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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
CIVIL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS UNDERGOES A CHANGE

PR101
30th May 2006

CIVIL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS UNDERGOES A CHANGE

MPSL Civil Engineering has rebranded as STRUCTURA Civil & Structural Engineering Consultants to mark its diversification into other sectors alongside its traditional residential work. The company has also moved from Cheshire to bigger offices in Eccles, Manchester.

The move and the exploration of new sectors reflects the rapid growth of the company over the last 12 months and is part of a planned strategy to further business expansion into the regions surrounding the North West and beyond.

Managing director of STRUCTURA, Peter Sykes is delighted to announce these latest significant changes: "Over the last few years, we've started to take on much bigger contracts and become involved in high profile schemes which have leaned heavily on our resources. We have also undertaken far more mixed use projects and have recognised that there is opportunity for us in a wider market.

"Our answer to this has been to keep on recruiting to service the growing client list but now we're bursting at the seams. The office move was necessary to house the larger team and present more spacious facilities to visiting clients. The re-brand is to signify that we are taking this new business, running with it and forging a path that is destined to make us a national rather than a regional concern. We are also looking forward to establishing ourselves in new sectors whilst continuing to be a known and respected consultant to the residential market."

STRUCTURA undertakes civil and structural engineering, topographical surveys and site investigations, feasibility and cost studies, highways and roads designs and drainage designs. A member of the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACE) and the Institution of Structural Engineers, the company works for a wide range of clients including Gleeson, Persimmon, Taylor Woodrow and Wainhomes.

For further information about the services that STRUCTURA provides, visit the company's website at www.structura.uk.com

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Press contact: Elizabeth Swain or Deborah Garritty at Bell Pottinger North on 01625 506444, eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Editor's Note
STRUCTURA was launched in 2001 as MPSL Civil Engineering and sits as part of the MPSL Group. It prides itself on supporting a wide range of projects, regardless of scale and location and has played a key role in an assortment of large regeneration contracts in recent years.

 
Thursday, May 25, 2006
SEED FUND CELEBRATES FIRST YEAR'S TRADING IN STYLE

SEED FUND CELEBRATES FIRST YEAR'S TRADING IN STYLE

2005/6 has been an excellent year for North West Seed Fund, which now has a total of £1.2m invested, over £2.6m of matched funding raised and a further £900,000 unlocked, in deals supporting early stage businesses based here in the region.

Established as part of the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA)'s raft of business finance options designed to stimulate growth and wealth generation across the region, the North West Seed Fund (NWSF) has been trading since September 2003.

To date, the Fund has invested in 12 businesses covering a wide spectrum of industry sectors, from manufacturing and engineering, to healthcare, IT and even film production. Sums invested range from just £6,000 to £325,000 in any one company and must involve both an equity stake and matched funding from the private sector.

Managed by Aquarius Equity Partners Ltd, NWSF is now keen to receive enquiries from early stage companies in Merseyside, Cumbria and Lancashire as well as Greater Manchester.

Fund Manager Steve Sealey explains: "30 per cent of all the enquiries we receive come from Greater Manchester and over 85 per cent of the investments made to date have been in Manchester and Lancashire. We've had a fantastic year, but would really like to spread the net and also help companies operating further afield. We would welcome more approaches from businesses in Cumbria and Merseyside, and offer very quick decisions on whether or not we can help. Places like Liverpool have a vibrant business community and are already well served by the new Liverpool Seed Fund. Our offering is complementary and may provide a viable alternative."

As part of the service, NWSF Fund Managers work with companies to negotiate the deal up to draft Heads of Agreement and then guarantee a 4-week turnaround to completion.

"The North West Seed Fund is an excellent example of the NWDA's approach to business finance," comments NWDA's Vivienne Upcott-Gill who set up many of the new seed and equity funds. "We can offer a vast range of financing options to business start-ups, early stage and established companies with growth potential, providing access to whichever is the most appropriate source of funding, including private investors through the TEChINVEST business angel network who frequently invest with the seed Fund.

"The TEChINVEST Equity Advisory Team often acts as a first port of call, signposting the most appropriate sources of finance to any business or entrepreneur looking for seed or equity finance. This has been another good year for the Seed Fund and we look forward to tracking the success of these investments in the years ahead."

For further information on the range of business finance options available, please phone TEChiNVEST on 01925 400302 or visit the TEChINVEST website www.techinvest.org.uk For specific information on North West Seed Fund, visit www.northwestseedfund.co.uk or call Steve Sealey, Duncan Peyton or Gavin Delaney at Aquarius Equity Partners Ltd on 0161 828 5221.

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Press contact: Deborah Garritty/Emily Goehler at Bell Pottinger North
Tel. 01625 506444 Fax. 01625 500900
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk/egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

 
BEACHCROFT'S NEW EURO-VISION


BEACHCROFT'S NEW EURO-VISION

Beachcroft LLP is bringing the major European commercial and litigation practices to Manchester, with the launch of a new International Practice Group, which will offer multi-jurisdictional legal and regulatory advice to clients across the North West.

Staffed by experienced, dual qualified lawyers, the new International Practice Group provides an operational response to the growth in the firm's multi-national clients in recent years. Each International Practice Group is headed by a jurisdiction-qualified lawyer, namely Nathalie Moreno for France, Andreas Klug for Germany, Fiammetta Amendola for Italy, Javier Ordonez-Cobo for Spain, Nicolas Pourbaix for Belgium and Julie Nazerali for EU and Competition. This new integrated legal service will provide clients with direct access to the legal and regulatory environments of each of these European countries and a unique conduit for technical advice and information, efficiently supported by the firm's international network of partner law firms.

Commenting on the new service, Regional Senior Partner Iain Moore said: "This is an excellent added value service for many clients who are operating across Europe. We will now not only be able to advise on specific points of law, we will also be able to put clients in direct contact with qualified lawyers 'on the ground'. Through our programme of alliances, 'best friend' relationships and our own network of offices, we can provide an unrivalled breadth of experience and advice. Our competitors may offer links to affiliated law firms overseas, but few - if any - can have such a highly skilled team in-house which is qualified in so many European jurisdictions.

"As a national firm, we already operate national sector-based teams to give clients a more informed service - now we'll be able to operate a similar service across Europe and EMEA at large."

Beachcroft recently moved to LLP status, as part of the firm's move towards greater transparency and commercialisation. The new International Practice Group is just part of a raft of 'added value' service offerings expected to roll out across all regional offices during the next 12 months.

For further information, visit the website www.beachcroft.co.uk or call the Manchester office direct on 0161 934 3000.

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For more information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
Tel: 01625 506444

Notes to Editor:
Beachcroft LLP (formerly Beachcroft Wansbroughs) is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,400 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (two in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firm delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, recognised 56 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

The Manchester team currently includes 19 partners and 198 staff. Its partners have particular expertise and experience in commercial litigation, commercial property, injury/risk, professional indemnity, corporate/commercial and employment law.

