Bristol Business Newsletter

April 13, 2011

Manufacturing revolution to be launched

Airbus parent group EADS and GKN Aerospace will on Tuesday announce a new research and development collaboration project aimed at developing revolutionary, sustainable manufacturing technology. The launch will take place at EADS’ Composite Structures Development Centre at Filton where Airbus and GKN have their main wing design and manufacturing facilities. Enterprise minister Mark Prisk will attend.

Early take off for new Airbus

Meanwhile, Airbus has brought forward by six months the launch of its A320 Neo short-haul aircraft to October 2015 due strong interest from airlines. The plane, which upgrades Airbus’s most-successful model, will offer a new fuel-efficient engine. Composite-based wings for the A320 Neo are being developed by Airbus engineers at Filton and will be built by

Creative industry players meet minister

Bristol’s position as a leading creative city was underpinned by the visit last week of Ed Vaizey, minister for culture, communications and the creative industry. Mr Vaizey met a cross section of local creative firms at a gathering hosted by South West Screen and Aardman, including Wonky Films, Proctor & Stevenson, Touch Productions, Sift Media, TLT Solicitors, HP Labs, Icon Films and the BBC.

Bristol faces rival for Green Bank

Bristol’s campaign to become the base for the Government’s new Green Investment Bank is being strongly challenged by Edinburgh. Politicians and business leaders from the Scottish capital met ministers in Westminster last week to press their case, arguing that Edinburgh boasts unparalleled finance, alternative energy and academic expertise.

Sales slowdown at Integral

Integral, the Bristol-based property maintenance contractor, has blamed intense price competition for its first decline in annual sales for a decade. Managing director and majority shareholder Bryan Glastonbury said the group had adopted a cautious approach to bidding for new contracts following the collapse of rivals Connaught and Rok. Sales for 2010 fell to £177.7m from £183.9m although profits nearly doubled to £13m when a number of one-off items are into account.

IT chief executive quits

David Eldridge, long-serving chief executive of Bristol specialist IT group Alterian, has resigned after a profit warning sparked a near-20 per cent fall in its share price. Mr Eldridge, who has worked at Alterian for 14 years, admitted its annual results would be “disappointing” following a delay in signing a major new contract. Alterian develops and licences high-end marketing software for major firms.

Consultancy captures carbon cash

Bristol-based environmental consultancy Eunomia has donated £3,600 to community food network charity FareShare from its carbon emissions offsetting fund. Eunomia, which works in waste management, low carbon energy and climate change adaptation, calculates the equivalent value of its carbon emissions including business travel, hotel stays and gas and electricity use at its Queen Square offices. FareShare supports communities to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste, so cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Debate looks to the future

Transport, Bristol’s identity and localism were the three key debating points at Bristol Junior Chamber’s Shaping the Future of Bristol event at the City Museum. Speakers included city council transport chair Gary Hopkins, Ned Cussen of property agents King Sturge and recently-appointed city council futures director Stephen Hilton. The lively debate looked at Bristol’s poor public transport system – 15 to 20 years behind where it should be, according to Coun Hopkins – and its creative industries – five to 10 years ahead of other cities, according to Mr

Law firm’s capital deal

Bristol law firm Temple Bright has acted for shareholders of a property investment company on its £8.7m sale of a building in London’s West End.  The deal was led by partners Tim Summers (corporate) and Justyn McIlhinney (property).  City firm Goodman Derrick acted for the buyers. The complex deal was completed as Temple Bright approached its first anniversary. The firm has already doubled in size.  “This is an excellent example of the kind of work for which Temple Bright’s business model has been created,” said Mr Summers.

Recovery on hold, says survey

Mid-market companies in Bristol are upbeat about their growth prospects over the next 18 months – but still believe it will be at least six months before the South West region starts to see visible signs of economic recovery. Some 88% of firms in the £5 million-£100 million turnover bracket are expecting to grow between now and the middle of 2012, according to the latest Mid-Market Business Survey from accountants and business advisers Grant Thornton.

Supplying help to manufacturers

Manufacturers in Bristol can benefit from a share of Government funding worth £7m to improve and develop their supply chains. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) scheme aims to improve supply chain processes through best practice, innovation and technological developments. The funding will be available through the Manufacturing Advisory Service in the South West (MAS-SW), the organisation which offers advice and support to manufacturers across in the region.

Brokers bank on Lloyds

Bristol-based private client stockbroker and wealth manager Rowan Dartington has turned to the South West team at Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets for all its banking services after 16 years with its previous bank. The move follows the acquisition of the nationwide business by staff and external investors, including new chief executive Graham Coxell. The firm, which also has offices in London, Chichester, Weston-super-Mare, Hereford and Loughton, Essex, has £1bn of client assets under management.

Tax team goes for gold

The tax team at chartered accountancy firm Milsted Langdon has been shortlisted for one of the industry’s most prestigious awards. The firm, which has offices in Bristol, Taunton and Yeovil, is in the Best General Tax Practice category in the Taxation Awards, which are recognised as the gold standard of excellence within the tax sector. The awards take place at London’s Hilton Hotel on May 26.


Three solicitors at Bristol-based law firm Gregg Latchams have been promoted to the level of Associate. Sarah Atkinson, Michael Gupwell and Iain McColl took up their new roles on April 1, the start of the firm’s new business year. Sarah, who qualified as a solicitor in 2006, works in the firm’s family department. She was described in Chambers UK 2011 legal directory as “a rising star”. Michael, who trained with Gregg Latchams and qualified in 2007, works within the firm’s litigation department, specialising in the areas of business crime and advocacy. Iain, who works in Gregg Latchams’ corporate and commercial department, qualified in 2004 and specialises in mergers and acquisitions, shareholder agreements, reorganisations, financing and security, as well as intellectual property and contract law.

© County Business Publishing Ltd 2011 No reproduction is allowed without prior permission.


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