Tuesday 30th November 2021
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 20/10/2021

"Rocky road ahead" for firms after involvencies rise sharply

A dramatic rise in corporate insolvences in September suggests there may be a "rocky road ahead" for many firms now that government support to keep businesses afloat during the pandemic has ended according to the Eastern branch of R3. Insolvency Service figures show that the number of insolvent businesses in England and Wales increased by 7.2 per cent in September to a total of 1,446, up 56 per cent on the month last year and close to the 1,515 seen in January of last year. R3 Eastern chair Alistair Bacon, of AMB Law in Ipswich, said: “The monthly rise in corporate insolvencies was driven by Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations, which have increased for the third consecutive month. Directors may be closing their businesses after deeming financial survival unlikely after 18 months of struggling through a pandemic. Despite the fact that businesses have benefitted from two months of restriction-free trading and the economic boost over the summer, conditions are still not back to where they were before Covid-19."

He added: “Consumers are now more cautious about the state of the economy and the growing cost of living and are more wary about spending their money. With widespread supply chain disruption and significant wholesale energy price increases building up between September and October, there is likely to be little slack for vulnerable businesses."

Ipswich-based PR and digital marketing agency acquired by fast-growing group

PLMR, a fast-growing communications agency, has acquired East Anglia PR and digital marketing agency Genesis as it strengthens its focus across the East of England and further develops its services. Ipswich-based Genesis employs 21 staff and in October the firm won agency of the year for the third year running in the Chartered Institute of PR awards for Anglia, Thames and Chiltern region along with eight other awards. It works with clients in business and professional services as well as education, training, health, public sector and charities. PLMR has been based in the region since 2017 with an office in Chelmsford and is part of a network spanning London, the Midlands and Scotland. The agency works with many clients in the East of England including the UK Innovation Corridor and a range of major property developers. The acquisition of Genesis will bring together its strengths with PLMR in the region to establish one of the largest communications agencies in the East with a comprehensive range of skills and services. Kevin Craig, PLMR’s chief executive, said: “We have admired the successful growth of Genesis for many years and are delighted now to be able to work with the team. The acquisition gives us a market leading presence in the East of England.”

Co-founder of Genesis, Penny Arbuthnot, said: “It was essential for us that any buyer of Genesis would share our values and be a fit with the Genesis services and sector expertise and we have found all of this with PLMR. The synergy has been clear from the outset and we are excited by the progressive approach, expertise and additional resources which bring new opportunities for clients and the team.”

Photo (l-r): Simon Darby, director, East of England at PLMR; Penny Arbuthnot and Charles Arbuthnot, co-founders of Genesis; Kevin Craig, chief executive of PLMR.

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Work starts on Haverhill development

Trebor Developments has started work on site for Phase 2 of its industrial development at The Ridge, Haverhill. This phase involves a 100,060 sq ft unit which has been pre-let to TAIT – and is the largest pre let in the area in recent years - together with two further smaller speculative units of 22,120 sq ft and 47,468 sq ft. Works on site started this month and the units will be available for occupation next June. Meanwhile, one unit remains available as part of the first phase totalling 51,321 sq ft which provides new build industrial space and which is seeing strong interest. Greg Dalton, development manager for Trebor, said: “We are delighted to be on site delivering TAIT’s new state of the art facility and at the same time constructing more units for local occupiers on a speculative basis. The commencement of Phase Two following the pre-letting of the largest unit will see further industrial units available in 2022 in an area that continues to suffer from a lack of high quality available product.” Trebor Development is represented by M1 and Bidwells.

Photo (l-r): Matthew Stott, TAIT (director, project management – Europe and Asia); Sean Duffy, A&H Construction & Developments plc (contracts manager); Kevin Malle of Trebor Developments LLP (project management director); Phillip Horne, A&H Construction & Developments plc (site manager); Lee Buckingham, TAIT (operations director); and Rory Banks, Bidwells (surveyor).

Resort to add 11,000 sq ft of extra office space

Wyboston Lakes, the major resort close to the Cambs/Beds border, has secured planning permission to add 11,000 square feet of extra space to its serviced office facilities and is launching a new service, Landing Pad, providing serviced offices, branded space and co-working options. Work to create the new co-working space will start in November as part of a refurbishment of the hotel. The co-working space is expected to be ready by March 2022. Steve Jones, managing director of Wyboston Lakes, said: “The way businesses use space has changed recently, particularly since the pandemic. They want to be in control, they want to be able to change easily and they want to know that they are not tied into something that may not suit their needs in 12 months’ time. Landing Pad will give them options to take less space, or more space if they need it, combined with the benefits of access to the rest of the facilities available within the resort.

