Joint venture engineers bright future

Two well-established metalwork, engineering and fabrication businesses have come together in a new joint venture that is set to open up new markets and opportunities.

WNJ played a key role in advising both Coppull-based Morgan Bros (Metalwork Solutions) and J L Engineering (Rixton) in agreeing a joint venture arrangement. Morgan Bros is a third-generation family business that has grown to become one of the UK’s market leaders in architectural metalwork. It specialised in all aspects of architectural metalwork, glass, powder coating and laser cutting.

JL Engineering (JLE) has been providing engineering solutions and project management services for almost 40 years. It has extensive expertise in the rail sector, with full manufacturing facilities at its Warrington operation. Together, the two businesses employ almost 50 people. The JV is looking to double the size of the operation and its turnover over the next two years.

Morgan Bros managing director’s Paul and Tom Morgan said: “These are exciting times for us. The JV opens up lots of opportunities.
“We’re a leading architectural metalwork specialist, known in the industry for our work with stainless steel and glass.
“JLE has extensive expertise in the rail sector and in heavier engineering and fabrication
“Together, working as a JV we can do more; it increases our capacity and ability to pitch for more work. We’re looking to grow and advance in the rail sector for instance. It is a great fit.”

As part of the new structure JLE has moved its headquarters to Coppull. Tom says: “The idea of the JV was first mooted by WNJ and the practice has worked closely with us along every stage of the deal, providing invaluable support and advice to us.

“We’re now looking forward to working with the WNJ team on our growth and expansion journey. We’re hitting the ground running.”
John Saxon, sales director at JLE, says: “This is a great move for the company and we also believe there are exciting times ahead.
“We have already set out our growth plans for the coming months. Bringing the expertise of the two businesses together makes us all much stronger and gives some great opportunities.”

New era for city nightspot

One of Preston’s best-known city centre nightspots is under new ownership.

Baluga Bar in the Miller Arcade was bought for an undisclosed sum by Ryan Peake, Nick Carter and Hiran Panchel.

The trio of DJs, who have all worked at the venue as entertainment managers in the past, were advised on the deal by WNJ.

They bought the bar from previous owner Gary Meehan, who ran the business for more than a decade. The trio are now hard at work pushing ahead with their plans for the nightspot. Improvements have already been made to the sound system and lighting at the venue. They are also teaming up with well-known chef Mr Lam to serve Chinese food in the bar.

There is also live music every Friday and Saturday from 7pm and a new menu with new beers, wines and cocktails. And a full refurbishment is planned for early next year, which will be carried out by Ryan’s building team, which has already refurbished a lot of the bars in the city centre.

The WNJ team that I led provided advice for the trio throughout the acquisition process.

Nick Carter said: “Paul and WNJ proved invaluable in helping and advising us throughout the deal. We’ve bought the best club in Preston and we want to put our stamp on it.

“We’re making this something Preston’s not had. We have a history of working with good names; we know a lot of artists personally. We will be catering for a mix of all ages.”
To discuss how we can help support your business deals please contact me on 01772 430000.

Jeweller sparkles at national awards

Whalley-based family jeweller Sarah Layton has received national recognition for its sparkling offering to its customers. The business was named “Multi-Brand/Fashion Jewellery Retailer of the Year” at the Retail Jeweller UK Jewellery Awards (UKJA).

Pictured here is Gethin Jones (left) who hosted the event handing out the award with Chloe Moss (far right), founder of ChloBo. Lauren Bottomley and Leanne Rogers (directors of Sarah Layton) are accepting the award (centre).

The jeweller underwent an in-depth judging process which included several visits from mystery shoppers. Their results were reviewed by a panel of 26 judges from across the industry. The awards are known as the “Oscars” of the jewellery trade and as Ruth Faulkner, editor of Retail Jeweller magazine, said: “Our rigorous judging process ensures that winning one of these awards means you are the very best at what you do.”

Leanne Rogers, co-founder of Sarah Layton, which is now in its ninth year of business, is delighted at the industry recognition and has praised the staff at the store.
She said: “As an independent retailer it means so much to us to know that the hard work we do is being recognised.
“From finding new brands to work with to making sure our customers receive the very best service possible, the team at Sarah Layton have really done us proud!”

