Pierce puts Lancashire mumpreneur in the driving seat with PLUSH business

Pierce chartered accountants has helped to put entrepreneur and working mum Susie Wilson in the driving seat of a new business manufacturing luxury leather car accessories for kids.

The Blackburn-based accountancy and business advisory group provided tax and trademarking advice enabling Susie to launch PLUSH, which designs bespoke children’s car seats for use in exclusive marques, including BMW, Porsche and Mercedes.

Pierce has worked with Susie for a number of years while she was financial director at DH Stainless in Accrington and the partnership continued when she established her own venture.

Based in Clitheroe, Lancashire, PLUSH was launched at The London Motor Show 2017 in May. The company is currently in discussions with BMW Germany, Porsche and a number of luxury car dealerships about becoming stockists.

Susie said: “I have a BMW Z4 and when I was looking for a car seat for my six-year-old daughter, I realised there were no seats to match the interior in my car. I’ve always been car mad and have an eye for fashion and design so when I discovered the gap in the market, the idea for PLUSH was born.

“I use Pierce for my accounts but they have provided me with so much more than that – they are a source of help and a voice of reason. I am a chartered accountant so I have good financial knowledge but Pierce were able to help me beyond my expertise with advice on tax and trademarking.”

Jane Smith, associate director at Pierce, said: “Susie is very entrepreneurial and Pierce is really proud to be supporting her exciting new business venture.

“Our work with PLUSH covers accounts, providing specialist tax advice and trademarking support. Our expert team has a wide range of skills, meaning we can help start-up companies and SMEs with every financial aspect of their business.

“We look forward to seeing the success of PLUSH unfold in the near future as it is such a unique enterprise.”

Client Story: Wallsauce

Pierce client wallsauce is one of the UK’s leading custom wall mural companies. It is also now building quite a significant overseas presence, taking several orders every day from foreign customers, particularly from the US.


With a growing track record of providing murals to home users and companies across many sectors, the Ribble Valley-based business was recently commissioned to provide some inspirational murals for two winners of BBC’s The Apprentice.

During 2015 Ricky Martin and his company Hyper Recruitment Solutions, winner of The Apprentice in 2012, asked Wallsauce.com to provide a series of science-themed murals for its offices located at Lord Sugar’s Amshold House headquarters. More recently 2014 winner Mark Wright and his company Climb Online also made contact, having been recommended to do so by Ricky.  Just last month Wallsauce provided Climb Online with a number of bespoke murals for its central London offices, using stunning imagery of extreme rock climbing accompanied by branding and motivational messages.

Mark Wright, co-founder of Climb Online with Lord Sugar commented “I decided to contact Wallsauce having seen the great things they’d already done for Hyper Recruitment. We’ve just moved to new offices in London and wanted to create inspirational office space for staff and clients alike. I could not be happier with the end result – the murals look unbelievably good!”

Whilst Wallsauce.com take plenty of orders every day via their UK or U.S. websites, the company also prides itself on providing a tailor-made mural service. With its own design studio, their team of designers can create and bespoke all sorts of mural artwork to suit individual clients. After recently attracting the attention of Tesco Plc, Wallsauce now regularly provides murals for a number of their large distribution hubs around the UK. Other specialities include ‘Anti-microbial’ surface wall murals for hospitals and healthcare units, historical and landscape murals for residential care homes, educational murals for schools and many more.


Colin Watson, Commercial Director comments; “The application opportunities for our wall murals are almost endless. Alongside the diverse demand from home users, we get an equally wide range of requests from businesses from many different sectors. We place a real focus on quality and recognise that our reputation relies on doing a great job every time. We’re constantly delighted by the feedback we get and have a real ambition to replicate what we do in the UK in other overseas markets and with the enquiries and orders we receive daily from the U.S. and other countries, early signs are very encouraging”.


Associate director, John Corteen, manages Wallsauce’s working relationship with Pierce and commented, “We have been with Colin and Wallsauce right from the start. It’s great to see that the hard work and personal sacrifices that Colin and his team have made, are now bearing fruit. They have a great product with a real emphasis on quality and service. We provide a full range of accounting and taxation services to them, they are fabulous to work with, and deserve all their success.”