For further information, please visit: www.beachcroft.co.uk

 
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
DONNS DUO PROMOTED

Two solicitors have had their hard work paid off with the announcement of their promotion to associate at Manchester-based law firm Donns LLP.

The new associates are Elen Evans and Tyrone Forrest of the firm’s personal injury team.   

Elen graduated from Manchester University and trained with Horwich Farrelly in Manchester before joining Donns in 2003.

Tyrone joined Donns eight years ago as a paralegal, in which time he has completed his law conversion course and Legal Practice Course.  He previously worked at the Sunderland Royal Hospitals Trust as a medical photographer. 

Both solicitors have a broad range of experience within the field of personal injury litigation, including road traffic accidents, particularly motorbike claims. 

Managing partner at Donns LLP, Adele Warchester comments: “Both Elen and Tyrone have been with the firm a number of years and the promotions are in recognition of all their hard work.  As a firm, we take a long-term view to staff retention, we have low staff turnover and excellent organic growth. We wish them well in their future careers.”

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Press contact:
Vicki Baxter, Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506444 vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>


Notes to Editors:
Donns LLP is recognised as one of the leading specialist personal injury law firms in the UK, at the forefront of personal injury litigation dealing with claims both in the UK and abroad.

They provide expert legal advice in all areas of personal injury and accident cases to ensure that they secure the maximum compensation in the shortest possible time. The firm delivers exceptional levels of client service through their highly trained and experienced legal professionals and cost effective approach.

With over 35 years experience in the personal injury marketplace they have an enviable reputation for providing quality legal services. They have attained and held both the Investors in People (IIP) standard in 1999 and the Lexcel quality mark in 2001.

Donns LLP also operates a personal injury and clinical negligence legal aid franchise, which has also been awarded the BSI Kitemark for quality.

Visit their website at www.donnslaw.co.uk <http://www.donnslaw.co.uk>

 
PEDAL POWER AT BEACHCROFT

Press Release: 24 May 2006

PEDAL POWER AT BEACHCROFT

Bristol law firm Beachcroft LLP is going green with the launch of a new scheme aimed at encouraging employees to leave their cars at home and cycle to work. Developed in line with the Government's green travel initiative, Beachcroft's 'bike to work' scheme was launched by the firm on 22 May.

One of the region's first firms to offer such a programme, Beachcroft will give employees the chance to benefit from a tax-free new bike at up to 50% off the recommended retail price.

"A lot of our lawyers and staff work close to the city centre, so we were really keen to introduce the initiative and encourage employees to cycle to work," says Jackie Skinner, Beachcroft's benefits manager.

"There was also a big demand from our employees to develop resources that allowed them to leave their cars at home; not only because of the environmental benefits, but to relieve some of the stress involved in commuting through the heavy traffic in Bristol."

"We want to give this scheme every chance of success, so we're also providing safety helmets up to the value of £30. Our new offices currently being built at Portwall Lane, will have cycle facilities, including showers and bike stands for safe storage."

Beachcroft converted to a Limited Liability Partnership on 1 May 2006 to ensure greater transparency and commercialisation of the firm. The Bristol office currently includes 24 partners and over 400 staff. Its partners have particular expertise and experience in commercial property, public sector, PFI/PPP projects, health, IT, construction, litigation, financial services and employment law.

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For more information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
Tel: 01625 506444

Notes to Editor:
Beachcroft LLP (formerly Beachcroft Wansbroughs) is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,400 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (two in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firm delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, recognised 56 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

For further information, please visit: www.beachcroft.co.uk

 
BANK HOLIDAY SAFETY CALL TO MOTORCYCLISTS

Motorcyclists account for over 90 per cent of the deaths on one of Britain’s most dangerous roads - the A537 from Macclesfield to Buxton. With another May bank holiday fast approaching, a leading catastrophic injury lawyer appeals to bikers to take care to avoid the terrible consequences their thrill seeking may have.

Motorcyclists have always run a greater risk of serious injury and this large concentration of riders only serves to heighten this risk. Stephen Maguire, partner at Donns LLP, a Manchester-based Solicitors, comments: “Having dealt with a large number of catastrophic injury cases over 15 years, we are seeing a significant increase in motorcycle accidents centred around this time of year. The trend is especially worrying as this type of accident frequently results in horrific injury or even death.

“I see many cases where men in their prime have had their lives devastated by a motorcycle accident. The real tragedy is that most of these accidents do not involve other road users and therefore the victims are left with severely debilitating injuries and no right to compensation. These people are then left with a lifelong dependency upon the NHS and their families.

“At Donns, we recognise that these type of accidents not only affect the victims but also their families. We take a wider view on all cases to help the victims realise a level of compensation that will aid their recovery and help them get their life back on track. We also support the victims’ families and help them through what can be a very harrowing process.”

May bank holidays are key dates in the motorcycling calendar with thousands of bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts take to the open roads to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and the fair spring weather.

A study carried out by an AA Motoring Trust, the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP), based its analysis of accident data from 850 of Britain’s main roads. It found that although British roads are increasingly safe, a ‘mini massacre’ of motorcyclists on some rural main roads continues to weaken initiatives to improve safety.

The report highlighted one such accident blackspot, the A54 from Congleton, Cheshire to Buxton in Derbyshire as the second most dangerous road in Britain. This 24km stretch of road saw 20 fatal or serious collisions between 2001 and 2003 compared to the national average of 12.4.

The A537, a notorious stretch of road known as the ‘Cat and Fiddle run’ which links Macclesfield, Cheshire to the A54, is a popular haunt with bikers wanting to enjoy the winding, country roads. The survey highlighted that bikers account for nearly all the deaths between 2001 and 2003. 20 of the 22 fatal and serious injuries on that stretch of road involved motorcyclists - a chilling 90 per cent!

The report states that over 200 lives could be saved annually if a modest increase in safety was seen on some of these roads. It went on to suggest that Britain’s roads are increasingly safe and with continual road safety measures, Britain boasts one of the lowest risks of death or serious injury in Europe.

Statistics like this have prompted Stephen to appeal to bikers to be safe on the roads this bank holiday: “Whilst I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, I would urge all motorcyclists, to take care on the roads, especially around accident blackspots. Make sure you always ride defensively and show a heightened awareness to the road and other road users at all times. By taking these extra precautions and reducing your speed, especially on unknown or country roads, accidents can be avoided and this type of needless death and destruction eliminated.”

The report concluded that accident rates could be further reduced with the use of clean and clear road signs and markings, as well as effective drainage.

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Press contacts:
Vicki Baxter, Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506444 vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes to Editors:
Donns LLP is recognised as one of the leading specialist personal injury law firms in the UK, at the forefront of personal injury litigation dealing with claims both in the UK and abroad.

