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Region in focus: Yorkshire

The IFA’s Yorkshire branch ambassador Robin Murray discusses the success of Whatsapp as a way of driving informal communication among members.

Region in focus: Yorkshire
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  • jamesm
  • September 21, 2021
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Q: Tell us about your roles and responsibilities

I’m still running RJM Accountants in Brighouse. From the perspective of my role as an IFA branch ambassador, it’s effectively a whole of Yorkshire setup at the moment. We’re still the only region to have a committee – which provides additional points of contact for members and it helps from an organisational perspective.

In other words, I don’t have to do everything. The eight committee members help contact speakers and also have input in what topics they feel are relevant. They’re a great sounding board.

Q: What are the current business and economic conditions in north and west Yorkshire?

We seem to have a very positive view of things here. People are challenged by raw material price increases, but then you put your prices up and create new menus. My bigger clients closed shops. One of them went to Zoom with his offering – to off er meetings to potential clients of his repairs and sales staff for their coffee and coffee machines. He ended with his best year ever. On the fl ipside, hospitality clients have had to hunker down. Most clients I know took the bounce back loan, so that’s coming into effect.

Q: How does the IFA work with business, people and the community in the area?

We are planning our autumn series of meetings that, as always, will include a diverse range of relevant topics for members locally. They’ll run on Zoom. The hope is to get back to face to face in March next year. We’re getting 25 to 30 people attending, as many as we did when we ran physical meetings. The other big thing going on at the moment is our Whatsapp group. Since Covid we’ve had more and more people join the group, and now it’s about asking tax/accounting questions.

My colleague Manaf Ahmed or I can be contacted if Yorkshire members would like to join (email [email protected] Joining us will create a quick connection. We’ve a lot of members from Bradford and Leeds but there are more farther afield we’d very much like to hear from.

Region in Focus: Yorkshire

One of the biggest investments into British Steel has been confirmed. A £26m project will see the creation of downstream processing at its Skinningrove site at Redcar and Cleveland, reports The Yorkshire Post.

It is part of a £100m investment by Jingye Group to improve British Steel’s performance. British Steel’s David Waine said the investment was an “exciting project that will establish us as a leading manufacturer on the world stage”.

British Steel stated it was receiving high demand for forklift mast products across the globe; which are used in the mining and construction sectors.

 - Stenprop has acquired Whitacre Industrial Park in Huddersfi eld, as part of a larger £15.9m acquisition of estates across the UK. “We are confi dent that adding these assets, in undersupplied regional locations, will enable us to signifi cantly grow the rents over time through the application of our smart lease solution and management platform,” said Stenprop head of investment Will Lutton.

 - A multi-purpose events venue and student accommodation complex is planned for development near to the Leeds First Direct Arena. Developer Downing has submitted a planning application for two student buildings, totalling nearly 60 storeys. Outline planning is also being sought for a near 900 capacity venue, reports The Yorkshire Post.

 - A York woman who is in remission from cancer is opening up a restaurant-bar in the city centre. Charlie’s Pizzeria will also contain an evening bar, called the Hi Ho Club. She has launched an online donation page to help fund the fi nal pieces of equipment to launch the bar, reports The Press.

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