Data service company falls into administration

GuideStar Data Services CIC has fallen into administration, just seven months after it was assimilated into the Directory of Social Change.

The community interest company, which was established to sell pools of data gathered from the GuideStar website, has had ongoing financial problems for some time and finally admitted defeat and placed itself into administration last week.

The Data Service's database comprised mo... Continue Reading

Small company assistance proposals welcomed

The package of measures unveiled by the Business Finance Taskforce this week to help small firms with financing options from banks has been warmly welcomed by business leaders.

The seventeen proposals - which were drawn up by leading bank chiefs and the British Bankers Association - include new ideas that include a network of Dragons’ Den-style mentors and setting up a £1.5 billion Business Growth Fund.

The fund will ... Continue Reading

Edinburgh hotel on the market

Allison House Hotel in Mayfield Gardens on the south side of Edinburgh has been put up for sale after its owners decided to retire.

The B-listed hotel forms part of an impressive Victorian terrace of town house properties and, whilst it has long been established as a private hotel, it currently trades on a bed and breakfast basis.

The 4-star accommodation, which was fully refurbished in 2007, comprises 11 bedrooms – a... Continue Reading

Punch Taverns likely to sell 1,300 pubs

More than 1,300 of the 6,700 pubs owned by Punch Taverns are likely to be sold or closed over the next few years.

The pub owner's new boss, Ian Dyson, said the group had identified the pubs as having no 'long-term viability.'

Finance director Phil Dutton, said, “These pubs don't feel like they have a viable, sustainable profit level. Many of them are trading reasonably well today, but we feel their... Continue Reading

Leeds lawyers expand internationally with Spanish purchase

A Leeds law firm is building its international foothold for itself with the purchase of an established Spanish law firm.

In buying Madrid-based L&E Solución Legal and Empresarial, Irwin Mitchell is proving that expansion through the buying up of companies does not have to remain a domestic enterprise.

The new acquisition adds to the company's existing operations in Madrid and Malaga and will see L&E's team of... Continue Reading

Small companies gaining greater access to credit

Small businesses had much easier access to credit in the third quarter of this year, according to figures from the Bank of England.

From the survey of UK lenders, the Bank suggested that restrictions on borrowing are doing less to hamper companies than first thought. The survey showed more lenders reporting increased access to credit than a decline, giving a balance of 27 per cent, up from a balance of 13 per cent in second quarter, ... Continue Reading

The time is right for IT acquisitions

The recent flurry of major tech sector acquisitions is a sign of the benefits of counter-intuitive investment.

IT services firm Wipro's head of technology, Deepak Jain, has said that deals such as HP's buying of 3PAR and ArcSight, and Intel's purchase of McAfee, show that investing when you do not necessarily need to is perhaps the absolute best time to buy.

“We spoke to a large financial institution t... Continue Reading

Receiver puts three repossessed properties up for sale

Three properties in Belfast and Larne, which were repossessed by Anglo Irish Bank from a leading Northern Irish developer, have now been put up for sale.

In May of this year AIB appointed a receiver for the properties: two office blocks in Belfast and a Larne retail park, owned by Dungannon-based Jermon Developments.

The property in Larne is the Lahara retail park, totalling 63,000 sq ft and situated near the Lidl super... Continue Reading

TV chef puts Welsh restaurant up for sale

Matt Tebbutt, one of Wales’ best-known chefs, has put his restaurant, the Foxhunter, up for sale, with an asking price of almost £500,000.

The Grade-II listed building is the former stationmaster’s house, located in Nantyderry, Monmouthshire, in one of the most picturesque regions of South Wales. It has been renovated and boasts log-burning stoves and restored Welsh flagstone floors.

Mr Tebbutt has owned and run t... Continue Reading

Micro businesses boomed in the last five years

Nearly 400,000 companies are trading in the UK that run on staff of just one or two, a new set of research has found.

Information company, Experion, found that the number of these 'micro-companies has exploded in the last five years, having numbered just 140,000 in 2005. They have also been found to suffer the lowest insolvency rates and have the second healthiest financial score compared to other businesses.

The m... Continue Reading

Pub disposals on the rise

A Yorkshire-based auctioneer firm has predicted that more pubs will come onto the market as hospitality companies try to cut costs.

Auctioneers Mark Jenkinson & Son of South Yorkshire has reported that they are seeing ever increasing numbers of pubs being put up for sale as their owners try to save themselves some money.

Jenkinson's Adrian Little said, “Providing security and paying the rates on empty pubs cost... Continue Reading

Investing in Bricks and Bunk Beds


Fast-growing backpacker hostel company looking for investment to capitalise on current opportunity.

As we’re hit with the news that house prices have taken another turn for the worse and warned they could fall by another 10% by the end of next year there is an area of property investment that is booming during the downturn.

With food companies such as Subway and Pizza Hut thriving in the economic downtu... Continue Reading

Country home could make a perfect hotel

A sprawling West Sussex country home, known as 'the home of polo', is being sold for £25 million, with experts predicting that it will likely be turned into a country house hotel.

Cowdray Park House is 44,000 sq ft, with 13 bedrooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wine cellars, tennis courts, 110-acre grounds and even a bowling alley.

The 19th century home is being sold by its current owner, Lord Cowdray... Continue Reading

Managed IT service provider hunts for buyer following administration

The Calyx Group, which supplies managed ICT services from branches in the UK and Ireland, is seeking a buyer after being placed into administration.

Calyx Group employs more than 500 staff based in the UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland. The UK and Northern Ireland sectors will be handled by joint administrators Geoff Rowley and Phil Armstrong, partners at FRP Advisory LLP. The Irish entities will be handled by Tom Kavanagh of Irish i... Continue Reading

Vacant hotel in London on the market for offers over £60m

Following administration, the 193-bedroom Berners hotel near Oxford Street in London, has been put up for sale, with an asking price of more than £60 million.

The property was previously owned by JJW Hotels & Resorts - which also owned the Eton Collection of seven boutique hotels - which was placed into administration earlier this year. KPMG's Jane Moriarty and James Tucker were appointed joint administrators of the hotel in A... Continue Reading