Tag Archives: Lancashire

Quarterly Economic Review


The East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce are giving you the opportunity, once again, to tell the Government what it’s like doing business in East Lancashire in 2017.

The survey is carried out quarterly and is taken very seriously by central Government as it provides an economic snapshot of the area. It’s important that as many businesses as possible complete the survey so that the results provide a true reflection across all sectors and that the Government has the best information on which to make important decisions that may impact our area over the next few months.

To complete the survey, please click the button below.


PM+M Helps East Lancs Box Co. Limited Secure Six Figure Lancashire Growth Fund Grant

Press Photo - ELB

L-R: Andrew Cowking (PM+M), David Ingham, Peter Ingham, Amy Ingham & Neil Harrison

Andrew Cowking and the PM+M team have helped East Lancashire Box Co. secure a £120,000 grant from the Lancashire Growth Fund which will see the creation of 12 new jobs.

East Lancashire Box Co. was established in 1981 and is headquartered in Rishton near Blackburn. It manufactures bespoke cardboard box packaging and products. It offers a complete service, from initial concepts to the final product and handles all elements of design, print and production. The company’s product range is visible on the shelves of all the major supermarkets both within the UK and overseas.

The grant will be used to purchase new equipment including a state-of-the-art printer and a die cutter. The aim is to create a colour printing facility under one roof in 16,000 sq ft of new production space at the Junction 7 Business Park in Clayton-Le-Moors with the capacity to meet current and expected demand. The 12 new jobs will include apprenticeship and production positions.

Andrew Cowking – partner at PM+M – handled the forecasts for the grant application whilst Neil Harrison of The Harrison Partnership coordinated all elements of the grant application process, which was completed in just over 3 weeks from starting the application to the making of the offer.

Peter Ingham – director of East Lancashire Box Co. – said: This is a significant investment for the company and is an exciting milestone in our history. The grant will help to support our growth plans and will ensure that we are able to develop our offering and provide a bespoke service to all our customers – from small businesses to multinationals.

Andrew Cowking added: “East Lancashire Box Co. is a forward thinking family-owned business and one of the region’s most entrepreneurial companies. We were delighted to help them secure the grant and we look forward to seeing how it aids their expansion over the coming years.”

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!”



Investing – Are You Ready?


With interest rates at an historic low, cash in the bank is currently earning next to nothing.  Meanwhile, life expectancy is continuously rising and the retirement window is growing, leaving many people with the need to maximise their savings and their retirement pots. You know you need to invest but these are uncertain times.  The threat of Brexit, a fall in oil prices, election time in the USA and economic difficulties in emerging markets all add up to a worrying and confusing picture.

The experienced team at PM+M have guided clients through a number of economic cycles and can give you tried and tested strategies to get your investment strategy right.

So join us at our seminar on Wednesday 26 March at Bertram’s Restaurant in Burnley and we’ll show you how you can efficiently plan your investments to create greater financial security and give you peace of mind. To book, please click the button below or call the marketing team on 01254 679131.



PM+M Wealth Management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

It’s manufacturing, but not as we know it!

3D Widget Printing

I have written blogs and articles before on the advance of 3D printing and what it could mean for manufacturing in all kinds of sectors. The new Airbus A350 XWB (unveiled last year) has about 1,000 3D printed components. 3D printing is clearly no longer a novelty manufacturing process and it has the potential to transform the aerospace industry supply chain and cost structure, producing lighter parts faster with less waste. Currently, the components are mostly widgets and brackets, small routine parts rather than large structures. The size of the part is limited by the size of the printer so it is difficult to imagine a machine large enough to make an airframe, but wider applications seem to be a distinct short term possibility.

But clock the latest advances. Scientists in the US have been using 3D printing to create living body parts with sections of bone, muscle and cartilage all functioning normally when implanted into animals. Move over Dr Frankenstein!!

Seriously though, this technology has the potential to disrupt many industries and there is significant funding being made available in the sector. Rosebud Finance and the North West Fund have recently invested additional money in an East Lancashire business to finance its rapid growth. It seems the possibilities are only limited by the boundaries of imagination.