If any businesses or individuals are interested in finding out more about Wallsauce.com, you can do so via their website: www.wallsauce.com or by telephone 01772 284110.

Increase in Insurance Premium Tax

Insurance Tax  shutterstock_238624636

Association of British Insurers (ABI) response on the increase in Insurance Premium Tax and cuts to corporation tax


 Huw Evans

Huw Evans, Director General of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), responds to the increase in Insurance Premium Tax and cuts to corporation tax announced in the 2015 Summer Budget.

On the increase in Insurance Premium Tax, Huw Evans said:

“Insurance Premium Tax is a tax on people and businesses at the point at which they buy a general insurance product. So it’s very disappointing to see a more than 50% tax increase being imposed on consumers, especially when the insurance industry and Government has worked so hard in recent years to bring down the cost of essential insurance.”

The ABI calculates that the new rate of IPT will add £9.48 to the average annual household insurance policy (buildings and contents combined) and £12.25 to the average annual comprehensive motor policy.

On Corporation Tax, Huw Evans said:

“Further cuts to corporation tax are good news. They will continue to make the UK a highly competitive destination for insurers and savings providers and enhance London’s position as the insurance capital of the world.”


Derek Rigby

Derek Rigby of Sagar Insurances said:

Sagar Insurances logo

The increase in IPT has been roundly criticised by Business and the General public alike. Our initial thought was in a similar vein. However if the increase means that Insurance buyers review more closely their Insurance spend and work with a Professional Insurance Broker who will not only provide superior service but competitive pricing then all is not lost.
For instance at Sagar Insurances despite a huge increase in  on line competition the retention rate for our Personal Lines team is constantly around the 95% mark. This would tend to support our view that for many consumers price is not the overall factor when looking at their Insurance renewal. Excellent service and advice, superior Claims Handling must also be a consideration.



Prevent the trauma of under insurance

– get value for money from your insurance premiums

By:   John Meadows of Sagar Insurance

Insurance Risk Management shutterstock_123603859
Prevent the trauma of under insurance  –  Insurance works by pooling risk. A large group pay their premiums in to the insurance pool and this allows the insurance companies to pay the claims which arise (whilst also making a profit themselves!)

Everyone pays a substantial amount to insure their businesses and they need to be confident that if they need to make a claim then it will be paid in full. The amount each individual pays in premium is based on the amount of risk, or exposure their business activities brings to the pool.

Insurance Risk Management shutterstock_77408059

One of the main measures of exposure is the value, or the sum insured, of buildings, contents and gross profit. Insurers need to ensure that everyone is paying a fair premium in to the pot and so very often there is an “under insurance” clause in the policy wording.

For instance if it would cost £2m to rebuild a building but it has only been insured for £1m then only half the fair premium has been paid and consequently insurers will only pay out a proportion of the claim. The consequences for the business can be disastrous and the premium paid suddenly does not look “good value for money”.

A few guidelines to avoid under insurance :-

Insurance Are you covered shutterstock_158233841

Understand what should be included in the sum insured.

For instance the sum insured for buildings is what it would cost to rebuild including such things as removal of the debris and applying for planning permission. The market value may well be higher or lower than the cost to rebuild.

The sum insured on Gross Profit should include the wage roll as in most cases staff will still need to be paid even though the company may not be trading or trading on a reduced basis. The exact figure can be decided in conjunction with your accountant.

Understand the basis of cover.

Contents are generally insured on a reinstatement basis which means that they are replaced on “new for old” basis but the sum insured needs to reflect the cost of the new items. It is possible to insure contents on an indemnity basis where items would be replaced by equivalent second hand items. This may be appropriate where a lot of machinery is to be insured and there is a healthy second hand market in those machines. The sum insured can be lower with a subsequent saving in premium. The logistics of replacing items quickly needs thorough investigation.

Insurance Time to Rebuild

Understand the timescale

Business Interruption insurance covers the loss of gross profit following a claim. Do not underestimate the time it would take the business to recover from the effects of a large fire or flood. Rebuilding can take longer than expected and customers disappear in to the ether.