They provide expert legal advice in all areas of personal injury and accident cases to ensure that they secure the maximum compensation in the shortest possible time. The firm delivers exceptional levels of client service through their highly trained and experienced legal professionals and cost effective approach.

With over 35 years experience in the personal injury marketplace they have an enviable reputation for providing quality legal services. They have attained and held both the Investors in People (IIP) standard in 1999 and the Lexcel quality mark in 2001.

Donns LLP also operates a personal injury and clinical negligence legal aid franchise, which has also been awarded the BSI Kitemark for quality.

Visit their website at www.donnslaw.co.uk <http://www.donnslaw.co.uk>

 
DEBT DEAL BRINGS JOB BOOST FOR THE REGION

The growth of the debt advisory industry is set to bring over 100 jobs to the North West, giving the region a much needed economic boost.

One week after the announcement of the forthcoming acquisition of The Debt Advisor, by Compass Finance Group plc, the company is set to launch a massive recruitment drive in the region.  The Manchester-based company, headed by Bev Budsworth, is looking for talented individuals with industry experience to help people deal with the misery caused by debt.

Bury-based Compass Finance Group plc, is a leading mortgage and loan broker group that last week announced the acquisition of the personal and business recovery consultancy, incorporating the two key brands: The Debt Advisor and The Business Debt Advisor. 

As the debt problem in the UK soars, with an estimated one million people now threatened with bankruptcy, the need for more talented and qualified people to deal with a range of tailored debt solutions including refinancing, debt reduction plans, individual voluntary arrangements (IVA's), and bankruptcy becomes evident.

All the new jobs will be located at Compass Finance’s premises at Pilsworth Bury, significantly increasing the existing 164 strong workforce.  The move will strengthen its position in the market place, as they will be one of the few companies in the sector able to offer its customers ‘True Best Advice’ backed by an in-house set of products that provides a complete range of solutions to fulfil their needs.

“This move is part of our growth strategy and highlights The Debt Advisor’s commitment to building a major presence in the region,” said Bev Budsworth, Managing Director of The Debt Advisor who will be become Managing Director of the newly formed Debt Advisory Division.

“We currently have a wealth of valuable experience and a real culture of excellence.  The team have been doing some great work, we have recently launched a debt counselling service with a psychologist, the first in the UK.  With debt, there are so many issues affecting people that you have to look at the wider picture and take a holistic approach to debt.”

More information can be found on the Web at www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk <http://www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk> or www.compassfinance.co.uk <http://www.compassfinance.co.uk> . Alternatively, call Julie Hughes of Compass Finance Group plc on 0870 979 3032.

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Press contacts:

Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall  
Bell Pottinger North                                   
01625 506444                                   

Notes to editors
The Debt Advisor is licensed by the Insolvency Practitioners Association to offer skilled and specialist advice on personal debt. Formed in 1999, the Debt Advisor works closely with those in debt to find solutions, which can protect assets from creditors, freeze interest and charges to repay debt in five years or less. At its website - www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk <http://www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk/> - there is useful information including an online debt calculator to assist with budgeting.

BEV BUDSWORTH
Bev Budsworth is an insolvency practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with debt issues. 

A regular media commentator, Bev has spoken on a wide-range of issues including divorce, self-certificated mortgages, DIY, mature debt and online gambling. She has been regularly quoted in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Daily and Sunday Express as well as women’s magazines including Woman and Red. In the last 12 months she has offered advice on regional television news programmes and BBC local radio phone-ins.

In June 2000 she established The Debt Advisor, one of the first firms to offer comprehensive advice on all debt issues.  She had previously spent 17 years with an international firm of chartered accountants where she specialised in personal and business insolvency.

Her experience of dealing with personal debt issues led in 2005 to her being asked to join a government-led working party to look at ways of simplifying the formal procedures of helping people out of debt.

Since then she has led the way in calling for a professional personal debt/insolvency study course to be set up for all people involved in debt advice to individuals. 

She works together with a psychologist and they have developed strategies to help motivate clients to change their lifestyle.  As a busy married mother of three teenage children she understands the pressures that families face.  She believes that with a positive outlook there is always a sensible way to deal with financial difficulties and turn lives around.

Bev recently launched a campaign to bring about a greater understanding of debt and its links to depression giving debtors in the UK access to a two-pronged approach to relieve the misery caused by debt.  She is the first in the UK to offer debt advice and personal counselling under one roof.  The campaign is geared to help those who are seriously struggling with the wider effects including depression, relationship breakdown, poor work performance and associated health problems.



 
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
TOP ACCOLADE FOR LOCAL LEISURE ENTREPRENEUR

Cumbrian entrepreneur John Morphet has been crowned North West Entrepreneur of the Year by the region's leading business publication, EN Magazine.

 
John Morphet won the top accolade in front of 450 of the region’s key business figures, at EN's Enterpreneur 2006 awards at Mere Golf & Country Club on Thursday, 18 May.

 
"John's had an excellent couple of years, which was crowned by the Billing Aquadrome deal," says EN editor Michael Fahy. "This gives his firm, Pure Leisure Group, a platform from which it can push southwards and consolidate its position as the leading independent in its sector. He fully deserves this award. Also, his generosity in donating prizes at his fantastic Royal Westmorland resort for our charity raffle was outstanding and it helped us to raise more than £24,000 on the night for Beechwood Cancer Care."

John Morphet comments: “I was genuinely thrilled to receive this award, in recognition of my achievements over the last few years.  The competition was pretty tough, and that makes it all the more meaningful.  The whole evening was wonderful, and managed to raise a substantial sum for a good cause.”

Earlier this year, John Morphet purchased Northampton leisure park Billing Aquadrome in a multi-million pound deal. Also this year, the business was ranked 76th in the Sunday Times UK ‘Profit Track 100’ listing. 

Six years ago the business consisted of a handful of parks - today the business incorporates 14 leisure parks in the UK, a luxury estate in Barbados and a number of other overseas interests. 


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Press contact: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Sarah Hooley at Bell Pottinger North (01625 617611) jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or shooley@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:shooley@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>


Notes to Editors


Pure Leisure Group
The Pure Leisure Group is owned by UK based leisure entrepreneur John Morphet. Included within the group is South Lakeland Caravans a fast-growing company, which specialises in developing and operating holiday parks, with caravans and timber lodges for sale or hire. At selected parks there are also pitches for touring caravans. Established in 1988, it now has 14 UK locations ranging from smaller caravan parks to larger holiday villages complete with leisure facilities.

