADN’T planned on becoming a corporate lawyer, I had always thought that I’d specialise in property and planning, having been a town planner in a previous life. But after spending six months of my training in the corporate department at Mace & Jones, I soon changed my mind. “I was given the opportunity to work on a number of acquisitions and enjoyed being part of a large transaction from the outset through to the completion of the deal. It was fascinating to see how the client’s business worked and how the deals progressed. It was particularly exciting to read about the deal the following week in the Daily Post. “Before I became a corporate lawyer my preconceptions were that the majority of corporate lawyers were arrogant, workaholic and male. But in reality, I’ve not come across many arrogant lawyers. “Since qualifying as a solicitor I have, on occasions, had to work through the night to ensure that a deal completes, but on the whole I’d say that I’ve got a very good work-life balance. “Although it is true to say that there are more male than female corporate lawyers, I don’t think it’s been to my disadvantage to be female. I believe women are generally better at human relations than men, a skill which can be used effectively when trying to negotiate points on behalf of your client. “The most enjoyable part of my job is getting to know clients and their businesses and the feeling of satisfaction which comes with completing the transaction and


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Former lawyer Michelle Helsby is co-founder and director of Evolve, a CGI 3D design studio that produces high quality animations and innovative marketing solutions for the property sector.

Lois Wiegand joined Mace & Jones as a trainee in 2002, qualified in 2004 and has worked in its corporate law department ever since.

knowing that your clients are pleased with the outcome. “I’m very lucky that I work with colleagues who are highly intelligent, and whom I greatly admire. “I have absolutely no regrets that I left behind my career as a planner for that of a corporate lawyer.”

JEAN HARKIN “I WAS in finance before going into law and entered the legal profession in my late 30s; this probably helped me to succeed as I already had the business and life experience needed. “I do still feel, however, that there are not as many, if any, objects in the way of women in law, providing they have the ambition, skills and positive attitude. “I joined the Association of Women Solicitors (AWS) about eight years ago and became its chair in 2005/06. “Local and national surveys of AWS members have found they believe it is more difficult to make partner though this may be more applicable in London. “As women in business, Rachel and I have fared well and do not find many obstacles in our way - well obstacles that cannot be overcome. “I feel that the only obstacles that face us are those promoting any links

Jean Harkin is a former financier who co-founded Harkin Lloyd solicitors with Rachel Lloyd. She chaired the Association of Women Solicitors in 2005 and is now honorary treasurer of Liverpool Law Society.

with trade unions, not because it is hard for women to gain access but more likely due to the fact the trade union movement is led predominately by males and has not been an attractive proposition to most female partnerships. But, watch this space. “We have not experienced many problems being women in law probably because we refuse to acknowledge any such prejudice. I believe that femininity and knowing our strengths are great tools. “I also feel that the fact we enjoy our position as women in business aids our relationship with the more male dominated firms, each of us respecting the other. “It is now nearly four years since we opened and we have gone from strength to strength. Last year we won Liverpool Law Society Law Firm of the Year. This award was voted for by members of the Liverpool Legal profession and we have now been short-listed for the National Law Society Excellence Awards in the category of outstanding Client Care. “We are Liverpool lawyers in the true sense of the word; both Rachel and myself were born in Liverpool and we live there today. “When we first considered setting up M A G A Z I N E

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North Wales-born Alexandra Mason joined Hill Dickinson’s Liverpool office in 2004 and now works in its corporate department, having qualified in 2004.

Harkin Lloyd, we were met with some negativity from colleagues and peers. The one word of advice that has stood us in good stead is the motto that ‘the door to success is marked push’. If you have a business idea and you believe in yourself you really can achieve success.”

ALEXANDRA MASON “I THINK that, historically, corporate law was viewed as an extremely male dominated sector and this was a true reflection - it was male dominated. “This perception has been hard to shake as things have changed over the past decade and it is probably still viewed this way to a certain extent. “But from my personal working experience, I have found that things have changed quite significantly. In fact, at Hill Dickinson, there are more women than men in the corporate team in our Liverpool office and I certainly haven’t encountered any barriers or glass-ceilings. “With regards to clients, I have had dealings with a number of female MDs, CEOs and finance directors and so the client base is not necessarily male dominated either. “On the whole I think corporate law, and the recruitment into it, is becoming meritocratic.” L I V E R P O O L

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LDP

LEGAL

Sorting it out AS BUSINESSES NAVIGATE THE CHOPPY WATERS OF THE GLOBAL DOWNTURN, THEIR LAWYERS ARE REPORTING A RISE IN DISPUTES BETWEEN PARTNERS. BEN SCHOFIELD GOES IN SEARCH OF SOME PARTNERSHIP ADVICE AS THE markets plummet there remains one aspect of business that continues to experience an upturn. Commercial lawyers are reporting that business partnership disputes are on the up. The pressure of the credit crunch is making firms large and small look at how to safeguard their future. And that delicate process squeezes disagreements to the surface. Company insolvencies were up 15% in the second quarter of 2008, compared with the same period in 2007. And news from the Law Society is that as firms take hits, partners are “locking horns”. Their advice: deal with it before it’s too late. Paul Marsh, president of the Law Society advises - somewhat characteristically - that getting a lawyer should be the first step. He said: “Not every dispute needs to go to court, but the need for a legal professional to iron out and explain the contractual liabilities is vital. “Going through the courts is sometimes unavoidable in commercial disputes but there are other options. Many solicitors, as well as being skilled 46 M A G A Z I N E

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litigators, are also trained in alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation.” So, how to avoid a nasty ending to what promised to be a beautiful, and profitable, relationship? Graeme Jump, dispute resolution partner at North West law firm Mace & Jones, says the foundations of any partnership are the most crucial element. He advises partners to draw up an agreement that covers much of what would be found, in the case of a limited company, in the articles of association and shareholder agreements. Jump told LDP Business: “When contemplating partnership the lesson is always, always, to enter into a properly drawn partnership agreement. It is the constitution for the business. “It will provide for the admission of new partners and retirements including all the attendant financial consequences. “Issues as to ownership of property whether freehold or leasehold, will also be included.” But, as Brian Noon, a solicitor at DLA Piper, advises: “The key to a successful partnership is to find one or more people that you can trust to take on joint or shared responsibility for the

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running of the business. “Once you’ve found one or more partners, then you need to consider if an ordinary partnership or a form of limited partnership is best for you.” Unless otherwise agreed, ordinary partners share equal liability for any debts incurred, while limited partners accept limited responsibility up to the level of investment they’ve made, Noon said.

KEY CONSIDERATIONS OF A PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT ●

The amount of capital each partner invests

The profit ratio based on the investment

Debt liabilities dependent on whether an ordinary or limited partnership/LLP

Seniority in the business and overall control

Rules on incoming and outgoing partners

Rules on ending the partnership and resolving disputes


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Redundancy Suitable alternative employment In the current economic climate, employers may face the need to reduce staffing levels. If you are making employees redundant, one of the requirements is that you must follow a fair redundancy dismissal procedure and keep the individuals affected, and possibly their representatives, informed throughout the restructuring process. Sometimes, it is possible to avoid redundancy dismissals by offering employees suitable alternative work within the organisation. Indeed, if a suitable alternative post is available and the employer does not offer it to an employee selected for redundancy, the redundancy dismissal will be unfair dismissal, in which case the employee is entitled to claim compensation. For an offer of suitable alternative work to be valid, it must be offered to the employee before the expiry of their current contract. The offer should show in what way the new job is different from the employee’s existing position and the job must start either as soon as the old contract of employment ends or within four weeks of it ending. Whether or not the job is suitable will depend on a number of factors including the job status, the remuneration level, where the employee is to work, the working environment and the hours of work.

If the employer and the employee reach agreement that the job is not suitable after all, the employee can still claim a statutory redundancy payment (SRP). However, if the employer believes that the alternative job offered is clearly suitable and the employee unreasonably refuses to accept it, he or she will not be paid a SRP. Employers should take care in such circumstances however. The decision as to whether or not an employee’s refusal of suitable alternative employment is reasonable is a subjective one. The manner in which the redundancy process is conducted is important. Whether or not an employee’s refusal to accept suitable alternative employment is reasonable is a subjective judgement and so the way they are treated is key. To avoid problems, take advice before you take any action if you face having to make staff redundant.

New minimum wage rates - A reminder Employers are reminded that from 1 October 2008 the adult National Minimum Wage (NMW) will rise from £5.52 to £5.73 an hour. The minimum rate for 18- to 21-yearolds will increase from £4.60 to £4.77 an hour and for 16- to 17-year-olds the rate will be £3.53 an hour instead of £3.40. According to research from Bibby Financial Services, there is still a lack of awareness among small businesses in the UK regarding the NMW, with almost one third not fully aware of the impending increases.

For HR and Employment Law Advice contact: Clive Mackintosh, Managing Director, Mackintosh Solicitors Ltd, 21 Cheapside, L2 2DY. Tel: (0151) 236 8070. E-mail: enquiries@mackintoshlaw.co.uk. Web: www.mackintoshlaw.co.uk M A G A Z I N E

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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Celebrating 10 years of achievement ESTUARY COMMERCE PARK BATHES IN SUCCESS ONCE upon a time, regeneration planners unveiled a dream to turn a derelict chunk of Speke into one of the UK’s premier business parks. They said they could attract £50m of investment, create 800,000 sq ft of business and industrial space and generate 2,600 jobs. So, 10 years on, has the dream been realised? An emphatic yes. Estuary Commerce Park has indeed

become a flagship development and has already developed 900,000 sq ft of space and created 3,500 jobs with more to come. The plan was originally launched by Speke Garston Development Company with £14.5m of European Objective 1 funding. These days it is run by the former Liverpool Land Development Company, now attached to Liverpool Vision. Read more inside.

Comm ercial property AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SECTOR ENCOMPASSING OFFICE, INDUSTRIAL AND RETAIL

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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Estuary now Liverpool’s premier business park THE last prime plot at Estuary Commerce Park has been held back in the hope of attracting a premier blue chip company. The development site is on the frontage of what has become Liverpool’s flagship business park over the past 10 years. It is one of just three large sites left at the 50 hectare location which has attracted leading companies such as Littlewoods, Communisis and Bank of Scotland. Rob Monaghan, of Liverpool Vision,

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said: “It has taken longer than expected to develop but that has allowed us to do it in a measured, controlled way. We regard it as a quality location and the city’s number one business park.” Of the plots left, public service infrastructure maintenance firm Enterprise is taking 100,000 sq ft while UK Land and Property is developing the first 25,000 sq ft of speculative office space. Around 900,000 sq ft of land has been developed on the 33 acre site, generating 3,500 jobs. It was over a decade ago that

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Speke Garston Development Company was formed with the goal of using European Objective 1 funding to create a premier business destination close to Liverpool Airport. Mr Monaghan added: “There was a vision to create an attractive environment for leading businesses and that’s what we have managed to achieve.” Other long leasehold tenants include the National Blood Centre, National Biomanufacturing Centre and Riverside Housing.


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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY NATIONAL BIOMANUFACTURING CENTRE

SPEKE’S £34m National Biomanufacturing Centre is run by commercial operator Eden Biodesign and provides expertise and facilities to support new and existing biotechnology companies who lack the skills or resources to develop their products, in a bid to establish the region as one of the foremost in its field in Europe. The range of services offered through the National Biomanufacturing Centre include: ■ Guidance and advice ■ Biomanufacturing process design and development ■ Preclinical manufacturing ■ Early stage clinical manufacturing ■ Formulation ■ Clinical trial supply logistics The National Biomanufacturing Centre (NBC), based in Speke near Liverpool, is owned by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and operated by Eden Biodesign. It is funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency, the European Regional Development Fund and the UK Government Department of Trade and Industry.