The moral of the story

Give careful consideration to your sums insured and ensure that you get value for money from your insurance


Sagar Insurances logo

Contact Details

Telephone: 01282 858250

Facsimile: 01282 858299
Group First House

12a Mead Way

Shuttleworth Mead


Lancashire BB12 7NG


Emotional Chelsea for John Everiss

Emotional Chelsea Return For Garden Designer John Everiss


Pierce client John Everiss has made an emotional return to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a creation commemorating his father’s incredible escape from occupied France.


The Evaders Garden pays tribute to the French citizens who assisted RAF navigator Stan Everiss and other British servicemen in evading capture by the Nazis.


Stan was part of the seven-strong crew of an RAF Stirling shot down in Northern France while returning from a night bombing raid over Germany in April 1943.
The bomber’s pilot guided the burning plane between two cherry trees, removing both wings and reserve fuel tanks to avoid an explosion. All seven crew survived the crash landing.
Stan was knocked unconscious for several hours and suffered three compressed vertebrae in his back. He was found by members of the Chauny Resistance and kept hidden in a ditch nearby, initially deemed too poorly to move.

He was eventually moved from the crash site by wheelbarrow to the garage of Pere Alfred Logeon before being smuggled across the Pyrenees into Spain. He spent part of the journey hidden in the water tender of a steam train, immersed in near freezing water.

As arranged with his French helper, a message was broadcast by the BBC to indicate Stan’s safe return to England: “Les Muguets fleurissent encore,” translated as… “the lilies bloom again”.


Stan took a photograph of the damaged plane on a camera which he buried at the crash site. The camera was recovered and the photograph developed after the war.


Until his death in 1996, Stan was an accomplished public speaker who raised money for the RAF Escaping Society: sending funds to French helpers who needed assistance.


John Everiss Design teamed up with Chorley Council to create The Evaders Garden, which will have a permanent home in the town’s Astley Park at the end of the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The garden contains a wireframe statute of an RAF airman crouching alongside a replica of a shattered French church. A specially commissioned stained-glass window features two young French people, hands out-stretched to help.


Reports about The Evaders Garden have appeared in the Western Daily Press, the Herts & Essex Observer, The Guardian, The Chorley Guardian and  Lancashire Telegraph.

John won a gold medal at the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Reachout, a garden sponsored by Newground (formerly Groundwork Pennine Lancashire).



Walker Farrimond Testimonal

Walker Farrimond Testimonial

Congratulations to Walker Farrimond on becoming the National Excellence Champion – Dealer of the Year and many thanks for their kind words in their testimonial below. From: Lisa Kennery and her team

Walker-Farrimond-National-Excellence-Champion-2014 (2)

I would like to express how happy I am with the level of professionalism of Lisa Kennery and her team with the work carried out on auto-enrolment pensions.


I was very concerned about the extra time and administration that auto-enrolment required but by opting to take the premium level of service provided by Pierce this headache has been removed.

It is a pleasure to be associated with Pierce and we have been a client for over 17 years.

Ian Farrington

(Company Secretary of Walker Farrimond Ltd).
Walker Farrimond Citroen, NelsonCitroen

National Excellence Champion 2014

We recently attended Citroen’s National Excellence Awards 2014 and we were honoured to be awarded National Excellence Champion 2014.

This award is presented by Citroen UK to the dealer rated by their customers for providing consistently high levels of service in all areas.

We would like to thank all of our customers for your positive feedback which is invaluable in helping us be the best we can.

This award motivates us to continually improve our high standards and we hope you can be a part of our journey in 2015.

Follow Us:

Walker Farrimond on Facebook

Walker Farrimond on Twitter

Walker Farrimond Website


DES Electrical


DES Electrical

by: Tom Wilkinson


On Thursday evening I attended the Grafters North West Construction awards with DES Electrical Contractors UK Ltd.
Grafters North West logo


The company won its nominated category of Best Electrical Contractor, a great achievement up against some big hitters!!

DES 2 IMG_3510

This is yet another fantastic achievement for DES, building on its awards success last year at the Wilmott Dixon Construction Awards.  I work closely with DES on a day to day basis and have seen first-hand the hard work and dedication of its staff to deliver an award-winning, blue chip service to its customers.  Congratulations to all concerned.