The UK locations are:

White Cross Bay Leisure Park & Marina, Windermere
Limefitt Leisure Park, Windermere
Fallbarrow Leisure Park, Bowness, Windermere
Gatebeck Caravan Park, Endmoor, near Kendal
Ocean Edge Leisure Park, Morecambe
Regent Leisure Park, Morecambe
Hawthorne Caravan Park, Morecambe
Marina Caravan Park, Glasson Dock, near Lancaster
Fell End Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Hall More Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Little Todber Caravan Park, Gisburn, Clitheroe
South Lakeland Leisure Village, Borwick, near Carnforth
Billing Aquadrome, Northampton
Cogenhoe Mill, Northampton


The Pure Leisure Group also has three developments overseas:

·       Royal Westmoreland, Barbados - a luxurious 500 acre estate with a world class golf course offering a choice of magnificent, newly built villas in a selection of sizes and styles - from two to four bedrooms, to larger Premium Villas and grand, individually-styled Exclusive Villas.

 
SPEND IT LIKE BECKHAM!

June 2006, World Cup fever may be sweeping the country, but it also sees the 40th anniversary of Britain’s first credit card.  A leading insolvency practitioner asks at what cost to the nation?

Peter Sargent, head of Begbies Traynor, Halifax and fellow of R3 the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, suggests we have lost sight of the original use for credit cards, he explains:  “When Barclaycard launched in 1966, who would have thought they would have been indispensable 40 years on.  Unfortunately, for many people we just can’t say no to them and we currently owe £55bn as a result.”

“Our attitude to debt over the years has changed beyond recognition.  As a nation there are 67 million credit cards in issue.  For a population of 60 million it suggests we’ve lost the plot.”

According to DTI statistics, bankruptcy orders in 1966 stood at 3,862, at the end of last year the total of orders came in at 47,291.

Bobby Moore was earning the princely sum of £10 per week in 1966, by comparison, David Beckham earns over £100,000 per week from his football career.

House prices are another reason for large levels of debt, with the average house price nearing the £200,000 mark.  Mortgage payments have increased dramatically, first time buyers find it difficult to get on the property ladder, and it is little wonder people cannot re-pay their debts.

Plastic money undoubtedly has its benefits, it allows us to buy remotely over the phone or internet and gives us consumer protection.  However, we have now clocked up a staggering £1.8 trillion in unsecured debt rather than using cards to buy larger items outright and pay off the balance in full within the interest free period.

Peter continued: “I see so many people who simply cannot cope with their debts.  We’ve stopped living within our means, there’s a massive ‘I’m worth it culture’ perpetuated by the media mixed with ‘worry about it tomorrow’ and ‘live for the moment’ mentality.  The once shameful view of debt is now almost considered the norm.” 

“40 years ago you were bankrupt for life, now, first time bankrupts are discharged within 12 months.  IVA’s were brought in to help deal with the mounting debt crisis in 1987.  In their first year, there were 404 IVA’s, I would never have imagined there would be 20,293 in less than 20 years.  There’s an age old saying, you can only be sure of two things in life, death and taxes.  I disagree, you can be sure house prices, footballer’s salaries and insolvencies only go one way - unfortunately that’s up.”

 
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For further information, please contact:
Joanne Fletcher-Wall
Bell Pottinger North

01625 506425

Information on Begbies Traynor can be accessed via the Group’s website at

www.begbies-traynor.com <http://www.begbies-traynor.com>

Notes to editors


About Begbies Traynor Group plc
The Group specialises in business insolvency management and is becoming increasingly active in the area of personal insolvency. It also offers services in corporate rescue and investigation services and has entered the field of corporate finance.

In November 2005, the Group entered the rapidly-expanding volume personal insolvency market via the acquisition of W3 Debt Solutions, a firm specialising in providing advice and practical support to individuals in debt. 


The Group has grown to its current network of 30 nationwide offices ranging from Scotland to the South West of England, with 350 operatives. The Company continues to pursue its strategy of organic development, coupled with the acquisition of specialist knowledge of both individuals and firms, to further increase its market share in its core services.


The Directors believe that the Group is the UK's largest independent insolvency, corporate rescue and recovery specialist with clients ranging from major institutions to individuals with business difficulties.

 
The Office Network
The Group operates with 60 licensed insolvency appointment takers, some 225 fee earning staff and 65 in support and administration. The Group operates from 30 locations across the UK.

Business Activities
The core business of the Group is the formal administration of insolvencies including receiverships, liquidations, administrations, company voluntary arrangements and business-related personal insolvencies. The Group has extended its activities into a range of consultancy services including corporate rescue, credit management, forensic and investigation services and corporate finance.


 
RSM ROBSON RHODES GAINS TWO MORE AUDIT WINS

Leeds-based accountants and business advisors RSM Robson Rhodes is celebrating its latest wins after being appointed auditors for the Isos Housing Group and East Riding College.

Isos Housing Group consists of two operating entities, Enterprise 5 Housing Association and Milecastle Housing Ltd. The new body aims to create affordable, high quality housing and sustainable communities by addressing the North East’s housing issues. Operating throughout the North East region of the UK, they have a combined stock of over 5,000 houses.

East Riding College is a provider of higher education and training to young people, adults and businesses in East Riding and Yorkshire. The college operates from main sites in Beverley, Bridlington, Carnaby and Hull.

The appointments build on their existing client base in both the housing and education sectors.

Graham Nunns, partner at RSM Robson Rhodes, commented: “It’s fantastic to have picked up these two new clients. We now have a significant portfolio of clients in both these sectors across the firm - a real testament to our skills and expertise.”

Ends

Press contacts: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506444 - jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes for editors:

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world’s sixth-largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries.

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is registered to carry out audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority.



 
Friday, May 19, 2006
BEACHCROFT BIDS WANSBROUGHS FOND FAREWELL

Press Release: 19 May 2006

BEACHCROFT BIDS WANSBROUGHS FOND FAREWELL

As part of the firm's ongoing drive towards greater commercialisation and transparency, one of the city's leading legal partnerships has moved to LLP status and a brand new corporate identity.

Beachcroft Wansbroughs has had a presence in Birmingham for 17 years, growing from just three members of staff to 174, including 11 partners. The firm has now said goodbye to the name Wansbroughs, rebranding as 'Beachcroft LLP' in another clear manifestation of its market-driven philosophy.

Appointed as the firm's managing partner in 2005, Birmingham partner Paul Murray will now join the new executive board of Beachcroft LLP. Headed by the firm's national senior partner Simon Hodson, the board is composed of six members voted for by over 130 partners nationwide.

Originally known as Wansbrough Willey Hargraves, the firm merged with London-based Beachcroft Stanley in 1999 making it a genuine national entity with additional offices in Leeds, Bristol and Manchester.

Today, Beachcroft LLP employs over 1400 people nationally and turns over in excess of £100m, with a broad range of public and private sector clients, including many leading financial institutions. In Birmingham, Beachcroft's specialisms include construction and engineering, injury risk, PFI/ projects, procurement, and professional negligence. The firm also has a specialist claims validation team which deals with all aspects of fraud work, including motor, employer liability and public liability.

Birmingham Senior Partner Martin Cannon sees the move as the next logical step in the firm's expansion and development: "Restructuring and rebranding as 'Beachcroft LLP' this month, is another clear indication of the firm's modern, market-driven philosophy. Our new image is another physical demonstration of our determination to move with the market.