Estuary Hanger

HI TECH PRINT OPERATION Bank statements firm Communsis launched its centre of excellence at Estuary last year. A 100,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility is described as the largest of its kind in Europe and produces statements for HSBC. Other clients include Alliance & Leicester, Barclays, LLoyds TSB, Nationwide and Royal Bank of Scotland. Total investment in the site, which employs around 500, stands at £17m. The hi-tech facility makes Communisis a leading player in the bills and statements market. One aspect that the company says appeals to customers is its commitment to the environment.

Raw materials are sourced from sustainable resources. These include recycled and Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited. Communisis has already transferred skilled staff from customers in the region and has plans to expand the operation to create further jobs. Around 500 are employed on site. A spokesman said: “The attractive Estuary Commerce Park was chosen as it is a prime location, close to motorway networks and Liverpool Airport and is a pleasant environment for staff.”

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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Fawad Munir at the Yellow Sub

Child’s play at Business Park

SMITH & SONS’ AUCTION OFFERS NEW OPPORTUNITIES

THE YELLOW SUB GOING DOWN WELL

SMITH & Sons’ next property auction is to take place at the Village Hotel, Bromborough on October 29. Expected to provide great opportunities for buyers and sellers alike, this next auction by Smith & Sons follows on from their last successful sale in July that saw them raise a total of £1.7m. Properties in need of refurbishment, residential development sites and residential and commercial investments are particularly in demand and vendors can benefit from a certain exchange of contracts on the fall of the hammer with completion 28 days thereafter. 52 M A G A Z I N E

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CHOOSING the right location for a business is vitally important. Fawad Munir thought long and hard about where to site his children’s indoor play centre before settling on a riverside base at Brunswick Business Park - and hasn’t looked back. The Yellow Sub caters for kids up to the age of 12 and features a giant play frame with climbing walls and slides while parents can relax and enjoy a meal from the restaurant. Mr Munir said: “I saw this unit when it was being developed and it was in a great position with nice views. The question was, ‘would people drive here?’ and I think that’s been answered. “It’s out of town but easy to get to and park. There is more of a trend towards this in the leisure industry just look at some of the gyms that

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are springing up in locations outside the city centre.” The concept of an activities destination is proving to be successful. He explained: “It was one of those situations where we felt there was a gap in the maket for a fun, safe environment that also provides lots of exercise for children. “Not forgetting the adults, we have developed an attractive restaurant so people can just come down, chill out and enjoy some food.” With a background in sales and marketing, Mr Munir felt the time was right to strike out in business: “I think if you have an idea in mind you can then set out to achieve some goals. We knew what we wanted to do here and now the task is to ensure it really develops its potential.”


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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Stanley building

Open for business THE city’s commercial property scene received a much needed boost with the launch of phase two of Liverpool One. A string of restaurants, stores, offices and a state-of-the art car park are among the new offerings. The restaurant terrace overlooking the park includes Yo! Sushi, Zizzi, Las Iguanas and Barburrito. New stores included Fred Perry, Karen Millen, G Star, Lakeland and Crocs Store. Pete Lyons, manager of Las Iguanas, said: “Liverpool One has resuscitated the city and completely woken us up. Although the park itself is small, it’s like a version of Central Park in New York. This terrace is going to become very hip and trendy.” Meanwhile, in nearby Hanover Street, office space at Stanley 54 M A G A Z I N E

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“Liverpool One has resuscitated the city and completely woken us up”

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Building has been completed. Dating back to 1880, Stanley Building, along with two other period office buildings, will give firms the chance to base themselves within Liverpool One and at the heart of the city centre. Stanley Building offers two floors of high quality office accommodation spanning over 8,800 sq ft. While still retaining its period character, the building also contains retail and restaurant units. The opening of the period offices, based opposite the city’s first Novotel, also coincides with the launch of Q-Park’s 550-space car park, also on Hanover Street. Joanne Jennings, chief executive of Liverpool One, added: “It’s been a phenomenal success for us, the retailers and the city as a whole.”


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from £10 psf


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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Listed building conversion work to start soon

The planned development on Renshaw Street

£50M HOTEL PROJECT WINS PLANNING CONSENT WORK is expected to start on the conversion of a Grade II listed city building into a four star-plus hotel by the end of the year. The Watson building, situated next to Lewis’s on Renshaw Street, and the neighbouring former Rapid Hardware paint shop, were acquired by Central Regeneration, a joint venture comprising Merepark and Irish developer Ballymore, in late 2007. The 70,000 sq ft Watson building will be extended onto the site of the 56 M A G A Z I N E

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former Rapid Hardware paint shop to form a 170,000 sq ft, 180 bedroom, four star-plus hotel designed by Woods Bagot. An international hotel operator has already been secured. The scheme received planning approval earlier this month and means a further £50m investment for the city centre. The joint venture partners will be rejuvenating the mainly unoccupied Watson building, making full use of the seven floors and adding an eighth and ninth. The basement will

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provide underground parking for 16 cars, accessible from Cropper Street. Stephan Reinke, managing director of Woods Bagot, the architects behind both Central Village and proposals for the Watson building, said: “The plans for this culturally significant site are all about the business of place making. “Designing a quality hotel is integral to regeneration, as attracting tourists to Central Village would allow the location to develop as a truly mixed use scheme for Liverpool.”


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S TA N L E Y S T R E E T · L I V E R P O O L · L 1

TO LET

GRADE II LISTED BUILDING WITH HIGH QUALITY OFFICE ACCOMMODATION

713 sq.ft – 6,000 sq.ft Granite Building is located at the hub of Liverpool’s business district and has on-site parking, together with : I I

Full central heating Perimeter power trunking

I I

Suspended ceilings Category II lighting

0151 523 8790 (0908)

www.orbit-developments.co.uk orbit-developments @ emerson.co.uk


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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Credit crunch a mixed bag for serviced offices GROWTH FORECAST BUT OPERATORS HAVING TO OFFER INCENTIVES THE credit crunch appears to be mixed news for the serviced office accommodation sector. Industry body The Business Centre Association estimates that there will be 3% growth over the next 12 months in the UK. But on the other hand operators are having to review prices and even offer incentives. One Liverpool service provider said: “We expect business to keep growing but competition means there will be pressure on pricing and I’ve even heard of gifts being offered.” There are currently more than 40,000 SMEs occupying 40m sq ft of space around the country with demand continuing to grow. While there is a considerable oversupply of conventional office 58 M A G A Z I N E

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space, the opposite is true of serviced offices, which face the challenge of keeping up with overwhelming demand. A BCA spokesman said: “The two most important factors for occupiers when acquiring office space are capital expenditure and flexibility. In the current economic climate occupiers do not want to commit to lengthy and costly leaseholds.” Liverpool has experienced its own boom in serviced and virtual accommodation over the past year. Clients can occupy an office or simply rent a virtual office using an address and telephone answering system. Hanover Serviced and Virtual offices said the facilities were ideal for firms downsizing or expanding as well as those thinking of starting up.

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Carole Dutton, operations director of Hanover said: “The telephone answering service is amazing and works well for numerous clients throughout the UK and beyond who need a presence in Liverpool. “These include accountants from Manchester, emigration companies in Canada and Glasgow, a translation company in London, recruitment companies throughout the country and many other individuals.” Hanover Serviced Offices have been established over 10 years and has been host to companies such as American Airlines, Juice FM, David McLean and Gardiner Theobold, Capita Symonds and the Dunne Group. Newcomers to the city include Regus at Exchange Flags and Your Space at Il Palazzo in Water Street.


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Improve your recycling efficiency B&M Waste Services Ltd, specialise in mobile compaction waste collection services for business organisations. Since entering the market in the year 1999 they have built up an impressive reputation for delivering reliable and efficient waste collection services. It has been their commitment to recycling that has persuaded most of their current clients to switch to them, but it is B&M’s reliability and efficiency that has kept them as loyal customers. They run an extensive fleet of both Trade and Front End Loading (FEL) vehicles from their Manchester and Wirral depots which service the full spectrum of businesses throughout the North West. They have supplemented their general waste collection fleet with dedicated cardboard, paper and glass collection vehicles to ensure that they can satisfy their customer’s diverse

recycling requirements. There is not a business sector they do not provide waste management and recycling services for.

Typical examples of which include: TRADE

Shopping Centres, Hotels, Markets, High Street Retailers, Fast Food, Schools & Colleges COMMERCIAL

Managed Offices, Banks, Solicitors, Local Authority Buildings, Estate agents, PCT’s and Doctors INDUSTRIAL

Hospitals, Printers,General Manufacturing Warehousing, Food Manufactures, Chemical Companies, Support Services

Apart from general waste and recycling services, their customers benefit from a wide range of support services which include providing: ● Hazardous waste registration and collections ● Fully compliant W.E.E.E. regulated ● Bespoke onsite recycling services ● Recycling reports ● Regional and national waste management services ● ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 compliance

In its brief history the company has won numerous accolades including Environmental Business of the Year 2003, 2005 and 2008. Most recently B&M were voted Merseyside’s Medium Business of the Year 2008 at The Daily Post Regional Business Awards. This was for their outstanding service and investment in the environment.

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HOW GREEN IS MY BUSINESS SPONSORED BY

Joining the chain gang

Philip Rooney

CITY LAW FIRM STAFF OFFERED INTEREST-FREE LOANS FOR BICYCLES. BY TONY MCDONOUGH STAFF in the Liverpool office of law firm DLA Piper are being offered interest-free loans for bicycles and public transport season tickets. It marks the latest stage in a campaign by the practice to help its staff live and work in environmentally-friendly ways. The loans are part of a global initiative called TravelSMART which encourages understanding of the environmental impact of travel. Other elements include a global ‘no travel’ week across the firm’s 65 offices worldwide. Between October 13 and 17 all non-client associated travel was strongly discouraged and staff were asked instead to use video conferencing or other methods. “Our approach is to raise consciousness of the sustainability issue by making our campaign as engaging and inclusive as possible,” said John Vickery, the DLA Piper partner who is leading the project in Liverpool. “We achieve engagement by offering opportunities for staff to be involved in a creative way. We are, for instance, running a photography competition based around public transport. The winner’s work will be published on our intranet.” To support the no travel week the firm also enhanced its videoconferencing systems. These range from webcams to dedicated desktop units and larger group units. “We recognise our responsibility to the environment and have an active and well thought out programme to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Philip Rooney, managing partner. 60 M A G A Z I N E

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“We have annual targets and objectives which are fully audited using an accredited system. By setting annual carbon emission reduction targets and introducing a range of conservation measures, we aim to make all its business operations around the world more sustainable.” DLA Piper's Liverpool office already had an extensive paper, metal and plastic recycling operation and energy saving light bulbs are used throughout. Staff are encouraged to minimise power use wherever possible. One of the simplest ideas is the firm’s inhouse cafe having a Starbucks sleeve amnesty people who return the most sleeves get a sustainable mug to use on all future occasions. Last year the staff at DLA Piper’s offices in India Buildings took part in a global Sustainability Initiative, a business-wide plan designed to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment. It focused on a commitment to reduce environmental impacts in four areas: energy, waste, business travel and procurement. Staff had waste bins removed for one day to make them think about what they throw away and people were encouraged to dress down, in return for making a donation to Greenbelt Movement, an eco charity. Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, was also shown throughout office hours in the staff cafe. “We were not the first business in Liverpool to wake up to the fact we must reduce our environmental footprint - but we do certainly encourage those who have yet to take up the challenge to get involved,” added Mr Rooney. D A I L Y