DES  IMG_20150322_133145

Bill Dugdale (Chairman), Tom Wilkinson and Sean Egan

DES Services

Contracting & Installation

DES have extensive experience completing commercial, private and public sector projects across the UK. They guarantee their customers state-of-the-art service and have capabilities and services to cover all aspects of electrical work including new construction, renovations, engineering and building maintenance.

Their understanding of the design and construction process and ability to bring relevant technical experience to a project gives DES the capacity to deliver cost-effective projects that meet client requirements on time and within budget. Over the years they have built up a talented and committed workforce, who ensure that each contract is efficiently carried out to the highest standard.

Congratulations to DES from Tom Wilkinson and all the team at Pierce

A Tale of Two Hotels by Graham Boyes

A Tale of Two Hotels (and a lifetime of coincidences)

 Grasmere shutterstock_213416575

Thoughts upon the completion of the sale of two independent Lake District Hotels  

By:       Graham Boyes

I have been known to tell many a story but few can be as remarkable as the co-incidence in the sale of two prominent hotels in the Lake District.

In a long career in Chartered Accountancy it has been my pleasure to know a great many clients some single, some couples, many of them of them people that I am proud to call friends.

Two such couples are Iain and Jackie Garside and Paul and Cathy Jewsbury


The coincidence

Both couples owned and managed hotels in the Lake District. Each of the hotels are in Grasmere Village perhaps the ‘loveliest’ of all the South Lakes villages. Each of the businesses have just been sold.

Both my wife Chris and I have a little personal history connected to this story, more below.


The Garsides and The Wordsworth Hotel

The Wordswoth Hotel & Spa, Grasmere Village, Cumbria LA22 9SW   Wordsworth  20575266

The Wordsworth Hotel, was owned and managed by Iain and Jackie Garside who developed the 17th century property, which was originally a shooting lodge built by the Earl of Cadogan, into the hotel that it is today.

The Wordsworth features 39 en suite bedrooms, a new restaurant with 80 covers and two AA Rosettes, a conference suite and a heated indoor swimming pool and beauty spa all resting in 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens.

Truly a worthy achievement from this enterprising and charming couple.


A little personal history

My friendship with Iain goes back more than 60 years, we set out as ‘friends for life’ since we started school at St Matthew’s Primary school in Blackburn in about 1953/4 !


The completion

Iain and Jacqui completed their sale of The Wordswoth Hotel to Guyzance Hall Limited of Shrewsbury  on 30th January


The Jewsburys and The Gold Rill Hotel  

The Gold Rill Hotel, Redbank Road, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9PU   Gold Rill hotel-front

The Gold Rill Hotel was owned and managed by Paul and Cathy Jewsbury,  who developed this country manor hotel with its stunning backdrops.

Glorious tranquillity and fine food are the headlines for the 3 Star Hotel, which boasts a 9-hole putting green, an outdoor pool and a private lakeside pier. Most of the 25 en suite rooms are within the hotel, 7 are at the lodge just across the lawn, all offer stunning views of the lake or fells and in every one you’ll experience classic Gold Rill comfort, individuality and quality.


A little personal history

My wife Chris trained as a Chef at The Gold Rill Hotel in the late seventies, her work at The Goldrill was accompanied by a catering course at Kendal Catering College.


The completion

Paul and Cathy completed their sale of The Gold Rill Hotel to The Grand Hotel – Lytham St Annes on 9 February



From education to retirement, life’s journey is full of coincidences, few can be as remarkable as the fabric woven from this little story.



Dragons Den seeks Local Entrepreneurs

BBC Dragons Den Looking for Local Entrepreneurs


East Lancs Chamber of Commerce news 

Do you need cash for your business idea?

Dragons Den gives you the chance to pitch your business to five of the most successful and commercial brains in the UK.

If you are an entrepreneur, with a fantastic business idea or product, and looking for investment and ready to enter the Den then we want to hear from you.

Meet the Dragons

From the left: Duncan Bannatyne, Kelly Hoppen, Deborah Meaden, Piers Linney and Peter Jones are looking to invest their own cash in ideas pitched in the Den. Find out more about the multi-millionaire investors.

Apply to enter the Den

If you’ve got a great business idea to put to our venture capitalists, here’s where you can apply to take your place in the Den.

