Travel Grants available for Lancashire Companies

Lancashire companies can access an export grant of £1500 from the Chamber to help with costs associated with travelling to overseas markets and exhibiting internationally.

Criteria:

  • Small to Medium Enterprise (SME)
  • Less 250 employees
  • Less than €50m turnover

Support:

Examples of eligible expenditure include Flights / Accommodation / Exhibitions.

Purpose:

To explore new overseas opportunities and enhance export activity.

To Apply:

Contact Stef Heywood, International Trade Advisor, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce: t: 01254 356454

Uncertainty persists but corporate financial support IS available

 

SOARING inflation combined with pre-Brexit uncertainty has dented confidence among Britain’s finance bosses, according to an article by prominent financial newspaper City AM.

The continuing fallout from the June general election has only served to add to the air of confusion and concern, it adds.

There are a number of variable factors at play on the international stage, not least the dwindling strength of sterling on the world markets and a growing crisis of confidence.

However, my experience at Pierce Chartered Accountants is that while there IS uncertainty nationally and internationally, there ARE opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to take their companies to the next stage.

A good time to invest?

There’s never a good or bad time to invest per se. Corporate finance requirements depend on the specific life stage of your business. Even if you aren’t actively looking for additional financial support right now, it’s important to have an effective business plan in place that will support you in ensuring that you are ready to invest when the time comes.

Is funding available?

Despite concerns about the availability of growth finance, the reality is that money is available from a number of sources. We have longstanding relationships with numerous organisations who can provide advice, support and insight, including the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

Where should I raise money?

There are many different forms and sources of corporate finance and much depends on the individual characteristics of your business. Alongside more traditional forms of finance from banks and financial institutions, there are now opportunities with private funds and individuals, or “angel” investors, as well as a large number of equity-backed funding options.

What type of businesses are looking to grow currently?

Early stage technology companies are among those that are most actively seeking growth funding at present but there are many more traditional businesses seeking corporate finance solutions too. We have experience in securing funding for acquisitive and growing private businesses such as Calderprint, which raised money through the Lancashire Business Growth Fund, and also advise start-ups on issues ranging from accounting to trademarking their assets.

Why is it important for businesses to grow?

Not every business owner has ambitions to grow a large corporate entity. However, anyone in business will know the risks of standing still and stagnating. Suppliers and customers change, as do their needs. Staying ahead of the game need not necessarily involve additional corporate finance but we would always advise our customers to be mindful of what the future might bring.

Chamber Appoints New CEO Miranda Barker

David Sharpe, president of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “We are delighted, after an exhaustive process, to have been able to appoint someone of Miranda’s calibre and who knows the area well. We are confident that, building on Mike Damms’ legacy, she will successfully lead the Chamber and East Lancashire into a stronger future.”

For more than 20 years Miranda Barker has been intrinsically involved with Chambers, ranging from Wigan and Greater Manchester, to Halton, Liverpool and East Lancashire. She has worked as a board member, president, council and assembly member, as a bidding partner and as a policy adviser.

Miranda has been the owner of an SME, a director within a Plc, and an environmental consultant. She’s worked closely with clients across a wide range of manufacturing environments, from chemicals and food to advanced manufacturing here in East Lancashire. Customers and projects span from France, Sweden, Switzerland, and Holland, to Sri Lanka, Brazil, America and China, including promoting the export of UK innovations in renewable energy.

She has been involved (including coincidentally a period operating out of Red Rose Court, now the Chamber’s HQ) in successful area based programmes of proactive environmental support to small and large firms, creating financial benefit for both manufacturers and technology adopters across the region.

Miranda understands the perennial problems of a Chamber as an entity, balancing vibrant activities for a wide portfolio of members, ranging from international trade and manufacturing support, to quality training products and bespoke services, whilst driving effective regional and nationally focused policy campaigns.

On accepting the post of chief executive Miranda said: “I look forward greatly to working with the council, local business community, public sector and partners, and of course the chamber staff here in East Lancashire over the coming years.”

Miranda will officially take up the role on April 1.

Strategies to land the perfect catch

The question of how best to grow a business is asked again and again and again. Organic or acquisitive – either way the intended end-result is the same: the greater efficiencies and profitability that come through economies of scale and increased market clout.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with organic growth, it’s just that it takes time. It’s an option that Nick Dixon, director at Veriteva and a long-term buyer and seller of businesses in print, says firms should consider because “if acquisition is the focus there are a whole multitude of factors to consider… culture, financials, personnel, client overlap, market dynamics to name just a few.”