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Left to right: Elizabeth Meekison, Paul Cope and Billy Williamson

GET CASH HELP TO GO GREEN A GLOBAL renewable energy specialist is urging Merseyside’s small firms to take advantage of increased Government funding for energy efficiency improvements. Wirral-based Stiebel Eltron says the Carbon Trust is set to relax its rules for loans on energy efficiency improvements and expand the funds available to help small firms struggling for resources because of the credit crunch. The Carbon Trust is a Government funded body created to help businesses cut their carbon emissions. It will double the maximum size of its interest free energy efficiency loans to £200,000. It will also increase the overall loans pot by 45% to £31m. The interest free loans are unsecured and repayable over a period of up to four years. Stiebel Eltron’s UK managing director Mark McManus said the move is welcome and urged businesses to take advantage of it to help slash energy bills by going green. He said Stiebel Eltron will undertake a free energy efficiency report for any firm in Merseyside and across the UK. “This report will examine the heat loss and heat demands of the building and detail a set of recommendations,” he added. “Moreover we also offer a ‘one stop shop’ advice service giving guidance on a range of issues from complying with legislation, to applying for ‘green’ grants, to taking advantage of tax breaks to advice on installation of renewable energy products.” Mr McManus said there is increased Government pressure on the private sector to meet green targets. “Understanding of green energy issues is limited and advice is desperately needed,” he said. For further information contact Stiebel Eltron’s UK head office on Wirral International Business Park on 0151 346 2300.

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62 Wealth Management

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SPONSORED BY

WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Drawing on a wealth of experience to resolve cartoonist’s pensions LIKE many coming to the end of their working life and unsure of the value of their pensions, successful cartoonist Paul Hardman was keen to ascertain the financial situation he could look forward to in retirement. So, prompted by a glowing recommendation, the 61year-old from Southport organised a review with chartered independent financial planning firm, Fraser Wealth Management. He says the meeting took “a huge weight” off his mind and he is now enjoying a far healthier financial position thanks to the advice he received. Paul, whose career has taken him from teaching and drawing sports cartoons for national newspapers, to animation in Hollywood for Warner Brothers, explained: “I wanted to know how to better invest my pensions and couldn’t see any solution until I had my review with one of Fraser’s directors, Paul Bocking. “I had taken all my pensions into private schemes and they were under performing. “Paul was really helpful, advising me to put them into a diverse range of investments which are now giving me much better, safer returns.” “The service I received was jargon-free, honest and impartial and using their fee-based service gave me confidence that the company was offering sincere,

independent advice, rather than just for their own interest.” That Paul was pleased is illuminated by his recent decision to use Fraser Wealth Management again. He said: “The experience was so good that my wife, Mary, and I have recently completed a re-mortgage through the company, which went phenomenally well. I now have a more flexible deal with better rates.” Paul Bocking, who founded Fraser Wealth Management four years ago with fellow financial planner Kevin Gillibrand said: “Often clients come to us unsure of how well provided they will be in their retirements and are pleasantly surprised. “For example, some people who have job-hopped may have several pensions in different ‘pots’ and by consolidating them with professional advice can get a much better deal.” Paul added: “We can help our clients at different life stages to protect and grow their wealth; whether it’s helping them put together a diverse investment portfolio, working towards a comfortable retirement, mitigating their inheritance tax liabilities or planning their ‘exit strategy’ from a successful business and how to manage their own personal wealth thereafter.” Call 0845 456 4404 to arrange a one-hour consultation or go to www.fraserwm.co.uk for further details.

Cartoonist Paul Hardman

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SPONSORED BY

WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Dealing with change GLOBAL CRISIS WILL ALTER THE NATURE OF BANKING THE banking crisis that has gripped the world in past two months has taken everybody by surprise. Events have moved so rapidly, regulators have had to show alacrity to cope with them. As have investment institutions. These events have altered the entire British banking landscape. Sparked by the collapse of US investment banking giant Lehman Brothers, consumers have seen the UK’s “big five” banks whittled down to four, with HBOS set for takeover by Lloyds TSB under a hastily arranged rescue deal. Bradford and Bingley has also been nationalised and its branches sold to Abbey owner Santander amid yet more consolidation on the high street. Santander is already in the process of snapping up Alliance & Leicester, which, together with the B&B branch acquisition, will see the Spanish group become a dominant force in UK banking. It will end up with nearly 1,300 branches and a 10% share of the UK retail savings market. Meanwhile, in the building society sector, there are yet more mergers. The UK’s biggest 64 M A G A Z I N E

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mutual, Nationwide, is to take over smaller rivals the Derbyshire and the Cheshire, due to complete by Christmas. And the Chelsea Building Society is taking over the Catholic, with experts predicting others will follow suit in both the bank and mutual sectors as survival of the fittest – and biggest – rules. Consumers are waking up to a different banking system, one which is changing both globally and at a local level. The Bank of England’s credit report found that banks tightened up on lending to households and businesses more than expected in the three months to mid-September, and were expecting to clamp down further still. The availability of loans has undergone a seismic shift over the past year. Before the crisis, which took hold last summer, there were nearly 16,000 buy-to-let and residential mortgage products on the market. Now there are just over 3,400, according to financial information firm Moneyfacts. It added that one in 10 mortgages was withdrawn in the 24 hours after the B&B nationalisation. It is, therefore, no surprise that official figures showed net mortgage lending ground almost


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to a halt in August, down by 95% during the month to a record low of £143m. The Building Societies Association announced a similar stalling in lending across the mutual sector, with net lending of minus £38m, meaning customers actually repaid £38m more than they borrowed. Before the second wave of the credit squeeze hit last month, there was a brief spell of respite for borrowers, as more products began to come on to the market and rates started to ease. Now lenders are rushing to pull their best-buy products, increasing rates and tightening criteria once again.

The average deposit a borrower must stump up for a mortgage has doubled from 10% a year ago to 20% now, while some lenders will not take anything less than 40% of a property’s value. “For borrowers, the world has changed for many years to come,” warned Kevin Mountford, retail banking expert at price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com “I don’t think we’ll ever see a return to the days of high loans to value, and what we now recognise as being irresponsible lending.” Interest rates and fees charged for arranging mortgages have also sky-rocketed. Four major mortgage lenders, Nationwide, Barclays-owned Woolwich, HSBC and its internet and telephone banking subsidiary First Direct, have raised rates in the past week, while fees charged in the sector have soared as the era of cheap credit has come to an end. Consumer confidence took a fresh knock last month after showing signs of steadying over the summer, according to a Nationwide Building Society study. M A G A Z I N E

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It found that people had less confidence than the previous month, resulting in a three point drop in the barometer to 50 in September. The drop to the lowest level since the index began reflected ongoing economic uncertainty, a further fall in house prices, rising unemployment and the impact of high food and fuel costs, according to Nationwide. People’s view on the current economic situation also highlighted a general feeling of gloom, falling seven points to 39 during the month. Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Consumers have been adjusting the way they feel about the current economic and employment situation since July and this continues to be the main driver behind the drop in overall confidence in September. “While consumers recognise that there are some good deals available, rising unemployment, falling house prices and the continued turmoil in the financial markets are likely to mean that confidence will take some time to recover.” Feelings about spending and the future did not change, suggesting consumers thought things would continue to deteriorate at the current pace. But consumers were more pessimistic about the current economic and employment situation. Two-thirds believed the present economic situation was bad while just under a quarter thought it was normal. Only one in 10 described it as good. But one in seven consumers (14%) were more upbeat about the future of the economy last month, saying they believed it would be better in six months’ time, compared to 12% at the same time last year.

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Partnership for Learning Training and Conference Centre of Excellence Based in South Liverpool, Partnership for Learning is Merseyside’s number one training provider. Our extensive Training Portfolio includes a wide range of subjects such as Management and Professional Development which includes courses such as Business Acumen for Beginners, Customer Care, Management: Essential Tools and Techniques, Supervisor Skills, Minute Taking, Assertiveness and a new package entitled “HR Toolkit”.

As part of our portfolio we also offer training in Health and Safety in the Workplace, CIEH Level 2, which is appropriate to employees in any organisation and gives a good overall understanding of how to apply principles of Occupational Health and Safety back at their company. We also offer very competitively priced First Aid Training and a huge range of IT packages along with courses relating to the Electrical and Gas Industry which are accredited by City and Guilds and Corgi.

“Merseyside’s number one training provider” For a list of all other courses we can offer, please look us up at www.pfl.org.uk, or enquire on the number below and a dedicated Training Co-ordinator will be able to assist you. For enquiries please contact our Training Team on 0151 288 2100

Conference and Meeting Facilities at Partnership for Learning Partnership for Learning offers its clients state-of-the-art conference facilities in a working environment that is designed to help you find and achieve business results. We have 16 conference suites that we can hire out for anything from an interview to a board meeting or a full company presentation. We also boast one of the Northwest’s finest purpose built, fully equipped presentation Theatres, which can also be converted into 200m2 of exhibition space. Our own on-site, award winning catering team can assist you in providing a first class catering service based on your specific requirements, or choose from our comprehensive selection of buffet menus. Partnership for Learning has also achieved the all important industry standard awarded on behalf of the Meetings Industry Association. This is the ultimate accolade for upholding and practicing the highest standards within the meetings and conference industry, so you can rest assured your event is in capable hands. For enquiries, please contact our dedicated Conference Team on 0151 288 2100.

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EDUCATION

The late Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop

Shaping the future LIVERPOOL BUSINESS SCHOOLS SAY THEIR TEACHING IS BOTH RELEVANT AND VITAL BY TONY MCDONOUGH THE late Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop retail empire, was famously dismissive of business schools. She believed such establishments taught entrepreneurs to simply “toe the line,” adding: “I never went to business school, I went to the business school of life.” Not surprisingly, that view isn’t shared by those running business schools here in Merseyside, who believe they are helping to mould the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future. Murray Dalziel, who runs the University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS), said he “radically disagreed” with the point of view put forward by Anita Roddick. He added: “I have not just spent my working life in academia. For many years I have helped many companies as 68 M A G A Z I N E

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Murray Dalziel Director of The Liverpool Management School a consultant. “I always ask executives at these companies, ‘How do you develop your business agenda and make important

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judgements about your business?’. “Good judgement is an important part of what we teach here. I think at the moment there is a little too much emphasis in business on the soft skills like leadership, although of course that is important and we do cover it on our MBA course. “What is important is learning to make good judgements and think about strategy and direction. These are vital for any organisation “I also like to think we are helping our students to learn how to make a difference. We are giving them skills that will not just help them in their first job but throughout their entire careers.” Professor Paul Joyce, director of the Liverpool Business School at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), said there was solid support from within


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LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY The Faculty of Business and Law comprises two academic schools - Liverpool Business School and the School of Law, which offer a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes. In addition, the Faculty’s European Centre for Corporate Governance offers a suite of Masters programmes and CPDs in the area of corporate governance and executive leadership. For companies, LBS can provide short courses, training programmes and consultancy for a wide range of business activities. WEB: www.ljmu.ac.uk/blw

the business world for the work of business schools. “I recall when I was at a business school in London one of our biggest supporters was Lord Stanley Kalms, founder of the electrical retailer Dixons,” said Prof Joyce. “He never went to business school but he was a firm believer in people getting a good business education. “The most successful business people are innovators - those who are not afraid to challenge assumptions. One of the most important skills people gain from university is the ability to critically evaluate. “When students first arrive they often think that critical evaluation just means having your own opinion. But what it is actually about is being able to evaluate balancing views. “Developing good communication skills is also important.”