If you are thinking of investing in new technologies and need pointing in the direction of funding, then give one of the Corporate Finance team a call on 01254 679131 and ask to speak to Jim Akrill or Tim Mills or contact me directly at jim.akrill@pmm.co.uk.

Jim Akrill – Corporate Finance Partner

Launching Business From Lancashire To China

BeijingThe People’s Republic of China is a complicated and amazing place – the world’s second largest economy, home to 1.5 billion people and a place experiencing change on a scale hard to imagine from the outside.  It also inspires vast amounts of comment and opinion, and much of this comes from people with strong prejudices.

I try very hard not to be prejudiced (“professional scepticism” is a corner stone of my role) and from my 5 days of immersion in China last week at the Global Praxity Conference in Beijing (presentations, Q&A, visits, reading, discussions …..) my potted summary is:

  • The Chinese economy is still very rapidly changing and new features are:
    Manufacturing, exports and construction are all still huge but are no longer growing;
    Domestic consumption and services are growing rapidly; and
    The cost of doing a lot of things in China is no longer any cheaper than in Britain
  • There are incredible opportunities in this changing economy for:
    Supplying the domestic consumers in China; and
    Working with the higher cost and more sophisticated businesses to deliver great and value added services.
  • Chinese markets are still very challenging, with particular challenges from:
    Uncertain protection for intellectual property rights (but signs of improvement);
    Erratic enforcement of rules, especially with State owned Enterprises; and
    Official decision-making – the crackdown on corruption seems to be real, with an unintended consequence that all decision-making is slowed down
  • Political and commercial links are at an all-time high between China and the UK
    Chinese sensitivities over criticisms of human rights have been eased;
    The UK economy has always been exceptionally open to international investment and Chinese capital is now taking full advantage (see Airport City in Manchester);
    Commercial links are improving, for example the expansion of direct flights to China from Manchester.

The key point is unquestionably that you can leverage great success but it requires care and effort. PM+M’s allies in China are ShineWing, the largest domestic Chinese accountancy firm.  They are thoroughly accustomed to working with western businesses, helping them deal with the challenges of the Chinese market and avoid the regulatory pitfalls.  We can introduce you to great people to talk to in Beijing, in Shanghai, in Hong Kong and can draw on the network of 23 offices around China.

If you’re thinking of doing business or already do business in China, please get in touch. I can be contacted at david.gorton@pmm.co.uk or on 07710 703463.

David Gorton – Senior Partner and Head of Corporate Services

Jane Parry and Kirsty Wright Nominated for Women in Business Awards

L-R: Kirsty Wright and Jane Parry

L-R: Kirsty Wright and Jane Parry

Jane Parry, managing partner and Kirsty Wright, office manager, have been nominated for Financial Advisor of the Year and Employee of the Year respectively at the Women in Business Awards 2015.

The event (hosted by Downtown in Business) will take place at The Villa Country House Hotel in Preston on Friday 13 November. Business women from all over the county will come together to recognise the achievements and hard work of the individuals driving business growth.

Of her nomination, Jane said, “It’s great to be nominated for an award and I’m honoured to be leading such a fantastic firm. Everyone at PM+M is working towards one goal and we have achieved so much over the last couple of years. Our aim is to add value wherever possible to our clients, our team and our community and to do so with personality and the right values.”

Kirsty said, “It’s a great honour to be nominated for this award.  I work with a strong team of people here at PM+M and they are all a key factor in my nomination. I firmly believe that we all work towards our core values of quality, achievement and fun in all that we do and achieve.”

To vote for both Jane and Kirsty, please click the button below.


Spotlight on Jane Parry, Managing Partner

Jane Parry WebsiteSince becoming managing partner of PM+M on 1 May this year, life has been busy.

I have been continuing to drive our growth plans and create a continual focus on clients and their experience of dealing with us.  As part of this, we have just started a programme of client service visits to ask how we are doing and what we could do better.

