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2 post business news

Thursday, August 15, 2013

MSIF funding deal sets Wirral Cycles on road to success VENTURE capital provider Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF) has helped Andrew Meadows saddle up on the road to success. Wirral Cycles will hire bikes to tourists and daytrippers to allow them to explore the coast using established cycle routes. Mr Meadows said: “I came up with the idea after a visit to Berlin where there was a booming trade in cycle rentals, despite it being a fairly cold climate.” A £2,000 loan from MSIF’s Start Up Loans Programme has helped New Brighton Promenade-based Wirral Cycles buy 20 bikes which can be used by the hour or on a daily basis. The bikes are ‘beach cruisers’ which differ from the usual mountain or road bikes. Tandems, tagalongs and child seats are all available. The business has been set up as a social enterprise and will reinvest all its profits back into the company as well as helping local charities. Mr Meadows said: “Next year I want to have a presence in Hoylake and West Kirby while the Open is on.”

Wirral Cycles founder Andrew Meadows, left, with MSIF investment director Paul Humphray

Nominations open for 2013 social enterprise awards by Tony McDonough POST BUSINESS STAFF

tony.mcdonough@liverpool.com

SOCIAL enterprises across the Liverpool city region are being invited to enter the second annual awards for their sector. Social Enterprise Network (SEN), an umbrella group for social and community businesses in Merseyside, has announced that nominations for the Powerful Together Awards 2013 are now open. The awards, which will be presented on September 19 at a ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall, will provide an opportunity for social and community enterprises to be recognised for their work. They will recognise “exceptional” businesses, organisations and people from across the city region that have

provided “significant economic, social and environmental benefits” to their community. In total, 15 awards are up for grabs that will pay tribute to those within the social enterprise sector, as well as those outside the sector, that have made significant contributions towards its development. SEN chief executive, Rosie Jolly, said: “Once again we are delighted to honour the leading social enterprise sector we have in this region. “The social businesses within our region have always taken a proactive lead in developing the sector, which has become an example of best practice for the rest of the UK. “They have created new business models, and new ways of thinking and working that have been successfully replicated time and again. “These awards will showcase the very best businesses and individuals

we have, as well as publicly shining the spotlight on a sector that provides untold social, environmental and economic benefits for us all.” Nominations are now being taken for the Powerful Together Awards across 15 categories with 12 open solely for social enterprises The categories are Community Enterprise Award; Rising Star Award; Creativity Award; Green Social Enterprise Champion; Healthy Environment Award; Growth Award; Social Advocate Award; Entrepreneur of the Year Award; Arts and Cultural Award; Best Example of Collaboration, Effective Partnership or Consortium; Behaviour Changed Award and Members Choice Award. Closing date for nominations is midnight on Friday, August 16, with the shortlist announced on Wednesday, September 4. Log onto www.sen.org.uk

High street’s best sales for 18 months NORTH West shops are enjoying a bumper summer thanks to a boost in consumer spending. Retail sales in the region were up 4.5% last month compared to

July 2012. Analysis showed pubs, garden centres, women’s fashion outlets, restaurants and DIY shops were among the big gainers, but furniture sellers, electrical retailers and

department stores all saw sales fall. Barclaycard, based at Wavertree Technology Park, attributed the rise in spending to the summer heatwave, British sporting successes

and the birth of Prince George. Growth in online spending surprisingly slowed in July, but high street spending reached its highest level for 18 months.

Maritime firms are urged to seek help BIRKENHEAD-BASED Mersey Maritime Group is urging small businesses to access free EU-funded support designed to help owner-managers capitalise on the region’s maritime boom. Mersey Maritime chief executive Jim Teasdale said billions of pounds of investment are being pumped into the region to expand Merseyside’s port facilities and infrastructure, bringing “tremendous opportunities” for growth. And now firms with maritime links in trade, logistics or services can qualify for free support through the new Maritime Sector Development Programme to drive expansion. The programme, backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), offers a broad range of support in areas including training, recruitment, skills audits and apprenticeships. Further areas of focus include business development, business collaboration and networking events as well as targeted introductions. Mr Teasdale said: “The programme which is run by Mersey Maritime and supported by ERDF presents a terrific opportunity to the region’s small businesses. It offers expert, bespoke advice and support to firms which want to take full advantage.”

POST BUSINESS DAILY A revolution in the way business people get their news Rosie Jolly of SEN

Jobs growth CONFIDENCE on the jobs front is at its highest level since the recession five years ago, research reveals. A survey of more than 1,000 managers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed a prediction of jobs growth for the sixth quarter in a row.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

news

Plea for business leaders to share aspirations BUSINESS leaders are invited to be photographed sharing their hopes for the communities in which they live. The Community Foundation for Merseyside is working on a project called Vital Signs, a report which aims to show philanthropists and companies wanting to donate money which parts of the

region are most in need of help. Views are being gathered for the guide, which will also feature facts about the communities making up Merseyside, in a survey currently underway ahead of the report, which is published on October 1. Cathy Elliott, chief executive of Community Founda-

tion for Merseyside, said: “We’re hoping business leaders take part and tell us what they think the key issues facing their communities are.” The foundation is also asking business leaders to write down an aspiration for their community on a white board and be photographed holding this for the Vital Signs web-

site. Philip Rooney, a partner at law firm DLA Piper, has already contributed and wrote: “Raising aspirations and improving skills are the keys to the city’s future success”. To take part in the consultation go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/msidevital signs and for more information call 0151 232 2444.

Leaders to support those who are in care Philip Rooney

Developer plans £15m hotel for George Henry Lee site EXCLUSIVE by Tony McDonough POST BUSINESS STAFF

tony.mcdonough@liverpool.com

PART of one of Liverpool’s best-known retail buildings – the former George Henry Lee department store – is to be converted into an upmarket hotel. Birmingham developer Gethar Ventures has applied for planning permission to turn the upper floors in the Church Street side of the building into a 150-room apart-hotel (apartment-style rooms). The “four star-plus” facility will cover more than 50,000 sq ft over six upper floors and the proposals also include plans for a restaurant on the top floor. The end value of the scheme will be £15m and it is expected to create around 80 construction and end-use jobs. The landmark building houses retailers on the ground floor, including TK Maxx and Schuh, and is currently part of the Grosvenor Developments property portfolio. Gethar is in the final stages of purchasing the site for an undisclosed sum. This will be the first project in the North West for Birmingham-based firm Gethar, which has investments in two other hotel projects in its home city. Anthony McCourt, director of Gethar Ventures, told Post Business: “This is an iconic and much-loved building within the city centre and is ideally suited to transformation into a quality apart-hotel proposition. “It is a superb location just minutes from the major train links, so should appeal especially to business travellers on stays of more than a couple of days. “Liverpool is such a vibrant, exciting city and was a key-destination city for our business to develop and set up stall here. “The project should help create 80 construction and end-use jobs, so is

BUSINESS and civic leaders are taking part in an event to raise awareness of young people in care across Merseyside. The Not a Fashion Show event will take place this Saturday, August 17, at 2pm in Church Street in Liverpool city centre and is being run in conjunction with City Central BID. NYAS – England’s largest independent provider of advocacy services to vulnerable children and young people – is currently recruiting people who “display their individuality” to walk a Red Carpet in Liverpool city centre to music of their own choice. NYAS will invite dignitaries and members of the general public to sign a pledge stating that they will support our “looked after” young people. Bill Addy, CEO of Liverpool BID Company, said: “I’m delighted to be part of Not a Fashion Show and wholeheartedly support the campaign. As a society we have a duty to ensure everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and promote the fact that we can all make a difference.” Young people aged 16 and over will also take part. They will wear their own clothes to demonstrate their own individuality and walk to music of their choice.

POST Anthony McCourt, director of Gethar Ventures, pictured outside the Church Street building great news for the city. “Twenty-odd years ago Liverpool really struggled in terms of hotels. “Clearly, the Adelphi was probably the most famous, but it was only one of about eight others. “While there has been a flurry of activity in the budget end of the sector, with a number of finished projects recently around the Convention

Centre, the city still lacks rooms in the mid-range and above. “Liverpool is focusing on increasing its business conference trade, with operators saying they just can’t lay their hands on enough rooms. “This is why this scheme has such promise.” Grosvenor acquired the George Henry Lee building as part of the

City region optimism on the rise MORE than three quarters of businesses in the Liverpool city region believe the economy is now stronger than 12 months ago. A survey conducted by Downtown Liverpool in Business showed that 77% of

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those interviewed had seen an upturn since 2012, while almost two thirds reported that their business has performed better. There is also a brighter outlook for the future, with 73% of businesses confirming

that they were approaching the coming year with renewed confidence. Frank McKenna, chief executive of Downtown Liverpool in Business, said: “These figures are very encouraging.”

wheeling and dealing involved in its Liverpool One project. It took possession of the Lee’s site in a deal which saw former tenant John Lewis become the flagship store at Liverpool One. Other parts of the building are occupied by a number of retailers including Rapid Discount Outlet and Tesco.

BUSINESS DAILY A revolution in the way business people get their news

Gender study MOST people say it does not matter if their boss is a man or a woman, although there is a huge difference between qualities, according to a new study. A survey of more than 2,500 adults by women’s fashion chain Hobbs found that women managers were said to be better organised and good at communications.

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4 post business big feature

Alistair Houghton Enterprising zones that give us reasons to be cheerful EVERY so often, I like to pay a visit to Daresbury to top up my optimism levels. The gloomy pall that has hung over our region since the financial crash of 2007 is taking some time to shift. Unemployment is going down and people are just beginning to talk more positively, but you don’t have to go far from Liverpool’s buzzing commercial district – just to London Road on a gloomy weekday, say – to see that Liverpool’s economy isn’t thriving just yet. Yet not too far away in Daresbury – proudly part of Liverpool city region, remember, even though it’s in rural Cheshire – there are dozens of enthusiastic people trying to grow their own businesses or help others to grow theirs. On my most recent visit to Daresbury Innovation Centre, I met several entrepreneurs whose small yet hi-tech engineering firms are helping to keep British industry moving. Michael Thomas of Peak42 , for example, was– the subject of my profile interview in last week’s Post. He is helping firms from PepsiCo to GlaxoSmithKline to make their plant more efficient. And I’ll be writing about more of those innovative entrepreneurs in the weeks to come. Across the road sits the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory, which has an enterprising history of its own. Its future looked uncertain when the Government decided that the next generation synchrotron – an ultra-powerful light source – would be built in Oxford instead of Cheshire. But the campus, led by Prof Colin Whitehouse, reinvented itself as an innovation hub, where hi-tech firms could learn from some of the UK’s top scientists. And so, as you’ll read on pages 18 and 19, it boasts the UK’s fastest supercomputer – and it’s being used by businesses large and small. On my visit, laboratory head Prof Susan Smith showed me the new Versatile Electron Linear

Accelerator (VELA). That device, shielded by 2m-thick concrete walls, has been built not just for pure science, but also so companies can use it to develop new technologies in areas from water treatment to security scanning. The ITAC labs, led by the dynamic Paul Vernon, allow firms access to lab equipment they could otherwise not afford. John Leake, of STFC, will enthusiastically introduce any visitor to any of the 100 or so firms in the innovation centre. And with more growth plans in the pipeline, particularly now the campus has won Enterprise Zone status, Daresbury is a place where anything seems possible. You can find similar levels of creativity and optimism at The Heath, in Runcorn. Halton despaired when ICI closed its research base there – but the science park that replaced it now employs more than ICI ever did there, with dozens of entrepreneurs mingling with reps from international companies who have made The Heath their home. And in Liverpool there are smaller pockets of innovation, such as DoES Liverpool, where technical tinkerers are playing with “internet of things” technology that could transform the way we use online information. You’d have to be a particularly stubborn breed of curmudgeon not to be inspired – or at least intrigued – by clocks that tell you where you are or coffee machines that tell you when they’re empty, no matter where in the world you might be. And whenever I go to Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, as I did yesterday, I always leave with a smile. You can barely throw a hand-made sourdough loaf in Jamaica Street without hitting an enthusiastic creative and digital entrepreneur. Only time will tell if any of these clusters will bring forth the next Google or GlaxoSmithKline. But, if they do nothing else, they show that the spirit of enterprise is alive and well in the city region.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cains drought c Brewing may restart for the International Festival of Business in 2014. Exclusive by Alistair Houghton

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HERE may be no new Cains beer for months – but the owners of the historic brewery and brands have pledged to get the beer flowing again by next year’s International Festival of Business in Liverpool. Brewing stopped at the Stanhope Street site in May after owners the Dusanj brothers revealed that their own-label brewing and canning business was no longer profitable and that their current brewery was, therefore, too big to operate. Since then, Cains draught beer has run out across the region while stocks of bottles are now running out. Sudarghara and Ajmail Dusanj said they would like to find another brewer to brew Cains while they continued with plans to develop a £50m “Brewery Village”, including a hotel, food hall and smaller “craft brewery”, at Stanhope Street. Now Sudarghara Dusanj has told the Post that they are focusing on setting up their new smaller brewery, rather than on outsourcing the beer – so Liverpool may go more than a year without seeing any new Cains ales. But he also said that the company would look to get that new brewery up and running earlier than originally planned – and in time for next year’s IFB showcase in Liverpool, which runs from June to July 2014. He said: “We’re working hard and really starting to move on our craft brewery on site. “We’ll have the application (for the brewery village scheme) back in with the city council by the end of this month or the first week of September. “I’ve just been to Germany to look at really modern craft brewing equipment for Cains. It will brew all sorts of beer – milds, stouts, lagers and ales. “That’s what we have already (at the existing brewery) but it’s too big. “We’re planning to have the brewery up and brewing beer by next year’s International Festival of Business. “That’s the goal – I’d like to have the brewery on our site by this time next year. “The IFB is a good time to showcase a local business.” He added: “We will be brewing Cains on a smaller scale.” And Mr Dusanj said he had decided against rushing Cains beers back into production with another brewer. “What we didn’t want to do is just start getting it brewed, just like that,” he said. “We have a great brand. We didn’t want to damage it. “When we start brewing the beer, we want it to be spot-on.” But, while outsourcing Cains is not a priority, Mr Dusanj did not rule out getting Cains brewed earlier if a deal could be done. He said: “We have talked to a couple of brewers. If we can do something quicker and keep the quality, that would be great.”

