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businessupdate
Gwent-based magazine printer Pensord has acquired one of the worlds leading printing presses to help improve efficiency, boost quality control, and give publisher customers an even greater competitive advantage, after securing a 3m asset finance package from Santander Corporate & Commercial. The funding will be used to purchase a new Heidelberg 8 Colour press, the companys sixth in the past nine years, to replace two existing machines. This will help the company to reduce overheads, improve workflow and generate capacity. The investment is the biggest in the Pontllanfraith-based

News

Tuesday February 5, 2013

Commercially Backing means printer Expansion at law firm can press ahead speaking
By David Jones, Surveyor, Hutchings & Thomas, Chartered Surveyors
What is the one single thing the 500-plus new people soon to be working in Newport city centre will most probably need at least once every day? Food. And just where are these new city centre professionals going to get this food in Newport? Well, thats the conundrum. Work has now started on demolition of the Cambrian Road car park which will end in the construction for Scarborough Development of its pre-let, 80,000 sq ft, six-storey office block housing the aforementioned 550 workers employed by Wales business giant Admiral Insurance with space for another 600 in the future. For anyone associated with the city the completion of this scheme just cant come soon enough. The very fact that work has started has got the entrepreneurial juices flowing in some quarters. Which is where food comes into the equation. Apart from the usual pubs, snack bars and convenience stores, the city centre is relatively bereft of eateries. But, make note, its not lacking in the number of places where said eateries can flourish due to the uncommon amount of empty retail space currently available and on offer in the centre. Entrepreneur Michelle Hayes had the foresight to see the potential for catering success with the opening last year of her Bettys caf on favourable rental terms. Michelle recognised the opportunity in opening her business venture on Upper Dock Street as she had confidence of potential for her business with the proposed developments for the city centre. So put workers and empty space and food together and what have you got? A thriving city centre, buzzing with professionals who throughout the day are frequenting these cafs and restaurants and again in the evenings and also at the weekend, injecting a new vivacity into Newport. And while were on the subject of vivacity its happening slowly but surely and Newports Bridge Street is now one of the busiest in the centre packed with a host of professionals from lawyers to estate agents, financial advisers, accountants and recruitment companies making this part of the city their home. The street is almost at capacity so other streets in the centre watch out theyre coming for you. Meanwhile its all seems to have gone uncommonly quiet on the Friars Walk front although that could well be because those involved are so busy signing up national operators and tenants eager to take space? It was great news that Cineworld want to be anchor cinema tenant taking 26,000 sq ft in the 100m, Queensbury Real Estate scheme. Were told Debenhams remain in the frame with a flagship store totalling 93,000 sq ft. Construction on this mammoth undertaking, 390,000 sq ft, is set to start this year creating 1,000 jobs in a project which is to deliver 30 shops, seven restaurants 400 car parking spaces a new bus station. Out of town, Junction 28 area seems to be the place of keenest interest with the sale of 22,000 sq ft Hexagon House at Cleppa Park, Gocompare.coms acquisition of 26,000 sq ft Imperial House and Target Groups expansion into 21,000 sq ft at Imperial Way. While Marks and Spencer has eased into its new berth at Spytty bolstering the retail offering at Newport Retail Park with its sparkling new mezzanined store and food hall. Now, if something could only be done to that eyesore former car showroom on the corner and a tenant or tenants found for the former Megabowl site, then wed really be motoring. printers history and makes the company the first to bring this market-leading printing technology to the UK. Pensord, which produces periodical magazines, was acquired by its current management team, led by managing director Darren Coxon, via a management buyout in 2010. Since then it has heavily invested in upgrading the equipment and technology to drive further improvements in efficiency and quality. Pensord currently prints around 400 regular publications, mainly for independent publishers, and is the current British Printing Industries Federation Company of the Year.

Aron McMahon and Leah Rhydderch

Law firm Watkins & Gunn has expanded its team with the appointment of two new solicitors. Aron McMahon, 35, from Cardiff, and Leah Rhydderch, 31, from the Llyn Peninsula, join the firm, which has offices in Newport and Pontypool. Managing partner Clive Thomas said: Aron and Leah are fantastic appointments for the firm as they are both highly

regarded and experienced solicitors, each with a unique skill-set. They will play an instrumental role in developing our offices and building new relationships with the local community. Were delighted to have them on board. The firm opened a new 1,000 sq ft office in Llandaff, Cardiff in December, adding to the its offices in Newport and Pontypool.

Is time running out?


By Ashley Harkus, managing partner with Everett Tomlin Lloyd & Pratt Solicitors in Newport
he UK coalition Governments recent attempts to reform both employee rights and the Employment Tribunal system is a concerted attempt to reduce the number of unfair dismissal claims brought by employees, In 2011/2012 there were 186,000 claims brought in the Employment Tribunal. Many employers feel that the system is firmly weighted in favour of the employee as it is free for them to issue a claim online and costs are very rarely awarded on failure. Many parties are legally represented. While initially, when the Employment Tribunal service was created, it was intended to be an informal arena for the quick settlement of employment disputes, over the years its rules and procedures have become more complicated and tranches of complex legislation have meant that an unrepresented employer or employee is at a serious disadvantage. Industry lobby groups have long complained that it is too easy to take a claim and the cost to business is too high. The reforms began in earnest in April of 2012 when legislation increased the period of time that an employee had to be in work before they were entitled to make a claim for unfair dismissal from one to two year. The reforms reflect the Governments concerns about both the level of employment claims being brought and the cost to employers. The reforms will also

Ashley Harkus

prevent any employee, who started work after that date, from taking a claim other than for discrimination unless they have two years qualifying service. In a furthereffort to reduce the current 84m running cost of the Employment Tribunal system the Government now intends to introduce fees in the summer of this year, 2013, for issuing a claim in the Tribunal. It is anticipated that those issue fees will start at 160 but may be more,

although employee groups hope there may be a procedure to waive the fee if sacked employees can show they have to rely on state benefit as a result of the dismissal. However, this is still subject to consultation. Means tested state funded legal assistance for claimants is also being removed for the vast majority of cases as from April 2013 as part of wide reaching legal aid cuts meaning that sacked employees will either have to represent themselves, pay privately for legal advice or find a solicitor able to offer a no win no fee (contingency fee) agreement. As costs are rarely awarded on success any legal fees will have to be deducted from any compensation recovered. The Government states that these measures will encourage quick simple and cheaper alternatives like, for example, mediation. It is intended that the national conciliation service, ACAS, will step in and provide a new pre-claim conciliation process to help to resolve disputes but with a background of falling budgets there are serious concerns over how much impact this will have and if ACAS will be able to deliver an extended service without substantial additional funding. Many businesses have welcomed the reforms, predicting that making it harder to challenge a dismissal should reduce the overall costs of employing staff and lead to increased recruitment. Unions and employee groups have questioned whether the reduction in employee rights will benefit responsible employers and ask if businesses would employ extra staff just because its easier to dismiss them.

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