Category Archives: Events

The Chancellor’s first (and last) Autumn Statement delivered little by way of surprises

The main tax changes were already known about – the planned increase in the personal allowance and income tax higher rate threshold and the reduction in the rate of corporation tax and reform of corporation tax loss and interest relief rules being the key ones.

The confirmation that the planned reduction in corporation tax rates to 17% in 2020 (19% next April)  is to go ahead is good news.  Interestingly, there was no mention of the “15% and beyond” spoken of by Theresa May on Monday.

Only time will tell how the North West will benefit from the £1.1bn extra investment in England’s local transport network; the more than £1bn for digital infrastructure; the £2.3bn to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas; the £1.4bn to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes; and the £400m for venture capital funds through the British Business Bank to unlock £1bn in finance for growing firms.  However, all are potentially positive announcements for the region.

It is to be hoped that a reasonable amount of the new £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund will find its way to the North West to support innovation by North West businesses and improve connectivity.

Given the advance publicity about R&D and innovation, it was a little surprising not to see any changes to R&D tax credits.  However, this is already a very generous relief.  The issue is more with the low take up of the scheme, rather than the nature of the tax reliefs on offer.  It is to be hoped that some of the new funding might be directed at improving accessibility of R&D reliefs.

The announcement of consultation on incorporation, which now seems to be seen as tax avoidance, was a little concerning and could cause uncertainty for many businesses who might be considering incorporation for perfectly legitimate commercial reasons.

There were a few targeted tax avoidance announcements, from a government which has already made significant strides in tackling avoidance and levelling the tax playing field.  None of them should have widespread impact.

Overall a relatively low key statement but some optimistic signs of a strong commitment to improving UK productivity and maintaining the UK’s attractiveness as a home for global businesses whilst helping UK businesses to compete in world markets.

Our full commentary will be emailed out tomorrow following our Autumn Statement seminar. If you’d like to receive a copy, please sign up to our mailing list here.

Pendleside Corporate Challenge

Picture taken by Tom Wright

Picture taken by Tom Wright

The PM+M team have been fundraising over the last couple of months as a part of the Pendleside Hospice Corporate Challenge. Over 25 companies took part in the challenge to raise as much money as possible. The challenge closed with an awards ceremony on Thursday 20 October at Burnley Mechanics. The PM+M team organised numerous “dress-down” days, a quiz for 75 local business professionals and sold raffle tickets which all added up to an impressive total of £1,303.47 raised for the hospice.

Pendleside Hospice enhances the quality of life for people with life-limiting illnesses, by delivering specialist and holistic care. Pendleside address their individually assessed physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. This care is free of charge to those they serve and relies on the kindness of donations.

Neil Welsh, PM+M Financial Advisor, said of the event “It has been great to be associated with the Corporate Challenge and to support a number of the fundraising events. I have attended two black-tie events including the final awards night, an evening of drinking-games (don’t ask!) and a quiz-night, buying an inordinate amount of raffle-tickets along the way!”

Helen Binns, PM+M Director and Head of the Burnley office, added “We’ve been very proud to take part in the Corporate Challenge this year and it’s been a fantastic series of events. There has been a lot of great fundraising ideas and it’s been fantastic to see all the companies involved support each other’s events to raise as much money as possible for such a worthy cause. We can’t wait to start it all again next year!”



A Day of Hit and Miss


Thursday 22 September saw the return of the Napthens Clay Shoot, raising money for Blackburn Youth Zone. The event was held at the impressive Coniston Hotel Country Estate and Spa where the fantastic weather highlighted the stunning North Yorkshire countryside.

Teams of four were welcomed at the Estate’s Shooting Lodge for coffee and bacon rolls on arrival, before being matched with a professional instructor and sent on their way to shoot 35 clay pigeons from a series of shooting posts. These were varied to provide a range of difficulty and to replicate the behaviour of pheasant, grouse or rabbit. Whilst it is fair to say that the real thing need not have been too concerned about their safety in our presence, this wasn’t the case for some of the four-man teams. PM+M was represented by Tim Mills and your truly, with my guests for the day being Jon Palich of Handelsbanken Burnley, Graham Campbell of Moose Media and Mike Duviau of Go-Velo.

Thanks to the expert tutelage of instructor Allan we were quickly showing signs of improvement. Two of our party had shot before but two (me included) were entirely new to the experience. Of the 35 clays that were presented to each shooter we managed 16,16, 14 and 9 ‘hits’. I’d like to think that there was an eco-conscious decision being made to allow the re-use of some clays or for their breeding population to be preserved.