I

RISHMAN Robert Cain moved to Liverpool in 1844 and bought an existing brewery in Stanhope Street in 1858. In 1887 he began rebuilding the site, ultimately transforming it into the red-brick giant that still dominates the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool to this day. Cain died in 1907 and a decade later his old business merged with Walkers of Warrington. The Stanhope Street site was sold to another famous Liverpool brewer, Higsons, whose name can still be seen carved onto the building. In 1991, after the building had passed through the hands of Boddingtons and Whitbread, it was taken over by the Danish Brewery Group and was renamed Robert Cain & Co. Eleven years later, in 2002, it was taken over by the Dusanj family. The brothers had ambitious plans for the business. In 2004 they launched its first lager and in 2007 they took Cains onto the stock market with the £37m reverse takeover of pubs company Honeycombe Leisure. The move increased the size of the pub’s estate tenfold, and the brewery was soon as busy as it had ever been.

‘It’s a great brand. We didn’t want to damage it’

But the company was soon hit by a triple whammy as the smoking ban hit pub sales, consumer confidence was hit by the recession and commodity costs rose. Cains Beer Company collapsed into administration in August 2008, with debts of £50m. Weeks later, the Dusanj brothers, who still owned the brewery building and several Cains pubs, bought the business back from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The revived brewing business, RC Brewery, continued to post losses amid the recession. The majority of the brewery’s output was brewed under contract for supermarkets. But that business saw its margins squeezed amid competition from newer plants at home and overseas. The brewery lost a major contract last October and then saw its biggest single customer halve its order at the start of this year. In May, Cains suspended all production at the brewery and axed 38 jobs. In a letter to staff, Sudarghara Dusanj said RC Brewery was “no longer economically viable or sustainable” following those contract losses. The existing brewery is far too big for the production of Cains beers alone. The RC Brewery business has now


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

could last for months Sudarghara Dusanj hopes to reopen a brewery on the Cains site by next June’s International Festival for Business

The Cains complex, Stanhope Street, could be turned into a ‘brewery village’

Another city landmark to be filled with beer as brewery uses festivals for route to growth been wound up following a successful petition by HM Revenue and Customs. But the Dusanj brothers say its travails have not affected wider plans for the Brewery Village, which were revealed in April. If it goes ahead, the original Grade II-listed building will be restored to include a delicatessen-style food hall, digital studios and independent shops. A sky bar will be opened on the roof. Stanhope Street, which runs through the seven-acre site but has been closed to traffic for years, will be opened up to create a “market street” environment for visitors. Mr Dusanj said the new Cains brewery he hopes to open next year will be erected in a warehouse on the Cains site. That part of the site is earmarked for housing, but that work is not due to start until the third and final phase of the brewery village project – meaning the brewery can keep operating even while any other building work goes ahead. Mr Dusanj explained: “Things like the supermarket and the hotel are in phase one and two. They are the key drivers (of the project).”

The new Cains plant would, Mr Dusanj said, be a tenth of the size of the giant plant now sitting unused. He added: “We have a million-hectolitre brewery. We don’t need a million-hectolitre brewery.” Mr Dusanj said English Heritage had given positive feedback on his plans for the main brewery building, much of which had long been unused as work had migrated to other parts of the site. He celebrated more good news last week after flagship city centre pub Doctor Duncan’s was reopened. It was closed by its landlord Neptune last month after a dispute between it and pub operator Hoylake Inns, which is run by the Dusanj brothers. Mr Dusanj said: “We’re very pleased to see it open. It’s an important pub for us and an important part of Cains’ future strategy.” And, while it may also have run out of Cains ales on draught, the Brewery Tap in Stanhope Street is also still going strong. Mr Dusanj added: “The supermarket arm has been the difficult part of our business. But the pubs have always been profitable.”

‘Really starting to move on our craft brewery’

CAINS’ young rival Liverpool Organic Brewery is using beer festivals to promote its brand and drive growth. The Kirkdale brewery was founded in 2008 by Mark Hensby and head brewer Karl Critchley. Its beers include several named after “Heroes of Liverpool”, including Joseph Williamson and Kitty Wilkinson. In 2010, the fledgling firm held its first Waterloo Beer Festival, at the landmark Old Christ Church. It proved such a hit that Liverpool Organic is now running two such events each year. And next month, Mr Hensby and his team will hold heir biggest event yet – a festival at St George’s Hall they hope will attract more than 5,000 people. The event will run from Thursday, September 26 to Sunday, September 29 – but the Friday and Saturday night sessions have already sold out. Drinkers will be able to choose from up to 300 beers from across the UK, as well as

St George’s Hall 20 Liverpool Organic ales. It will feature three morning and three afternoon sessions in the Hall, as well as an all-day session on Sunday. Mr Hensby said last week: “Demand across all four days has surpassed expectations and we have been thrilled with the response from the Merseyside region and beyond. “Friday night is now sold out and both Saturday sessions are not far behind. “There is clearly a strong appetite for experiencing quality-produced, locally-sourced beers and ciders. “A large number of custom-

ers come from around the UK, with some even travelling from as far away as Europe and the US. “We have held a number of successful festivals in Waterloo and we also have one coming up at The Black E, but St George’s Hall represents a whole new level and this will certainly be our largest event to date. “However, our visitors can rest assured that beer resources won’t run dry and we will certainly have enough supply on tap to keep serving well beyond Sunday.” In the absence of Cains, Liverpool Organic has become the city’s biggest brewer. In 2011 it took over Merseyside’s oldest microbrewery, Cambrinus, and still brews beers under that brand using founder John Aspinall’s recipes. But Liverpool boasts several other successful breweries, including Liverpool One Brewery in Vauxhall Road, the nearby Liverpool Craft Beer Co, and Wapping Brewery beneath the Baltic Fleet pub.


6 post business wealth management

Thursday, August 15, 2013

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Workers’ migration shifting balances throughout Europe market analysis

by Mike Taylor

LIVERPOOL OFFICE OF CHARLES STANLEY

EXPECTATIONS across Europe this month that the recession will end this quarter and that markets will return to normal should be greeted with some suspicion, though if true would be welcome news for the millions of unemployed Spaniards, French, Portuguese, etc. It would be churlish for me to suggest that the marginal improvements and beats we saw in the summer PMIs (Purchasing Managers Index) in France and Italy may not be sustained if the sheer miserableness of the economic reality of the Euro is re-awakened. The IMF agrees, warning of long term French unemployment. But given that London is now the sixth biggest French city, should we be worried as well? As for the rest of the world, well yes, it is getting better. Even the UK is on the growth runway. I particularly liked the comments from one market commentator that “the vortex of despair” is over. It’s all about confidence with rising home prices, stocks and now the feeling the economy is headed into sunny days. Of course confidence has been helped by the fact we are having our first real summer in a while, a girl had a baby boy, a Scotsman won Wimbledon, the Welsh won the rugby and the English haven’t lost the cricket. Yet, despite all these signs of relief and unconfined joy, the biggest event of the year still remains to come: the German elections. Will she/won’t she get re-elected. The large “free” cash hand outs that Angela Merkel has doled out, which have temporarily come to an end whilst she persuades her own electorate that she is not throwing good money after bad, will start again should she win. But what if she loses? Will the close relationship that France has built up over the years with the German government survive? Greece is still strug-

notes ■

NINE out of 10 people who have been placed into a workplace pension are staying in, according to the first official indication of the success of landmark reforms to tackle the retirement savings crisis. Just 9% of people have so far opted out of the Government’s automatic enrolment programme after being placed in a pension scheme by their employer, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) research found. Its findings also suggest that young people are leading the way in the “savings revolution”, with those aged under 30 more likely to remain in a pension scheme they have been placed into than other age groups. Employees and their employers pay into the pension pot and the taxman also contributes with tax relief.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under fire in her own country for the bailouts gling and is now asking for emergency payments to save its bankrupt national airline carrier, without which all those holidaying tourists will be stranded with no prospect of further holidaymakers arriving to help aid their battered economy. Having spent some time this past week with some US venture capitalists I had the opportunity to assess their views of the fiscal cliff that faces their economy and hear their views on the announcement that Detroit has gone bankrupt. Their views were surprising in that they didn’t think either were an issue and both were irrelevant. The first is an issue that is constantly being mentioned as an impediment to US and global growth, yet they feel it is not important. Why? It’s simple, the Federal Reserve will just issue more Treasuries over the coming years, and whilst they have the ability to print money and to put

the repayment date back, the issue will get inflated away in the fullness of time. This, too, is why the UK will come through this downturn and why we are on the road to recovery, and unfortunately why Europe will be mired and beset by problems for the foreseeable future. Ms Merkel will continue to keep sticking plasters on the giant sore that is Southern Europe, but should she lose, all bets could well be off. Their views on Detroit couldn’t be printed, but the fact that the size of the population in that area had fallen by so much due to the migration of people seeking work whilst spending hadn’t been reined in spoke volumes. There is a similar story in the UK with more and more people seeking work in London, the difference being that local and regional budgets within the UK are getting slashed to subsidise it. This is, in effect, what is happening in Europe, too, with the

migrant population moving to seek work, leaving behind the elderly and unemployable. The difference being that the European countries, like Detroit, cannot print their own money.

Mike Taylor

MORTGAGE lending in the buy-to-let sector has reached its strongest level since 2008, banks and building societies have reported. Better mortgage availability generally and continued high demand for rental homes from tenants have helped the sector to recover, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. It said that lenders advanced 40,000 mortgages worth £5.1bn to buy-to-let investors in the second quarter of 2013, marking the strongest figures seen since autumn 2008. Meanwhile, continued strong demand from tenants has encouraged more aspiring landlords to consider the potential returns they could get for investing in the rental sector, at a time when low interest rates are giving poor returns on savings.

Football neighbours see house price rise

TV star in finance advert

HOMES close to Premier League football grounds have increased their value at double the rate of those across the country over the last decade, a report has found. House prices in the postal districts of the 20 clubs kicking off the 2013/14 season have risen by £353 a week on average over the last 10 years, according to research by Halifax. Prices in these areas have increased by around 135% over the decade, meaning they have risen at

SHERLOCK Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch is leading a new campaign to highlight a consumer compensation scheme if banks go bust. Radio adverts voiced by the star are part of a £3m publicity drive by the Financial Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to increase public awareness that up to £85,000 of a consumer’s savings is protected if their financial institution goes under. The compensation scheme has

twice the 68% rate of increase typically seen nationwide over the period. The average house price in the 20 Premier League stadium postal districts is £319,800, which is one third higher than the average house price across England and Wales. Manchester City was declared the “winner” of Halifax’s Premier League house price table. The average value of homes in the postal district of the Etihad Stadium has risen by 259% over the

last decade. In London, Chelsea and Fulham’s postal district of SW6 has the most expensive house prices, at £851,812 typically, which is more than 13 times the average house price of £63,974 in the postal district of L4 home to both Liverpool and Everton football clubs. Houses in Chelsea and Fulham cost 15.6 times local annual earnings, while those close to Liverpool and Everton cost just 2.3 times average wages.

acknowledged previous advertising attempts have not raised awareness to the levels it had hoped. Previous research by the FSCS found just 12% of people were aware of the compensation limits for deposits and savings in the UK. The new publicity phase, which started in January and is running over 15 months, aims to convey a more simplified message.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

news

MPE Interiors completes fit-out of two Stena Line vessels BIRKENHEAD-BASED marine outfitter and manufacturer MPE Interiors has completed two contracts for Stena Line to redevelop the crew and officers' mess areas on two ferries. MPE director Cliff Grainger said the contracts involved replacing the mess rooms on the 980-passenger ferries the Stena Mersey and the Stena Lagan at Twelve Quays in Birkenhead. Both ships operate the Birkenhead-Belfast route. “These are terrific contracts to win and they showcase what we can do for commercial vessels,” he said. “We can offer the complete outfitting solution from detailed concept design to manufacture of furniture and structures to installation and maintenance. “On the Stena Mersey we were brought in to do a total refurbishment of the mess hall, which was split between an officers’ mess and a crew mess. “We worked very closely on this job with the captain who gave us a clear concept to work around. “We have reimaged and reworked the whole layout of the area to better suit the crews’ needs.”