A study published in the 1990s found that the most successful business leaders were good communicators and good at solving problems. He added “It is about teaching people a range of skills and about widening perspectives - that is what education does.”

subject areas: Accounting and Finance, e-Business and Operations Management, Economics, Management and Marketing and International Business. It says it prepares its students to be leaders in private enterprise, public enterprise and policy making institutions WEB: www.liv.ac.uk/management

development and collaborates with other institutions around the world. WEB: www.hope.ac.uk/bacs/deanery-ofbusiness-computer-science-bacs.html

EDGE HILL UNIVERSITY

LIVERPOOL HOPE UNIVERSITY

UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL The University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS) was established in 2002 and was formed as a result of the merger of existing departments, institutes and units from across the University. Five divisions were formed within the ULMS which represent the following

Business can be followed as a single honours programme (BA Business Studies) or as part of a combined honours degree (combining business with another programme, eg marketing, law, IT). The curriculum was developed in consultation with local businesses and voluntary and community organisations. Students examine the role of small and medium-sized enterprises, voluntary community organisations and larger companies. The facility also undertakes research into leadership, management and organisation change and social and economic M A G A Z I N E

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Based in the Western Campus at Edge Hill University’s Ormskirk site, the Business School was formed from two existing departments at Edge Hill University - Business, Management and Leisure and Computing and Information Systems. Courses and teaching methods across the Edge Hill Business School have been designed in consultation with employers to ensure that you graduate equipped with highly relevant knowledge as well as the appropriate skills to embark on your chosen career. WEB: www.edgehill.ac.uk/business

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Dream, plan and achieve from business with Liverpool Business School ONLY A FIVE minute walk from the centre of Liverpool you’ll find Liverpool Business School (LBS). A modern and dynamic educational establishment, the school is set around tranquil gardens and boasts an awardwinning, state-of-the-art learning resource centre. This large Business School has a thriving community of over 5,000 students and 110 academics. With a history that can be traced back to the early 1970s, the current Business School has a team of extremely experienced academics working there. These academics use the latest and most modern student-centred methods of teaching on undergraduate, postgraduate, and executive education courses. The School is very responsive to the needs of the business community, as is shown by the quality of its courses. These have been specially designed in order to meet the specific needs of individual corporate clients. In order to accomplish this and tailor the course correctly, much preparation and close discussion with different businesses about their objectives and their corporate strategy is undertaken, in order that the executive education these businesses have requested can be aligned to their priorities and needs. For further information on this, go online: http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/NewsUpdate/index_92026.htm. Many of the academics who work in Liverpool Business

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School have substantial commercial experience and this is used by them to deliver an applied approach to their teaching and research methods. In order to give the students the most current and practical grounding in business, the School involves current business executives and professionals in teaching, often inviting them to give guest lectures. The external research activity of LBS is certainly varied in its scope. Dynamic and multidisciplinary in practice, it covers everything from corporate governance, the banking and finance sectors and the Department of Health, to local and regional health authorities, local government authorities in the North West region and further afield (including Wales), along with management research in the social sector, plus a range of private sector groups. Along with all of this, the School provides short courses, training programmes and consultancy for a wide range of business activities. These include management development, business planning, organisational changes, project management and social enterprise. For more information about Liverpool Business School contact the Postgraduate Administration Office on 0151 231 3440 or at blwpg@ljmu.ac.uk

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give your career a boost in 2009 Liverpool Business School (LBS) has an established reputation for providing high calibre Management programmes. The prestigious Executive Master in Business Administration (part-time) is designed to enable managers to make a strategic contribution to their organisation across a range of business functions in a fast moving environment. The programme aims to develop in participants analytical abilities as well as essential managerial skills, such as team working, leadership and effective communications. An ability to interpret data is also developed through such modules as the management of Marketing, People, Operations and Information. The Executive MBA is recognised by the Chartered Management Institute and successful completion will contribute to Chartered Manager Status. The next intake commences January 2009.

Commencing September 2009 LBS also offers a wide range of professional and postgraduate part time programmes in: I I I I

Accounting and Financial Management Human Resource Management Information & Library Management Marketing

There are also opportunities for study at MPhil/PhD level.

For further details please contact the Programme Administration team on tel: 0151 231 3440 or email: blwpg@ljmu.ac.uk quoting reference LXM36. Alternatively, you can visit the website at www.ljmu.ac.uk/lbs


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Patience of Saints REGENERATION SCHEMES MAP OUT FUTURE OF ST HELENS

IT is not just the 2m trees that have been planted in St Helens in the last five years that are helping the town show the signs of growth and renewal. The town’s regeneration strategy has also put down solid foundations that should allow major developments to flourish. There are three, major, long-term projects which separately target the education, leisure and employment sectors. A £63m redevelopment of the town’s college is underway, which will overhaul part of the town centre as well as making St Helens a more attractive option to students in the post-16 market. The project, which will transform the campus while retaining the iconic Beecham’s clock tower building, is expected to be completed by 2011. St Helens Rugby League Club - as responsible for raising the town’s profile as its once-strong glass and coal industries - has this summer secured planning permission for a £25m stadium development near to the town centre alongside a new Tesco Extra store. The plans will also see 192 houses built on the site of the existing Knowsley Road ground and a retail development will replace the existing Tesco store. But the most exciting scheme is the ambitious plans for the former 72 M A G A Z I N E

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Parkside Colliery in Newton-leWillows, which once employed tens of thousands of workers before its demise and eventual closure in 1992. Astral Developments plans to create a 740,000 sq m rail freight interchange which will have warehousing and distribution on site and a multi-modal terminal. The project could create 10,000 jobs and attract £400m of investment in the local area. The project is being looked at by the Highways Agency, as it would require junction 22 of the M6 motorway to be moved and rebuilt, and, if they give the plans the green light, the planning application is scheduled to be submitted in early 2009. Bob Hepworth, director of urban regeneration and housing at St Helens Council, said: “The plans for the Parkside Colliery site are massively important. This isn’t just a St Helens project, it will impact at a national level. It will benefit St Helens and the surrounding boroughs. “It will be crucial for the North West economy and gives a massive statement about how we in the North West view sustainable development.” Statements that portray the current reality of St Helens’ economic offering are important for a town whose identity is so closely tied to industries of the past.

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St Helens is determined to change the perception that it is just an old coal mining and glass making town. There have been concerted efforts in recent years to improve the key statistics of the town which are beginning to come to fruitition. Figures revealed in the 2008 Merseyside Economic Review show that 2,000 jobs were created in St Helens, placing it in the upper quartile of local authorities in the country. The St Helens business start-up rate showed the fifth best improvement out of the 434 local authorities while the borough’s three-year business survival rates leapt from 60% to 79%, also the fifth best improvement in the country. On other measures the town is also improving. GCSE results have risen and last year St Helens went above the national average for 5 A*-C grades. It has moved in a positive direction on the index of multiple deprivation and crime rates are also falling. Kath Boullen, chief executive of St Helens Chamber of Commerce - which was named as the best chamber in the country earlier this year - said: “For many years, St Helens has been working hard at diversifying its economy and we are now beginning to see the results of this. “It is pleasing to see that the review highlights these improvements,


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particularly in terms of business success and new jobs being created.” Some of the improvements are the result of the launch of the City Growth Strategy in 2003, with St Helens being one of four areas to pilot the US-style model of regeneration. The approach places enterprise and business success at the heart of longterm regeneration and focuses on the economic potential and inherent competitive advantage of urban areas. Aidan Manley, St Helens Council’s head of regeneration, said: “What we have been trying to do over the last five years is to develop the City Growth Strategy. What we found in 2002, when we researched the economy, was that we didn’t have enough small and medium-sized enterprises, and in the past we have relied too much on a small number of large organisations. “But we found we did have a competitive advantage in some sectors. Since then, we have been trying to look at what we are good at and make the most of that and exploit it and build clusters around the activity. “Also, we worked very, very hard to increase the number of start-ups in the area. “Hopefully, in times of growth and expansion, we would do well. But in times of economic slowdown, we

Top: An 18,000 capacity stadium is scheduled to open in 2011 Bottom: St Helens College is being overhauled with £63m of investment should be in better shape to weather it than in the past.” There are plans to continue nurturing the number of start-ups. The St Helens Enterprise Centre, which is scheduled to open in December, will cater for up to 30 start-ups, while Catapult and Catapult Too are established as hothouses for creative businesses. Other green shoots of progress happening around the town include the development of office space, leisure facilities and housing. A 70,000 sq ft business park development on the link road between the town and M62 is a statement of intent which offers plenty of space to expand. M A G A Z I N E

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Mr Hepworth said: “The scheme at Mere Grange is a huge plus for us. We have now got a business park close to the town centre and to the M62 – that enables us to compete. “At West Point, in the town centre, there will be a mixed-use scheme, comprising leisure and commercial activity. This takes a redundant site and transforms this part of the town “And although the housing market is still in the doldrums, we have three schemes that are on site. This is a terrific vote of confidence for the town and pays testament to our first-class location.” With all the changes and developments taking place, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. L I V E R P O O L

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Dream to become a reality ST.HELENS is set to feature a spectacular new landmark artwork to rival the Angel of the North. Dream, chosen by a group of local ex-miners, takes the form of the head of a girl with eyes closed, seemingly in a dream-like state. The 20m high sculpture by internationally renowned artist, Jaume Plensa, is to be sited on top of the former Sutton Manor Colliery, overlooking the M62. The work is intended to become a gateway feature for both Merseyside and Greater Manchester at the heart of the North West. It will also stand as a symbol of the remarkable regeneration in the region. The plan received unanimous approval in September and is expected to launch, subject to project progress, in Spring 2009. Dream is commissioned by St.Helens Council as part of

has played a pivotal role in the whole development of the project, which is being curated by Liverpool Biennial and supported by the Forestry Commission, the Northwest Development Agency, the Northwest Coalfield Communities Regeneration Programme and the European Regional Development Fund via the Merseyside Objective 1 Programme. Dream is the artist’s response to the brief and to subsequent conversations with the ex-miners and members of the wider local community who wanted a piece that looked to a brighter future and created a beautiful and contemplative space for future generations. It is to be fabricated in pre-cast concrete, with a white, almost luminescent finish using a white marble/concrete aggregate mix in marked contrast to the black of the coal that still lies below. Gary Conley, who is part of the group of former miners from Sutton Manor says: “ Thanks to Jaume Plensa, we have a piece of artwork that not only reflects the past heritage of the site but also projects it into the future. Sutton Manor Colliery may never produce coal again, but now, because of this wonderful piece of artwork, its soul and its millions of memories will live on.” The progress of St.Helens’ Dream is being filmed for a landmark documentary series for Channel 4 to be broadcast in 2009.