Upon completion of the shoot, our band of four re-joined our fellow guests at the Hotel for a fine lunch and to share stories of the clay(s) that got away. I offer the option of singular or plural for the reason that Stephen Ford of RBS managed to shoot 34 of his possible 35 to take the Sharp-Shooter award. The other award available on the day was for Best in Show (Best Dressed) and I have to confess that the suggestion in advance of the day of Jamie Allison of Napthens being convinced he had this in the bag I had to explore the dark recesses of my wardrobe to offer him some competition. The fact that he was from the organising company and that I had strategically added a Blackburn Youth Zone coloured orange tie to my outfit meant that I snatched the prize from his eager hands.

The raffle and auction that followed helped to raise over £7,000 for BYZ with some especially generous prizes on offer and some equally generous bids from the room. Co-sponsors  Bowker BMW, Together Money and Wardfield Sporting Goods please take a bow.

A great day was had by all, with guests entertained and professional connections built or maintained. I look forward to defending one title and aiming (pun intended) for a second next year. I think there could be some practice planned, after all PM+M honour is at stake!

Neil Welsh – PM+M Wealth Management

PM+M Annual Quiz Raises £660 for Pendleside Hospice


L-R: David Buskey, Gary Jones and Jake Neary (all Woodcocks) and PM+M’s Jane Parry.

Once again, the PM+M annual quiz got the region’s best business brains ticking which took place on Thursday 22nd September at Ewood Park and it is the third time the quiz has been held.

Around 70 people attended with 22 teams competing from across the various sectors including banking, insolvency, property and legal. The categories were: Europe, Royalty, Blackburn, Burnley and Bury, the Olympics, food & drink as well as the ‘killer round’.

The night raised £660 for Pendleside Hospice.

The winning team for the third year running was Woodcocks Haworth & Nuttall who scored 71.5 points. The runners-up were Handelsbanken Blackburn, who notched up 70 points, followed by Clough and Willis who came in with 66.5 points.

Jane Parry – managing partner at PM+M – said: “This is the third year of staging the quiz and it just keeps getting more enjoyable. It’s fantastic to see so many of the region’s leading professionals in one room battling it out and raising cash for such a worthy cause.”


PM+M’s Third Office Officially Opens In Bury

8Over the last few weeks, there has been a flurry of activity. Our new Bury office at Waterfold Business Park, just off junction 2 of the M66, can now stand alongside the existing teams in Blackburn and Burnley. We aren’t focused on only having offices in towns that begin with the letter B – it’s just how it has worked out! There has been significant amounts of time put in to get it to where it is – from the ordering of furniture and equipment, to painting and cleaning, to the all important IT – the team has worked really hard enabling us to be up and running from today without a hitch. I am really proud of how everyone has worked together; it’s been testament to our culture and we have certainly lived up to our values – quality, achievement and fun.

The strategy for this third office is to strengthen existing and create new relationships across Bury and Greater Manchester. The partners recognised that we have a significant amount of great connections and fantastic clients in the area and so being able to have a base in Bury has become increasingly important. I joined PM+M as partner in July 2015 with a remit to open this third office. Due to the commitment from the partners and the focus from the team on networking and growing our brand, it’s happened ahead of plan, which is just fantastic.

To make sure that we align the culture of the Bury office with the rest of the firm, a team from the Blackburn office has transferred to Bury with a further team splitting their time across the offices. The style of property and the office complements the way we already work and interact with each other and our clients.

We are having a launch event on Tuesday 6th September between 4pm and 7pm.  If you are interested in attending, please email Alternatively, if you can’t make it but would like to call in another time, just give us a call.

So, life continues at PM+M in its usual way –  there’s lots happening, there’s an incredibly supportive team and we are working together to deliver the best service possible to our clients.

Helen Clayton – Head of Corporate Services


SME Values On The Rise


Recent data indicates that multiples being paid for SME businesses is increasing. Clearly this includes a large range of deal sizes and different industry sectors, but this is excellent news for business owners considering their exit options. The Small and Medium Enterprises Valuation Index issued by the UK200 Group indicates the mean P/E (Price / Earnings) multiple was 9.6 at November 2015 compared to 7.3 at November 2014.

Achieving a successful disposal requires planning to ensure the business is well positioned to achieve its full value. In general the longer the length of time available to plan for a sale, the better the outcome. There are however a number of areas within a business which may only require a few simple changes, that in turn lead to a significant increase in the value achieved on a sale.

Expert advice should be obtained on the areas to consider when there is a relatively short amount of time available before selling. These simple changes can increase the overall value of the business without impacting on the day to day operations. When you consider that many businesses sell on the basis of a profitable multiple, a £1 increase in after tax profit equates to an increase in potential value of £9.60 based upon the above P/E average.

There are currently many trade buyers with cash resources, who are looking to make acquisitions. Furthermore there are debt and equity providers with funds that require lending and investing. The combination of these are leading to more potential buyers and so if you are thinking about your exit strategy, my advice is…

Get on with it.

Tim Mills – Corporate Finance Partner

Family businesses often give rise to issues and opportunities not found in other companies. The PM+M Corporate Finance team are hosting a seminar to provide you with valuable information and simple, adaptable methods to increase the value of your business, whilst overcoming family and non-family issues.