Windfarm reaches a major milestone THE giant Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm in Liverpool Bay has reached a milestone with the completion of 100 turbine foundations. In addition, the last two steel monopiles (connecting the base to the turbine) left Gwynt y Môr’s base harbour port facility at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead last Friday. Two vessels, the Friedrich Ernestine and the Stanislav Yudin, are carrying out foundation installation works out in the bay where a total of 160 turbine are being built.

MPE director Cliff Grainger says the job demonstrated the range of skills offered by MPE

Comparison site welcomes first apprenticeship intake by Neil Hodgson

POST BUSINESS STAFF

neil.hodgson@liverpool.com

A HUNTS CROSS-based price comparison site has welcomed the first intake of 40 new apprentice roles. Yoursuresave.com specialises in finding the best financial products and energy deals for customers. It was founded in 2012 by Alex Doonan and employs 48 staff. But it pledged to create more employment opportunities, in partnership with training partner Sysco Business Skills Academy. The scheme, in line with the National Apprenticeship Service, will provide 40 apprenticeships before Christmas at the firm’s Meridian Business Village offices. Mr Doonan said: “We are delighted to have added another 14 members of

staff to the yoursuresave.com family and we look forward to welcoming many more apprentices onto our scheme as we put local people on a solid career path. “As well as providing guaranteed wages whilst on the apprenticeship, we teach important work-based skills to the staff and we work in tandem with Sysco to provide on-the-job training with national recognised qualifications within an apprenticeship framework.” He added: “This is a long-term investment for the organisation and on successful completion of their oneyear apprenticeship we guarantee full-time and permanent roles across departments within the organisation, offering different long-term career paths. “Some of my best staff have joined the team as trainees and they are currently working alongside staff

who have many more years’ experience.” The firm also works with Brighter Futures, which helps disadvantaged youngsters prepare for the workplace. Lynn Aldridge and Michael “Tosh” Fielding who run Brighter Futures, said this was: “An amazing achievement by all learners from the Brighter Futures Programme who were successful in gaining an apprenticeship with yoursuresave.com This is a great opportunity to start a career.” The comparison site is also a keen supporter of community initiatives and is the headline sponsor of this year’s Liverpool Comedy Festival. Mr Doonan said: “We are delighted to offer further support to another Liverpool-based charitable cause.” The deal involves free entry for 1,100 people at the “Best of the Fest” Royal Court curtain raiser.

Alex Doonan

UK housing market revival is gathering pace, says RICS SURVEYORS are seeing house prices rise at their fastest pace since their 2006 peak as the market revival spreads across the country. The number of would-be buyers looking to enter the

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market in July also saw the strongest growth in four years, in further signs that a recovery is “round the corner”, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said.

The West Midlands and the North East, areas which RICS said have “suffered more than most” since the market crash, experienced the biggest increases in buyer activity in July, accord-

ing to the latest RICS UK housing market report. Growth in buyer numbers was seen across the UK as the upswing in activity, which has been particularly concentrated in London and

the South East, spread outwards and a balance of 53% more surveyors reported increases rather than falls in demand. Prices rose across the country for the fourth month in a row.

Gwynt y Môr RWE Npower renewables’ Gwynt y Môr project director, Toby Edmonds, said: “The installation of 100 complete foundations is a significant milestone for the wind farm project which, once fully operational, will supply clean green energy to up to 400,000 homes. “All of the 160 wind turbines require a bespoke foundation so each has been individually fabricated to fit the seabed conditions and water depth at every location. “While foundation installation activity will continue into next year, offshore piling is likely to become much less frequent with the majority of the foundation works associated with the fitting of transition pieces, which do not require piling.”

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8 post business the bottom line

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Improved sales performance propels JLR into overdrive by Bill Gleeson

POST BUSINESS STAFF bill.gleeson@liverpool.com

JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) continues life in the fast lane after releasing record July sales figures this week. The luxury car maker, which employs 4,500 staff and about 1,500 agency workers at its Halewood plant in Knowsley, posted a positive monthly update on the back of a better first-quarter performance earlier this month. The group, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, revealed that it had sold 31,611 vehicles in July, which was a 21% improvement on the same period in 2012 and the best July performance in its history. The Jaguar marque notched sales of 6,157 cars in July, up 65% driven by significant growth in China, while Land Rover sold 25,454 vehicles during the month, up 14% and also a new July record. In the calendar year to date Jaguar Land Rover has sold 241,801 vehicles, up 15%, in the first seven months of 2013. The group revealed that July sales were strong in Asia Pacific, up 43%, the China Region (+36%), North America (+31%), the UK (+8%), and other overseas markets (+29%). However, sales in Europe were flat. For the first seven months of the year sales were up in all major regions with Asia Pacific ahead by 29%, the China Region (+18%), North America and the UK both achieving 15% better sales levels, while Europe showed a 5% improvement and other overseas markets were up 20%. Commenting on the July performance JLR group sales operations director Phil Popham, said: “This has been another record month for Jaguar Land Rover driven by particularly strong performances in the US, China and Asia Pacific. “Jaguar has delivered a very strong performance with solid growth in China and North America thanks to the refreshed XJ and XF models. “Land Rover has again seen record sales this month with continued strong global demand for the new and refreshed model line-up.” He said during July Jaguar’s strong sales performance reflected the continued strong demand for all XF derivatives and the introduction of the F-TYPE.

VINCE Cable has cooled expectations over Royal Bank of Scotland’s return to private ownership by signalling it may be in public hands for another five years. The Business Secretary said he believed there was little prospect of any sale taking place before the next election in 2015 and that it is probable that the state will have a stake for the majority of the next parliament as well. His comments to the Sunday Telegraph conflict with remarks by David Cameron, who has said that the stake should be sold as soon as possible, while RBS’s chairman Sir Philip Hampton believes that the process could begin next year.

Dr Ralf says JLR’s products, like Halewood’s Range Rover Evoque, left, excite customers

XJ also performed well in the month, up 52%, following a solid performance in both the US and China. In fact, Jaguar demonstrated growth in all of the major regions. In the China region sales were up 221%; North America up 63%; Asia Pacific up 32%; the UK up 31%; Europe up 28%; and other overseas markets were up 64%. In the calendar year to date, Jaguar has sold 43,793 vehicles up 33% with

increases in each major region: 98% in the China Region, 28% in North America, 23% in the UK, 22% in Asia Pacific, 15% in Europe and 25% in other overseas markets. Meanwhile, Land Rover set a new July sales record, retailing 25,454 vehicles, up 14%. Solid performances were seen across the new and refreshed line-up with a particularly strong month from Discovery 4, up 37%.

Positive performances were recorded in: Asia Pacific up 46%; North American up 21%; the China Region up 20%; and the UK up 3%. However, sales in Europe were down by 5% due to the Range Rover Sport run out. In the calendar year to date, Land Rover has sold 198,008 vehicles, which is up 11%, with a strong performance from Freelander, up 27% and all-new Range Rover retailing 25,863 units. Positive growth was seen in all major regions: Asia Pacific was up 30%; the UK up 13%; North America up 11%; the China Region up 8%; Europe up 4%; and other overseas markets up 20%. Earlier this month the car maker unveiled a 13% rise in revenues of £4.1bn, and a 25% improvement in pre-tax profits of £415m. Retail sales rose 10% year-on-year to 94,719 vehicles, and chief executive Dr Ralf Speth said the results showed JLR is “exciting our customers”.

Recruiter Michael Page in ‘robust’ interim performance SPECIALIST recruitment group Michael Page International delivered a “robust” performance for the six months to June 30, earlier this week. It saw a 0.1% increase in total revenues of £503.2m. Gross profits were 4.4% lower at £261.9m, while pre-tax profits, after exceptional items, came in 13.4% higher at £32m. Tuesday’s results revealed the

notes

group is profitable in all its established markets, with 77% of gross profit generated outside the UK. Gross profit from permanent placements slipped by 6%, compared with a 7% fall the same time last year, although the temporary placements market was 2% better against a 1% improvement a year ago. The firm said it continued to man-

age costs and reduced headcount by 2.8%, or 144 jobs, in the first half, mainly in operational support. However, it’s Liverpool office, which recently relocated to larger premises in Old Hall Street’s The Plaza, has added staff to its financial and legal and Michael Page Personnel sections after a good trading period. The company now employs 20

people in Liverpool, compared with about five when it initially opened in Edmund Street. The group said it has a strong balance sheet with net cash of £47.6m. Representing 23% of its market, the UK gross profit in the first half was slightly down from £61.7m to £61.4m from flat revenues of £146.1m compared with £146m last time.

A CHAIN of high street outlets set up by the UK’s biggest pawnbroker to take advantage of a surge in the price of gold could shut down in the next 12 months after the market slumped. Gold Bar, which is owned by H&T, now has just five sites compared to 55 last year but has been hit by a crash in the price of the precious metal as well as competition from payday lenders. H&T, which has 193 outlets overall, said its profits slumped by more than a third and were likely to drop further, prompting it to slash its interim shareholder dividend. It also announced it was pulling out of the payday market - which is facing a Competition Commission investigation - to focus its financial services division on a new 12-month product.

NEW Look hailed a “cracking start” to its latest trading period after the heatwave provided a further sales boost following its recent return to profit. Like other fashion retailers it suffered as a result of freezing temperatures in the spring, although like-for-like sales were still up 1% in the three months to the end of June. But performance improved along with the weather and the glorious sunshine pulled more shoppers in as they stocked up on swimwear, summer dresses and skirts. The group has more than 1,100 stores worldwide.


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

small

notes

business of theweek

by Neil Hodgson

POST BUSINESS STAFF

neil.hodgson@liverpool.com

T

HE downturn has changed the way lots of people thing about business, companies and customers alike. For Martin and Sharon Clarke it has helped widen their customer base. Ms Clarke explained: “In the pre-recession days people in places like Southport and Blundellsands would say, ‘the price is good, but does the van say Bootle?’ “They wouldn’t have a van outside their house with Bootle on it, but since the credit crunch people are more price conscious.” She added: “We did think of changing the name, but for commercial and industrial customers, it doesn’t mean anything to them.” Although the firm was founded 26 years ago, it is celebrating its 10th anniversary under the ownership of the husband and wife team. Mr Clarke had worked for Liverpool firm Pearsons Glass for more than 20 years and was looking for a change. Somewhat fortuitously, his wife had just been made redundant from the passport counter of the Post Office and they used her pay-off to buy Bootle Glass, situated, at the time, on Stanley Road. Ms Clarke said: “It was a real learning curve. We just literally picked the phone up and took our first glazing job, and that was it. Martin glazed the first job and then a couple of weeks later we got our first glazer. Now we have a team of 12.” They relocated to their current base in Bank Hall Street just before the credit crunch, but their prudent approach left them plenty of headroom. Mr Clarke said: “Because we keep a lid on everything it wasn’t so bad.” His wife, who runs the office, added: “We save the money up and buy a van, that’s just the way we do it. We’ve never had to get finance and we don’t want to be in a position where we need it.” When they bought the business it was mainly focused on domestic work, but they have diversified to commercial and restoration projects. And their continued good relations with Pearsons works both ways. Mr Clarke explained: “Pearsons supply, but don’t fit, so I get lots of recommendations from them. They are our main supplier.” He added: “We only do the work we know – and we love leadlight.” One of their favourite, and most recent, contracts was working on the restoration of Liverpool’s Florence Institute, which involved leadlight and stained glass installation. Ms Clarke said: “The Florence Institute was a good job for us that we took pride in because it is a real community centre.” Mr Clarke said more restoration work is now becoming available: “A couple of years ago all the money went to the Olympics, and now the lottery funding money is getting spread around more projects, like restoration work.” Restoration work is also more widespread geographically. Ms Clarke said: “We can work from Bootle to Barnsley. If the job is good and there’s work, the distance doesn’t really matter.”

Martin Clarke at the Bankhall Street headquarters of Bootle Glass which he runs with wife Sharon

Bigger and better for buoyant Bootle Glass A proportion of their work also involves housing associations and social housing. Their social credentials were highlighted by their sponsorship of last Friday’s Boofest, in Bootle’s North Park, backed by One Vision Housing, part of the Sovini Group. Turnover to April 2012 was £640,000, which was double the previous year, but Mr Clarke explained: “Last year we finished quite a lot of large projects including jobs for One Vision.” Ms Clarke added: “It was the best move we made buying the business. It was hard work at the beginning, but now it is paying off. Over next couple of years we hope to do what we are doing now, but on a bigger scale.”