Artist Jaume Plensa unveils ‘Dream’

The Big Art Project, an ambitious public art initiative from Channel 4 supported by Arts Council England and The Art Fund. The Big Art Project seeks to inspire and create new works of public art, commissioned by communities, as well as debating the importance of art in the built environment. St.Helens Council will deliver the project, in partnership with national funders. A focus group comprising ex-miners from Sutton Manor

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Artist Jaume Plensa with Leader of St. Helens Council Cllr Brian Spencer and John Whaling Economic Development Manager

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Connectivity, Catchment, Cost. • Direct access to the arterial M6 & M62

Lake District Preston M6

• The most car-friendly place in the whole region*

M65 M6

M61

Southport

M66

Bolton

M6

Wigan

M61

M60

M58

Manchester Salford

M57

M62

St.Helens Liverpool

M62

M6

M60

M62

Warrington M56

Wirral

Runcorn

M53

M6

M56 Glasgow

M56 M56

Leeds

M53

North Wales

Chester

• Within 45 minutes of two, expanding, international airports and the UK's largest Freeport zone • Within an hour's drive of 4.3 million prospective employees & 6.8 million potential customers • A relatively low cost & cost-effective location in terms of premises, house prices, & labour

Birmingham Cardiff

London

For more information about investing in St.Helens please contact the St.Helens Business Location Team. Tel: +44 (0)1744 742 041 Email: enquiries@investinsthelens.com

www.investinsthelens.com

*2007 Virgin Money Survey


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TONY MCDONOUGH REPORTS ON THE FIRMS THAT ARE PROSPERING FROM TOUGH TIMES BRITAIN is facing its worst economic downturn since the early 1990s but not everyone is suffering. No matter what the state of the economy, there will always be businesses who can benefit from the changing conditions. Below, we examine some sectors and businesses that are thriving despite the credit crunch.

BUS AND TRAIN OPERATORS It was revealed in LDP Business that Merseyrail is on course to smash passenger number records for 2008. This was partly due to the Capital of Culture effect and the opening of the Liverpool One retail complex. However, network directors also believe they are benefiting from people abandoning their cars for public transport. The cost of motoring has shot up this year as fuel costs have hit record levels. Sales of 76 M A G A Z I N E

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both new and used cars have slumped. As people tighten their belts, they are rediscovering buses and trains. Merseyside’s two biggest bus operators Arriva and Stagecoach - are also seeing an increase in passenger numbers. Arriva, which controls around 60% of the Merseyside market, reported a 59% leap in half year revenues in August, adding operating profit from its UK bus division was up 20%. “Higher fuel prices and toughening economic conditions present challenges for the industry, but bring with them the

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possibility of higher demand for our transport solutions,” said chief executive David Martin. Stagecoach reported that UK bus revenue had risen by 9.3% in the 16 weeks to August 17, better than it had hoped for at the start of the summer. The company said: “People are continuing to switch from travelling by other modes of transport to travelling by bus. This provides further evidence of a modal shift towards bus and train prompted by high fuel costs, environmental concerns and healthy lifestyles.”


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PARK GROUP Throughout his years as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown would often talk about the importance of prudence. Unfortunately, many people in the UK weren’t listening, preferring instead to buy big, off the back of cheap credit. But now, thanks to the credit crunch, prudence is becoming fashionable once again and this is good news for Birkenheadbased Park Group. The group’s core business is financial services, including cash savings and cash lending. One of its particular specialities is running Christmas savings clubs.

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In September, the company said it held cash balances on deposit of £101m - £25m more than at the same point last year. Chairman Peter Johnson said: “Both the Christmas Savings and Corporate Voucher divisions continue to grow, aided by our expanding online presence. “Moreover, www.getpark.co.uk has already started to take orders for Christmas 2009, a very encouraging sign for the future. “Park remains resilient against the economic downturn, given that the very nature of our business is to help customers save efficiently, a prudent trend in the current economic climate.”

DOMINO’S PIZZA At the beginning of October, Domino’s Pizza reported a fresh rise in sales as consumers opted to dine at home during the current economic turmoil. The delivery firm, which operates a network of franchised stores, said like-for-like sales at its 449 mature stores rose 8.8% in the 13 weeks to September 28. Domino’s opened nine stores during the period and is on track to hit its full-year target of 50

VALUE RETAILERS BEGBIES TRAYNOR What do business class airline Silverjet and Liverpool’s Slaughterhouse pub have in common? The answer is both became reluctant clients of insolvency practitioners Begbies Traynor after going bust. Over the last 15 years, the UK economy has enjoyed a recordbreaking 63 quarters of economic growth. But that has now ground to a sudden and dramatic halt and the result is a big increase in the number of business failures. Bad new for most of us but boomtime for firms like Begbies Traynor. First half revenues at the firm rose from £41.9m

to £48.1m. David Moore, partner and head of Begbies’ Liverpool office, said: “Our core insolvency administration business is trading ahead of expectations and significantly ahead of the same period last year, boosted by the current economic conditions. “Insolvency administration accounts for about three quarters of the group’s turnover and our strategy is to focus on our core activity of mid-market insolvency, which is experiencing an upturn in activity resulting from the worsening economic outlook, while steadily developing other service lines that have good short to medium term prospects.”

In the last few weeks, Liverpoolbased discount retail group TJ Morris, which trades as Home Bargains, has said it is enjoying the best trading in its 30 year history. The economic downturn has become an opportunity for such chains as cash-strapped consumers become more price conscious. Home Bargains trades from 160 outlets across the UK and has now clocked up annual sales of more than £380m. “What we try to do is give the best products at the lowest prices. That is the way you get people through the door. If you don’t do that, they will just go next door,” said operations

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new openings. James Cooke, an analyst at Panmure Gordon stockbrokers, said: “Despite the slowing of the economy and squeeze on consumer spending, Domino’s Pizza continues to see organic growth in the business. “We believe that this is due to strong consumer awareness of the brand - from high profile advertising and media campaigns - strong value for money focus and a shift from consumers eating pizza out of the home to in the home.”

director Joe Morris. Shoppers are downgrading across the board. Upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose has seen sales fall as people seek bargains elsewhere. During the summer months discount food chains Aldi and Lidl saw sales rises of 20% and 12% respectively. Over the past year Liverpoolbased discount department store chain, TJ Hughes, has seen its profits grow from £1.1m to £5.1m and another retailer, The Big Discount Store says it is expecting bumper sales in the run up to Christmas. “Marketing and merchandising manager Clare Thomson said: “Our sales figures show that consumers are flocking to discount retailers as they try to make cutbacks.”

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Survive the crunch TOP LIVERPOOL ACCOUNTANT’S ADVICE ON HOW TO WEATHER THE STORM DAVID Holland is a director at Grant Thornton Liverpool. He joined the accountancy firm a year ago, following a career in industry as a finance director. He insists it is possible for firms to weather the economic downturn if they are properly prepared. “The ultimate winners in turbulent economic conditions are people who spot the early warning signs of trouble while there is still time to do something about it,” he said. “You can’t be a rabbit in the headlights or a headless chicken - you need to be a sheepdog, herding your business around obstacles and keeping it on a safe path.” David has identified four key areas to consider.

CASH IS KING The critical issue in the near-term will be your ability to conserve and control cash. Be relentless in your attention to this reality. Maximising your cash position will give you greater flexibility in your decision making. This might be achieved by controlling the cash that you have more effectively, getting in more cash from normal trading, getting more cash or credit from 78 M A G A Z I N E

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elsewhere, reducing/controlling cash going out, reducing the amount of cash you need to trade, even, where possible, improving profits. Regardless, you will need a detailed cash flow forecast that is both accurate and subject to regular review.

GET CLOSER TO YOUR BANK Banks are now very much focused on the quality of their loan book. Treat your banker as a partner in the business. You are more likely to get continuing bank support if; the bank trusts your integrity: you talk to them before you hit a crisis and continue to do so; you seem to be in control of your business (and produce detailed, timely and accurate financial information); you have a credible plan and are prepared to get in help as required. But remember, although your bank may work through the problem with you, the ultimate responsibility for resolving any issues falls squarely on management’s shoulders.

BE RELENTLESS ON COST CONTROL Focus on what you can readily control. As demand slows, you will need to cut

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costs to maintain your current level of profits. Good times may well have resulted in costs escalating. Look at the potential impact on the business of any cost reductions compared to the ease and speed of making the cut. A major area of cost may well be people. Although never easy, it may be necessary to reduce your headcount. Do this as objectively as possible and don’t allow emotion to rule your decision-making.

RE-VISIT YOUR STRATEGY When market conditions change rapidly, you can’t assume that your existing product and market strategy will continue to be successful. Changing market conditions can often be a catalyst for revisiting difficult strategic decisions. Focus on core activities. Ask yourself where do you really have sustainable competitive advantage? Understand your profitability by product and by customer, and don’t dismiss the possibility of increasing your selling prices, while of course being aware of the sensitivity of sales volume to price.


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Fuelling growth for energy and environmental firms An increasing focus on energy efficiency, coupled with a drive to reduce the region’s carbon footprint, is fuelling rapid growth in the North West’s Energy and Environmental sector. The industry currently contributes 103,000 people and produce an annual turnover of more than £7.8 billion. Merseyside in particular has seen a large number of new and emerging businesses setting up to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the challenges and changes ahead. Recognising the importance of the sector to the economy, Business Link Northwest has a dedicated team that is geared up to offer one to one support to Energy and Environmental businesses – offering advice on a wide range of issues from skills and business growth, to finance and marketing. Geoff Crossley, Energy & Environmental Technologies Team Leader comments:

“Often businesses come to us needing support on how to deal with the new level of demand as they need to be able to hit the ground running. Our team is equipped with the industry knowledge and business experience required and is available to meet with businesses face to face to help identify and tackle the pressures of rapid success early on. “All our brokers have previously worked or run businesses in the sector, so are in tune with the issues and opportunities that are facing their clients. Businesses can feel reassured help is available and we urge all businesses to make use of this free to use and impartial service.” Businesses can access Business Link Northwest by calling 0845 00 66 888 or visiting www.businesslink.gov.uk/northwest.

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ASK THE EXPERT

SPONSORED BY

The benefits of a serviced office plus, ‘what is a virtual office?’

Carole Dutton, Operations Director, Hanover Serviced Offices

Q: The ‘Credit Crunch’ has really started to affect my business and I need to reduce my overheads, whilst maintaining the high level of service my clients expect. Is a serviced office a viable option and how can it help me be more competitive? A: Professionally managed Serviced offices, such as those provided by Hanover, are a cost effective alternative to buying or renting your own premises. Reducing overheads, such as staff, equipment and utilities is becoming more important for small to medium sized enterprises and is one of the ways that will help companies survive the testing times ahead. Markets are constantly changing, and organisations have to seek new property solutions that provide a lot more flexibility in terms of space and length of occupancy. Serviced offices has been a fast growing sector in recent years and has also gained credibility, fulfilling business’ needs for flexibility, allowing them to adapt to market trends. Also, with a serviced office company such as Hanover, businesses have the added flexibility of using one of the extensive meeting rooms, which can host sales seminars, taking advantage of state-of-the-art presentation equipment, or small informal business meetings. Quite a number of national companies benefit from this concept, using Hanover serviced offices as a regional office

FOR DETAILS OF HOW TO GET FREE MEMBERSHIP OF OUR BUSINESS CLUB LOG ON NOW www.ldpbusiness.co.uk

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Q: I have a small business, which I operate from home but find it difficult to convince potential new clients that I can compete with the larger companies. What is a virtual office and can it help me compete?

professional service. The support line is both invaluable and extremely cost-effective, being a nominal percentage of the salary normally paid for a similar full-time member of staff to provide such a service – plus it doesn’t ask for a day off and you won’t need holiday cover. When using the services of virtual offices, such as ours, you can have a city centre address without many of the associated overheads. All mail is sent in your business’ name, to our city centre address, and either forwarded to your home or wait for yout to collect it. At Hanover we provide a dedicated team of staff who get to know the personality and nature of the business, they will look after all the telephone calls, take messages and forward or email them to you whereever you are. It is often the case that meetings cannot take place at the home, this is where a Virtual Office really pays dividends, Hanover Serviced Offices has a number of meeting rooms which can be hired and all relevant communication equipment provided plus refreshments and business lunches. You really can escape the confines of traditional business practises and enjoy the freedom of a Virtual Office.

