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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Monday, January 29, 2007
Books4Beer event teaches Manchester students the value of recycling


Manchester students will appreciate the value of recycling next week when they are able to swap a course book they no longer need for entry into a top party and a voucher for a free beer.

The first Books4Beer event is taking place in association with Flirt, the UK's number one student night, held at Manchester Metropolitan University's (MMU) Student Union from 10:30pm on Tuesday, February 6.

The 'green' initiative is being run in conjunction with Sell Student Books.com, the new Manchester-based Web site that enables graduates and students to buy and sell second-hand academic books.

"Books4Beer is all about showing students that there is value in books that they no longer use, and that they can help the environment by reducing demand for new books to be printed," said Sell Student Books.com founder, Mark Fraser.

"By swapping a course book at the door, they will be able to save money on entry and beer. Thinking green doesn't just apply to helping to save the planet - it's about saving cash too."

Graduates are leaving university with an average debt of £13,252 but, thanks to Sell Student Books.com, they can now make money by selling old books to hard-up students, who, in turn, benefit from big savings when buying.

Sell Student Books.com has a database of 700,000 books covering every college and university course in the UK.

Ends.

Notes to editors
Sell Student Books.com the first commercial Web site linked to innovative mobile phone ISBN search technology to specialise in giving past and present students the opportunity to buy and sell used academic books. www.sellstudentbooks.com

For more press information contact John Butters, Faye Burton or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North on (01625) 506444 or email fburton@bellpottingernorth.co.uk or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

 
Monday, January 22, 2007
The Square, Hale Barns: Retailers say existing facility is no longer commercially viable

The Square in Hale Barns is likely to suffer further decline over the coming years unless the current redevelopment proposals are approved, according to a survey of shopping centre users.

The survey, carried out by NEMS market research on behalf of Citybranch - the owner of the centre - showed how little the centre is used:
* More than half of all visitors stayed for fewer than 15 minutes.
* More than half spent less than £10.00 there.
* A third of visitors stated that visiting the Post Office was the main reason for their visit.
* 46% did not have a second reason for their visit.
* 80% travelled by car and would return straight home after their visit.
* More than 40% were 65 and over.

According to Adam Gross, director of Citybranch, the findings show that the centre as it stands will decline:
"Given the results of the survey, it is difficult to see how the existing retailers can look to the future with confidence. If most people are spending less than 15 minutes here, then they are probably visiting one particular shop, rather than browsing.

"An essential factor in the success of any retail development is its commercial viability for the individual retailer. We are already seeing retailers leaving The Square and can foresee a continuing decline if something drastic is not done to improve and extend its appeal.

"We believe that bringing Waitrose to The Square will encourage shoppers to do their main food shopping here, spending more time in the centre and thereby increasing custom and generating passing trade for all the retailers."

During 2006, two retailers left The Square, whilst a further retail unit remained empty. Citybranch suspects that there may be at least this number of departures during 2007.

Neil Bullock, director of Halba Travel Ltd., which left the centre in December, said: "We feel that to replace the existing increasingly tired buildings with a bright new development will transform The Square to the benefit of all concerned."

Andrew Drennan of Choice Greengrocers, a retailer in The Square, added: "If this scheme doesn't go ahead, the centre will deteriorate even further. Most of the flats above my shop are empty and if the area isn't regenerated soon, it's only a matter of time before all of the flats are empty. This is likely to attract vandals and crime.

"Something needs to happen to breathe life into The Square and the scale of the refurbishment required would make the cost implications for the local retailer unsustainable. I feel that the best alternative, therefore would be to proceed with the current proposals."

Citybranch's proposals are designed to revitalise the centre and bring:
* A Waitrose store, with the benefits of locally produced products and a comprehensive range of organic foods.
* Fourteen brand new and highly desirable retail units for lease to existing and/or new retailers.
* Free, secure and well lit underground parking that will continue to be made available for use by the community.
Safety will be improved by CCTV and on-site security personnel.
* Improved traffic flow on Hale Road.
* Additional local housing.

Citybranch's planning appeal concerning redevelopment of The Square will be heard on Tuesday 27th March 2007.

Images are available for hi-resolution download at http://www.thesquarehalebarns.co.uk/images/current/index.htm All are views of The Square as it currently stands.

Ends.

For more information please contact:
Chris Warham or Deborah Garritty at Bell Pottinger North, on 01625 506 444, or email cwarham@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Editors note:

The proposal to redevelop "The Square" in Hale Barns was originally submitted to Trafford Borough Council in January 2006 and was supported by planning officers. However, following a deferment, the application was not put before the Planning Committee until July 2006.

During the intervening period, a campaign mounted by local residents generated opposition to the redevelopment proposals.

In September 2006, Citybranch lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate. This will be now heard on the 27th March 2007.