Martin Clarke, left, with double glazing fabricator Les Jackson

THE Department for Work and Pensions has produced its first research on opt-rates rates among staff who have been auto-enrolled in company pension scehemes. This question of opt-out rates will be of critical interest over the next few years as the whole point of the auto-enrolment programme is to increase participation rates in workplace pensions. Key findings show opt out rates have averaged 9% across the study, ie, for every 100 employees put into a pension, nine chose to leave again. Also, even among employers who had previously used auto-enrolment, using contractual rather than statutory auto-enrolment, participation rates have still increased, from 90% up to 96%. The highest opt-out rates are among the over 50s. These results are significantly better than the pre-event forecasts which had predicted opt-out rates of up to 30% Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at business adviser Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘These early results are encouraging. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done, the largest employers were always likely to produce the best results so the real challenges still lie ahead. “By the end of 2014 we’ll have a much better idea of whether we really are getting to grips with the pensions crisis.”

EMPLOYERS now have extra protection from claims of unfair dismissal following a change in the law. Specialists from Chester law firm Aaron & Partners are urging employers to ensure they are aware of how the changes affect their business. A new set of rules mean that both employees and employers can claim confidentiality on all correspondence and discussions in termination of employment negotiations. The new rules state that any offer of settlement, written or otherwise, can be classed as confidential information, ensuring it cannot be used in any subsequent unfair dismissal claim.


10 post business creative & digital

comment

by GAVIN SHERRATT

Go mobile with your marketing WITH the ever-growing use of mobile devices, we are seeing a growth in adaptive and responsive mobile-friendly websites. This comes as no surprise, as businesses and organisations are more aware that their audience is interacting with them more through the use of mobile devices. With this in mind, it’s interesting to see that a number of companies still aren’t carrying out their email-based marketing, with a mobile audience in mind. When we sent our last Studio Mashbo newsletter, one of the key aspects of our internal brief was that all our email mar-

Thursday, August 15, 2013 IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Cologne calling for four stars of Mersey video game world by Alistair Houghton POST BUSINESS STAFF

alistair.houghton@liverpool.com

FOUR video games firms from Liverpool city region have signed up to take part in international trade fair Gamescom in Cologne next week. Liverpool firms Thumbstar, GloLiquid and Ripstone will join Runcorn’s d3t at the Cologne event after winning a support package from Enterprise Europe Network North West (EENW). Rodolphe Soulard, senior European business adviser at EENW, said: “The North West is home to a huge creative sector, ranging from start-ups to well-established organisations. “EENW is proud to support this sector’s continued growth by raising the profile of regional businesses, increasing sales opportunities and technical cooperation and hopefully creating jobs. “Gamescom is a key event in the games industry, as all the big names are under one roof. We know that visiting such a show can be time-consuming and expensive for SMEs, that’s why we’ve tailored our package to their needs and pre-arranged one-to-one meetings with potential clients to maximise the value of their visit.” Gamescom runs from next Wednesday to Friday. EENW is taking eight North West companies to the event, which pledges to include “Everything worthwhile in the games world”. Liverpool Innovation Park-based developer and publisher Thumbstar was founded in 2008 and distributes games worldwide. Last year it signed an exclusive deal with China Telecom and software company Viva Red to start

Thumbstar’s Martin Kitney

Zak, the lead character in Ripstone-published game Flyhunter releasing its games in China, while it is also a “grade A” partner to China Mobile. Thumbstar’s chief executive, Martin Kitney, said: “On top of our existing close connections to platform holders and hardware manufacturers, our recent contract with China Mobile represents the next big potential to develop our business in the Chinese market – the fastest growing market in the world. “We are looking for new games to

launch over there starting in August. “Games developers interesting in developing their business worldwide can rely on our proven track record in the distribution activity.” Liverpool start-up GloLiquid will use Gamescom to promote its cloud-based platform that is designed to help indie developers bring their products to market. Founder Glynne Owen said: “Having developed games myself, I know how hard it can be to get games

tested in order to appeal to a community. It is with this in mind that I have developed a new platform. “New users can try the games, feedback to developers and collaborate together on the finished version. The platform enables the developer to create a community before the game is launched.” Baltic Triangle-based publisher Ripstone will use the event to promote games including Flyhunter, a game developed as a side project by a team of animators who also work at the famous Pixar studio. Other Ripstone titles include Stick it to the Man and Pure Chess. The company will be exhibiting alongside Klaus Lyngeled of Zoink! Games, who created Stick it to the Man. d3t offers consulting and contract services to games development firms. Its chief executive, Jamie Campbell, said: “At this year’s Gamescom, a project we have been working on for a client will be revealed. We are very excited about this.”

Think mobile on websites and emails keting content needed to be easy-to-read on a mobile device. There’s nothing worse that having to pinch and push an email to be able to read the content properly. Sometimes these emails won’t even let you to zoom into the content at all and this can discourage your readers. From my point of view, this is a wasted communication opportunity. The likely result is that the recipient isn’t going to go back to their desktop device and read your message that you’ve invested time into creating. My advice would be to think mobile, not only with your website, but also your email marketing. You can’t avoid going mobile anymore, this is now one of the first ‘touch points’ of any digital communication strategy and your audience interactions. ■ GAVIN SHERRATT is managing director of digital agency, Studio Mashbo

Two clients join the crowd under the Mint Umbrella YOUNG marketing agency Mint Umbrella has scooped contracts with two national clients. The firm was founded in December by Clare Barber-Delve and Nicky Rigby-Smith, who first met while working for NewHeartlands, the Housing Market Renewal pathfinder on Merseyside. They are now working with Swansea-based telecoms firm CPR Global, which makes the CPR CallBlocker, and Warwickshire-based software firm Siteon. And the Mint Umbrella team has since expanded to include two graphic designers and two more marketing consultants. Ms Rigby-Smith said: “Clare and I are very proud of our city and we want to make sure that Liverpool is known for its high quality services and that both local and national businesses have confidence in our work. “We are committed to Clare Barber-Delve, left, and Nicky Rigby-Smith, founders of Mint Umbrella becoming industry leaders.”


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ben Hatton

Money can’t buy you likes

Chris Evans starred in the 2011 Marvel film Captain America The First Avenger, filmed at Stanley Dock

‘City should be a production hub and not just a location’ by Alistair Houghton POST BUSINESS STAFF

alistair.houghton@liverpool.com

LIVERPOOL may be the most-filmed city in the UK – but film-makers say its production infrastructure still needs work if it is to become a film production hub. Support agency Merseyside ACME used its latest “Thinking Session” to focus on film and ask whether Liverpool is simply a location or can be a “global production hotspot”. A panel including three leading film-makers discussed the health of the independent film sector in the city and debated whether the city benefited from having so many major productions filmed here. Liverpool Film Office has attracted some £100m of investment to the city in the past 10 years. Blockbusters to have been filmed here include 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, this year’s Fast And Furious 6 and the forthcoming Kenneth Branagh-directed Jack Ryan. Panellists at last week’s debate welcomed the fact that the city was recognised as a great film backdrop. But they also agreed that the city needed more production facilities both to encourage film companies to come here and to support those independent firms who are already here. Sol Papadopoulos of Hurricane Films – whose films include Terence Davies’s documentary Of Time & The City – said: “It’s fantastic that big productions come here and use Liverpool as a backdrop. But we do need them to spend more money here. “We do that by building an infrastructure here. That would benefit independent film-makers here. “It needs political support. You can’t just build a big sound stage and expect it to be full. We also need a bolt-on fund to support that entity and encourage people from round the world to come here to film.”

Fellow Hurricane director Roy Boulter said finance was always a challenge to film-makers outside London.But the recurring barrier to growth was, he said, a lack of those studio facilities. He added: “The next film we’re going to shoot will be in Scotland, mainly because that’s where the book is based. “We would like to do the interiors here if it had a studio. That’s a shame. “If we had a facility in Liverpool, it would be good for everyone.” And Dave Hughes, of Red Union, said the city’s skills gap also needed to be addressed. “At some point we need to leave the area to finish a film,” he said. “We don’t want to. We’re based here. Most of the crew are from here. But there’s a skills gap. “There are also subsidies that drive us to other towns. There needs to be some joined-up thinking to keep people in town.” Mr Boulter said people working in film in Liverpool could benefit from the arrival of big productions. “If a big Hollywood production comes in,” he said, “we often get phone calls asking for advice – are there post-production facilities? Are there people we can borrow? “It’s great because people who work for us can get experience of big-budget film-making.” Liverpool’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Paul Brant, said he believed the film industry in Liverpool had been “incredibly successful”. He said that in the first quarter of 2013 alone there had been 123 film days in Liverpool, generating £2.7m for the economy. And he praised the work of Liverpool Film Office, saying its work last year helped bring 894 filming days to the city last year, generating £19m for the local economy. He added: “That doesn’t mean we should be complacent. We have some real gaps in our offer. We need that

Liverpool’s commercial district was shut down last September so Kenneth Branagh could film scenes for Jack Ryan stage facility in the city. “The mayor has spoken to the industry and said ‘we will work with you to find a place where this facility can be put in place’.” Caroline Cooper-Charles, of Creative England, said film companies had to diversify and not just rely on getting feature films into multiplexes. She said film-makers could also take advantage of social media marketing and digital distribution to get their films noticed. She added: “I’d advise anybody at the start of their film-making career to not think ‘how am I going to get this film into the local multiplex’, but to think ‘how am I going to get this film to an audience?’ The discussion also moved on to writing. Mr Papadopoulos said Liverpool did have many great writers, but Mr Boulter said they needed to take time to learn their craft. He said: “Hurricane Films has accepted scripts for 10 years. Everything that comes through the door gets read. And it’s incredible how few great scripts there are.”

And while that may sound negative, he said that was actually good news for the few great writers. “If you’ve got a really great script,” he added, “I’m utterly convinced that it will get made.” Ms Cooper-Charles said filmmakers and writers in the north were hamstrung by having to make regular and expensive visits to London to see agents. She added: “I’d love to see a Northern-based talent agency.” And she said Liverpool’s film expertise set it apart from TV-focused Manchester. She added: “Liverpool has a film culture rather than a TV culture. It’s quite different from Manchester and that’s something that needs to be capitalised on.” Mr Hughes, whose films include Kevin Sampson adaptation Awaydays, said he wanted teachers in Liverpool to tell their students that there were jobs available in the film industry. “It’s almost looked on as a hobby industry,” he said. “But if you look at the statistics, its contribution to the national economy is quite extraordinary. It should be taken seriously.”

THE spotlight has been turned onto the way brands increase their popularity on particular social media platforms. This comes in the wake of a recent Channel 4 documentary highlighting some tactics used by some brands to create more followers and likes on Twitter and Facebook. The general public is largely unaware of the practices used by some companies such as “buying” fans and likes. The underlying issue the programme brought to the surface was the fact that many brands still aren’t adopting social media in the correct way to get the best from it. Brands are still thinking in “broadcast” terms for their online marketing eg e-shots, when in fact such marketing campaigns have gone the way of the Dodo. As people receive more adverts and offers via social media and email, more are going unread as the user becomes increasingly frustrated by the volume. It may be cheap, but it is ineffective. The documentary showed that many misguided brands think the number of fans, hits or likes a product page has on social media equates to its success – that being seen to be popular as quickly as possible is the key to big sales – when in fact, buying fake likes nullifies the legitimacy of them. The point of social media is to engage with others and use it to help build customer loyalty. Brands should avoid “bribing” customers to take up a product or service and should rather reward customer loyalty. The older the customer, the greater the gift. They must focus on the long-term success of the product or service and show these customers – both new and existing – that the brand is transparent and honest. ■ INTERNET entrepreneur Ben Hatton is founder and managing director of digital agency Rippleffect. Follow Rippleffect on Twitter @rippleffected


12 post business creative & digital

Tony McDonough meets JIM GILL, new chairman of Liverpool Commercial District BID

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OMETIMES when it is announced that a major organisation or company has appointed a new chairman, eyes roll with the realisation that it is just another old duffer yanked from the 19th hole of the golf club via the old boys network. However, it is doubtful that was the general reaction when Jim Gill was unveiled as the new chairman of Liverpool Commercial District Business Improvement District (BID). Those who know or have dealt with Gill will be well aware that he is not the type of chairman who will turn up and nod off at an occasional board meeting, only stirring when it’s time for a spot of lunch. As chief executive of economic development agency Liverpool Vision from 2001 to 2010, he was a key figure in driving the economic renaissance of a city that had suffered decades of decline. Liverpool Vision was an appropriate name for the body under Gill as he was one of those with the vision to see what Liverpool needed if it was to prosper. Since stepping down from Vision, the Manchester-born economist and regeneration specialist has stayed busy in Liverpool and the North West. He is chairman of Professional Liverpool, a member organisation for the city’s financial and professional services sector, and Chrysalis, an EU-backed £30m commercial property fund. He is also doing consultancy work for the city council around the new exhibition centre as well as helping out a couple of charities. He wasn’t planning to add to that list but when he was approached by Liverpool BID Company chief executive, Bill Addy and chairman Ed Oliver about the commercial district BID role, he didn’t hesitate. “I am around the city on a regular basis but I hadn’t though about doing anything else,” said Gill. “But when Ed and Bill asked me if I would do the BID job I said yes more or less straight away. “There is actually quite a lot of synergy with the Professional Liverpool work, I think. “Of course they are two different organisations with different priorities but a very high percentage of PL members are in the commercial district. I know how important the quality of space, the animation and the promotion of the commercial district is.” The interview for this article was conducted in St Paul’s Square, a relatively new development in the heart of Liverpool’s central business district. This, and other office developments such as the nearby 20 Chapel Street were only possible through the availability of gap funding. Go back a decade ago and headline rents for grade A space in the city were around £15 per sq ft – to low for developers to be able too build speculatively. Gill was one of the key figures in securing gap funding for projects in the commercial district where headline rents are now around £20 per sq ft. He looks around with some pride and adds that more work still needs to be done.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

BID looking for leadership from the man of Vision

Liverpool BID Company chief executive, Bill Addy, congratulates Jim on his new role and, inset, Paul Rice, who died in January last year “I was part of the pressure that led to this place (St Paul’s Square),” said Gill. “So I still have a commitment to lots of things I was doing when I was at Liverpool Vision. “I was also involved with City Central BID while I was there so I

know the BID activity and the objectives. It just seemed to fit in with what I was doing already. “I still get a huge sense of pride from looking around the city and seeing the things we were involved in at Vision and with the city council.