We’re always delighted to receive feedback, good or bad. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

We’ve added two new partners since 1 May – Helen Clayton in our Corporate Services team and Andrew Cowking in Run My Business.  Both of them are already adding fresh ideas and value to PM+M.  We also welcome aboard the clients who joined us with Andrew and look forward to meeting you soon.

This month our headcount has surpassed 80 people for the first time when we took on an apprentice in our Run My Business team.  We’re looking forward to seeing them grow alongside our other trainees to help better service our clients.

We’re looking forward to moving into our new Burnley office. The builders are in at the moment and we are hoping to be in our shiny new office by the end of October. The office will be larger than our current Burnley office, allowing us to expand our team and provide a greater focus on helping Burnley and East Lancashire businesses.

We’re delighted to welcome all new clients to PM+M and, in particular, we were very pleased to be reappointed as auditors and tax compliance advisers for Blackburn Rovers.

To contact me please email jane.parry@pmm.co.uk or call 01254 679131

Where Next For East Lancashire?

shutterstock_5641843East Lancashire is an area blessed with great businesses and proud lively communities.

The businesses have strong roots in many directions: the world class advanced engineering specialisms driven by the BAE sites at Salmesbury and Warton; textile and engineering businesses born in the nineteenth century which have evolved and prospered; high value knowledge based businesses run by people who live in the Ribble Valley as they consider it the best place in the world to live; and businesses started from the local entrepreneurial community, including many from families recently arrived from Asia.

The vibrant local communities do not fit easily into local authority boundaries and the centres of the local towns have not adjusted to the changes in retail and leisure over the last 50 years, let alone the last 20.  Heroic efforts are being made to improve central districts, but the real sources of pride for the region are the people: their energy, their entrepreneurship, their international links and their businesses.

The future looks particularly bright for the advanced engineering sector, but manufacturing is strong across the region. There are also a lot of design and creative companies with massive potential.

The challenge for local leaders is to make it clear to potential business partners, investors and residents how great the area as a whole is, and what potential it has, without legacy issues such as town centres, fragmented local government and poor reputations distracting them.

The good news is that this challenge is being met, with improving links between the business world and government and a real focus on showcasing success, especially business success.

David Gorton – Senior Partner & Head of Corporate Services

A Second Successful Year For Blackburn Beer Festival


Jane Parry, Managing Partner of PM+M (left), Stephen Anderson, Corporate Services Partner at PM+M (right).

Over the bank holiday weekend, PM+M were proud to be the headline sponsors of the second Blackburn Beer Festival, held at Blackburn Rugby Club.

In aid of Blackburn Youth Zone, the beer festival attracted over 1,100 people over the 3 days for a weekend of sport, live music and most importantly, beer! On top of being headline sponsors, PM+M took control of the bar on the Sunday afternoon, serving (and sampling) beers to droves of amateurs and fanatics.

It was also a historic weekend for Thwaites Brewery, who kindly donated the last ever barrels of Blackburn brewed Wainwrights. It should come as no surprise that it sold out within hours!

The festival raised over £30,000 for Blackburn Youth Zone. David Gorton, Senior Partner at PM+M and Chairman of the beer festival, said: “The Blackburn Beer Festival has quickly become a major entry in the calendar.  An event which has 1000 happy customers, 300 delighted guests and raises £30,000 is fantastic for the town and for the Youth Zone. As chair of the organising committee I have been amazed at the depth of support and goodwill from the business community in arranging this and I am deeply grateful for the donations in kind, the attendance and particularly the funds raised. Special thanks are due to Thwaites for their help in set up and to BRUFC for being great hosts.”

Thanks also go to Daniel Hill, Marketing Assistant, for his help on the organising committee, staffing the bar on Sunday and for running the Blackburn Beer Festival Facebook page.

For more information about the beer festival and to see photos from this year’s event, visit www.blackburnbeerfestival.com or follow @BburnBeerFest on Twitter.