A web site and mailing list for Citybranch's proposals is online at http://www.thesquarehalebarns.co.uk

 
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Students to reduce debt with sale of books

Graduates are leaving university with an average debt of £13,252, but now students are to benefit from a new Web site that enables them to reduce their debt by buying and selling used academic books.

Developed by Sell Student books.com, the site enables graduates to make money by selling their used books to hard-up students, who, in turn, benefit from substantial savings when buying the books.

Michael Cattell, 18, is a first-year history student at the University of Liverpool, and one of the first people to pilot the Web site. "University course books were costing me a fortune," he said.

"By using this new Web site I've been able to save more than half the cover price of many of my books. It's a great idea and I've found the site really easy to use."

But the financial gains are not the only reason for students to make use of the site. Graduates will also be able to help the environment by reducing the demand for new books to be printed.

"Sell Student Books.com is the first commercial Web site to give graduates and students the opportunity to buy and sell used academic books," said the company's founder, Mark Fraser.

"Easy-to-use and secure, the site enables graduates to reduce their debt and de-clutter by selling unwanted academic books - while hard-up students can buy course books at a fraction of their original price."

Sell Student Books.com has a database of 700,000 books covering every college and university course in the UK.

Ends.

Notes to editors
Sell Student Books.com the first commercial Web site linked to innovative mobile phone ISBN search technology to specialise in giving past and present students the opportunity to buy and sell used academic books. www.sellstudentbooks.com

For more press information contact John Butters, Faye Burton or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North on (01625) 506444 or email fburton@bellpottingernorth.co.uk or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

 
EIC ON COURSE FOR COMPLETION AT THE ROYAL WOLVERHAMPTON SCHOOL

EIC has completed mechanical and electrical installation work at the Royal Wolverhampton School.

Work on the contract started at the beginning of May last year and was finished by the end of November. The leading mechanical and electrical services provider was working alongside main contractor Moss Construction, part of the Kier Group, on a new build swimming pool complete with changing areas, cafeteria, small classroom, fitness area and foyer.

Some of the facilities in the purpose built two-storey building are open to the public along with the school's all-weather sports pitch. HRH Prince Edward lay the foundation stone for the new building in September.

Electrical installation work included new mains supply, new mains distribution board, lighting and emergency lighting, small power, fire alarm system, intruder alarm system, hearing aid induction loops, external lighting, disabled alarm, provision for CCTV and containment and power supplies for IT systems.

Mechanical installation work included low pressure hot water heating, swimming pool ventilation systems, general ventilation systems, domestic hot and cold water services, control systems, soil and waste systems, thermal installation and sanitary ware.

Joint managing director of EIC, Nigel Le Marechal comments: "We have previously worked with Moss Construction on retail and commercial projects, so it has been nice to be able to demonstrate to the contractor the knowledge and experience we also hold in the education and leisure sectors.

"From the start of the project, we worked closely with Moss's team to engage different methods to keep the budget down. We utilised the most
efficient use of energy to adhere to this budget and meet the Client's expectations and the working relationship is proving to be a success."

Craig Garrood, project manager for Moss Construction adds: "EIC has worked well with both our own team and other outside contractors relevant to the job to implement and maintain a highly-detailed, carefully co-ordinated schedule of activity. We've been impressed by their dedication and expertise in a mixed-use area."

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Notes for Editor
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 506444)



 
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
EIC ESTABLISHES NEW LEVEL OF SENIOR MANAGEMENT TO CREATE MORE OPPORTUNITY

EIC is establishing the post of associate director within the company to create a new level of directors who will support the current Board of Directors.

This is a key strategic move by the mechanical and electrical specialist which has been taken to introduce additional opportunities at a senior level for talented individuals who have delivered outstanding results and who have demonstrated the ability to help drive the business forward as it continues to expand and grow.

The new associate directors will be operations manager for Test & Maintenance, Barry Horsley who will now assume the role of Test & Maintenance divisional director; Darren Parrish, operations manager for EIC Southern, who will now become EIC Southern divisional director; and Paul Fitzpatrick, regional manager for EIC Scotland who becomes EIC Scotland divisional director.

Joint managing director of EIC, Nigel Le Marechal explains the thought behind this latest initiative: "This new layer of associate directors is a means of promoting natural career progression within the company with the potential to affect all staff going forward as posts become vacant throughout the chain as a result of these moves.

"We have made this change with the intention of demonstrating to staff that there is room at the top for those who make an outstanding contribution and who show the promise to help progress the business. Ultimately, commitment shown by staff is reciprocal and will always be recognised by the Board."

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Notes for Editor
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, January 08, 2007
Bumper deals at Beachcroft

Commercial law firm, Beachcroft LLP, is strengthening its position in the corporate finance sector with the Bristol-based team handling deals worth in excess of £300 million over the last nine months.