Even so, acquisition offers benefits which may be enough to sway any investor looking for a good return.

In essence, acquisition offers immediate cashflow as the target is already trading; brand recognition because the target has existing marketing, advertising, client contracts, trained employees and third-party relationships and is known within its trade sector; financing because a lender can see historical performance; trained employees – one of the most valuable assets in any business are employees that know the job; existing systems and infrastructure, which may need integration but which mean that the target is already running; and management which is invaluable in making introductions.

In contrast, setting up a new unit from scratch takes time, resources and finance that many firms struggle to provide.

So how should firms acquire?

Aim at a target

One obvious question is how should a firm identify a likely candidate?

Paul Holohan, chief executive of Richmond Capital Partners, a mergers and acquisitions specialist, reckons that the first step is to be clear on strategy: “Ask yourself why you are doing it and compare acquisition to alternative strategies. If you reach the conclusion that acquisition is the most appropriate approach then you need to develop a profile of the ideal target.”

Once they have created a profile, buyers should conduct market research and create a list of potential targets. Alternatively, as Paul Taylor, partner in the corporate department of law firm Fox Williams, suggests, a finance firm could be appointed to list targets. It’s an easier option, if expensive: “Particularly if you are looking for a domestic UK acquisition, the list of targets will often feature competitors of whom you are probably already aware. As such, paying a large finder fee may not be necessary if you know the market well and know of shareholders who may be interested in a disposal.”

Andrew Scrimgeour, former owner and chairman of label maker AJS Group, echoes this. He also recommends using a corporate adviser, but adds acquirers should know the potential targets’ “strengths and weaknesses and their likely receptiveness to an approach.”

Scrimgeour says that a good law firm experienced in mergers and acquisition is a “must have”. He advises firms to consider the reasons for the transaction: “Are your objectives to grow turnover, market share, gain economies of scale? What about geographic expansion, product range, acquisition of key staff or building scale to make you more saleable?” He emphatically advises against the pursuit of a target just to massage an ego.

David Sharpe, director at Pierce Group, a business advisery firm, takes a different tack and suggests that acquirers should consider what their offering is missing: “Print has several strands and so the key for an ambitious acquirer would be to identify and target the missing links in the business product portfolio.” He says that by doing this “the basket of goods is expanded and the cross-selling opportunities become significant.” He points to the example of Calderprint, a well-established trade printer which acquired Whitney Woods, which is in pop-up promotional products.

The first approach

Firms on the acquisition trail need to be cautious about how they hunt for a target. Scrimgeour says that if the owners are already known acquirers can approach, sensitively – “many owners can be flattered but some may be threatened.” Alternatively, an adviser can make a professional approach or suppliers with the right connections can open doors.

But how should you make an approach? Taylor says: “A direct telephone call to gauge the level of interest would normally be the most appropriate channel of communication. They can only say ‘no’ and if there is interest, a non-disclosure agreement can be put in place to facilitate further negotiations.” 

For some, the secrecy of the approach is very important and using a third party to make the initial contact can be useful. Pierce Group, for example, make contact but without mentioning a buyer’s identity – “the fact the letter comes from a reputable corporate financier with pedigree lends credibility,” says Sharpe.

And ‘letter’ is the key word as far as Holohan is concerned. “An email is an absolute no. The best method is a letter to the major shareholder personally signed. Even better is a letter from your adviser – as long as the adviser is known and respected in the industry.” 

He adds that research has shown that response rates are better through a trusted adviser. Contrary to Taylor, Holohan says that telephone calls can be interpreted as lacking in sensitivity and can be risky.

But while professional advisers can help, Dixon says that an initial approach doesn’t have to be either formal or complex: “An approach may be just as simple as picking up the phone and meeting for a coffee.”

Types of acquisition

According to Holohan, the most common reason for an acquisition in the printing industry in recent years is that of rationalisation of costs over two sites. “It gives an excellent opportunity to reduce costs and create one successful business,” he says, adding that the strategy could be driven by physical needs – a lease could be expiring on the existing property or premises may now have been outgrown. “In this situation, you may be looking to relocate to the target’s premises.”

The reality is that each situation is different, which is why Dixon says the purchase “very much depends upon how the target company is structured, who the ultimate owners are, and what type of owners are involved. Family, private equity, or is it a disparate shareholding?”