There are two ways to apply:

1. You can either fill in the online application form here, which gets directly to the Dragons’ Den production team.


2. If you experience problems with the online application form through your browser, you can download the form here (111KB) and either email or post it as directed in the download.

As part of normal selection process we may approach entrepreneurs, or they may apply direct. In each case all applications are processed in the same way. To be considered all candidates need to submit an application form and these are then subject to the same casting criteria. Final selection for participation in the programme will be decided on a number of factors including the strength of idea, a robust business plan and projected turnover.

Please note: Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence by the BBC and individual data will not be provided to any other party. For further information, please read the BBC’s privacy policy. Unfortunately, due to the high number of applicants, only those people who are shortlisted will be contacted. However, we do consider all applications carefully. All information provided is subject to and will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will not be used for any purpose other than assessing applicants to take part in the named BBC programme. We regret that BBC members of staff and their immediate families are not eligible to apply. All applicants must be aged 18 or over.

Congratulations to Lightworks

Neptune image

Congratulations to Lightworks Stained Glass on your feature in Lancashire life Magazine

From Graham Boyes and Paul Moulding

Lightworks Stained Glass in Clitheroe

Contact Details

Lancashire LIfe

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
From glass for churches to a Roman god in Lytham, they’ve all been created in Clitheroe, writes Paul Mackenzie:

Neptune is soon to take up residence in Lytham. The God of the Sea should have a good view of his kingdom from his new home where he will be forever crashing through the blue-green waves with his three white horses.

The stunning new feature was created, not in ancient Rome but a small studio close to Clitheroe town centre. It was the work of brother and sister team Daniel and Deborah Burke who launched Lightworks Stained Glass just over 16 years ago.

Lightworks Stained Glass –  Lancashire Life –  Photo Gallery

The siblings, who also employ artist Abigail Fielding, specialise in the restoration and conservation of stained glass and do a lot of work with churches and listed properties across Lancashire.

And as well the Neptune window, they have recently completed a huge new window for the chapel at St Mary’s Catholic High School in Leyland, which is being rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire in September 2013.

‘The Neptune window has been a challenge artistically and it’s one we have really enjoyed,’ Daniel said. ‘It can take over your life and it certainly took over the studio. We were working on it for about 18 months. Although the window for St Mary’s is larger, there’s not a lot of hand painted detail in it so in those terms it is an easier piece to produce than the Neptune and it only took us about two months.’

Daniel and Deborah appeared in Lancashire Life 10 years ago shortly after they had removed and re-made eight nave windows for St Peter’s Church in Fleetwood and Daniel added: ‘Without wanting to sound too pretentious, we have developed as artists and learned a lot in the last ten years. We have been challenged as artists and that has allowed to develop and to be able to produce pieces like Neptune which we probably couldn’t have done ten years ago.’

Although they work on commissions for private clients – anything from a door panel or a fanlight to larger pieces like Neptune – much of their work is still for churches and they will this month start work on windows for churches in Haslingden and Bispham. ‘That will take us from January up to the summer so that’s a great position to be in, not to be worrying about where the next job will come from,’ Daniel said.

‘Those two commissions will provide a good solid base of work and that allows us to pick and choose what other jobs we take on. In the last couple of years we have had more enquiries and that may be down to people having more money to spend or it may be a result of the new website casting our net a lot wider.

‘Having ridden out the recession, we have been steadily busy since 2011. That was the worst year. We had to scale back and let a couple of people go and we did think we might have to look at something else but we made a concerted effort. We put a lot of effort into revamping our website – that seemed to do the trick and the threat had passed by the end of 2012.’

Indeed, things have picked up so much that Daniel is now hoping to take on an apprentice. ‘That would mean I could step back from the on-site work and concentrate on other aspects on our work. I spend as much time on the website as I do designing and making stained glass windows these days. It’s a job in itself, and important one that we have to keep on top of.

‘Another thing that made a difference and helped us to pick up was that we started running courses for beginners which is something we should done from the start. It’s a great way of getting in and they take away new skills and a piece of glass they have made. We run the courses every other Saturday from February to November. We have had some great feedback and met some very interesting people from all walks of life.’