"We have developed a broad stream of commercial service offerings and a sector-based approach which allows us to tailor what we can offer to our clients. We are now looking to expand our business in the Midlands, through both acquisition and organic growth.

"We always maintain that we deliver added value by speaking the same language as the businesses we represent - and the move to LLP status will help us to maintain that commercial perspective."

-ends-

For more information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
Tel: 01625 506444

Notes to Editor:
Beachcroft LLP (formerly Beachcroft Wansbroughs) is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,400 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (two in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firm delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, recognised 56 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

For further information, please visit: www.beachcroft.co.uk

 
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
EDUCATION SECTOR AUDIT BOOST FOR RSM ROBSON RHODES

An understanding of the needs of education establishments has helped chartered accountants RSM Robson Rhodes secure work at two academic institutions.

The University of Wales, Bangor and Blackpool and Fylde College have both appointed the firm as internal auditors.

The win now means that the firm carries out internal audit for over 30 higher and further education institutions nationally.

The University of Wales, Bangor is a large University in North Wales and has built a reputation for its teaching quality and leading research. Over 8,000 local, national and international students currently attend the University.

Blackpool and Fylde College, one of the largest 30 FE colleges in the UK, are currently partway though a £4 million transformation of their Bispham campus to provide state-of-the-art buildings and facilities to house the Business & Management and Tourism & Hospitality provisions. The development also includes the creation of a ’gaming academy’ to prepare for the expansion of hotels, casinos and conference facilities in Blackpool over the next decade.

Partner Ian Falconer leads the education risk assurance services team, at RSM Robson Rhodes’ Manchester office.

Ian comments: “It’s fantastic to have won both these new clients.  We have a significant portfolio of clients in the education sector, a testament to our skills and expertise.” 


Ends

Press contact:  Joanne Fletcher-Wall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506425 jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk or Alex Henshall (01625) 506414 ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk 

Notes to editor
RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm
practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world's sixth largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries. RSM Robson Rhodes is registered to carry on audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority for investment business.

 
DIGGING DEEP INTO CHARITABLE FINANCES

Leeds-based accountants and business advisors RSM Robson Rhodes are spearheading a national survey aimed at UK charities to measure the effectiveness of marketing expenditure and return on marketing investment.

The firm is calling on all registered charities in the Yorkshire region to spend 15 minutes to complete the self-assessment survey, which can be found on the website: <http://www.rsmi.co.uk/publicsector/marketing>

The purpose of the confidential survey is to gain a deeper understanding of how marketing is used to support the objectives of UK charities.

The research comes in response to the increasing amount of competition in the UK to attract charitable donations. This has inevitably resulted in a growing emphasis on strategic marketing of charities, tailored to their specific audiences.  According to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) 13-14 per cent of total charity expenditure is spent on fundraising, management and administration - this equates to some £4.2 billion in 2004 for the top 500 charities. The need to review their marketing effectiveness to give a positive return on investment is clear!

The survey has the support of the Charity Finance Directors’ Group and the Centre for Charity Effectiveness at the Cass Business School, London.

Mark Fletcher, consultancy partner at RSM Robson Rhodes commented: “The drivers behind the survey are to gain a broader insight of how marketing is used to support the strategic objectives of UK charities and to provide an opportunity to share good marketing practice.

“The firm is well placed to undertake this survey as we have extensive and specialist expertise in both the public and voluntary sectors.”

Ends

Press contacts: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506444 - jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes for editors:

RSM Robson Rhodes
RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world’s sixth-largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries. <http://www.rsmi.co.uk/>

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is registered to carry out audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority.

Cass Business School
Cass Business School delivers innovative, relevant and forward-looking education, training, consultancy and research. Located on the doorstep of one of the world's leading financial centres, Cass is perfectly positioned to be the intellectual hub of the City of London. Our dialogue with business shapes the structure and content of all our programmes of study, our executive education programmes and our research. Our MBA, Specialist Masters and Undergraduate Programmes have a reputation for excellence in professional education.  Our Executive MBA is ranked 10th in the world by the Financial Times.

The school undertakes research of national and international significance and supports almost 100 PhD students. Cass has the largest Finance Faculty and the largest Actuarial Science & Statistics Faculty in Europe. Our finance research is ranked 2nd in Europe and 4th in the World outside the US by Financial Management Magazine and our insurance and risk research is ranked 2nd in the world by the Journal of Risk and Insurance. www.cass.city.ac.uk <http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/>

The Charity Finance Directors' Group
The Charity Finance Directors' Group is a membership organisation set up in 1987 and specialises in helping charities to manage their accounting, taxation, audit and other finance related functions.

A growing membership of over 1,100 members shares knowledge, skills and experience to develop and promote good practice and to find solutions to problems.

The CFDG is represented on many committees and working parties established by professional bodies and government departments, including the APB Public Sector and Not-for-Profit Committee and the SORP Review Committee. <http://www.cfdg.org.uk/>


 
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
News Release: Company Withdraws Ewhurst Brickworks

PR102
16th May 2006

Company Withdraws Ewhurst Brickworks As Potential Landfill Site

At the inaugural meeting of the recently reconstituted Community Liaison Committee for Ewhurst Brickworks last Thursday evening, Wienerberger tabled a letter to the County Council dated 4th May 2006, stating that the company 'does not consider the site as being suitable for use as a landfill'.

Reiterating the point made repeatedly by company spokespersons over recent weeks, the letter stated that '(the company's) primary objective for the site continues as a viable brick making production site' and points out that recent assessment and drilling have shown 'significant mineral reserves' in the base of the existing quarry. The statement goes on to say that 'the winning of these reserves would be incompatible with land-filling of the site at this stage or in the foreseeable future'.

Liaison Committee members also received copies of a response from the Head of Minerals and Waste and Surrey County Council, dated 10th May 2006, which confirms that 'the County Council will not include Ewhurst as a proposed landfill site' within its Waste Plan. Both the County Council and Wienerberger will continue to work together on the preparation of a master plan for the long-term management and eventual restoration of the site.

Commenting on the news, local resident and chair of the Ewhurst Liaison Committee, Rosemary Thompson said: "This is excellent news for all of us living in the vicinity of the Wienerberger factory. We are delighted that the company has taken note of local concerns regarding this proposal and taken our concerns on board. We have a history of working constructively with those operating the Ewhurst site and I hope that we can now move forward in a spirit of mutual cooperation and goodwill."

Wienerberger's Production Director Pat Furr agrees: "As a company we own some 240 factories across the world. Although we felt that we should consider all potential eventualities in preparing our masterplan for the future of our Ewhurst site, landfill was never one of our preferred options. I hope that the company response to local concerns has demonstrated our willingness to listen and our collaborative approach. Now that the dialogue has been resumed, we hope to continue to engage in an open and constructive debate with the local community on other planned developments for the site."