Man with a trio of chairmanships Liverpool Commercial District BID: The Commercial District is a designated zone in the heart of Liverpool with BID status.The district has more than 720 members based between Leeds Street to the north and the Strand to the west. Professional Liverpool: This is an lobbying and networking organisation for companies within

the financial and professional services sector in the Liverpool city region and has well in excess of 100 members. Chrysalis: Backed by the European Regional Development Fund, Chrysalis is a £30m pot of cash to be invested in commercial property and regeneration projects in the Liverpool city region.

“There is also a bit of disappointment as well. You look around here in St Paul’s Square and you see the retail space is still boarded up and it hasn’t quite worked like we hoped it would. “I think one of the main reasons for that is the recession which has slowed everything down. Rental levels have fallen back and therefore so has new activity. “You have to work that bit harder again to start getting up that hill again. I think part of the slowdown was the impact the recession had on decisions by occupiers. If you don’t have occupiers then it is very difficult to take development forward. “The grant support allowed people to build speculative space that released demand that had been hidden. We have to build confidence in existing businesses in the city so

that they see the value of whether they need to expand or upgrade their space. “We have also got to do a lot more with promoting the city effectively. “One of the other disappointments about St Paul’s Square is that there are not an awful lot of new businesses to the city.” In recent months some of Liverpool’s commercial agents have been quite vocal about the shortage of grade A space in the city centre going forward. A report by GVA claimed the supply would run dry by 2015. Gill acknowledges this but points out that there is still office space in St Paul’s Square to be filled. He added: “Obviously supply and demand is an issue and you have to know where future supply is going to come from, but the critical issue


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Alex

Jim Gill has been appointed chairman of the Liverpool Commercial District Business Improvement District

Turner Businesses must play a pivotal role

Picture: TONY McDONOUGH

THE reputation of William Roscoe, the man who has been described as the “founding father of Liverpool culture”, is exalted but deserved. It was founded partly on his aptitude to not only exist in the overlapping Venn diagram circles of business and the arts, but also to expand that space. Arline Wilson’s instructive book, William Roscoe: Commerce and Culture, examines Roscoe’s approach, which was rooted in civic pride. In the maelstrom of the early 19th century, Liverpool was looking to lose its reputation as a home of crass merchants and Mr Roscoe advocated and led the idea that it was the role of business to change this. Speaking on the opening of the Liverpool Royal Institution nearly 200 years ago, he told his audience: “If you will protect the arts, the arts will and ought to remunerate you. There is not a greater error than to think the arts can subsist upon the generosity of the public: they are willing to pay for whatever is devoted to their advantage.” Although using different terminology, his entreaties were about active citizenship and place marketing. Mr Roscoe could slip seamlessly into today’s debates about the same challenges – and I think would be a valuable figure in stimulating discussion about this city and its place in the 21st-century world but, more importantly, the obligations and opportunities that bind the city and its citizens. Two centuries ago, the arts (and, in time, access to the arts) were seen as a key driver in improving the quality of life. Investment in Central Library and the Everyman Theatre are two examples of how the arts remain central to this today. But the deeper philosophical debate of what should a city provide for its citizens and the ambitious and imaginative answers to that question remain relatively unexplored and hypothetical. Certainly the next phase, the role of business in investing in and implementing these solutions, is yet to happen. But business must take a pivotal not peripheral role in this because, in getting active citizenship and place marketing to stimulate and succeed together, lies the answer to maintaining and developing a thriving place to work and to live.

‘Arts are central to improving the quality of life’

right now is demand. “That is about confidence within the city and also about promoting the city and giving potential inward investors confidence in what we have to offer here. “I think one of the roles that the Commercial District BID can play, along with a number of other organisations in the city region, is promoting the city centre more effectively. “It is also about giving occupiers in this part of the city a bigger say and getting their views across.”

G

ILL was born and brought up in Ashton upon Mersey in Greater Manchester and attended the London School of Economics and the University of Sussex. He had a long career, first as an economist and then a senior

administrator in the Department of Trade and Industry, before becoming a director of AMEC Developments. In 1994 he moved to English Partnerships where, as regional director, he built up the agency’s programme in the North West. In subsequent years, he became commercial director, where he helped to transform the performance of Priority Sites, a joint venture with the Royal Bank of Scotland. He joined Liverpool Vision in July 2001. BIDS raise money through a levy added to business rates and a majority in a particular areas have to vote in favour for it to be set up. Its role is the general improvement and promotion of the area. The driving force behind the setting up of the commercial district BID was Paul Rice, who died of

cancer in January 2012. Gill said: “Paul did a fantastic job in first of all bringing the idea of the commercial district organisation from Manchester, and he did a great job in very difficult times.” He said it was vital the BID now worked in partnership with other bodies. He explained: “I think the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is getting to grips with addressing inward investment from a sector point of view. “We do need to target as well as just the general marketing and I think financial and professional services, which is what an awful lot of this area is about, is a very good sector for us to target. “At Professional Liverpool we are talking to the LEP about how we can work more effectively to pro-

mote the city as a location for professional and financial businesses. “I think the commercial district can join in on that. “That was one of David Guest’s priorities when he was chairman of the BID.” Gill is relishing the opportunity to continue helping Liverpool with its economic development – especially that he is now free of the day-to-day executive responsibilities. He added: “I am really happy to do all these roles because it keeps my brain ticking over and stops me just walking the dog or playing golf all day. “I feel like I have the best of both worlds. “I am involved in a lot of things but I don’t have to take the problems home with me – I can leave that to other people.”

■ Alex Turner is the general manager of financial training firm Ambitious Minds


14 post business legal

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lawyer calls for ‘alternative funding’ instead of legal aid Staff at Liverpool-based legal firm Gregory Abrams Davidson

by Joshua Taylor

POST BUSINESS STAFF

joshua.taylor@trinitymirror.com

A SENIOR solicitor practising in Liverpool has suggested law firms could form partnerships with community organisations to help clients hit by legal aid reforms. Changes to the system have meant state funding for certain forms of legal action is no longer available. Law firms have raised concerns that this withdrawal of funding could lead to reduced access to justice for some of the most vulnerable people. Darren Matthews, a solicitor at Gregory Abrams Davidson, which has offices in Liverpool city centre and Garston, said “alternative funding solutions” should be found for clients who were no longer eligible for legal aid to fight their cases. He said: “We are looking at identifying alternative funding solutions

for clients who need advice. We are showcasing our overall offer via partnerships with other community-oriented agencies and explaining how we’ve been able to streamline the process, for instance in divorce cases, to keep things manageable and affordable for clients.” Mr Matthews is a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel with a particular interest in childcare cases, for which legal aid continues to be applicable. The right to state-funded representation, however, has been withdrawn from a number of other areas of law. Mr Matthews said one impact of the reforms was that some clients were now using lawyers only for specific parts of legal cases, rather than having them on hand throughout, in a bid to keep costs to a minimum. He said: “We’re looking at oppor-

tunities for clients to control their costs. Clients may wish to use us for specific parts of proceedings or instruct us in the traditional sense.” He said the withdrawal of legal aid could be “catastrophic for people who need specialist advice and representation” and claimed legal aid was now available only in “very limited circumstances”. He went on to claim that people who were unable to fund lawyers privately to fight their corners had been left feeling “helpless”. The controversial legal aid reforms came into effect in April under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act. Under this legislation, legal aid was withdrawn from areas of law including private family law, such as divorce and custody battles, personal injury and some clinical

‘Clients may wish to use us for some parts’

negligence cases, some employment and education law cases, immigration in cases when the person concerned is not in custody, and some debt, housing and benefit issues. Legal aid continues to be available in family law cases where there are accusations of domestic violence, forced marriage or child abduction, in mental health and asylum cases, and in debt and housing cases when someone’s home is at immediate risk. The Government justified the changes by saying legal aid would continue to be available to those most in need, but claimed the broad access to legal aid had encouraged the growth of a compensation culture. The reforms have been met with considerable opposition in Merseyside, where lawyers warned of an increase in vigilantism as people who could not afford solicitors would take the law into their own hands. Plans to reduce legal aid in criminal proceedings are also being discussed by MPs.

Summer drinking warning to drivers A MOTORING law firm has reported a rise in drink-driving cases as summer has overtaken Christmas as the peak season for offenders. Solicitors from Just Motor Law, based in Prenton, Birkenhead, said factors such as the barbecue culture and the increasing popularity of music festivals were to blame. Solicitor Natali Farrell said: “Our caseload and national statistics both suggest a definite and sustained trend emerging whereby motorists, especially younger male drivers, are risking all by taking to the wheel after summer drinking. “This seasonal hotspot in cases reflects the growing popularity of barbecues, impromptu summer parties, watching sport, live music events as well as attending traditional family gatherings such as weddings and christenings – each of which offers the temptation of drinking alcohol.” Department for Transport statistics indicate drink-driving is now around 20% more common in August than December. During a five-year period from 2006 there were on average 5,790 drink-driving related casualties in August compared to 4,780 in December. Drink-driving is responsible for around 15% of UK road deaths.

POST BUSINESS DAILY A revolution in the way business people get their news

Solicitors to help women’s charity with funding AN ORGANISATION helping women and children flee domestic violence has been chosen by staff at Merseyside’s MSB Solicitors as their charity of the year. Amadudu works with black and ethnic minor-

ity women and runs a refuge in the city that can accommodate six families. Workers at MSB, which has offices in the city centre, Allerton and Wavertree, chose the charity from a shortlist

of five and will raise money for it over the next 12 months. Managing partner Paul Bibby said: “We are delighted to be able to support Amadudu. MSB is looking forward to a practical and holistic

relationship with the charity in addition to financial support. This could include MSB Solicitors staff helping with re-housing, days out for the children and funding bids. I feel our staff will get a lot out of working

with the group as well.” Amadudu project manager Kerry Nugent added: “To forge a partnership with MSB Solicitors is going to mean more support for the women and children and that can be life-saving.”

Paul Bibby

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women in business post business 15

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bikram Yoga celebrates first year and looks to expand A YOGA centre which is about to celebrate its first birthday is expanding its services. Estelle Cartlidge opened Bikram Liverpool city centre in September last year. It specialises in Bikram Yoga which is practised for 90 minutes in a room heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The business has been so successful that it is now increasing the number of sessions it offers each week. Estelle is also now offering chakra sessions and yoga for customers of the Lush Spa in Liverpool and the Beatles-themed Hard Days Night Hotel. Mother-of-two Estelle told Post Business: “Our first year has been amazing. We have so many people coming to the sessions who are beautiful inside and out – we have such a lovely vibe. “It has been a big learning curve for me. I definitely see myself more as a yogi than a businesswoman.” A number of new yoga studios have opened up in the city but Estelle is unfazed by the competition, adding: “If everyone in the world practised yoga it would be a much better place.”

