Monday 21st May 2018
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 06/06/2017

Global upswing keeps region’s manufacturers on the growth track

Manufacturers in the East of England are benefiting from an upswing in global markets and expect to continue to expand in the second half, according to a survey of the sector from EEF and BDO. Prospects in export markets have improved over the past year, particularly in Europe, where 61 per cent of firms nationally report positive demand. In the East, the second quarter survey points to a strong pick-up with a balance of 38 per cent of firms seeing output rise and 36 per cent reporting higher new UK orders after a flat first quarter. Investment levels have also nudged upwards and output is expected to remain strong in the next quarter with new orders holding steady and a balance of 25 per cent of firms saying they will be actively recruiting staff. Output has grown across all sectors with capital goods firms doing particularly well. Keith Ferguson, partner and head of manufacturing at BDO in East Anglia, said: “The Q2 survey results present a very positive and exciting picture for manufacturing, showing increasing orders in both home and export markets. The continued growth in world markets such as Asia, North America and Europe are driving positive demand conditions. " EEF has revised its forecasts upwards for manufacturing to 1.3  per cent in 2017 and 0.5 per cent in 2018….Read more

New building to be developed in Gt Yarmouth for energy group

One of the largest commercial buildings to be built in Great Yarmouth is to be developed by the Borough Council as a new hq for a growing energy sector firm Proserv, which employs 190 in the town. A new 65,000 sq ft office and production base is to be built in the Enterprise Zone at Beacon Park, through an agreement between Proserv, the borough council and New Anglia LEP. There is also an option to add a further 20,000 sq ft of workshop capacity. The borough council is investing £4.5m, with £1.5m coming from New Anglia LEP’s growing places fund and with Proserv, which is taking a 20 year lease, putting up to £2m towards the fit-out. The scheme will generate significant rental income for the council. Contractor Morgan Sindall is due to start on the 5.75-acre site in early June with Proserv set to move in early in 2018. The council’s political group leaders, Cllr Graham Plant, Cllr Kay Grey, Cllr Trevor Wainwright and Cllr Adrian Myers, jointly said: “This is a genuine win-win situation for the borough. These important skilled jobs, which are mostly filled by local people, will now stay within the borough, supporting the local economy and prosperity, and Proserv can expand to create more local job opportunities for local people.” Proserv has recently won over £12m in contracts for its decommissioning services.

Concern over IT firms as ‘mixed picture’ of recovery emerges

Technology and IT businesses in the East of England are at greater risk of insolvency than in almost any other region, according to a report from the Eastern branch of R3. It says 35 per cent of local tech and IT operators are in ‘heightened financial difficulty’. It also notes that 26 per cent of East of England retailers have a higher than average risk of insolvency, the second highest ratio of any UK region. But East of England agriculture businesses are among the best financial performers with just 15.7 per cent operating with an above-average insolvency risk. R3 Eastern chairman Mark Upton (photo, right), a partner at the Cambridge office of Ensors Chartered Accountants, said: “These statistics paint a mixed picture for business recovery in the region. Despite reports of an economic upturn, not all companies are trading profitably, with many burdened by unmanageable debt. There are, of course, many local IT and technology firms which are trading successfully and are at the forefront of innovation, particularly at the heart of the Cambridge market.”


Family department expands at Norwich-based solicitors

Norwich solicitors Cozens-Hardy LLP has appointed family solicitor Sophie Smith (right), a trained collaborative lawyer, to its family department. She advises on all aspects of family law, with an emphasis on dealing with the financial aspects arising from a divorce or relationship breakdown and adopts a non-confrontational and constructive approach to resolving issues. She said: “Cozens-Hardy has one of the strongest family departments in the region. Having taken a career break to raise my family, I’m excited to join the firm and help further expand their matrimonial work.

Senior partner Jane Anderson, senior partner, who heads the firm’s family department, said: “We are delighted that Sophie has chosen to relaunch her career with Cozens-Hardy; she brings both experience and youth to the firm and further strengthens our family department.”

Open Doors events to showcase Cambridge facilities

More than 30 venues in and around Cambridge are showcasing their facilities for meetings, conferences and corporate dining as part of a new series of 11 Open Doors events. Organised by Meet Cambridge, the showrounds comprise two, three and four venues within one session. Open Doors run from June to November, with the first on 22nd June when attendees will be visiting Cambridge Union Society, Westminster College and Lucy Cavendish College. Places on the tours need to be reserved but are free of charge to event organisers and each is limited to 14 guests. Judith Sloane from Meet Cambridge said: “Feedback from previous Open Doors events shows that offering a compact programme really does work and not only can several venues be seen in one go, all the arrangements are made too.”

Award for Bury-based agency

Bury-based marketing and design agency The Finishing Post has won a silver award in the ‘design: packaging’ category for the branding and packaging of the St Peter’s Brewery Crafted range at the Roses Creative Awards for agencies outside London. Alex Sutton, creative director at The Finishing Post, said: “To win an award in this category is fantastic recognition. This is testament to the hard work and commitment of our inspirational creative team.”

Steve Magnall, chief executive of St Peter’s brewery based near Bungay, said: “The Finishing Post understood our requirements perfectly, they have a great reputation for delivering a first-class service and creative solutions. The packaging provides on-shelf stand-out, but also sits comfortably alongside our core range.” St Peter’s Crafted Black IPA packaging design was also recognised at The International Beer Challenge Awards 2016 with a bronze medal.