As part of the meeting, Liaison Committee members - who include representatives from all local Parish, District and County Councils as well as 3 community representatives - adopted a formal constitution, agreed a standard agenda and received an update on other aspects of the works, including transport and environmental issues.

For further information on the workings of the Liaison Committee, please contact your local Parish Council representative.

- ends -

Press contact: Deborah Garritty / Emily Goehler at Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk/egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
01625 506444

 
EIC 'SUSTAINS' SCHOOL TRACK RECORD

PR169
16th May 2006

EIC 'SUSTAINS' SCHOOL TRACK RECORD

EIC has secured the contract to provide mechanical and electrical design and installation for Enith School in Kent with a brief to supply sustainable systems where possible to reduce the use of energy.

The mechanical and electrical specialist was recommended to main contractor, Coombs (Canterbury) Ltd following the very successful construction of two new "sustainable" primary schools in Bexley where EIC were employed in a partnered capacity with Willmott Dixon Construction.

The £500,000 contract includes the installation of a photovoltaic electrical supply allowing part of the energy to be supplied by photovoltaic panels incorporated in the roof structure. EIC is also proposing to use ground source heat pumps to provide energy for the heating systems.

Nigel Le Marechal, joint managing director of EIC, is delighted that the company has been invited to be involved in this latest school project: "Our current focus is to work to support the Government's commitment to improving schools and we aim to drive sustainability in design in all the education projects we undertake.

"We are especially pleased to have been awarded this contract on recommendation as it proves that we are developing a track record in sustainable work and that we are delivering good results. The work we did for Orchard and Uplands primary schools has resulted in a national award nomination of which we are very proud."

Education projects completed by EIC include City of London Academy, Crossways Academy, Alexander Park School, Watergate School, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, North East Worcester College, Mayville School Leytonstone, West Wycombe School, Oxford University's Medical Sciences Teaching Centre, Le Rondin in Guernsey and Orchard School and Uplands School in Bexley.

Editor's note
EIC provides project management, design, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of electrical, mechanical control and data management systems to a wide range of blue chip clients. The company has a successful track record of partnering with major contractors such as AMEC, HBG, Taylor Woodrow, Carillion and Willmott Dixon, as well as carrying out a broad range of services for many High Street names and leisure groups including Debenhams, John Lewis Partnership, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Virgin, Primark, Littlewoods, Gap, Bhs, Co-op, ATS, Mitchells & Butler, Firmdale Hotels and the Hilton Group. EIC also works extensively throughout the health, education and commercial sectors working collaboratively with all members of a project team, providing innovative, sustainable solutions and best whole life value. For further information log on to www.eicltd.com or call 01789 269408.

Press contact: Elizabeth Swain @ Bell Pottinger North
eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
(01625 506404)

 
Monday, May 15, 2006
TEXTILES COMPANY CALLS IN ADMINISTRATORS

Huddersfield-based textile dying and finishing company, John Gladstone (Dyers & Finishers) Limited, has gone into administration.

Michael Saville of corporate recovery specialists Begbies Traynor, Leeds, has been appointed administrator on behalf of the company.

John Gladstone has ceased trading with the closure of the site and the loss of 37 jobs.  The original long standing company went into liquidation in 2000.  It was then bought by the current management in 2002.

The company supplies major fabric suppliers in the Yorkshire area and has suffered as a result of the declining textiles industry in Yorkshire.

Michael Saville of Begbies Traynor comments: “This is another example of a long-established business falling victim to the difficulties faced by UK-based manufacturers.”

Queries regarding the company should be directed to Paul Beardsley on 0113 244 0044.

Ends

For further information, please contact:
Joanne Fletcher-Wall
Bell Pottinger North

01625 506425

Information on Begbies Traynor can be accessed via the Group’s website at www.begbies-traynor.com <http://www.begbies-traynor.com>

Notes to editors


About Begbies Traynor Group plc
The Group specialises in business insolvency management and is becoming increasingly active in the area of personal insolvency. It also offers services in corporate rescue and investigation services and has entered the field of corporate finance.

In November 2005, the Group entered the rapidly-expanding volume personal insolvency market via the acquisition of W3 Debt Solutions, a firm specialising in providing advice and practical support to individuals in debt. 


The Group has grown to its current network of 30 nationwide offices ranging from Scotland to the South West of England, with 350 operatives. The Company continues to pursue its strategy of organic development, coupled with the acquisition of specialist knowledge of both individuals and firms, to further increase its market share in its core services.


The Directors believe that the Group is the UK's largest independent insolvency, corporate rescue and recovery specialist with clients ranging from major institutions to individuals with business difficulties.

 
The Office Network
The Group operates with 60 licensed insolvency appointment takers, some 225 fee earning staff and 65 in support and administration. The Group operates from 30 locations across the UK.

Business Activities
The core business of the Group is the formal administration of insolvencies including receiverships, liquidations, administrations, company voluntary arrangements and business-related personal insolvencies. The Group has extended its activities into a range of consultancy services including corporate rescue, credit management, forensic and investigation services and corporate finance.



 
TUCKER TAKES VAT ROLE AT RSM ROBSON RHODES

Manchester-based accountants and business advisors RSM Robson Rhodes, have expanded their VAT team with the appointment of Gavin Tucker.

Gavin joins the firm from Deloitte in Manchester, where he spent seven years, after originally joining Arthur Andersen. He has a strong commercial background in sectors such as land and property, supply chain, hotel and leisure, retail and manufacturing.  He will be working with the team to bolster their offering in the corporate market.  He also has significant experience in social housing and the public sector, is ACCA accredited and was an auditor for eight years.

In his new role as senior manager, he will be working closely with the partner and head of VAT in the North, Andrea Sofield.

Gavin comments:  “RSM Robson Rhodes has provided me with a great opportunity to further develop its indirect tax practice, which was too good an opportunity to turn down. The firm is well regarded and has an excellent reputation - I am looking forward to a fresh challenge.”

 
Andrea Sofield comments: “We are committed to providing a comprehensive service to individuals on all areas of tax and Gavin’s recruitment further strengthens our ability to deliver in this growing market. I am delighted that he has decided to join RSM Robson Rhodes and believe that he can deliver real value for the firm.”

Ends

Press contact:  Joanne Fletcher-Wall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506425
jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or Alex Henshall (01625) 506414 ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> 

Notes to editor
RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm
practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world's sixth largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries. RSM Robson Rhodes is registered to carry on audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority for investment business.