Estelle Cartlidge established Bikram Liverpool in the city centre almost one year ago

Integrity and professionalism are key to Sandra’s venture by Tony McDonough POST BUSINESS STAFF

tony.mcdonough@liverpool.com

SANDRA WATERS’ father was a marine engineer and her ambition as a teenager was also to go to sea. However, instead, she has spent her career working in offices – something at a young age she vowed not to do. “I joined the WRENS and then I quickly realised that it didn’t necessarily mean I would get to sea,” she said. Despite being denied a life on the ocean wave, Sandra forged a successful and enjoyable career, working at a senior level in administration in a number of organisations. Now Sandra, who lives in Southport, is aiming to use her considerable skills and experience in her own self-employed venture. Its not her first attempt at being an entrepreneur. Some years ago she worked as a freelance recruitment consultant, but opted to return to full-time employment after 18 months. She had started her working life in the civil service, eventually working her way up to a high level in executive and professional recruitment. Her division was then taken over by the business group owned by disgraced newspaper tycoon, Robert Maxwell. “When Maxwell died and

everything came out, things started to collapse,” she said. “A management consultant came into the office on Christmas Eve and handed us cheques for just three weeks’ pay. “I decided to try going it alone but, despite my best efforts, found the process of actually setting the business up more enjoyable than making it work. I did not excel at the selling role and after 18 months decided to return to a salaried job.” She ended up working for British Coal Enterprise, an organisation set up to support coal industry workers who had been forced to find alternative careers as the mines closed down. “We were so good at what we did we started selling the services externally. I worked there for seven years and loved it. “I was not selling. Instead I was listening to people and responding to their needs.” Dinner with a friend, David Heal, led to a change in direction. Mr Heal, now chair of Paver Smith, headed up network PR firm Harrison Cowley and Sandra went to work as his executive assistant. “He remains my friend and mentor,” she said. She was later headhunted to work for Liverpool-based Livesmart – a smartcard outfit that was developing tourism smartcards. It had been foun-

Sandra Waters

Meyer to speak at business festival AMERICAN internet entrepreneur Julie Meyer, who was keynote speaker at the Liverpool Post Regional Business Awards this year, is to speak at a major event in Bristol. The chief executive and chairman of investment firm Ariadne Capital will speak at the Women Outside the Box (WOTB) event – a festival of female entrepreneurship. She will be joined on October 7 by other business “big hitters” including Sue Tugman, Anita Nandwani, Geeta Sidhu Robb, Louise Presley Turner and Susan Hayes. Ms Meyer will open the conference with a keynote on “making that first million”, setting the tone for the day, which has been designed to encourage women to think big and be ambitious when it comes to running their own businesses. At the Liverpool Post awards in June, held at St George’s Hall, she told the 500-strong audience: “Capital follows ideas. “It always has and always will, not the other way round. “We should tell our young people to work hard because success takes really hard work. “Be brave, build trust, work hard, play to your strengths, find your unique contribution and be a net contributor.”

POST BUSINESS DAILY ded by well-known entrepreneur, David Wade-Smith. “It was during the run-up to Capital of Culture and it was a very exciting time to be in a city-centric venture,” added Sandra. “Seeing Liverpool flourish was like watching a rosebud open.” After Livesmart, Sandra worked for Liverpool-based Charities Trust and for the past six years she has also spent several weeks each summer working for Bedes International Summer School in East Sussex. It provides academic courses and activities for overseas students. Sandra is now centre director its Discover London operation, running a team of teaching and activity staff in the summer months.

“I am looking at the possibility of setting up a Discover Liverpool programme which I think would be tremendous for the city region,” she said. As part of her freelance activities, Sandra is also working two days a week for storage provider, Smart Storage, supporting its business and quality control operations. She is also using her network of city contacts to develop other opportunities.. She said: “My business card says ‘confidential professional administration’ – and that is me. “The people I have worked with required high levels of confidentiality and integrity and, along with an ability to organise, that is what I offer.”

A revolution in the way business people get their news

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16 post business location

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Like the banks, the insurance sector rarely acts for the greater good

view point by Tony McDonough, Liverpool Post Business reporter HARDLY a day seems to go by without the once respected British bankers getting a kicking – whether it be their obscene bonuses, failure to lend to small firms or just their general perceived arrogant demeanour.

Legat in move to DTZ A WELL-KNOWN Liverpool commercial property agent has been recruited to work for DTZ’s retail team across the North West. David Legat, formerly of Mason Owen, joins the firm as associate director and will also be joined by another new recruit, Chris Jayne, who is a senior surveyor. Over the past four years Mr Legat has dealt with both acquisitions and disposals, acquiring units in line with retail clients’ requirements to meet their expansion objectives. He has also advised on a wide variety of disposals for landlord clients. His previous clients include Grosvenor, Aegon, Standard Life Investments, Iceland and Neptune Developments.

Commercial/Industrial Property Sale/Let

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Meanwhile, sitting pensively across the room, hoping no one takes too much notice is the UK insurance industry. Many of us have either experienced directly, or at least know someone, who has been right royally done over on an insurance claim. Shedloads of anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the default position of any insurance company is to try as hard as possible to disqualify a claim – any technicality will do. In 2011 seven major insurance firms were slapped down by the Office of Fair Trading for a practice which allowed them to access

information on each other’s premiums, threatening higher prices for drivers. Firms effectively traded between themselves what should be private information on how much they would charge different types of driver. Motorists shopping around for the best deal through brokers were likely to find little competition or potential for savings. This week, in its response to a Government consultation on the future of flood insurance, the British Property Federation (BPF) has

warned that under the current proposals thousands of SMEs and commercial landlords may not have access to affordable cover. The Flood Re agreement between the Government and the insurance industry ensures residential properties continue to have access to affordable cover, but small firms are excluded from this. The BPF believes excluding SMEs – the backbone of the UK economy – from the proposals could lead to large hikes in insurance premiums and even some premises becoming uninsurable.

‘SMEs will be exposed to the full effects of flooding’

You can bet your boots it will. Never heard of an insurance company that didn’t seize the chance to raise premiums when presented with the opportunity. The BPF rightly points out that SMEs are generally more vulnerable to the effects of flooding compared to larger businesses that will have contingency plans and the negotiating strength to secure affordable insurance. SMEs will be left exposed to the full effects of flooding and the BPF has urged Government to extend the Flood Re agreement. Maybe the UK insurance industry will also push for such a move – but don’t hold your breath.

Green reveals serviced office plan for city’s India Buildings by Tony McDonough

POST BUSINESS STAFF

tony.mcdonough@liverpool.com

PART of Liverpool’s iconic India Buildings is to be converted into serviced office space. Owner Green Property says it will transform part of the Grade II-listed building into The Hub, a series of serviced office spaces based on the second floor. Green says it is responding to the “overwhelming market demand” for flexible offices. Mike Tapp, director of Green Property, said: “The Hub offices provide a modern solution in classic office surroundings. “We have had scores of enquiries from small to medium-sized companies desperate for all-inclusive space, but they are not in a position to be tied down to long term contracts and are wary of extra costs which can often come with offices. “We understand that there is a growing number of flexible offices on offer in the city, but none have the benefit of being in one of the city’s most iconic and prestigious buildings.” Providing a variety of office sizes from three to 28 workstations, The Hub also offers a communal meeting room and breakout areas fitted out to a high standard. The offices will be available on packages inclusive of rent and utilities and will be furnished if required. The creation of The Hub is in addition to the £1.5m refurbishment of the fifth floor, which is seeing the entire 35,000 sq ft floor-plate refurbished. Mr Tapp added: “India Buildings is arguably one of the most attractive in the city, and it is right that it is refurbished to its former glory. “We believe there is a strong market for the high quality and expansive

India Buildings in Water Street, Liverpool and, inset, Mike Tapp of Green Property office space we are creating – currently the largest in the city and we are expecting plenty of interest when work is completed in September.” Green Property is a property devel-

opment and investment company operating in the core commercial sectors of retail, industrial and office in Ireland and the UK. Assets under management total in

excess of 3.5 m sq ft. and include a number of prime London office buildings. It is also working for a number of banks on distressed assets.

Trio of firms strike deals to take space at Oriel Chambers BRUNTWOOD has secured a trio of deals with new and existing customers for its serviced office space at Oriel Chambers in Liverpool. National law firm Simpson

Millar, which has offices at 10 locations across the UK, has chosen the Grade I-listed building for its first Liverpool base, taking a total of eight workstations.

Lawyerly, which provides a legal services search engine designed for mobile devices, has almost trebled its number of workstations to provide accommodation for a

dozen members of staff. Meanwhile, Water Street Marketing, which chose Oriel Chambers as its first location at the end of 2012, has now doubled the size of its ser-

viced office suites. Matt Lee, sales surveyor at Bruntwood, said: “The serviced space at Oriel Chambers continues to be a popular choice.”


location post business 17

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Federation backs bid to convert shop sites THE British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed the publication of a consultation that could see vacant high street shops converted into homes. But it warned the Government must learn lessons from similar office-to-residential proposals. The average high street vacancy rate stands at more than 14%, says the BPF, as the pressure of both the financial crisis and long-term issues such as the rise of internet shopping and the increasing burden of business rates, tells. The BPF believes there is little point “harking back to the high streets of old” and alternative uses for empty shops – particularly those outside a retail core – should be found. It has repeatedly urged government to consider housing and even community uses such as doctor’s surgeries. Chief executive Liz Peace said: “Retail to residential conversions could be an important step in breathing life into our high streets. “We would very much encourage a flexible approach, particularly in areas with increasingly obsolescent retail stock outside the retail core that is unlikely to be brought back into retail use.”

Shopping centre rebrand is sign of a bright future ahead

Derek Millar outside the centre and, inset, how the new signage will look

by Tony McDonough

POST BUSINESS STAFF

tony.mcdonough@liverpool.com

POST BUSINESS DAILY A revolution in the way business people get their news

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WIRRAL’S main shopping centre will “literally light up Birkenhead” when its £300,000 facelift and rebrand is completed. That’s according to one trader at the Grange & Pyramids shopping centre. It was revealed last week that the centre is to be renamed as the Pyramids Shopping Centre later this year in a rebranding exercise. Plans have been submitted to Wirral Council by senior managers for new signage and banners at more

than 120 different locations as part of the rebrand. The signage will be installed, both inside and outside the site where a total of more than £1m is being invested over the coming months. The name change will take place in early autumn, around the same time as global fashion giant H&M opens its 16,500 sq ft store at the centre. The Grange & Pyramids has maintained its appeal to Wirral shoppers despite the presence of the giant £1bn Liverpool One development just across the Mersey. And managers remain bullish about its prospects as the UK retail sector pins its hopes on a rise in consumer spending. Commercial dir-

ector, Derek Millar, said: “The aim of this major investment is clear – we want to support our existing tenants by driving footfall into the shopping centre by improving the shopping experience and making sure more people know about the fantastic range of shops we have here. “The newly-named Pyramids will receive a huge boost with the arrival of H&M later this year and we must make the most of this fantastic global fashion chain’s arrival. “By working hard to raise awareness of all we have to offer here and creating a new identity for the shopping centre, we will strengthen the future of Birkenhead’s main shopping centre as a vibrant and desirable des-

tination for shoppers, existing tenants and future new businesses. “This is great news not only for us and the people who work and shop with us, but also for Birkenhead as a town.” The new brand investment has met with the approval of managers running stores in the centre. Brenda Brennan, who has been manager of the River Island store for two years, said: “It feels to me like new life is going back into the shopping centre. The new branding is so much more up-to-date and looks very appealing. “I love the idea that some of the signs will be illuminated. It will literally light up Birkenhead.”

Sector performance improves – CBRE

Spending down

ment in other parts of the country. Industrials continued to perform well, with capital value growth of 0.6%. CBRE analyst, Aleksandra Starczynska, said: “The most interesting feature of the results over the last few months has been the way in which capital value growth has been spreading from Central London to other parts of the UK market.”

SPENDING on commercial property construction in the North West is still only half what it was before the recession, figures have shown. Construction companies carried out work worth £559m building new commercial premises in the first quarter of this year, according to the Office for National Statistics. This figure was exactly half the value recorded during the first quarter of 2008 – £1.118bn.