A: With the development of technology and improvements in communications, ‘living the dream’ and working from home is becoming more commonplace, however it can sometimes be difficult to break down pre-conceived ideas, that having large expensive premises relates to a

Contact: Hanover House, Hanover Street, Liverpool L1 3DZ. Tel: 0151 285 3838 Trident House, 31-33 Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2HF. Tel: 0151 229 1000 Both premises boast an impressive reception, fully equipped meeting rooms and conference suites, which are also available on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. Visit: www.hanoverservicedoffices.co.uk or call: 0151 285 3838.

to operate from. Hanover has two serviced office buildings within Liverpool city centre; Hanover House which is close to the Liverpool One regeneration centre and Trident House situated on Dale Street, both of which have undergone extensive renovation and now boast some of the most luxurious and cost-effective office suites in Liverpool. Furthermore, serviced offices offer excellent networking opportunities, suited to various business service areas. So, in short, a serviced office is a not just a viable option for companies looking to downsize, it is an opportunity for businesses to grow, by rethinking how they operate, taking advantage of reduced overheads, increased flexibility and networking opportunities.

The LDP Business Club is completely free to join and members can take advantage of the following exclusive benefits: • Daily ‘e’ newsletters with all the latest business news from The Liverpool Daily Post • A monthly ‘e’ edition of our business magazine delivered directly to your mail box T H E

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• Exclusive VIP access to online discussion and business forums • Networking sections • Video masterclasses and online business seminars • Access to archive material and research tools • Discounted rates for ‘exclusive’ products and services


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SPONSORED BY

The only certainty is that there is no certainty

Mark Chadwick, Chief Executive of Professional Liverpool

Q : I have an inherited capital sum available for investment. However, in recent weeks there have been significant falls in stock markets worldwide as a result of the global financial crisis. How do I decide when to go into the market? A: Before looking forward for investment opportunities it might be prudent to look back at the origins of the problem in order to try and assess where we are now. A year ago, few of us had heard the term credit crunch, something we now all understand to mean a severe shortage of money or credit. Originating in the rapidly expanding US housing market 2004–2006 when interest rates rose from 1% to 5.35% another new expression, sub-prime contagion was identified and that’s when it began. In April 2007 New Century Financial, which specialised in sub-prime mortgages, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and cut half its workforce.

This combined with warnings from investment bank Bear Stearns and withholding of fund withdrawals from BNP Paribas was the first clear sign that the banks were refusing to do business with each other. The rest, as they say is history, a progressive unravelling of the problems hit Northern Rock over a year ago and moved on to more recent and unprecedented events, with interventions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Bradford & Bingley and now a global banking rescue plan. Confidence remains low and markets will turn their attention to economic fundamentals which suggests we are in recession, but either we don’t know it, or don’t want to acknowledge it. This will continue to drive down shares as the dreaded ‘R’ word replaces the credit crunch in our news reports and media bulletins. It was the first Baron Rothschild who said: “Great fortunes are made when the cannon balls are falling in the harbour, not when the violins are playing in the ballroom.” Undoubtedly, his reference to market timing has relevance even today, finding the bottom of the market to time your entry will help you enormously.

Unfortunately, unless your timing is perfect it will make little difference to your long term returns and there is plenty of historic data to support this view. In the current markets there will be significant investment opportunities, but as important as timing, which can often be attributed to good luck rather than good judgement, are diversification and asset allocation which, if properly addressed, will both reduce your risk and most likely improve your long term returns. Formal discussions about investment should be held with professional advisors and Liverpool, probably the third largest centre in the UK outside of London and Edinburgh for such expertise, has a rich tradition and history of firms who deliver asset, pensions and wealth management advice. To find a professional advisor in Liverpool check out our website, professionaliverpool.com.

Mark Chadwick, Chief Executive of Professional Liverpool can be contacted on 0151 795 0125. Professional Liverpool is the Regional Development Agency’s sector delivery vehicle for financial and professional service firms across the Liverpool City Region, supporting £8.3bn of GVA and 200,000 employees.

www.ldpbusiness.co.uk

• Priority (pre sale) and discounted invitations to high profile events • Exclusive LDP Business club events held throughout the year including key guest speakers • Exclusive access to ‘member only’ news stories and articles • Discounted advertisement rates across the whole of the LDP portfolio and related products To become a member, log on to www.ldpbusiness.co.uk

Is the place to find extensive and up-to-the-minute coverage of local, regional, national and international business news and the financial markets. There will also be audio and video content featuring news and views from Merseyside’s key business movers and shakers. It contains a wide range of useful links, archive material plus a special section for members of the free LDP Business Club. Log on today and check out www.ldpbusiness.co.uk. M A G A Z I N E

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82 Women in Business

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Women in Business Cilla Milford Senior Consultant Cilla is the Senior Consultant at Femalefinance. The company was established 8 years ago in response to an increasing demand for those people who prefer to consult a female independent financial adviser. With an impressive career in financial services spanning 30 years Cilla has a wealth of knowledge and experience which is a huge benefit for her clients. She has the ability to listen carefully, empathise and advise in a straightforward manner. Cilla has a genuine

interest in people and expertise in all aspects of financial planning, it is reassuring to see old fashioned values and client care a priority. Femalefinance promises a high level of professional advice and is the solution for anyone who prefers to discuss their finances with a female adviser. To contact Cilla call 0151 227 4729 or 07765 298715 www.femalefinance.co.uk PWS Financial Consulting Ltd, 3-11 Temple Street, Liverpool L2 5RH

Debbie Partridge Branch Manager Debbie is the branch manager at Remploy’s recruitment branch in Liverpool. With 17 years of media experience Debbie’s commercial expertise has proven invaluable to promote Remploy’s range of specialist recruitment and development services to people who experience complex barriers to work. During the Liverpool branch’s first year of opening, Debbie and the team placed over 200 people into employment. Debbie works hard to understand and meet employers’ needs, promote the benefits of a diverse workforce and ensure

Remploy candidates find jobs with employers throughout the region. Specialist advisors also work closely with Jobcentre Plus, to ensure that people with disabilities and health conditions wanting to return to work or enter the labour market for the first time, are considered equally when vacancies arise. To contact Debbie call 0845 155 2565 www.remploy.co.uk Remploy Graeme House, Derby Square, Liverpool, L2 7ZH

Angela Cruise Business Development Director Angela Cruise is the Business Development Director for Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management (RSIM) in the North West. She is the principal contact for trustees, company directors, legal, accountancy, medical and property professionals and entrepreneurs wishing to appoint pension and investment experts to structure their financial affairs and manage their wealth. RSIM's SIPP and wealth

management expertise mean Angela is at the forefront of the strategy which has seen assets under management surpass £13 billion, making RSIM one of the largest independent investment management houses both regionally and nationally. To contact Rensburg Sheppards about your financial affairs call Angela on 0151 227 2030

Trudie Arlett Account Manager LDP Business

If you would like to participate in the next Women In Business profile page then Contact me, Trudie on 0151 472 2476 or mobile 07825 273440 email: trudie.arlett@liverpool.com LDP Business Magazine, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB

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83 creative

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LDP

CREATIVE

Scenes from the littlewoodsdirect.com adverts broadcast earlier this year

Model campaign pays dividends MERSEYSIDE home retail group Shop Direct says it will continue its strong investment in advertising after its latest high-profile campaigns helped boost trade. Littlewoods Direct’s summer campaign, featuring Esperanto-speaking models on a tropical island, was one of the most talked-about of the summer. In July international advertising industry website adforum.com named it the second-best campaign in the world, second only to Coca-Cola’s Unity campaign. Shop Direct has invested millions of pounds in advertising across all media and says the effort has paid off with increased brand awareness and more visitors to its websites. Last year Littlewoods launched its first television advertising campaign for more than five years, signing up style gurus

BE FLEXIBLE TO BEAT DOWNTURN

Trinny and Susannah to star as James Bond-style commandos looking to break into the company’s HQ. It next launched the island campaign, and in September it launched its new £3m “Rain Dance” campaign for its autumn and winter ranges. The company is now planning its Christmas campaign, which it promises will be a departure from the tropical island look of the summer campaigns. Group trading director David Inglis said: “Our investment in littlewoodsdirect.com over the last few months has paid dividends. We have seen significant growth in awareness of the brand and most importantly in intention to purchase. “In addition, unique visitors to the website have increased by almost 40% so we plan on continuing with our abovethe-line investment in the brand.” M A G A Z I N E

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THE region’s creative sector is robust enough to withstand the credit crunch crisis but needs to be flexible to cope with tough times ahead, according to a key industry support body. Kevin McManus, director of industry support body Merseyside ACME, said the industry could not avoid the effects of the world economic crisis and said agencies he worked for in the property sector had noticed a downturn. But he said the small firms that make up the bedrock of the region’s creative economy should be flexible enough to cope with the changing climate and with changing demand from clients. He said: “The creative sector will probably withstand this better than a lot of other sectors because the smart businesses aren’t tied to just a couple of key clients and they tend to be micro-enterprises and therefore flexible anyway. “They’re very adaptable – and used to adapting to rapid technological and other changes in the creative sector anyway.”

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BUSINESS

Stress levels on the rise FINANCIAL CRISIS LEADS TO GLOOM AMONG NORTH WEST WORKERS. BY TONY MCDONOUGH ONE of the myths about the Great Depression of the 1930s is that scores of traders and bankers threw themselves off high-rise ledges in Wall Street, unable to cope with financial meltdown. In fact, there were only two recorded cases of that happening. However, there is little doubt the current economic climate is causing more than a few furrowed brows in the business world. This has led to the coining of a new phrase - recession stress - which, according to experts, is a real and recognisable phenomenon. Cheshire business psychologist Anita Morris, a visiting lecturer at Liverpool’s John Moore’s University said: “Recession stress is a recognised condition and is all about the influence of negativity. It can spread through a workforce in conditions like we have at the moment. “For the past year or so we’ve been bombarded with gloomy headlines about the economy and a bleak financial future. “People are listening to this doom and gloom while they drive to work then discussing crisis after crisis with colleagues and workmates and then drive home listening to more baleful news stories. “Some people are more prone to the influence of pessimism and, if this gets into a workforce, it will raise stress levels and have a negative impact on health. “From a commercial point of view, chronic recession stress will almost certainly lead to more absenteeism and a downturn in productivity. “Counselling can help but some companies invest in workplace gyms and bright and cheery canteens to help raise spirits. Research has shown that exercise is one of the best ways 84 M A G A Z I N E

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Business psychologist Anita Morris of combating stress. “Uncertainty about the future, “It is far too early to put figures on financial pressures and fears about the increase in stress reporting at this losing one’s job can send stress levels stage because it’s only three or four soaring and that can have an impact months since the effects started on health.” to kick in. We should have some real indication in the next couple of months but I believe the increase will be significant.” Stockport based occupational health expert Meena Nanavati agrees, adding that many companies were now experiencing higher than average absenteeism. She said: “Client companies are reporting an increase in absenteeism due to stress and there is a growing body of opinion that the grim financial news that has been non-stop since Northern Rock hit the headlines more than a year Occupational health expert Meena Nanavati ago, may be one cause.