The next question to consider is whether to buy shares or the assets. Here Taylor notes that: “Given the favourable Capital Gains Tax rates and Entrepreneurs’ Relief, management shareholders will normally be looking to sell shares.” But his comment comes with a warning: as all liabilities will be inherited on a share acquisition, the acquirer will need to take extra care with its due diligence. Scrimgeour agrees and says acquirers should not underestimate the amount of due diligence. He says: “There are very important differences between acquiring the share capital and buying the assets or the book of business… seek professional counsel is my advice.”

Of course, everyone has a different perspective on what they want (or can afford) to buy. Some want elements, others want the whole business – the preferred option for Sharpe. Why? As he sees it, while there may be a duplication of resources, “if the business is broken up and sold in chunks, complications arise with restrictive covenants, tax issues for the seller, warranties (guarantees), etc.” He favours purchase by way of a share sale.

Due diligence

Understanding what is being bought is key. Although acquirers will usually be able to obtain warranties from shareholders, there is no substitute for extensive due diligence. Taylor says the process falls into three distinct areas – legal which will be handled by lawyers; financial and tax which will be dealt with by accountants; and commercial which falls to the acquirer. “Increasingly,” says Taylor, “online data rooms are being set up with the information being populated by the management team. If any skeletons in the cupboard are identified, these can be turned into indemnities and, as such, risk stays with the vendors.” 

Dixon says that that while financial due diligence is important, “own desktop research should be done before an approach is made along with market and commercial due diligence when into a deal.”

And own research is much easier nowadays. Holohan points out that research should be a mixture of financial information in the public domain (Companies House, online databases, etc) and other information gained discreetly through industry sources. He adds, however, that “it is important to remember that financial information can be months out of date and cannot be relied upon to give an accurate view of the firm’s financial health.”

Workplace culture clash

Acquirers need to recognise that buying the assets of a firm is one thing, but a business also comes with the staff already employed and they must get along with the acquirer’s staff. There are countless examples where mergers and acquisitions have failed because of culture clash – Daimler and Chrysler, AOL and Time Warner, HP and Compaq.

Culture is something that Dixon looks closely at. While each target is different, he says: “I always view a compatibility of culture as one of the key requirements.” Sharpe takes the same perspective, noting that inevitably “there is a learning curve following acquisition in order that both firms can gain an understanding and make the necessary adjustments to working practices.” He thinks the due diligence meetings usually indicate if the businesses can adapt. 

Holohan says to look at the top – board level – for clues on possible culture issues. “Leadership styles can differ immensely and cause confusion. Even worse is confusion where the former owner continues in some capacity.” 

Taking precautions

Of course, not every business bought is in rude health and if the target is in trouble the purchaser should be particularly cautious. Where a distressed target is involved creditors can apply pressure, which must be considered when arriving at a valuation.

A question to ask is what is the reason for the decline? Holohan says that while it could be the loss of a major client or a bad debt, “if there are no obvious reasons, it suggests that the target can no longer compete in the market. You may or may not be able to correct this.”

One option that Taylor suggests is to wait until the target goes into a formal insolvency process and then make an offer to the administrator or liquidator when the price should be considerably lower. But he warns: “As there will be no warranties, you would be acquiring on a ‘buyer beware’ basis.”

Alternatively, Holohan says to buy the trade and selected assets of firms in trouble “so that you are not taking full responsibility for past actions (or inaction).” He adds that a thorough analysis of three years’ accounts is essential. 

Sharpe says to look out for Crown debt arrears such as PAYE and VAT – “a time to pay arrangement is crucial if a live rescue is to be completed”.

However, buying in distressed circumstances means that there’s the risk of a lack of support from existing customers due to lack of confidence in the business, and from creditors who would have suffered due to the business failure – something that Dixon has experienced, noting that it’s important to secure the supply chain when a firm is in trouble.

Similarly, Scrimgeour knows to be aware of issues as “turning a business round in print can be very difficult, especially where competition is stiff and there is sector oversupply.” 

Acquisition cost

Buying involves substantial costs and many are not insignificant. Purchasers should budget for the corporate finance finder’s fee, accountants’ costs, legal fees (legal drafting, due diligence and deal completion matters), insurance warranty payments and costs allied with any associated funding. Taylor regularly sees these as “being over 10% of the purchase price depending on the size of the deal.” 

Sharpe says acquirers should not ignore property and any stamp duty that is payable. And just as importantly he notes the hidden cost of TUPE “which only crystallises if there is a staff restructure following the takeover”.