 
PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF THE DEBT ADVISOR

COMPASS FINANCE GROUP PLC

(“Compass Finance” or “the Group”)

Proposed Acquisition of The Debt Advisor

Placing of 11,250,000 new Ordinary Shares at 40 pence per share

Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting

Advised by Zeus Capital Limited

*       Acquisition of The Debt Advisor and The Business Debt Advisor for £2 million

*       Placing to raise £4.15 million net of expenses, including £3.15 million for business growth and working capital

*       Acquisition completes the strategic model of a total in-house product offering:

Gren Folwell, the Chairman of Compass Finance, commented:
“The acquisition of The Debt Advisor provides a strong strategic fit with our goal to provide all of our customers with a full range of appropriate financial solutions to meet each of their needs. The addition of The Debt Advisor completes our strategic business model.

“With personal debt in the UK running at £1,182 billion, we are presented with a huge market opportunity.  We believe that we are one of the few companies in the sector which will be able to offer its customers ‘True Best Advice’ backed by an in-house set of products that provides a complete range of solutions to fulfil their needs. We believe this innovative model differentiates the Company and provides a competitive edge in the sector.

“On average, we are receiving around 2,000 leads a month which are suitable for a possible debt advisory solution.  Following the completion of the acquisition these leads will flow straight into the Debt Advisory Division and I am confident that this division will grow rapidly.”

Ends
 
Press contacts:

Budsworth & Co
Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall  
Bell Pottinger North                                   
01625 506444                                   

Compass Finance Group plc
Brian Coleman-Smith
Cubitt Consulting
020 7367 5102

Notes to editors
The Debt Advisor is licensed by the Insolvency Practitioners Association to offer skilled and specialist advice on personal debt. Formed in 1999, the Debt Advisor works closely with those in debt to find solutions, which can protect assets from creditors, freeze interest and charges to repay debt in five years or less. At its website - www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk <http://www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk/> - there is useful information including an online debt calculator to assist with budgeting.

BEV BUDSWORTH
Bev Budsworth is an insolvency practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with debt issues. 

A regular media commentator, Bev has spoken on a wide-range of issues including divorce, self-certificated mortgages, DIY, mature debt and online gambling. She has been regularly quoted in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Daily and Sunday Express as well as women’s magazines including Woman and Red. In the last 12 months she has offered advice on regional television news programmes and BBC local radio phone-ins.

In June 2000 she established The Debt Advisor, one of the first firms to offer comprehensive advice on all debt issues.  She had previously spent 17 years with an international firm of chartered accountants where she specialised in personal and business insolvency.

Her experience of dealing with personal debt issues led in 2005 to her being asked to join a government-led working party to look at ways of simplifying the formal procedures of helping people out of debt.

Since then she has led the way in calling for a professional personal debt/insolvency study course to be set up for all people involved in debt advice to individuals. 

She works together with a psychologist and they have developed strategies to help motivate clients to change their lifestyle.  As a busy married mother of three teenage children she understands the pressures that families face.  She believes that with a positive outlook there is always a sensible way to deal with financial difficulties and turn lives around.

Bev recently launched a campaign to bring about a greater understanding of debt and its links to depression giving debtors in the UK access to a two-pronged approach to relieve the misery caused by debt.  She is the first in the UK to offer debt advice and personal counselling under one roof.  The campaign is geared to help those who are seriously struggling with the wider effects including depression, relationship breakdown, poor work performance and associated health problems.



 
RSM ROBSON RHODES EXPANDS RISK ASSURANCE TEAM

The Leeds office of chartered accountants and business advisers RSM Robson Rhodes has expanded their information systems risk assurance team with the appointment of Cheryl Harding.

Cheryl joins the firm from Dailycer, the cereals division of the Dutch food
group Royal Wessanen, where she spent five years culminating in her role as ICT systems officer for the UK and one of the internal quality auditors.

In her new role, Cheryl will be working closely with a broad range of clients assisting them with its management of risk associated with information technology systems. 

Ian Falconer, risk assurance partner, comments: “Cheryl’s arrival significantly reinforces our risk assurance team and helps us to strengthen our offering in the information system arena. Cheryl’s background complements the other skills within the team, enabling us to offer even more to our clients.”

 
Ends


Press contact: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625 506444) jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes to editors

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm
practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world's sixth largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries. RSM Robson Rhodes is registered to carry on audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority for investment business. Visit the website at: www.rmsi.co.uk <http://www.rmsi.co.uk>


 
LITIGATION LEADS THE WAY AT BEACHCROFT LLP

PR154M

Press Release: 15 May 2006

LITIGATION LEADS THE WAY AT BEACHCROFT LLP

It's been another record year for litigators at Beachcroft LLP's Manchester offices, with turnover up 20% and a substantial increase in the number and quality instructions received in 2004/5. Dispute resolution, international (multi-jurisdictional) work, AIM flotations and the firm's expanded range of financial services clients have all contributed to this success, building on Beachcroft's long-established base in property management and commercial litigation.

Regional Senior Partner Iain Moore believes that these are trends which are set to continue for the year ahead: "Our reputation in the field of dispute resolution is second to none and we already act as trusted advisers for a broad range of national and international clients. These sorts of issues are a constant feature of commercial life and the latest proposed changes to pre-litigation protocols are likely to result in an increase in this sort of business as clients instruct solicitors at a much earlier stage in the process. We already have a high number of qualified mediators in house and can help clients to avoid unnecessary and expensive court appearances.

"At the same time, we've spent the last three years investing in our people, our IT infrastructure and our systems to get the gearing absolutely right. We are now seeing those people driving the business forward and are reaping the benefit of that investment in terms of efficiency and sector-based expertise.

"AIM outperformed OFEX last year, so that looks likely to continue as a growth area for our corporate team. In addition, we've seen a tremendous uplift in the international work handled by our technology and commerce team, particularly as regards multi-national outsourcing, franchising overseas and joint venture arrangements. We also took the opportunity last year to launch a dedicated team to help financial services cope with the increasing regulatory burden here in the UK and that's had very positive results.

"That's just a quick snapshot of some of the star performers over the last year. We've also got a thriving employment team which has grown from four to 13 partners and doubled its turnover in just three years. So, the future is looking quite positive for Beachcroft LLP here in the North West."

Beachcroft also restructured and rebranded as a Limited Liability Partnership earlier this month. The move is seen as a physical manifestation of the firm's stated intention to move towards greater transparency and commercialisation in all its business dealings.

-ends-

For more information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
Tel: 01625 506444

Notes to Editor:
Beachcroft LLP (formerly Beachcroft Wansbroughs) is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,400 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (two in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firm delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, recognised 56 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

For further information, please visit: www.beachcroft.co.uk

 
Friday, May 12, 2006
LAKE DISTRICT - NEW CELEBRITY HAUNT

Although continually popular with holidaymakers and walkers, it seems the Lake District is pulling in the stars. Forget celebrity haunts such as the Italian Lake Como, home to Hollywood actor George Clooney, it seems the new hangout for stars is Lake Windermere. 

Rene Zellweger may be the most talked about celebrity in the Lake District, during the filming of ‘Miss Potter’ with co-star Ewan McGregor, but she isn’t alone in visiting the region. Filming such as this has produced a magnificent boost to the regions economy and revenue for local business.