Led by partner John Williams, the team has completed top-level transactions for a range of different companies in both the public and private sector. Recent successes include, managing a £60 million AIM flotation for a Romanian property fund, advising Topps Tiles on a £122 million cash-back deal to shareholders, and acting for the Castle Group on its sale to Touchstone Asset Management.

"These deals have all been managed by the Bristol office, which is testament to the fantastic growth we've achieved over the last year. The team has been involved in the full range of corporate finance work, including AIM/OFEX flotations, listings, management buyouts, mergers and acquisitions.

"We work very closely with our London office and this has allowed us to quickly build a diverse client base, including both regional and national organisations, as well as multinationals. We're confident that this model will ensure we continue to make our mark on the region's corporate finance scene, and strengthen our position nationally."

Beachcroft's Bristol-based corporate finance specialists form part of the firm's national corporate services team, which includes more than 30 lawyers and partners.

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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 six main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial institutions (including the insurance industry); consumer and industrial goods and services and technology and telecommunications.

The firm has received a number of industry accolades in the last year. Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2007, recognised 65 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, ranking the firm at number 16 in the UK, up from 19 last year. In Legal 500, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK, the firm received a Tier 1 ranking for 17 of its practice areas across the UK. In Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK. Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

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.

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

 
Thursday, January 04, 2007
KINGSLEY PARK: NEW LIGHTS IN OLD WINDOWS

PJ Livesey is once again breathing life into the nation's past, with its sympathetic conversion of a former hospital on the outskirts of Delamere Forest. The noble, but abandoned husks of these historic hospital buildings have been saved from falling into further disrepair by a visionary development plan, which seeks to create a brand new community in one of the region's most sought-after beauty spots.

Set in 33 acres of private woodland, Kingsley Park is the latest redevelopment project to be taken on by the UK's leading developer of listed buildings, the PJ Livesey Group. Work is already underway on the redevelopment of the old hospital (also once known as Crossley Hospital East), including the transformation of the main hall and nursing home into luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. In addition, a number of period outbuildings - including the old pump house and hospital chapel - are being skilfully converted to create a number of semi-detached and detached properties within the boundaries of the estate. An exclusive, sympathetically designed 4-bedroom detached home will complete the range of accommodation available at this new landmark address.

Planning permission was granted for Kingsley Park earlier this year. The original Grade II listed buildings first opened their doors as a hospital in 1905, having been funded by Sir William Crossley, the owner of a large engineering company in Manchester. Crossley's investment was in direct response to a wave of tuberculosis occurring among his own workforce at a time when the disease was particularly prevalent among the urban poor. As it was known to be highly contagious, isolation was deemed essential and this site on the north westerly corner of Delamere Forest was identified as the perfect location for such a sanitorium.

The hospital functioned as a specialist TB centre and overflow facility for neighbouring over-crowded hospitals under the mid-1960s, when it became a care home for the elderly. In the early 1980s, it was used as a specialist psychiatric and recuperative hospital until the end of the decade when it was leased out privately and used as a boarding school. The school closed in 1991 and the building lay derelict until the summer of 2006 when PJ Livesey began its work.

The resulting collection of buildings and grounds are impressive, not only in terms of their scale, but also regarding the secluded and private nature of the estate. The sanatorium's south-facing aspect, set approximately 480 feet above sea level, boasts beautiful views of the adjoining Delamere Forest, the Cheshire Plains and distant Welsh and Peak District mountain ranges.

Sales manager Colette Gannon believes that Kingsley Park will provide homebuyers with a truly unique new living environment: "As with all PJ Livesey developments, the focal point is a historic building known to, and much loved by, local people. We take our responsibility to these listed buildings very seriously indeed and are totally committed to delivering a new, living community which will stand as a testament to British craftsmanship and attention to detail. A new, 21st century landmark, in effect.

"Delamere Forest is obviously a popular tourist attraction in the region - and these properties will provide the same spectacular views, open aspect and tranquil atmosphere right on the doorstep. We expect to receive record levels of enquiries and are already having to set up a dedicated database for early birds who want to ensure the pick of the plots."

Much of the infrastructure and architecture will remain largely unchanged at Kingsley Park, fusing with state-of-the-art interior layouts and designs to provide the very best in contemporary living space. The formal launch is expected in early 2007 and it is likely that viewings will be by appointment only. For further information, or to join the mailing list for Kingsley Park, please contact the on-site Sales Centre on 01928 740078 or call in and see our progress for yourselves (open Thursday to Monday, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm).


- ends -


Press contact: Deborah Garritty/Elizabeth Swain @ Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk/eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
01625 506444

 
FIRST-TIME BUYERS SHOULD 'RUN FOR THE MILLS' !