And Taylor mentions one more expense that is harder to quantify – time: “Arguably the biggest cost is the huge drain on the management teams of the buyer and seller. It is important to make sure that the acquisition doesn’t become a huge distraction and the underlying business is not neglected.”

Parting words

Everyone has a different risk profile and set of aims. As Dixon says: “An acquisition is not for the faint hearted – you should consider if you are better off focusing your energy on organic growth or taking a larger risk with an acquisition.”

In an ideal world, a transaction should be smooth with no significant identified issues and two sets of employees that rub along well together. However, we don’t live in an ideal world and printing businesses need to invest time in finding the right target and doing their homework. 

The process

Consider your reasons for buying a business. Is it to grow faster than would otherwise happen with organic growth? Is it to remove a rival? Will it fill a gap in the product and service offering? Or is it through physical necessity – to increase capacity or seek more appropriate plant and premises? If the reasons are unclear then no action should be taken.

Seek out the target but be sensitive in the approach. Consider if contacts and suppliers have inside knowledge that may be of assistance. Also look to appoint an industry trusted third-party adviser who can make discreet enquiries.

Appoint appropriate advisers to deal with legal, accountancy, tax, and employment matters. Using existing advisers may not suit as they are unlikely to have the necessary experience for “one-off” transactions such as buying a business.

Unless the acquisition is being self-financed or is a share-based deal, finance will need to be arranged. Lenders will want to see three years’ of accounts, financial projections, a solid business plan, information on the key personnel, and details of assets and liabilities.

Due diligence – the checking of facts – is central to the buying process. This needs to be undertaken properly to establish what is being bought, what the risks and liabilities are, and if the target is worth the price being asked.

Legal responsibilities to employees

Both buyer and seller should think about the impact of the acquisition on their respective employees during the early stages of negotiations. Employees involved in a business acquisition can sometimes have a significant level of protection – which in practice means that dismissing employees following an acquisition can be restricted. The cost consequences of getting something wrong can be substantial and so it is important to understand the application of the law and its practical implications.

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) is the key piece of legislation in the area, and if it applies, it can have consequences.

Employees immediately and automatically transfer from their existing employer to the acquiring business on the transfer of the business. The incoming employer inherits not only all of the employees but also the outgoing employer’s liabilities and obligations in respect to those employees.

There is an obligation on both the outgoing and incoming employers to inform and in some cases, consult with representatives of the employees affected by the transfer.

TUPE gives enhanced protection against unfair dismissal. This protection can cover not only the employees of the seller but also the buyer’s employees.

TUPE also applies where a change of contractors takes place in what is called a service provision change.

Bodies that need to be informed

When a company is acquired, official bodies and authorities need to be informed. The penalties for non-compliance can be serious and may lead to fines and prosecution. The changes can be reported online but if the company has no online account it will need to register first. Alternatively, paper-based notification is permitted, but it’s advisable to keep a proof of posting.

HM Revenue & Customs, the administrator and enforcer of many business-related taxes, needs to know of the establishment, cessation of trading, or change in ownership of a business. The main considerations are for VAT, PAYE Income Tax, National Insurance, self-assessment of Income Tax, and Corporation Tax. HMRC has a page that details taxing issues relevant to a business (https://www.gov.uk/browse/tax/dealing-with-hmrc) and a page where changes can be notified to it (https://www.gov.uk/tell-hmrc-changed-business-details).

For a company or partnership, notification also needs to be made to Companies House which has a page for notification (https://www.gov.uk/file-changes-to-a-company-with-companies-house).

Local authorities need to know about change of occupation if premises are vacated or if a new organisation becomes responsible for a premises’ business rates. Firms will need to contact their local authority to notify.

It’s important not to forget about utilities suppliers – gas, water, electricity and telecoms. Firms moving into ‘new’ premises should not assume that not signing a new contract with the existing supplier to the premises will offer best value.

Potential pitfalls and hazards

Key hazards to note are the threat of loss of business due to change of control, changing relationships and the possible loss of key staff following the takeover. These can be managed by having close liaison with customers and offering staff revised employment contracts that come with incentives.

A good valuation is critical. For this the acquirer would be best advised using an adviser with industry knowledge for valuations rather than the acquirer’s own accountant. 

Buyers should be aware of the possibility of getting caught up in ‘deal fever’ and so bypass effective and proven processes – especially due diligence. Without this key step buyers will have no idea about the veracity of what they are being told.

Buying a business from an administrator is risky. Their job is not to help the buyer but to realise the greatest possible value for the creditors. This means that there is only a limited opportunity for due diligence and rarely will any warranties (guarantees) be provided.