Business advisory firm recruits trainees for growth

RSM UK has strengthened its plans for long-term growth in East Anglia with the recruitment of 11 new trainees, with most joining the firm this summer. The audit, tax and consulting firm has recruited eight graduates and three school leavers in Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. In Bury the recruits will join RSM at its new office at Blenheim House, which it moved to in April in what was one of the largest office lettings in the town in recent years. Nationally, the firm has taken on almost almost 600 new recruits, including 429 graduates and 103 school leavers. Laragh Jeanroy, RSM office managing partner for East Anglia, said: “The jobs market is extremely competitive for young people, and this has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. I am glad we are able to offer a first step on the career ladder to so many bright, intelligent and hardworking individuals at what is an exceptionally challenging time.”

New partner at chartered accountants firm

David Fairbank, business services director based in the Ipswich office of Ensors Chartered Accountants, has accepted an invitation to become a partner of the firm. He joined Ensors’ Saxmundham office as a student in 2006, completing his studies and qualifying as a certified chartered accountant in 2011. In 2015, he was promoted to manager of the business services department in Saxmundham and, two years later, moved to the Ipswich office to head up the busy and expanding business services offering.  In October 2019, he was promoted to associate director. David Fairbank (right) has established a loyal client base across a wide spectrum of industries in the east Suffolk area. His clients range from start-ups to £10m turnover businesses and he works closely with them, assisting with their accounting systems and implementing change to improve efficiencies. David Scrivener, Ensors managing partner, said: “The partners are delighted to welcome David to the partnership and look forward to working with him to take the business forward. He is highly respected across the east Suffolk area by clients and colleagues alike.”

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Norfolk-based law firm appoints two new directors and property executive

Law firm Rogers & Norton has promoted Laura Rumsey and Aidan Tidnam to the role of director from 1st November. Laura Rumsey joined Rogers & Norton as a trainee in 2014 and has gone on to lead the private client team in Norwich before now being promoted to director. She has extensive experience on wills, probate, administering estates, powers of attorney and court of protection work. Aidan Tidnam joined the team in 2017 as practice manager. His primary role is to increase the efficient and effective delivery of operations and client services and he is also responsible for overseeing the company’s management team and support functions. Earlier in October, Liz Coleman joined the residential property team as property executive. She has over 30 years’ experience in the sector, gaining most of this experience from a local firm and she has a particular interest in riverside properties. Managing director Bruce Faulkner said: "We are delighted to be able to make these three appointments. Laura has been with us since she started her training and we are always pleased when we can promote from within particularly when someone has been with us since the start of their career.  Aidan joined us four years ago and is an integral part of the senior management team. He is responsible for the day to day operation of the company and is very much my ‘right hand man’. As such the board are delighted to have secured his services for the future development of the business. Liz Coleman is a very well respected conveyancer and brings with her years of experience to boost our already excellent team."

Photo (l-r): Laura Rumsey, Bruce Faulkner and Aidan Tidnam.

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Cambridge company wins in two categories at manufacturing awards

Cambridge company Domino Printing has won awards in two categories at the regional Make UK Manufacturing Awards 2021 for the Midlands and East held at the University of Warwick. Domino was awarded the health and safety award for its in-house development of two new systems – a QR-code-driven reporting tool allowing instant reporting of incidents or ‘areas for improvement’ as and when they are noted by employees, and an intuitive database for accurate assessment of hazardous substances. Meanwhile, the company was awarded the runner-up prize in the for Developing Future Talent for its commitment to building in-house expertise through continual learning and development, as well as ongoing projects to ‘make Domino a great place to work’. In all the company was nominated in four separate categories. Carl Haycock, UK printer operations director at Domino said: “I am delighted that Domino was able to get up on the stage twice and showcase our brand – this is a real credit to the work the whole team has done in the areas of both health and safety and talent development.”

Photo - The Domino team (l-r) : Phil Pelling, material Ppanner; Alicja Cunningham, HR business partner;  Fiona Jones, UK safety, health & environmental advisor;  Carl Haycock, UK printer operations director and group manufacturing excellence/H&S; and Reece Johnstone, electro-mechanical assembler.

Charity golf day raises over £7,000 for hospice

Over £7,000 has been raised for Colchester’s St Helena Hospice after more than one hundred people swung into action at Ingleton Wood’s Charity Golf Day to set a new fundraising record for the event. The Colchester-based property and construction consultancy raised a total of £7,290.52 for the local hospice after the annual event made its return at Hintlesham Golf Club. Basildon-based Millane Contract Services were crowned champions with a four-ball score of 133 points. Ingleton Wood’s A team were runners-up, entering the clubhouse on 129 points. David Cresswell, managing partner at Ingleton Wood and a St Helena Hospice trustee, said: “It was fantastic to welcome back so many of our clients and contractors after the restrictions of the past 18 months and it was heart-warming to see such a genuine desire from everyone to raise as many funds as possible throughout the day.”

Photo: Basildon’s Millane Contract Services were crowned champions at the Ingleton Wood Charity Golf Day 2021 at Hintlesham Golf Club with a four-ball score of 133 points.

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