Among the celebrity holiday homeowners to be spotted around Lake Windermere are several premier-league footballers and renowned singer Sting and his wife Trudi Styler. The romantic setting of the Lake District is also said to be the place chosen by Sir Paul McCartney to propose to Heather Mills-McCartney.

John Morphet, managing director of South Lakeland Caravans and owner of the five star flagship holiday park White Cross Bay located on the shores of Lake Windermere, commented: “The fact that this area is attracting celebrities comes as no surprise to me. This is a fantastic place and the unobtrusive nature of the area has seen an increase in the number of stars visiting the region.

 “In addition to this, the increased profile of the area as a film location and celebrity visits has ensured an increase in the revenue for local businesses.”

Other A-list celebrities with whom the Lake District is a favoured retreat are Tony Blair and Prince Charles. Friends star Jennifer Aniston and Hollywood actor Brad Pitt were also rumoured to have selected the Lake District as a holiday destination during their marriage.

ENDS

Press contact: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Sarah Hooley at Bell Pottinger North (01625 617611) jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or shooley@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:shooley@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes to Editors


Pure Leisure Group
The Pure Leisure Group is owned by UK based leisure entrepreneur John Morphet. Included within the group is South Lakeland Caravans a fast-growing company, which specialises in developing and operating holiday parks, with caravans and timber lodges for sale or hire. At selected parks there are also pitches for touring caravans. Established in 1988, it now has 14 UK locations ranging from smaller caravan parks to larger holiday villages complete with leisure facilities.

The UK locations are:

White Cross Bay Leisure Park & Marina, Windermere
Limefitt Leisure Park, Windermere
Fallbarrow Leisure Park, Bowness, Windermere
Gatebeck Caravan Park, Endmoor, near Kendal
Ocean Edge Leisure Park, Morecambe
Regent Leisure Park, Morecambe
Hawthorne Caravan Park, Morecambe
Marina Caravan Park, Glasson Dock, near Lancaster
Fell End Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Hall More Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Little Todber Caravan Park, Gisburn, Clitheroe
South Lakeland Leisure Village, Borwick, near Carnforth
Billing Aquadrome, Northampton
Cogenhoe Mill, Northampton


The Pure Leisure Group also has three developments overseas:

 
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Property specialists warn against over-hyped foreign market

PR112
11th May 2006

Property specialists warn against over-hyped foreign market

Property investors hoping to snap up bargains abroad are being advised to think twice and carefully evaluate the legal and financial requirements, not to mention the hoped for return on investment, before they reach for their cheque books.

Manchester-based property investment specialist, Urban Logic - part of AIM-listed Northern Lynx plc - today spoke out about the trend to invest in foreign climes with special reference to the recent rise in popularity of eastern Europe, where the price for a two-bedroom apartment is still tantalisingly low for would-be investors.

The company deals solely with property in the UK, focusing on the north of England where it has established a name by identifying areas that continue to see high capital growth and rental demand.

"For the last 12 months there has been a constant feed of articles in the national press extolling the virtues of various foreign hot-spots which represent the end of the rainbow for those with the cash to invest" says operations director of Urban Logic, Guy Davis. "What is often missed by the over eager, whose eyes are already blinded by the sun, is that the tax breaks aren't always that great and you need an instant major cash commitment. The deposits required can be as much as 40 per cent against as little as five per cent in the UK.

"There's also a huge leap of faith involved. The geographical distance can be critical when dealing with lettings agents and the investor is not on hand, in the event of an emergency, to sort out major problems. In eastern Europe, you also have to question the infrastructure. There's not necessarily going to be a good source of local amenities like shops, banks and doctors' practices, which is off-putting to the target rental market. Ultimately, who will you be renting or selling on to?"

Urban Logic has developed exclusive relationships with a number of the UK's leading housebuilders, enabling it to offer its clients discounts of around 15 per cent on a range of residential properties at prime sites across the north of England and Scotland.

For further information on Urban Logic, please visit -www.urbanlogic.co.uk or call 0800 916 8659

- ends -

Editor's note
Urban Logic, part of AIM-listed Northern Lynx plc, offers its client base a selection of well researched investment opportunities across the north of England and Scotland, with added value service options to provide a 'one-stop shop' solution.

For more press information contact Elizabeth Swain or John Butters at Bell Pottinger North on (01625) 506444 or email eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / jbutters@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

 
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
DOGS GO FREE AT WHITE CROSS BAY

Dog lovers need no longer suffer expensive boarding fees and guilt brought on from going away on holiday.

White Cross Bay Leisure Park, situated on the banks of Lake Windermere, is offering free places for any breaks until the end of May.

Now dog owners can ease both their heartache and bank balance by treating their best friend to a break at an animal friendly park. Take advantage of long woodland walks and relaxing strolls along the shores of Lake Windermere.

South Lakeland Caravans managing director John Morphet commented: “A dog is an extra family member and we understand how difficult it can be to find somewhere to stay that allows pets. Not to mention the financial expense and emotional stress that leaving behind your dog can cause. At White Cross Bay Leisure Park we aim to make our guests as happy and as stress free as possible.”

White Cross Bay has a number of holiday homes units where dogs are welcome. The offer is subject to availability and conditions and is limited to two dogs per unit.

ENDS

Press contact: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Sarah Hooley at Bell Pottinger North (01625 617611) jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or shooley@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:shooley@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes to Editors


Pure Leisure Group
The Pure Leisure Group is owned by UK based leisure entrepreneur John Morphet. Included within the group is South Lakeland Caravans a fast-growing company, which specialises in developing and operating holiday parks, with caravans and timber lodges for sale or hire. At selected parks there are also pitches for touring caravans. Established in 1988, it now has 14 UK locations ranging from smaller caravan parks to larger holiday villages complete with leisure facilities.

The UK locations are:

White Cross Bay Leisure Park & Marina, Windermere
Limefitt Leisure Park, Windermere
Fallbarrow Leisure Park, Bowness, Windermere
Gatebeck Caravan Park, Endmoor, near Kendal
Ocean Edge Leisure Park, Morecambe
Regent Leisure Park, Morecambe
Hawthorne Caravan Park, Morecambe
Marina Caravan Park, Glasson Dock, near Lancaster
Fell End Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Hall More Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Little Todber Caravan Park, Gisburn, Clitheroe
South Lakeland Leisure Village, Borwick, near Carnforth
Billing Aquadrome, Northampton
Cogenhoe Mill, Northampton


The Pure Leisure Group also has three developments overseas:

Royal Westmoreland, Barbados - a luxurious 500 acre estate with a world class golf course offering a choice of magnificent, newly built villas in a selection of sizes and styles - from two to four bedrooms, to larger Premium Villas and grand, individually-styled Exclusive Villas.


 

This feed contains news releases issued by the clients of Bell Pottinger North

www.bellpottingernorth.co.uk





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