The adage that ‘people buy people’ applies to staff as much as it does to the seller and customer relationship. Ignoring any potential staffing and culture issues can do more damage than any over-valuation.

Management must continue running the existing business and keep it performing. It can become very easy to be distracted by the acquisition process.

Existing contracts and arrangements will need to be honoured once/if the former management leaves.

Pierce Corporate Finance advise SG Aluminium deal

The purchase of Blackburn-based SG Aluminium has saved 34 jobs after the window and curtain wall fabricator and installer hit financial difficulties.

The £4.5m-turnover company has been bought by Three Towers Group, neighbours on the Shadsworth Business Park in Blackburn.

Recent projects completed by SG Aluminium include Accrington Bus Station and Blackburn’s Cathedral Quarter.

The deal means 34 staff will be kept on and two existing directors remain on the board.

The company said: “The directors of Three Towers Group bring decades of experience within specialist subcontract trades, together with all the resources required to stabilise and grow the business.

“SG Aluminium Limited will utilise its increased resource base to grow sales and create even stronger trading links with both its supplier and customer base whilst maintaining steady and sustainable growth.”

Pierce Corporate Finance advised the company on the deal with legal support being provided by Napthens.

Calderprint has completed the £932,000 purchase of the buildings and assets of Hudson and Pearson

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Calderprint has completed the £932,000 purchase of the buildings and assets of historic printer Hudson and Pearson, creating twenty new jobs.

Following a Lancashire Business Growth Fund grant, Calderprint has acquired assets
relating to Hudson & Pearson, which was placed into administration in November 2015. NatWest bank has provided the remaining funds.

Calderprint owner and managing director Peter Birbeck has already restarted the presses at the Hudson & Pearson site in Dunnockshaw, near Burnley.

David Sharpe of Pierce Group was involved in the fund raising for the acquisition, which included dealing with the bank Natwest on the term debt, and also the Lancashire Business Growth Fund on grant funding for the deal. LBGF is administered by the East Lancs Chamber of Commerce and the funding provided is linked to job creation. £186,400 of grant funding was obtained with the balance of funds being provided by Natwest.

Mark Maden Wilkinson, director of Pierce, negotiated the deal terms with the
administrators for Hudson and Pearson, BDO. Assistance on land valuation was provided by Landwood Group.

Major banks and financial institutions are among the clients at Calderprint, which operates 16 presses at sites across Lancashire and aims to boost staff levels beyond 100 people.

ADVISOR INTERVIEW

David Sharpe is Director of Pierce Corporate Finance at Pierce Corporate Finance, part of the Pierce Group of Companies, based in the NW of England. He is a lead advisor on M&A activity across the firm, and together with John Green, Chairman of Pierce, Pierce Corporate Finance is an award winning CF team based in the NW. Here he talks to Finance Monthly about the intricacies of Calderprint’s purchase deal.

Please tell me about your involvement in this deal?

I was involved in the fund raising for the acquisition, which included dealing with the bank Natwest on the term debt, and also the Lancashire Business Growth Fund on grant funding for the deal. LBGF is administered by the East Lancs Chamber of Commerce and the funding provided is linked to job creation. £186,400 of grant funding was obtained with the balance of funds being provided by Natwest. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? This was a deal which had to be delivered on tight timescales due to the distressed nature of the Hudson and Pearson Business. The business plan had to be written and negotiations completed with funders within a short timeframe in order to capture the business and maximise return on investment.

Why is this a good deal for all involved?

This is an excellent deal for Calderprint which is expected to boost turnover for the company to over £10m and for the local economy with over 20 new jobs created. Also a great deal for Pierce Corporate Finance to be involved in. Have you been involved in any other major deals this year? Since the turn of the New Year we have completed an MBO in Leicestershire, deal value £2.2m Also we recently completed a land and property purchase in London, deal value £9m. We are also advising Calderprint currently on 2 further acquisitions. What do you feel the next year holds for the M&A sector in your jurisdiction? The local Corporate Finance community in East Lancs is vibrant, as evidenced by the local CF forum, supported by the major firms in the area including Pierce. Deal activity is strong on all fronts.

