Monthly Archives: May 2014

HMRC Continues to Target Landlords

Landlords who have failed to register with HMRC, or who have under-declared or under-paid tax risk being caught out and fined by HMRC as part of a targeted campaign which is currently underway.

If landlords wait for this to happen, they will not be able to sort out their tax affairs under the most preferential terms.  If in doubt, landlords should speak to us or should access the new online tutorials that HMRC have released which are designed to help check if you are compliant.

HMRC has also begun writing to around 40,000 landlords about their tax.  So far, more than 2,500 people renting out residential property have voluntarily contacted HMRC to put their tax affairs in order under the Let Property campaign.

If you are in this position, or think that you might be, please contact us as soon as possible so we can help you bring your tax affairs up to date in the most painless way possible.

Details of the Let Property campaign can be seen here – www.gov.uk/let-property-campaign

The new tutorials can be seen at – www.hmrc.gov.uk/courses/syob2/letting/index.htm

For further details please speak to Julie Walsh on 01254 679131 or Julie.walsh@pmm.co.uk

How can your manufacturing business turn £1 into £20 or more?

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Recently, Richard Ainscough and I went to this intriguing event, held at Bentley in Crewe, run by the North West Aerospace Alliance and the Design Council.  Like many of you might be thinking now, we were thinking “Just what has design got to do with manufacturing in the SME sector?” We naturally related design more to high end goods, luxury brands and fashion.  Watches and handbags, not machine tools and component parts.  How wrong were we?

A recent study carried out by Warwick Business School and the Design Council showed clearly how design can add value to any organisation by:

  • Driving innovation and opening up uncontested spaces
  • Differentiating products and services to attract customers
  • Strengthening branding, embodying a company’s values and improving recognition

The more strategic the use of design, the greater the benefit, but design can also improve the work environment:

  • Facilitate interdepartmental collaboration encouraging teamwork, dialogue and creativity
  • Change the physical space to better reflect the brand or improve working practices
  • Provide a more structured approach to product or service development

And it wasn’t just academic speak either.  We went through case studies in a number of sectors including textiles, engineering and high technology where businesses had made huge strides forward through embracing design:

  • Enabling premium prices to be charged for world class products
  • Re-branding to develop new markets
  • Streamlining of new product development

Taking part in the Design Leadership Programme costs between £2,000 and £15,000 depending on your needs and the size of your organisation and you would be working with some of the most experienced designers in the UK.  So if you have an opportunity to turn £15,000 into £300,000 then what’s not to like?

Contact me or Richard for a confidential discussion.

Jim Akrill – Corporate Finance Partner

Partwell Group Acquires SJH Row & Sons

Blackburn-based manufacturer, Partwell Holdings, which specialises in cutting technology, CNC machining of plastic parts and the manufacture of food cutting surfaces, has acquired Essex-based competitor, SJH Row and Sons.

Row is a long-established business specialising in the manufacture of cutting surfaces for the food industry.

Partwell started trading in 1979. This latest acquisition takes staff numbers to 39 and is evidence of their continued growth and market expansion.

Jim Akrill, Corporate Finance Partner at PM+M, advised Partwell on the deal. He said: “This was an excellent strategic move for Partwell. Row is a brand leader in its sector. The acquisition opens up new markets for Partwell and introduces complementary product lines. The combined entities will have greater critical mass leading to enhanced future prospects.”

Legal adviser to Partwell was Blackburn-based commercial firm, Taylors. Corporate Partner, Stephen Jarman, said: “It was a delight to be able to help Partwell acquire such an historic, but still very relevant, company as SJH Row. One hundred and thirty years of trading history did throw up some problems, but we were able to overcome them. We wish Ashley and Partwell all the best with the new acquisition.”

MD at Partwell, Ashley Bradburn said “It has been a pleasure to work with PM+M and Taylors, whose input played a crucial role in ensuring the transaction went smoothly and was completed within our timeframes.”

Senior debt was provided by HSBC with additional working capital from North West Fund for Loans Plus, managed by FW Capital.

Celebration and Success

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Well the beer festival has finished and although there are a few loose ends to tie up it has been an overwhelming success.

Being an accountant there is always a temptation to judge success and failure principally by the financial outcome, but one of the great things about YouthZone is the way it compels me to think about many different angles.  We are trying to build a brand, a community, a partnership  –  a shared sense of commitment and ownership among the general public and the business community – all focused on delivering outstanding opportunities and support to the young people of our town.

Running the beer festival raised money allowing the continued delivery of services to young people.  It also gave the YouthZone an opportunity to develop relationships with new and different potential supporters (especially but not only businesses), to shout to a wide group of people about the great work it is doing and to improve the integration of its staff with its supporters.

From another angle it gave a lot of people a great opportunity to have a great time.

On just about every level, the festival was a success – we beat our targets for number of sponsors and value of sponsorship, we beat our targets for attendance and spending and we spent less money doing it than planned.  See – I am an accountant and, once again, I fall into financial assessment (equally the lawyers, brewers, marketers etc. on the organising team seemed pretty keen on the financial result as well).

We introduced more than 30 new businesses to supporting YouthZone, we had over 700 people attend and love an event we ran, we gave our sponsors a fabulous Friday afternoon of leisurely drinking, we gave 50 volunteers helping out a fantastic time (loads of them eager to lend a hand next year) and the organising team is really keen to run it next year.

Oh, and we raised £17,000 for the young people of Blackburn.

David Gorton – Head of Corporate Services

What sort of superhero can you be?

On 28th April we held our annual PM+M ‘big’ meeting, with everyone from the firm getting together at the Visions Learning Trust in Burnley. The theme we picked for the event this year was ‘Superheroes’.  Or, more specifically, how we can all be superheroes.

The event was led by Stephen Anderson, our Managing Partner, who, as you can see from the photo below also got the chance to fulfil an ambition to dress up as ‘Batman’, ably assisted by another of our Partners, David Gorton, as a rather taller than I remember ‘Robin’ – I can see the criminals of East Lancashire quaking as I type with these two on the loose!

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During the day, Stephen took everyone through various exercises and activities designed to make us all think differently about how we can be the best version of ourselves and go the extra mile for our clients – which as a firm, is what we’re all about.

We asked a couple of our clients, Andy Chemney from Ignition CBS and John Dickinson from The Intelligent Design Centre, to get involved in a really useful question and answer session to tell us what they thought of us, what we do well and what we could do better. The honest session provided some really great feedback and much food for thought for all of us.

Feedback from our clients is so important to us as a firm, so if there are any other customers out there who’d like to share their thoughts on what we’re doing well and how we could possibly do more to help, then we’d love to hear from you – the best way to do that is to drop Stephen an email stephen.anderson@pmm.co.uk or give him a call on 01254 679131.

The event ended with everyone in the team making a pledge about something specific they’ll do differently, with the plan that these will be opened and revisited over the next few months.

It was a really good day, everyone came away full of energy and enthusiasm, looking forward to being superheroes in their own way.

If you fancy becoming a ‘PM+M Superhero’, take a look at our current vacancies, we’re always looking for great people to join the team.

As for Batman and Robin…we’re struggling to get Stephen and David to give their costumes back!

Rick Brierley – PM+M Marketing Team