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84_85 life c_networker

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THE

NETWORKER The new park area at Liverpool One

It never rains but pours for property people

SPONSORED BY

BARRY TURNBULL WEATHERS THE STORM AT CHAVASSE PARK OPENING HE sun shone intermittently through a mackerel summer sky at an elegant garden party to celebrate the reshaping of Chavasse Park at the heart of Liverpool One. Guests mingled outside a marquee while a steel drum band banged out out a few ear-bashing numbers. A pleasant summer scene until a brief squall unloading sweeping rain sent visitors scuttling for cover. Which is where I ran into one of the city’s premier estate agents who proceeded to berate the media for the current property downturn. A little harsh, I thought, as the Daily Post has been prominent in giving the oxygen of publicity to big property developments across the city for a long time. The number of free positive column inches devoted to development must have sold umpteen flats for the agents. So, when there is a downturn it is only natural that this will be reported too. However, there have been glimpses of hope in the storm-tossed property world. Glowering over Chavasse Park is the leaning tower of One Park West which is proving popular by all accounts and nearby at

T

Mann Island apartments are apparently flying off the shelves. There is oversupply in the sector and much like the credit crunch this particular chicken was bound to come home to roost sooner or later. As rain drummed away on the canvass roof of the tent, revellers munched on tasty canapĂŠs from the kitchen of the London Carriageworks, swilling it all down with glasses of Veuve Cliquot. Another property professional enjoying the hospitality was pinning hopes on Peel Holdings pulling things around with its huge regeneration plans for both the Birkenhead and Liverpool docklands. I was sceptical when these overblown plans were announced, much to the annoyance of Peel big-wigs, and the current situation has merely reinforced that. It is interesting to note that Peel is now threatening to pull out of the schemes unless the planning process is loaded in its favour. Making your excuses and leaving springs to mind. Which is what I then did, clutching my Liverpool One goody bag.

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86 Social

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THE NETWORKER

THE EVENT

COMPILED BY CAROLYN

HUGHES

WATCHING BRIEF AT PANORAMIC PARTY DAVID M Robinson Jewellers held an exclusive event for 60 guests at the Panoramic Restaurant in Liverpool to celebrate being granted the agency for Panerai watches in Merseyside. Invited guests were given the opportunity to see some never-before-seen pieces from the new collection that was launched in Geneva in April, as well as many watches from the current collection.

Jane and Phil Harris

Deborah McGovern (Liverpool Dental Spa), John Robinson (managing director, David M Robinson)

Bryan Foy (Zoo Salon), Suzanne Robinson (David M Robinson)

PRICE IS RIGHT AT WEBSITE LAUNCH TATE Liverpool was packed out for the launch of PricebyPrice.com, a new price comparison website aimed at providing full access to people with disabilities, as well as guaranteeing donations to charity for every transaction it processes. The new website opens up price comparison services to the estimated 30m people in the UK who may have problems accessing existing comparison websites. The event was hosted by ICDC, and Liverpool-based new media company Visual Position. Professor Phil Redmond, chairman of ICDC, gave guests a fascinating insight into the technology sector on Merseyside before they enjoyed a three course lunch.

Tony Hughes (ICDC) and Nigel Phillips (CDL)

L-R: Professor Phil Redmond (ICDC), Matt Johnson (Mando Group), David Warner (Visual Position), David Birchall (Cashens)

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Tom Warman (Barnardos) and Anne Fisher (RNIB)

Delegates at the PricebyPrice.com launch

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86 Social

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:emdjemdB_l[hfeeb_d8ki_d[ii I=:7JH>C:HH8AJ7L>I=7JJ?JK:; &'+'((-',))MMM$:EMDJEMDB?L;HFEEB$9EC


89 Corp ent

17/10/08

13:34

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Do you keep in touch with your family enough? Relive some cherished memories with the Official LFC Family Album – the most significant pictures described by key members of the modern Anfield family

£20

PLUS: The Asian Liverbird

£16.99

Mohammed Bhana’s sensational new book illustrating the links between the Reds and Eastern culture In shops NOW. Also available to order by calling 0845 143 0001 or by visiting www.merseyshop.com


89 Corp ent

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CORPORATE ENTERTAINMENT

Knockout night in store

SPONSORED BY

BARRY TURNBULL TOP MEAL AT RINGSIDE WHILE CATCHING ALL THE ACTION THE LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA is to host a feast of boxing next month. As well as a mouth-watering card, some lucky guests will enjoy a three course dinner with drinks, Fight fans can wine and dine while pugilists knock lumps out of each other. Twenty-five tables of 10 at £165 a head will be located ringside for the prestigious European amateur boxing championships. Included in the package is a drinks reception, three course dinner, ringside table and complimentary parking. Organiser Carl Bradshaw said: “This is a rare opportunity for boxing fans to enjoy exclusive ringside corporate hospitality at one of Europe’s leading sporting events. Guests will gain early entrance to the venue prior to the event to enjoy a reception drink. A superb three course meal will be served whilst guests savour the unique atmosphere.”

Preliminary bouts at Greenbank Sports Academy will precede the finals event on Saturday November 15 when 11 titles will be contested. The event is also to be televised. As well as the corporate hospitality section there is an additional 5,000 seats available. Mr Bradshaw went on: “Everyone is aware of the city’s rich heritage as far as boxing is concerned so we are looking forward to a real knockout night.”

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Platinum Ringside package £165 per person + VAT • • • • • • • •

VIP ticketing and security wristband Drinks reception Ringside table seating Three course dinner Complmentary drinks Waitress service Free parking Boxing legends in attendance

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THE NETWORKER THE LIST - DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

THE BT CONVENTION CENTRE EVENTS Saturday, November 1 The National Trust is holding its annual general meeting at the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool. The event, which will be broadcast on the internet, will also include informal surgery sessions and opportunities to meet Trust staff, council members and trustees, listen to guest speakers and get involved in debates. Monday, November 3 Wednesday, November 5 WaterfrontExpo, in its sixth year, is the only international event covering global waterfront regeneration and development. The event, which has the theme “connecting people with the waterfront”, attracts an international audience that includes city and municipal authorities, port authorities, developers and investors. It will include high-level municipal delegations visiting the event from Liverpool’s sister cities of Shanghai and San Francisco. Monday, November 10 Wednesday, November 12 The British Council of Shopping Centres is bringing together 3,000 people from the retail property industry at its 25th anniversary conference. Its keynote speakers include Lord Heseltine, Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, and Next and George at Asda founder George Davies. Wednesday, November 26 Friday, November 28 The fifth annual conference of the British Academy of Audiology will feature renowned speakers on paediatric audiology, rehabilitative audiology, balance assessment and rehabilitation. 90 M A G A Z I N E

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Tuesday, October 28 Restaurant Bar & Grill’s second ladies’ lunch for businesswomen is from 12pm-2pm. Tickets are £28, which includes a glass of wine/soft drink and a two-course meal and coffee. To book, contact Helen Bamford on 0151 236 6703.

FEATURED EVENT

Wednesday, October 29 The BT Convention Centre is the venue for Liverpool Commercial’s networking event Property Connect from 6pm. For details, call Nicola Rowlands at Ubiquity on 0151 703 0917. The International Centre for Digital Content at Liverpool Innovation Park is holding its latest i-start networking event. Visit www.icdc.org.uk for more details. A seminar on understanding business finance will be held at Aintree Racecourse. The free event is from 9am-4pm and includes lunch. For more information contact June Davies on 0151 224 1891 or e-mail june.davies@liverpoolchamber.org.uk Thursday, October 30 Downtown Liverpool in Business is presenting a two-hour insight into the Shanghai Expo 2010, highlighting the benefits of Liverpool twinning with Shanghai and the prospects the Expo offers the local business community. The event is at the Radisson SAS, Old Hall Street, Liverpool. For more information call 0151 227 1633. Tuesday, November 4 Networking group Business 9am is holding Connection, its informal networking event, at Room, Castle Street, from 9am-11am, free to members. Non-members should contact 07590 710 519 or liverpool@business9am.co.uk. Wednesday, November 5 November’s Liverpool Chamber of Commerce platform lunch will take place at the Thistle Hotel, Chapel Street, Liverpool, beginning at 12.15pm with a two course lunch. Cost is £23 members / £28 non-members. To book, contact Sue Platt or Melissa Bush on 0151 227 1234 or e-mail events@liverpoolchamber.org.uk. L I V E R P O O L

Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC

Thursday, November 20 The director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, is the guest speaker at the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner. He became director general in 2004 and has steered the BBC through its 10-yearly Charter Review process, securing licence fee funding for the BBC for the next six years. Under his leadership the BBC has launched new platform trials in on-demand programming including the on-line iPlayer and podcasting, as well as mobile and high definition television. At the dinner, former Chamber of Commerce chairman, John Entwhistle, will present an award for the most innovative piece of commissioned public art in the city. To book, contact the Chamber events team on 0151 227 1234 or e-mail events@liverpoolchamber.org.uk Thursday, November 6 An interactive course on successful selling techniques is being hosted by Blue Orchid. The free event, from 10am-4pm, is at the Cotton Exchange, Old Hall Street, Liverpool. To book, call 0845 0170 896 or e-mail d.allman@theblueorchid.co.uk. Sefton Chamber of Commerce is holding its monthly meeting at the Ramada Plaza, Southport. For more information, call 01704 531710.

0151 227 1234 or e-mail events@liverpoolchamber.org.uk Thursday, November 20 The ‘Livercool’ awards, organised by Downtown Liverpool in Business, will return this November, at the Crowne Plaza hotel. For more information call 0151 227 1633.

Tuesday, November 18 The Institute of Chartered Accountants is holding a roadshow event, Microsoft Access – the Best Excel Add-On, at the Ramada Encore from 2.30pm-5.30pm, Haydock. For more details call 01908 248159.

Wednesday, November 26 Business support agency Blue Orchid is holding a workshop on sales techniques and materials, covering how to get your sales pitch right, target customers the right way and get the right kind of material to promote your business. The free event, from 6pm-9pm, is at Stobart Stadium Halton, Widnes. To book, call 0845 0170 896 or email d.allman@theblueorchid.co.uk.

Wednesday, November 19 Guy Butler, Grosvenor’s senior development manager, is the guest speaker at Lunch@Liverpool. The event will take place at Osqa Restaurant, Oldham Street, Liverpool. To book, contact Sue Platt or Melissa Bush on

Wednesday, December 3 Networking group Business 9am is holding Connection, its informal networking event, at Room, Castle Street, from 9am-11am, free to members. Non-members should contact 07590 710 519 or liverpool@business9am.co.uk.

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Business L UNCH

THE NETWORKER

SPONSORED BY

THE MONRO BARRY TURNBULL LUNCHES WITH FUSION 21 CHIEF DAVE NEILSON AT THE MONRO

Gastro grub gets thumbs up The Monro 24 Sir Thomas Street L1 6JB 0151 236 1366 The bill included food, bottled water, tea, coffee and glass of wine

Total: £33.05

AN angry squawk and furious flapping gave my my first inkling that I was under attack. A flock of gulls wheeled menacingly overhead while one hurtled towards me forcing me to take cover under a car. It was a rather frightening Hitchcockesque experience that took place many years ago in the side streets of Spanish City, a funfair in the faded north-east resort of Whitley bay. Yes, even the seagulls are tough up there. The reason I mention this is because I was strolling nonchalantly down Duke Street with a faint breeze ruffling my eyebrows when I noticed a banner outside the Monro pub proclaiming the arrival of seagull burgers. Thankfully it turned out to be some sort of marketing jape connected with the re-opening of the gastro-pub after a makeover. The Monro used to be a down-at-heel boozer but was converted into a dining pub some years ago and has just relaunched after refurbishment.