 

 

National insurance changes will encourage firms to invest in staff

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  • Today (April 6) is the start of the new tax year and the first Common Commencement Date for 2016, which sees a number of changes come into effect, such as abolishing employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25
  • In addition, the Annual Employment Allowance rises from £2,000 to £3,000
  • Other changes include the reduction of Capital Gains Tax rates, from 28% and 18% to 20% and 10% respectively, and the replacement of the Dividend Tax Credit with a Dividend Tax Allowance of £5,000 a year

Commenting on the National Insurance changes, Dr Adam Marshall, BCC Acting Director General, said:

“Abolishing employer contributions will encourage more businesses to hire young apprentices, at a time when the UK is faced with a growing skills shortage.

“The rise in the Annual Employment Allowance is as boost for small and start-up businesses because it means that the less National Insurance that companies have to pay, the more confidence they will have to hire new staff.

“We would also like to see more consideration for companies that keep young people on beyond their apprenticeship, at which point the full contribution would kick in.”

On Capital Gains Tax changes, Dr Adam Marshall added:

“The cuts in capital gains tax will help to encourage entrepreneurial risk-taking in some of our most dynamic young firms.”

Pierce advises Calderprint on £932k job creation deal

Calderprint Deal

Pierce Group’s corporate finance and accountancy divisions have advised Lancashire printing company Calderprint on a £932,000 deal to purchase the buildings and assets of historic printer Hudson & Pearson – a move that will lead to the creation of 20 new jobs.

A £186,400 Lancashire Business Growth Fund (LBGF) grant to support job creation has enabled Calderprint to acquire assets relating to Hudson & Pearson, which was placed into administration in November 2015. NatWest bank is providing the remaining funds.

Calderprint owner and managing director Peter Birbeck has already restarted the presses at the Hudson & Pearson site in Dunnockshaw, near Burnley.

Hudson & Pearson has been renamed as part of the Burnley-based Calderprint business, with Mr Birbeck anticipating that the acquisition will enable him to boost turnover from £7.5m to £10m within the next two years.

Pierce Chartered Accountants director Mark Maden-Wilkinson negotiated the deal with administrator BDO on behalf of Calderprint, with assistance on asset valuation provided by Landwood Group.

Pierce Corporate Finance director, David Sharpe, supported Calderprint with its grant application and business planning.

Mr Birbeck said: “Pierce’s professional approach in identifying and securing this opportunity, and expertise in innovative funding solutions, has enabled us to complete a deal which will be key to our continued expansion.

“Coupled with financial support from NatWest, access to grant funding from the LBGF will enable us to create new jobs at the same time as investing in the future and I would urge anyone else with similar aspirations to seek advice.”

The deal to buy Hudson & Pearson’s assets and buildings means that Calderprint clients can now benefit from access to larger B1, eight-colour presses.

Major banks and financial institutions are among clients at Calderprint, which operates 16 presses at sites across Lancashire and aims to boost staff levels beyond 100 people.

David Sharpe, a director at Pierce Group, Blackburn, said: “Having supported Calderprint for many years, Pierce is delighted to have been able to play a strategic role in supporting them to access this innovative funding solution.

“As well as enabling Calderprint to go from strength to strength, this deal will provide skilled jobs for local people. We wish Peter every success in the continued expansion of the business.”

Powered by the Regional Growth Fund, the LBGF provides support to businesses investing to create jobs and economic growth in Lancashire. It is administered by East Lancashire Chamber, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire and North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

Mandy Lockett, International Business Director of the East Lancashire Chamber, said: “LBGF has been running for some time and we have been able to support 59 companies across Lancashire totalling £4.4m in grants.

“The money is only on offer until Spring 2017 so we would urge businesses across Lancashire to take advantage of it as soon as possible. Please give us a call to discuss your project ideas.”

Sean O’Malley, Relationship Director at NatWest, said: “We are delighted to support Calderprint with its recent acquisition as part of its continued business development. The new site in Burnley will provide a modern facility for the business to expand and grow. We wish Calderprint every success for the future.”

Legal advisor to Calderprint was Ian Liddle of Farleys Solicitors LLP, Manchester.

Hive Awards – Winners Gallery

The Hive Awards – Winners Gallery

From:  David Sharpe

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As proud sponsors of the The Hive Awards, Manufacturing Excellence Award, we are delighted to display the Hive Business Awards Winners Gallery. Our congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who entered.

The Manufacturing Excellence Award

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2015 winners

The Bright Spark Award

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The Eureka Award

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The Enterprise in Education Award

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The Creative Agency Award

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The High Growth Award

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The International Achievement Award

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The Investing in the Future Award

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The Newcomer Award

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The Young Entrepreneur Award

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The Arte et Labore Award

Winner – Andrew Graham

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The Hive Chairman’s Award

Winner – Accrol Papers

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