THE performance of the commercial property sector in July continued to improve, according to the latest CBRE UK Monthly Index. At the “all property” level, capital values increased by 0.4% during July, the fourth successive month of positive growth. Total returns were 0.9% for July and 4.1% for the year to date. Offices recorded capital value

growth of 0.8% and a total return of 1.3% in July. Central London outperformed again, with a total return of 1.6% driven by capital value growth of 1.2% in July. Offices in the West End and Midtown were the best performing segments, recording further capital value growth of 1.5% and 1.2% over the month. A notable trend is the continued improve-


18 post business economic development

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Super tales of the fastest knowledge

economy

by Alistair Houghton POST BUSINESS STAFF

alistair.houghton@liverpool.com

I

N THE Cheshire countryside, a group of scientists are using the UK’s fastest supercomputer to help businesses to see into the future. The Hartree Centre, at Daresbury Laboratory, aims to help North West businesses take advantage of the latest developments in high performance computing. The centre is a joint venture between the Science and Technology Facilities Council and computing giant IBM and has been backed by £37.5m in Government funding. Its UK record-holding supercomputer, Blue Joule, is the largest computer in the world devoted to software development. It is capable of more than 1,000 trillion calculations every second. That is backed up by Blue Wonder, whose 8,000 processor cores are designed to cope with vast amounts of data. All that power is used to help North West businesses to outperform their rivals. Those computers are far beyond the budgets of most companies, and that kind of processing power would be unreachable for small firms. But the Hartree Centre’s facilities are open to all, and have been used by companies from Unilever and Bentley to the small hi-tech firms based at the neighbouring Daresbury Innovation Centre. The Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) – itself a partnership between Hartree and the University of Liverpool – encourages firms to use Daresbury’s computers to produce virtual prototypes of their products. Its work is about far, far more than simply producing artist’s impressions. The computers are so powerful that the virtual interactive models they create can be used to assess the smallest details of any product, even before a production line is built. The results of their calculations can be displayed on a 3D screen in a 150-seat lecture theatre. But they are perhaps even more impressive when viewed on a 34ft-wide screen in a small room. The Hartee Centre’s visualisation suite was developed with simulation software developer Optis, whose UK office is in Daresbury. As the system was turned on, flooding the small suite with light, Chris Grieve, business development manager with Optis, smiled that his work was all about “cool things in cool rooms”. It’s such cool technology that it gives firms the chance to look into the future of computing. At the moment, the computers at Daresbury are much more powerful than anything available to the average business. But technology moves fast – as anyone can see instantly by comparing their smartphone to their first brick-sized mobile phone. Moore’s Law states that the pro-

Michael Gleaves, left, with Chris Grieve of Optis in the visualisation suite at the Hartree Centre in Daresbury cessing power of computers will double every two years. That trend has continued since Gordon Moore first noted it in 1965. Mr Grieve said: “Moore’s Law says that what’s leading-edge now will be in commercial usage in five years’ time.” So companies using Hartree and the VEC now are effectively using technology that their rivals overseas may not be able to use for years to come. Announcing the latest Government investment in the Hartree Centre in January, Chancellor George Osborne said its work was “crucial to boosting the economy and putting the UK at the forefront of the big data revolution”. He added: “Britain is in a global race and we are in a position to lead the way in science and technology.” Michael Gleaves, head of business development at the Hartree Centre, told the Post: “We give SMEs access to technology they would otherwise never have. “You cannot just show this on your laptop,” he added, pointing to the 8ft-high display in the centre’s visualisation suite. “It’s got to be on this scale.”

In the suite, eight projectors help to generate a 120-degree visualisation onscreen that is so large and crystal clear against the room’s black background that it fills your vision, meaning you can focus on nothing else but the details. On my visit, that screen was filled with an image of the dashboard and windscreen of a Bentley Mulsanne, as it would be seen by any driver of the luxury vehicle. Mr Grieve said: “It’s not an image. It’s a physics-based simulation. “It’s very realistic, but it’s absolutely physics-based.” Viewers can wear a set of glasses studded with sensors. As they turn their heads, so the image on the screen changes accordingly. Computer operators can also adjust the lighting, so they can see how the car looks at different times of day. “Look at it at dusk,” Mr Grieve said, once he had adjusted the lighting accordingly. “You start to see how the dashboard display is reflected on the inside of the windscreen.

‘More than 1,000 trillion calculations a second’

“There are clearly reflections – some good, some bad. “Using this means Bentley can see how the vehicle looks to the end user before it’s even been manufactured.” It all means that issues such as a tricky reflection on a windscreen, which may not have been spotted until a car had long rolled off Bentley’s production line and been driven into the English countryside at dusk, can be corrected before any cars are made. The centre, has also created a “virtual showroom” to showcase Audi R8 cars. Buyers can change the colour and style of the cars and then see how they look from different angles and in different lighting conditions. But while the centre can also produce visualisations of large objects such as cars, it is also producing visualisations on a molecular level. It can produce visualisations of individual molecules to see how they interact with each other. That is helping scientists at companies such as Unilever to devise new formulations for products such as washing powders. Mr Gleaves said: “We can, in two days, do what it would take a scientist six days to do in the lab.” The visualisations are the most

eye-catching work done at the Hartree Centre, but its supercomputers are suitable for many other industrial uses. They can, most obviously, be used to analyse vast amounts of data very quickly. The centre is now, using that Government funding announced in January, working to develop software that can handle the vast amount of data generated by the Square Kilometre Array, the world’s largest radio telescope. In the environmental sector, that can help scientists produce models of short- and long-term weather conditions more accurately than ever before. And the computers can even be used by governments, who can analyse the effects of past policy decisions and use that to produce models of the economic, social and environmental effects of potential policy options. The rapid pace of change and development is what makes the cutting edge of computer science such an exciting place to be. But working at Hartree does, Mr Gleaves said, have one downside. Looking again at that giant Bentley dashboard, he said: “When you go home and look at your TV set, it just doesn’t cut it anymore.”


economic development post business 19

Thursday, August 15, 2013

UK computer

diary of an entrepreneur I’VE ALWAYS worked in small businesses from the age of 12. I became a manager of a pizza parlour when I was just 13 which seems wrong looking back. The main thing is that I learnt loads and got inspired by all the people I worked with from a young age. Seeing how they made things happen made me think that one day I could do that for myself. I wanted to go travelling aged 18 for three months to Camp America and was on the verge of my first big adventure abroad when they told me that they had double booked. Unperturbed, I went on a three-year round the world trip instead. I went to Australia for a year, South East Asia and ended up living with monks in the Bahamas for six months. I thought I might become a monk until, on my way to the UK, I ended up travelling via Cuba and went to a 24 hour salsa party. It was at that point I realised becoming a monk wasn’t for me. My next move was to train as a yoga teacher aged 20 which having learned about its philosophy, ie that your life is mapped out, has helped me get to where I am today. I’m unsure how your typical entrepreneur makes decisions but I just decide things at a toss of a coin. Teaching yoga in my early 20s gave me some freedoms when I came back to London because my friends were tied to working in Tesco on minimum wages. I also had plans to further my studies which would take me away from London, my birthplace, to Nottingham. I ended up using the money I earned from teaching yoga, plus all my student loan, to eventually build up a portfolio of 11 properties as an investment in Nottingham and still have them today. Having passed my law degree I then went to work for a law firm for a year but just found everyone really stressed and decided that this was the perfect audience for me to help via offering yoga for corporates with executive stress. I left the firm after 12 months,

generated some good clients who worked for the firm and using my income, decided to invest in my next property, a windmill I bought at a Liverpool property auction which has spent four years going through the planning process. I hope to live in that windmill soon because it’s getting cold in my caravan in the winter months in the UK. Still, it has given me, amongst other things, the opportunity to meet Sarah Beeny who did a documentary on it. Just after moving to Liverpool, I established Yellow Yoga in 2007 to help further boost my business interests in helping clients deal with corporate stress. I have since expanded the company into offering retreats under a broader fitness portfolio called Yellow Fitness, which I began in 2012. It made sense for me to join the dots of fitness, nutrition and yoga and establish Yellow Fitness because the latter (yoga) always underpins the former because it helps establish the right mindset to eat and exercise well. Plus, I’d amassed a healthy base of contacts through networking in Liverpool who wanted all three things and liked my philosophy for the business. I’m currently looking at plans to roll out Yellow Fitness through my Happy Formula brand of fitness, nutrition and yoga, initially in the North West and then the UK and once again will use my mum as the chief sounding board before making a decision – I’ve consulted her on every decision so far. Meanwhile, locally, we’ve been having fun road testing Karaoke Yoga at a lovely city centre bar called Modo in Concert Square. We’re also hosting a Fight the Flab Seminar this Saturday (Aug 17) in a pizza kitchen in Waterloo. I don’t try to be different, it just happens that way. I also try not to take life too seriously or worry – yoga taught me that there’s no point, and business is good as a result of that. Vicky Holmstock runs Yellow Yoga in Liverpool

The supercomputers at the Hartree Centre are being used by SMEs and multinational firms

Hartree helps Unilever stay ahead of its rivals THE computing power available at the Hartree Centre in Daresbury is helping consumer products giant Unilever to clean up in the marketplace. Unilever, which has a large research centre at Port Sunlight, Wirral, is using Daresbury’s supercomputers to help it develop products more quickly. In a case study to promote its work, the centre notes: “The level of complexity of Unilever’s product portfolio has been compared to that of designing a Boeing 747.”

Fabric conditioners, for example, are very unstable substances that tend to perform differently in very hot and very cold climates. Every time they prepare a new product, Unilever researchers have to ensure it will perform just as well wherever in the world it is used – which is where the Hartree Centre comes in. The centre notes, drily: “Traditional stability tests, on the laboratory bench, tend to be boring and very time consuming, typically taking eight to 12

weeks. However, the comparable test on a supercomputer takes only about 45 minutes.” Unilever now has a base in Daresbury so its scientists can work closely with Hartree staff. They use the computers to analyse ingredients – and can create 3D visualisations of the data to help them spot any anomalies or correlations. They can even take a 3D tour of the molecules they created to see how they interact with each other.

Jim Crilly, senior vice-president at Unilever’s Strategic Science Group, said: “Our partnership with the Science and Technology Facilities Council will give our R&D community an insurmountable competitive edge. “When we have the high-performance computing capabilities of the Hartree Centre fully integrated with our global strategic science partnerships, we’ll be able to tackle even bigger scientific challenges and unlock breakthrough innovations faster.”

Vicky Holmstock switched from law to yoga


20 post business professional

Thursday, August 15, 2013

From left, audit director Jason Leach, audit intern Tamsin Cook, audit graduate Andrew Crockford and Fiona Kelsey, audit leader, all at PwC

Business prospects in NW are improving SHORT-TERM business prospects have continued to improve this month and reached the highest level since May 2011, according to the latest business trends report by accountants and business advisers BDO LLP in the North West. BDO’s Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations and reflects the current experience of businesses, climbed to a 26-month high of 96.8 in July up from 94.9 in June – a fifth consecutive monthly increase

Accountancy firms embrace latest post A-Level course by Helen Davies

POST BUSINESS STAFF

helen.davies01@trinitymirror.com

ACCOUNTANCY firms in Liverpool are looking to open up career opportunities to a wider audience following a Government drive for more post A-Level apprenticeships in professional services. Last July the Government launched a new Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship programme focussing on tax, audit and management consultancy. A year on, and with A-Level results out today, Post Business contacted some of the major accountancy firms with offices in Liverpool to ask what their recruitment plans for both school leaver apprentices and graduates were this year.

PwC helped develop the framework for the Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship, which aims to lead to a higher skill level than traditional apprenticeships, with Government funding. This year PwC has seven graduates starting in its Liverpool office as well as one intern. It has no apprentices based in the city but has recruited 10 for its Manchester office which will spend some time working in Liverpool . Martin Heath, who is office senior partner at PwC in Liverpool, said: “Due to the rising cost of university many talented students are now considering their options more carefully and seeking alternatives to the traditional

university route. “Higher Apprenticeships enable us to continue to attract and employ the best candidates from a wider pool and are opening up professional services to a much wider market than ever before." Last month Baker Tilly announced it would be launching an ATT Higher Apprenticeship in Tax, for which it will be taking on two students in the North West who will undertake placements in several offices including Liverpool. In addition Baker Tilly’s North West region will be taking on four graduates and two AAT accountancy trainees. This compares with 2012 when six graduates, one AAT trainee and one

‘It enables us to identify real talent early on’

intern were taken on. Jill Jones, Baker Tilly’s North West office managing partner, said: “The Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship scheme is something that as a business we’re very keen to support as it will enable us to identify real talent in the region at an early stage. ‘The scheme will increase the accessibility of a career in professional services.” Other firms do not run the Professional Services Higher Apprenticeships per se, but run their own, similar, school leaver programmes. KPMG is taking on five graduates in Liverpool, as well as one trainee for its post A-level school leaver programme. Grant Thornton is taking on four graduates this year in its Liverpool office but no school leaver apprentices.

Tim Entwistle and above the crucial 95.0 mark that indicates growth. Meanwhile BDO’s Optimism Index, which predicts business performance in two quarters time, moved up from 94.3 in June to 95.6 in July, posting its sixth consecutive monthly increase and its highest level since April 2012. Tim Entwistle, head of BDO LLP in the North West, said that although it was good to see improvements, “one need only look at the last five years of zig-zagging economic growth and business confidence to know that sustained expansion will not be achieved easily”.

on the move ■

TWO expert headhunters have joined the team of directors at a Cheshire-based consultancy. Christopher Mille and Greg Morgan have been hired by Northwich-based recruitment agency Warren Partners. Mr Mille, a computer science graduate, began his career with advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather in Hong Kong.

Mr Morgan was an officer in the British Army between 1993 and 2004, when he then joined HSBC on a fast-track programme to train ex-forces personnel in commercial banking. Both men have worked for Korn/Ferry in the past.