The judges were also full of praise for the business, which they said, “showed heart, soul and likeable business personality, keeping its own identity front and centre, while still successfully retailing many big-name jewellery brands”.

Sarah Layton beat off competition from well-respected retailers including John Lewis, Argento Jewellery, Jewella and Rubirox, to lift the award at a glittering ceremony.

WNJ is delighted to be associated with any business that strives for excellence in quality merchandise and service. In times when the retail sector is often reported as struggling to survive on the High Street it is encouraging to see how by sticking to core values and looking after the customer can still bring rewards to the independent retailer.

Are you GDPR compliant?

It made big headlines at the time. Now, two months later we are starting to see the impact of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on business.
Many businesses have put the issue on the back burner following the deadline for compliance in late May.

But the fact is GDPR is an on-going issue and a subject that businesses need to continually work on and review.
For instance, a growing number of companies are now receiving subject access requests.
Under the new legislation your prospects, clients and staff have rights to access or erase their personal data, correct inaccuracies and object to processing.
The £10 fee to access personal data has now been abolished and that is being seen as a major reason for the rise that we are seeing. However, there are also reports of companies also receiving “nuisance” requests.

Against all this background it is important that businesses understand the processes to follow if a request is received.
You have only 30 days to respond, so it is vital that you have a process to enable you to find, pull out and send the data as required within that timescale.
There can also be wider implications. What is your data retention policy? Are you holding onto information for longer than you should? What is your email policy? If you receive a request how easy is it for you to pull out all the necessary emails? Does your data contain details about other people and organisations, or personal opinions?

Dealing with subject access requests highlights just some of the many issues we help our clients resolve.
And it really does show the importance of having a robust approach to GDPR implementation.
By demonstrating to potential and existing clients that you are doing everything you can to protect their rights you will continue to build and maintain the trust that underpins your client relationships.

AW Training and Compliance has joined with WNJ to ensure that its clients can approach GDPR in a compliant and stress-free manner.
To discuss any issue regarding GDPR and how AW Training and Compliance can help you please contact me on 01257 460081 or email

Penny Davis (pictured) is a management and leadership expert with a background in regulatory compliance. She is a certified EU GDPR Practitioner, ISO17024 certified and Institute of Information Security Professionals accredited.

Planning ahead

The summer of 2018 is shaping up to be one that will be remembered for years to come, mostly for the cracking weather and an unexpected glut of goals by the England football team in the World Cup.  It’s also proving to be a period of growth for Lancashire planning consultancy De Pol Associates, which is going from strength-to-strength.

The Farrington-based consultancy is set to welcome two new members of staff this summer. The recruitment comes on the back of a series of new project wins, both from new clients and existing clients increasing their activity.
Resurgence in residential property and commercial development within Lancashire is seeing in a hike in planning submissions, and De Pol is picking up significant instructions throughout the county and beyond as its reputation grows.

It’s all in line with the new business strategy implemented by managing director Alexis De Pol, following his completion of the highly-competitive Goldman Sachs Small Business Management Programme last year.

Investment in resources, focusing on growth sectors, and raising the firm’s profile within Lancashire are all now paying dividends.
“We are assisting numerous clients with their expansion and redevelopment strategies and advising landowners on maximising the value of their holdings,” says Alexis.
“As our clients build for the future, we too are investing in ours. The team is expanding as we deal with higher volume from existing clients, and we are seeing more new enquiries from word-of-mouth recommendation than ever before.
“We find many Lancashire businesses are keen to keep their business local, to avoid the faceless corporates and to deal with people they can get along with, but they want to ensure there’s no compromise on quality, experience or success.

“We have a track record and a client base which provides the reassurance they need, along with a hugely personable team with more than 82 years’ experience between us.

“We are securing the approvals and providing the advice that is really making a difference to our clients’ businesses, whatever their sector or wherever their scheme is based, and that’s what will continue to drive us.”

Established in 1986, De Pol counts among its client base Pure Leisure, Rowland Homes, Northern Trust, Create Developments, Iceland, and Recycling Lives.