Date: Wednesday 20 April 2016
Time: 8am – 9am (breakfast will be included)
Venue: PM+M, Greenbank Technology Park, Challenge Way, Blackburn, BB1 5QB

To book a place on this seminar, please email or call the Marketing team on 01254 679131.

The Budget Now The Dust Has Settled

shutterstock_343024226Now that the dust has settled on last week’s Budget and the immediate storm surrounding disability benefits has subsided, here is a quick round up of the key points from a tax and financial planning perspective:

  • A new lifetime ISA will be available from April 2017 for adults under the age of 40 to save up to £4,000 per year with a 25% contribution from the Government making it equivalent to basic rate tax relief on the amounts saved.
  • New dividend tax rates and personal allowances take effect on 6 April.  These provide a £5,000 tax free allowance per person but then an across the board 7.5% tax increase on any dividends over and above that amount.
  • Capital gains tax rates reduce to 20% on 6 April (or 10% for basic rate tax payers).
  • Entrepreneurs’ Relief – with its 10% capital gains tax rate – is extended to external investors in unquoted trading companies for new share capital subscribed post Budget day and owned for at least 3 years.
  • Corporation tax rates, set to reduce from 20% to 19% in April 2017, will reduce further to 17% in April 2020 and new rules will be introduced in 2017 to allow more flexibility in the use of brought forward trading losses.
  • A major revamp of business rates, permanently doubling the small business rate relief.
  • A new banded system of stamp duty land tax on commercial property, mirroring the residential property changes introduced last year.
  • A package of measures aimed at the residential buy to let sector, including a 3% stamp duty land tax supplementary charge from 1 April this year and changes to the deduction for interest payments from 6 April 2017.

With this Budget, plus the extensive range of measures previously announced and taking effect now, we are currently experiencing one of the most complex periods of change in tax legislation in recent history, making it more and more difficult to plan with certainty.  With the prospect of a post EU referendum emergency Budget in the Summer, it does not seem likely that tax is going to get simpler any time soon.

PM+M Host Successful Round Table Event

Following the Chancellor’s budget speech on 16 March, eight guests joined Jane Parry, David Gorton, Antony Keen and Helen Binns for PM+M’s very first round table event. The event successfully brought together business owners, a Council Executive and prominent members of the East Lancashire business community. Amongst guests were Brian Bailey (Blackburn Council), Mike Cheston (Blackburn Rovers Football Club), Caroline James (Trevor Dawson), Richard Slater (Fettle PR), Jason Gledhill (HSBC) and Jenny Burke (Forbes Solicitors).

In our summary video, David Gorton, Jason Gledhill and Mike Cheston give their views on how the Budget will affect Lancashire businesses.

Also, you can view the full commentary of the Budget by clicking the button below.


Following this successful event, PM+M now plan to host a series of roundtables on a wide range of topics. The next one is planned for immediately after the EU Referendum result is announced and is entitled “Where next for Britain?”. If you would like to register your interest in attending this or other future events, please email

The Budget 2016 – What Should We Be Expecting?

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With the Chancellor set to make his announcements next week, we are wondering what he may have up his sleeve. What we do know is the next stage of the pensions revolution has been cancelled it seems, or at least postponed.

We do not know what the Chancellor will have up his sleeve for us next week, but we can expect some significant tax changes and we haven’t entirely ruled out further changes to pensions.

We will be hosting our annual Budget seminars this year and details can be found below:


If you would like to attend one of our seminars, please book by clicking the button below or by calling 01254 679131.


We will also have all the key points from George Osborne’s Budget announcements on our blog on the afternoon of Budget day (16 March), followed by a full detailed commentary the day after.


Calling All Landlords…

shutterstock_309255455There have been a lot of changes recently involving tax allowable expenditure and various legislation changes that could have landlords paying hefty fines for non-compliance.

The latest regulation changes landlords are facing are the new ‘right to rent’ checks. This means that from 1 February landlords risk a fine of up to £3,000 per tenant if they let a property to a prospective tenant without first checking they have the right to reside in the UK.

These checks have to meet the following requirements:

- Conducted within 28 days before the start of the tenancy;
- Conducted as specified by the Government and an appropriate record kept.

The Government has recently launched an online checking tool which can be used by landlords to conduct the right to rent checks and can be found here:

So what if you’re considering becoming a landlord but are put off by the strict regulations you have to adhere to? Whilst the Government are introducing more and more legislation of late, it is important to remember there are still some benefits of becoming a landlord.

If you’re a landlord worried about the impending changes to the legislation, or if you’re considering becoming a landlord and would like to understand what is involved, please get in touch with Jonathan Cunningham ( or call 01254 679131.

We are running a Buy-To-Let seminar to guide you through the recent changes and how you can maximise your tax efficiency with simple and practical advice. To book, please click the button below.