KNOWSLEY repair and maintenance company Vivark has appointed a new director

of delivery in Darren Smith. He has joined the company after a career in the social housing and private business sectors. Mr Smith has worked previously as an independent consultant and for the Mears Group, a nationwide provider of repairs and maintenance services, where he began as a financial auditor and rose to become regional contract man-

ager for the North West.

WIDNES-based haulage and logistics specialist Suttons Group has appointed a new director for its North Asia operation as it looks to continue its growth in the region. Anthony Latham, who will be based in Shanghai, joins from UTi China, where he was country director of client services.

Greg Morgan – joins Warren Partners

Darren Smith – new director of delivery

Anthony Latham – on board at Suttons


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

The do’s and don’ts of joining the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ Lee McPartland

Neil Hodgson on the etiquette of accepting corporate hospitality for football events

H

OW do you avoid scoring an own goal next time you get the call for a bit of schmoozing in a corporate box at one of our football grounds? Is there an etiquette about how you dress, how much you imbibe, or, even, how do you celebrate if your team scores? Most people still turn up “suited and booted” to corporate entertainment. Very few would sport the colours of their team while representing their company when they join the ranks of the “prawn sandwich brigade” as ex-Manchester United hard man Roy Keane famously referred to corporate guests. But there is room for some leeway. I recall in the late 1990s mingling in the dining area behind corporate boxes at one of our grounds in a sea of suits when Tom Bloxham, founder of North West developer Urban Splash arrived with his “posse”, all attired in their best Ben Sherman shirts and designer jeans. He said: “My rule is just wear what you are comfortable in. “I never wear team colours. At a lot of grounds stewards can prevent you doing that because home fans get upset when they see people in corporate boxes celebrating in colours.” Then there’s the question of how involved should you be.

Former Reds manager Rafa Benitez doesn’t appreciate the reaction of corporate guests behind him During one particularly passionate derby game one of the guests was on his feet, on several occasions, up close to the glass separating us from the action, venomously spitting “hurt him, hurt him”. He was the brother of the host, so

there was little prospect of any comeback, but there was lots of bemusement among the less vociferous in the box that night. Tom Bloxham said he is relaxed about imbibing when enjoying corporate hospitality.

“Normally I am in a very structured and sensible world, so football, as far as I am concerned, is all about escapism. “My view is, win or lose, we’ll have a booze’, but having said that, no-one likes to see a drunk.”

LEE McPartland owns Formby-based corporate hospitality business Opus. He worked in sales, which gave him his first experience of working directly with corporate clients, and said: “I took a shine to doing that kind of work so I decided to give it a go as a career.” His company has a box at Anfield and he has worked in football for eight years, but also at big music and sporting events around the world, including the Monaco Grand Prix. He said behaviour in corporate boxes has become a lot more relaxed over the past two or three years. “I would say the only place now you see ‘dress to impress’ is the races. “A lot of Scandinavians who come to the game take a lot of pride in wearing team colours, but in terms of celebrating a goal, people are asked to be respectful of the environment they are in.” Behaviour can also differ from ground to ground. He said at Old Trafford, for example, fans in the seating in front of corporate boxes have been known to stand up to impair the view of corporate guests: “And at Manchester City we were told in no uncertain terms to get back up the M62.”

past business – nostalgia

Daresbury centre proudly bears name of pioneer of business computing COMPUTING pioneer Douglas Hartree would have been amazed at the supercomputers used at the Cheshire centre that bears his name (pages 18-19) – but then, he might have been amazed that Cheshire had a computer at all. Hartree was a pioneer in numerical analysis at the University of Manchester who made a “differential analyser” out of Meccano to solve complex equations. If he could visit Daresbury’s Hartree Centre today, he would listen with interest while scientists told him that Blue Joule can do more than a thousand trillion calculations per second. But he would have been just as fascinated to see the smartphones and PCs taken for granted in offices nearby. In 1951, he said: “We have a computer here at Cambridge; there is one in Manchester and one at the NPL (National Physical Laboratory). I suppose there ought to be one in Scotland, but that’s about all.”

But Hartree was far from alone in his thinking. He and his fellow early pioneers of what would become IT knew how powerful their machines were , but never expected that they would become so commonplace. Yet Hartree was well aware of the potential computers had to change the business world. In 1946, in his inaugural lecture as Cambridge Chair of Theoretical Physics, Hartree said: “There are, I understand many problems of economic, medical and sociological interest and importance awaiting study which at present cannot be undertaken because of the formidable load of computing involved.” And in the late 1940s he worked with catering giant J. Lyons & Co on the development of LEO – the first computer ever used for commercial business applications. Lyons valued his contribution so much that the London building which housed LEO was renamed Hartree House. ALISTAIR HOUGHTON

An early computer at the University of Manchester in 1949. The contemporary caption describes it as a “super auto brain” and “one of the most amazing machines of the century”


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

trading gossip ■

SO GREAT is Liverpool that even Mancunians can be seduced by its delights – but there is a limit. You may have read elsewhere in today’s edition that

former Liverpool Vision chief executive, Jim Gill, is to be chairman of the city’s Commercial District BID. Jim has spent many years working in Liverpool but was actually born and bred in Greater Manchester. He said: “The only thing that stops me from giving myself entirely to Liverpool is football – I am a Manchester United fan and I love all the joshing.”

A passion for cricket keeps legal eagle busy myday off Legal consultant and lawyerTony Elwood, 61, is a passionate supporter of his local cricket club

I

SUPPOSE it could be said that I don’t really get a day off, but I’m happy that way as what I do in my spare time is a passion I have always had and it is showing no sign of waning. Since 2009 I have been chairman of Southport and Birkdale Cricket Club and became chairman of the whole sports club which includes cricket, tennis, squash, snooker and hockey clubs in 2011. It’s cricket that is my passion, though, and it’s a game I’ve always loved ever since I first picked up a bat and ball way back in the 1960s. My passion for the game has seen me qualify as a playing member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and I have played as an amateur across various counties in the North West, making some great friends and having some great laughs along the way. I still play every Wednesday in the Cheshire County League's over 40s' competition, in addition to coaching at Southport and Birkdale when I can. I really enjoy seeing our young players progress through into our senior teams. As a club we are working hard with local schools to promote the game and are making good progress with both boys and girls. I’m particularly keen to get more girls playing cricket and this was one of my objectives when I started as chairman. Other challenges that I set myself included becoming more competitive on the field of play, which I think we have achieved and to see County Cricket return to Southport, which it did in 2011 and will again this August when Lancashire will host Hampshire in an LV=

‘I enjoy seeing young players get on’

Registrar Tony Elwood enjoys playing cricket in his spare time County Championship match. As a club we were delighted to welcome Lancashire back in 2011 following a break of 12 years. I think people had started to forget that we had previously hosted some 39 first class fixtures and have had some really terrific matches here, including in 1982 when Warwickshire scored 524 in a single day – and lost! We also hosted Muralitharan's home debut for Lancashire in 1999, when he took seven wickets in each innings again against Warwickshire - but this time Lancashire lost. In addition to the Lancashire match we’re holding a PCA England Masters match this summer which will see a

team of famous ex-international cricketers including Darren Gough taking to the Trafalgar Road pitch in September. These fixtures in addition to our regular team matches will certainly be keeping me and the rest of our hard working team of volunteers busy right through to the end of the season. While my wife and two sons have never really understood my fascination and love for the game, they are very supportive of me and understand that it’s always been a huge part of my life. When I step down as chairman to let someone else take the reins, at least I know I’ll still be able to come down and watch the teams play – perhaps from a more relaxed position at the end of the bar.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

end piece

post business

23

networking Andrew Roberts, DLA, Marjorie Barrow, Professional Liverpool, and Charles Hurst, Coulter Hurst, at the Professional Liverpool event

Viva Brazil in Castle Street, Liverpool

my favourite lunch

The professionals

PROFESSIONAL Liverpool held its summer drinks reception at Restaurant Bar and Grill, Halifax House, Brunswick Street. Pictured, left, Brian

Ricketts, BDO, Andrew Lovelady, Professional Liverpool and Andy Oakes from BW Macfarlane. ■ Pictures courtesy of Arthur Gold.

Taking the challenge FIVE friends from a Warrington business are taking part in a fundraising challenge that will see them cover a combined total of more than 1.2m metres. Flextronics Global Services and Software employ-

It’s the chain gang

THE Exchange Station development is sponsoring a team of four local cyclists who will push themselves to the limit to raise money for Liverpool children’s charity KIND.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16

AWARD-winning journalist Mary Murtagh is hosting a free hour-long PR taster workshop aimed at entrepreneurs, small business owners and social enterprises. The workshop covers 10 top tips for great press releases and offers advice on what journalists want. The training is useful for any social enterprise, charity, public sector organisation, or business, however big or

small. The event takes place between 2.30pm-3.30pm at Lumisi, Westminster Chambers, Hunter Street, Chester. To book, please visit http:// howtodoyourownprfree tastersessions.eventbrite. com

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16

SEFTON residents who want to set up a business that could benefit their community can find out how to progress their

Q What is your favourite lunch venue? A Viva Brazil, Castle Street, Liverpool. Q Why is this your favourite venue? A It is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse with delicious food and a great atmosphere. The passadors are always helpful and make me feel as if I’m actually in Brazil, if only for a few moments. It’s like going on holiday for a lunch break.

ees Sharon Langhorne, Helen Burton, Tracy Worrall, Emma Sunderland and Linda Hill, right, have taken up the 5/50 challenge, in a bid to raise more than £1,000 for the Rett Syndrome Research Trust.

business diary

Phillip Roscoe, Santander relationship director

idea at two workshops. Staff from the Big Enterprise in Communities team at Sefton CVS will offer advice on starting a social enterprise at events in Bootle and Southport. The Bootle social enterprise workshop will be in the May Logan Centre, 294 Knowsley Road, Bootle from 10am-1pm, and the series concludes with the Southport event on Friday, August 23, from 1-4pm at the Sefton CVS office in the Shakespeare Centre on Shakespeare Street. Both events are free. For more

The team are all colleagues at Griffiths & Armour, who will ride from London to Brussels in September Exchange Station is sponsoring the team, left.

information contact Gill Blane on 0151-920 0726 ext 224 or Jenny Dexter on ext 202.

WEDNESDAY, AUG 21

Business Club’s Summer Social Women in Business Networking free event takes place between 6pm and 8.30pm. The networking event will include business lessons from ‘Bollyfit’ owner Pooja Saini. Having set up and developed her own Bollywood dance-based fitness classes, she has received local and national media

Q What is your favourite dish and why? A I’m partial to steak so the contra fillet is right up my street – a soft fillet which melts in the mouth. That said, the barbecue pineapple dessert with caramelised sugar is a secret pleasure to round the lunch off. Q What is the best bit of business you have ever done over lunch? A A lunch meeting can be a great opportunity to relax with a client and really get to know more about them and their business. I find that business owners who are passionate about what they

coverage for her business and is continuing to put Bollyfit on the UK map.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23

LIVERPOOL Chamber of Commerce is hosting a charity event for Mencap Liverpool at its Old Hall Street offices, from 8.30am to 10am. ‘Tea With Me’ is an opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea and piece of cake while networking and raising money for Mencap Liverpool. Mencap Liverpool supports people with a learning difficulty and all

Phillip Roscoe do are generally the ones we end up investing in, and it’s often over a relaxed and informal lunch meeting that you gain a real insight into a client’s passion and motivation. Q Who would you most like to have lunch with? A Lewis Hamilton, just to hear about life in the fast lane and why he decided to call his dog Roscoe. Q Where else do you like to go for lunch? A London Carriage Works is another favourite, located at the other end of the city centre. If I could go anywhere though, a visit to Raffles in Singapore sounds idyllic.

the proceeds from the chamber morning will be donated to the charity. The chamber said it is pleased to invite all its members to its members business suite to enjoy ‘Tea with me’ as part of its support for National Learning Disability week. There is no entrance fee but donations are welcome.

MONDAY, AUGUST 26

THE Employability and Skills Group of companies is holding a series of open days at its Bold Street site. It invites schools, pupils,

careers advisors, training providers, job centres, and employers to its events which run from 10am to 4pm on the second floor of Link 19 in Bold Street’s Central Village. It says the open days provide a chance to find out how it can help individuals to obtain full time jobs via the apprenticeship programme. Contact Jules Westbrook or Pauline O’Brien on 0151-702 6111. ■ Send your diary events to neil.hodgson @liverpool.com


Investment Advice. At Charles Stanley Liverpool we have a different approach to investment services. Rather than slotting you into someone else’s financial model, we custom build a service around you.

For further information please contact Derek Gawne on the details below: 20 Chapel Street, Liverpool, L3 9AG 0151 255 2680 www.charles-stanley.co.uk/liverpool Please be aware that the value of your investments may fall as well as rise and your capital may be at risk.

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Post Business - 15th August 2013