With 78% of respondents to a YouGov survey for the Council of Mortgage Lenders believing that something should be done to make it easier for first-time buyers, PJ Livesey is doing just that, at its fashionable Quarry Bank Mill development on the outskirts of Huddersfield.

The specialist developer has deliberately included a number of reasonably priced one-bedroom apartments in this fabulous mill conversion, keeping prices under £100,000 and making them an attractive proposition for local first-time buyers. And it's a strategy which has worked, with over 90% of the one-bedroom apartments going to first-time buyers and young couples keen to get onto the property ladder.

P J Livesey is acutely aware of the lack of suitable properties for first-time buyers in popular residential areas and was determined to create an option that was architecturally striking and a living piece of local history, while ensuring that prices were kept realistic. As the country's leading developer of listed buildings and historic properties, Livesey's building philosophy is based on originality, design excellence and craftsmanship, developing a range of high quality homes which are likely to retain and increase their market value.

Sales manager Colette Gannon explains: "There has been an incredible amount of coverage in the media regarding the plight of first-time buyers. Official statistics support the view that new home-owners are finding themselves in unmanageable debt as they strive to get a toe-hold on the first rung of the property ladder. As a consequence, a lot of first-timers are under the impression that they have to settle for less than the best, but the message we are keen to establish is that this is absolutely not the case.

"Quarry Bank Mill is a Grade II listed building which has been sympathetically converted to showcase the scale and architectural styling of the original mill. This means that you have high ceilings, excellent room sizes and other period features throughout. In addition, each is individually designed with its own distinct character and charm and the location, surrounded by beautiful Yorkshire countryside and next to the historic mill race, makes this one of the area's most desirable and sought-after addresses."

Colette's claims regarding desirability are supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland's First-Time Buyer (FTB) Property Index which ranks Britain's postcodes by desirability and potential return on investment. The highest-ranking postcode has recently been revealed as HD3, the very postcode of Quarry Bank Mill.

Of course, not all of the properties available are one-bedroom apartments. There are larger, two- and three-bedroom properties also available on this development, with a selection of specification options to give buyers the best possible flexibility and choice. In a further demonstration of PJ Livesey's commitment to individuality, there are several different show apartments available to view - each illustrating the various specification packages available. Prices for the 2-bedroom properties start at just £149,950.

For further information on Quarry Bank Mill, or to request a viewing, please contact the Sales Centre direct on 01484 655364 or call in and see for yourself why PJ Livesey is fast becoming the nation's favourite residential developer (Sales Centre open daily, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm).

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Press contact: Deborah Garritty/Elizabeth Swain @ Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk/eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
01625 506444




 
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
NEW YEAR LAUNCH FOR BOLTON'S LAST HISTORIC MILL

Holden Mill, the last mill to be built in Bolton, is now in the early stages of a major renovation project at the hands of the country's leading listed building developer and renovation specialist. PJ Livesey Group is preparing to re-launch the 1926 mill, now known as The Cottonworks, at the start of the New Year as an elegant development of 284 luxury apartments.

The Grade II listed building was designed and built for Sir John Holden by Bradshaw, Gas and Hope and has retained a number of distinctive architectural features which PJ Livesey expect will appeal to the more discerning homebuyer. An on-site sales office will open in January 2007 and the company has made two new sales appointments to cope with the anticipated high level of enquiries once the selection of one, two and three-bedroom properties are formerly launched.

Bolton is an area that has increased in popularity over the last decade, with regeneration funding flowing generously into the area and modes of transport between the town and nearby Manchester city centre improving. Transport links are becoming more frequent to accommodate demand from the growing number of professionals who have made this a residential hotspot for City Centre commuters.

PJ Livesey's sales manager, Colette Gannon, believes that Bolton will continue to prosper in 2007 and advises those wishing to buy at The Cottonworks to register their interest at the earliest opportunity: "Bolton is an area that has begun to realise its full potential as a residential address in recent years and canny investors have moved quickly. Its proximity to the City Centre is a major attraction, so any development that stands out is going to be a success - and that's where we come in.

"Our portfolio is full of developments which consist of some of the UK's finest heritage buildings which have been both lovingly and painstakingly restored to retain their historic value and to maximise and renew their potential. We wouldn't have set out to develop The
Cottonworks if we didn't think there was scope in both the location and the original building to weave some magic into our development proposals and create a fashionable new landmark address for the area."

PJ Livesey plans to launch a selection of show apartments later in the New Year to demonstrate the wide variety of styles planned for this development. However, initial interest has proved so strong that the developer is already registering early enquiries from those who want the pick of the plots once these apartments are released for sale.

For further information on The Cottonworks, or to register your name as an 'early bird' enquirer, please call 01204 305012 (open Thursday to Monday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm) or 0800 7830259 (freephone).


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Press contact: Deborah Garritty/Elizabeth Swain @ Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk/eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
01625 506444

 

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