TopTIPPLE

SHAKEN NOT STIRRED...

Ian Clarke of Liverpool merchants the Purple Wine Company chooses varieties for when the nights are drawing in. Autumn Wines As the seasons change our tastes for wine often change too. I find that as summer disappears (if it ever arrived), I look for wines with a little more flavour and body than the lighter fruitier styles that I like in the summer. I have chosen the following three wines for that reason.

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I’m pleased to report that it does exactly what it says on the tin: good ingredients, well cooked and excellent value at £8.95 for a two course lunch. My fellow diner was Dave Neilson, chief executive of Fusion 21, a procurement agency that works on behalf of a number of local housing associations. He explained how they operate as we scanned the modest but mouth-watering menu. Some years ago he hit on the idea that housing associations could save money by sharing the costs of materials required for repair and maintenance of tenants homes. In addition, those savings go towards creating new jobs for the long-term unemployed. Neilson said: “The associations used to do their own things, ordering stuff for new bathrooms, roofs etc, but now it’s done in a much more effective way. The other benefit is getting people back to work and to date we have helped more than 500 people do just that.” As he talked enthusiastically about the business I sampled a starter of stewed rabbit with garlic, rosemary and borlotti beans with tagliatelle. I’ve hankered after rabbit for a

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Chateau Anniche Blanc 2007 AC Bordeaux: Price - £6.55 Most people immediately think of red wine when the prestigious wine region of Bordeaux is mentioned. However, the dry white wines of this region are very worthy of note and can be excellent value. This wine is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc but the inclusion in the blend of 10 % Semillon grapes softens the acidity in the wine and makes a balanced and delicious dry white. Ideal as an aperitif or with seafood or white meats.


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Inside the Monro while, so this made a pleasant change and was flavoursome, comfort food. Dave’s Hoi Sin duck roll with salad and sweet chilli sauce also got the thumbs up. Fusion 21 requires its contractors to offer permanent bricklaying, joinery and other types of skilled jobs to local long term unemployed people. Neilson added: “It’s a successful model and I’m convinced it can work in other sectors, such as health or education. We’ve been speaking to the government about this and also other regions around the country are wanting to know more about it so we are looking at a roll out of the model, which will mean opening offices elsewhere.” The Monro was proving to be busy with its

why not try...

smart, compact dining area at the rear of the premises filling up nicely. My main course of pan roasted pork chop was smothered in Dijon mustard and served with a new potato and white pudding compote with a wild garlic and cider sauce. The slab of pork was the star of the show, lounging on its bed of potato with the exquisite sauce thrown over like a comfortable eiderdown. Delicious. Meanwhile, my companion was relishing a good, old fashioned plate of lightly battered fish, crispy chips and morish, mushy peas. Can’t go wrong there. It’s no wonder the Monro has won a host of awards. The place is a shining example of one of the few places delivering what it promises. Excellent.

a dry rose that has great weight of fruit and a solid backbone, not often found in rose wines. It has delightful fresh raspberry and strawberry fruits and a clean refreshing finish. Perfect to drink on its own or with white meats, pasta, cheese etc.

Las Condes Cabernet Rose 2007 – Casablanca,Chile Price - £5.99 A modern winery that combines the most up to date wine technology with some of the oldest vineyard sites in the region. The end product is high quality and innovative wines like this Cabernet Rose. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes this is

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www.dailypost.co.uk

MOTOR REVIEW

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FREELANDER 2 TD4 AUTO

Rock and roll at the off-road test centre BARRY TURNBULL FINDS THE FREELANDER 2’S AS NIMBLE AS A MOUNTAIN GOAT SITTING in a vehicle on a virtually verticle gradient with the ground well below you is unnerving. I felt comforted by the fact that my tormentors hadn’t issued a helmet so I assumed the chances of crashing down to Earth were slim. I was at the Land Rover Experience at Halewood, a custom-made test track to showcase the capabilities of the company’s 4x4 vehicles. A few weeks earlier, I had borrowed a Halewood-manufactured Freelander 2, but did not really get an opportunity to put it through its paces. Some time later, I happened to be sat next to plant director Thomas Klein at dinner. He told me about the test track. Not long after I was headed for the venue on a day when black clouds rolled overhead and raindrops beat an end-of-summer refrain on the car’s roof. The test centres have been developed so that prospective owners of the Freelander, Land Rover and Range Rover models can experience for themselves what they are capable of. At Halewood there is rocky terrain, ramps, river crossings and a steeply angled curved wall to negotiate.

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Instructor Jamie Ball ran through how to operate the gears for tricky terrain maneouvering and invited me into the driving seat. I wouldn’t have dreamed of negotiating some huge slabs of rock without his help but the Freelander was as sure-footed as a mountain goat. Moving steadily on to the rocks, at one point we were perched motionless on two wheels thanks to electronic traction control and anti-lock brakes. We also moved effortlessly through a river and then up to to the ‘wall of death’ where the vehicle hung at an absurd angle without toppling over. The technology in this model has improved considerably on the original Freelander. Its gradient release and roll stability features are exemplary. You can switch between various road conditons such as mud and snow thanks to the terrain response system. My enthusiastic instructor was keen to point out that these abilities can be applied to everyday driving too, helping to provide an extremely safe vehicle. And by the way, as for gas guzzling, all carbon emissions are offset by the business.

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THE NETWORKER

Freelander 2 TD4 Auto PRICE: From £22,330

COMBINED MPG: 37.7

MECHANICAL: 160bhp, 2.2 litre, 6spd transmission

INSURANCE GROUP: 13 CO2 EMISSIONS: 194g/km

MAX SPEED: 112mph

BiK RATING: 25%

0 - 60mph: 10.9secs

WARRANTY: 3-year, unlimited mileage

IT’S GREAT ON THE ROAD TOO Land Rover is at pains to point out that Freelander 2 is not just great off-road but is a quality, premium motor for the road user. The company has certainly attempted to pull out all the stops with improved performance, better economy, enhanced handling and a more comfortable interior. The TD4 Auto offers a snub, chiselled look and is two inches longer than the original version. Inside there is a commanding drive position and comfortable cabin with features such as a keyless starter button, bi-xenon headlamps, rain sensing wipers and parking distance control. It also has a colour touch tone screen and DVD satellite system with Dolby surround sound. Luggage space has been increased by 38%, putting it at the head of its class.

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SPONSORED BY

E XECUTIVE T RAVEL BY BARRY TURNBULL

Stunning setting brings business boom WELSH HOTEL WANTS TO DRUM UP CITY TRADE Liverpool’s BT Convention Centre is the catalyst behind a spectacular boom in business and conference traffic. Much of the trade being generated is from outside the area, although there is a healthy stream of bookings from local companies too. However, when it comes to arranging meetings, conferences or away days, many Merseyside organisations look at other locations. One increasing trend is to opt for retreats in more relaxing, out-of-the-way 96 M A G A Z I N E

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places as opposed to city centre venues. A two year old hotel and conference centre standing in the shadow of Conwy castle is one such venue aiming to grab a slice of the lucrative Merseyside market. The luxury Quay Hotel and Spa at Deganwy, North Wales, overlooks Conwy marina with the castle, a World Heritage site, looming large in the background. It’s a stunning setting that sells itself and is not much more than an hour’s

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drive from Liverpool. The hotel’s increasing attractiveness as a business location is demonstrated by the fact that income has leapt from £1.2m to £4.3m this year. Manager Tony O’Reilly said: “The exclusive corporate facilities combine the latest hi-tech business amenities with excellent service, ample parking and first rate transport links with Liverpool only 62 miles and Manchester 81 miles away and it’s only three and half hours by train from London Euston.”


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Businessman Alan Waldron invested £14m in the site with the intention of creating an upmarket business and weddings location. There are four conference rooms with the latest technology audiovisual and communications facilites, capable of hosting from between 60 and 120 delegates. There is also a wi-fi capability and the internet can be accessed via each bedroom’s flat screen TV. The hotel has 74 bedrooms, many

with spectacular views. Guests can also take advantage of the pool, gym and spa facilities. The Quay has already won a host of awards and is currently the Welsh hotel of the year. The restaurant on the first floor also overlooks the marina and is a great place to be at sunset. Although the food was generally good, some of it is not necessarily value-for money, as I mentioned in the customer questionaire. In particular, the M A G A Z I N E

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£10 asked for a starter of three scallops was a bit pricey. Day delegate rates start from £50 per delegate including VAT and a 24 hour delegate rate is from £150 per delegate including VAT. Enjoy luxury overnight accommodation in a Classic room, breakfast, dinner as well as main meeting room hire, mid morning tea and coffee, delicious two course luncheon and afternoon tea and coffee. L I V E R P O O L

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SPONSORED BY

NOTWORKER

Laura Doyle with tips on how to survive the downturn

Free lunch in the crunch WHEN the going gets tough the tough get going and there’s nothing like a good old fashioned credit crunch to separate the men from the boys. Quentin Crisp, flamboyant writer, actor and darling of the London networking scene, never turned down an invitation and always did his best to sing for his supper by regaling his hosts with wonderful stories. Swanning around Soho, surviving on guile and wit, he never let a minor detail like being skint get in the way of charming his way to the top and neither should we. Now is not the time to look like your struggling, cut back on your entertaining budget or save up for a rainy day – its already pouring, so get out there and show them that you’re singing in the rain. Forget an exit strategy, all you need to get through the recession is a clean suit, a few good jokes and the balls to walk into a launch party or networking event whether you are invited or not. As the Naked Civil Servant himself discovered, provided you can exist on peanuts and champagne, you can quite easily live by going to every cocktail party and networking event in the city. While everyone else is tightening their belts, the real networking pros are loosening theirs to make room for more canapés. You see, it’s actually easy to keep up appearances and economise in difficult times. I find an oversized handbag is perfect for looking 98 M A G A Z I N E

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bang on trend and storing those secretly swiped vol-au-vents for lunch the next day. As for singing for you supper, there are a number of guides you can turn to for inspiration: there’s the “Armada book of jokes” for those who prefer the humorous approach or Dale Carnegie’s 1936 classic “How to win friends and influence people”, for the post modern networker. Personally, I find courage in the words of Rudyard Kipling, writer, poet and schmoozer of the British Empire: If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And - which is more - you’ll be a networker my son.

In the next edition of LDP Business… We take a closer look at Merseyside creative industries sector. From the film makers to the web designers to the marketeers, we focus on the entrepreneurs who have the imagination to make a real contribution to the regional economy. Also in the next edition we will examine Peel Ports’ plans to expand the amount of industrial space available on the waterfront. P O S T


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think differently about the way you work in Liverpool

Flexible offices from just

£99 per person per month*

- Fully equipped offices walk in, start work - Drop-in business facilities stay productive - Meeting rooms by the hour - Business solutions for every budget

New Regus centre now open at Exchange Flags, Liverpool City Centre

*Terms & conditions apply. Visit regus.co.uk/terms for more details.

visit regus.co.uk/liverpool or call 0870 880 8484


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LDP Business, Issue 5, November/December  

LDP Business, Issue 5, November/December. A Liverpool Daily Post magazine.

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