Category Archives: News

Shropshire home owners warned of new inheritance tax break pitfalls

Shropshire home owners planning to take advantage of a valuable new tax break on what they leave to their children are being warned to study the rules carefully, amid the risk of losing thousands of pounds.

Gary Priest from MFG Solicitors

Gary Priest from MFG Solicitors

Leading tax and trusts lawyer Gary Priest, a partner at Telford and Ludlow law firm mfg Solicitors, has flagged the issue after becoming concerned that too many people will think they are automatically better off by the changes to inheritance tax coming into force in April this year.

The change, which was an election pledge by the Conservative party, can potentially save families up to £140,000 in inheritance tax.

The tax amendment is known as the Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB) and gives people an additional tax allowance that applies to their home.  The new allowance is being introduced in April, although the full benefit will not be available until 2020/21.

However, Mr Priest says people across the county must look carefully at their existing arrangements as certain types of wills and discretionary trusts can still incur very hefty inheritance tax.

He said: “As with all tax rules, the devil is in the detail, and we are advising people to be extremely careful with their calculations with the change only months away.

“For a start, RNRB is only available where the main residence passes to a very narrow range of beneficiaries such as to children or other descendants on death. It is also only claimable where the net estate is less than £2.2 million.

“Discretionary trusts need a lot of care to be taken. In some cases this can mean the additional tax saving is forfeit and on top of that, there are complicated rules about the RNRB for people who downsize their property and release some of the value.

“I’d advise all married couples here in Shropshire to take advice and carefully review their wills to ensure they don’t lose out on the significant benefit this tax break offers.

“Equally, they must also be careful they aren’t stung by an unexpected or larger tax bill which can happen if they don’t fully understand the new rules.”

G H Davies & Son become latest sponsors of The Shrewsbury Club

Shropshire’s leading supplier of granite, slate, marble and quartz is the latest local company to sponsor a popular county venue which hosts top international tennis tournaments.

Pictured at The Shrewsbury Club is marketing manager Jon Gidney, back left, with Rik Richards, the managing director of new sponsors G H Davies & Son, and, front, Tim Richards, the company’s operations director, and finance director Beth Wilson.

Pictured at The Shrewsbury Club is marketing manager Jon Gidney, back left, with Rik Richards, the managing director of new sponsors G H Davies & Son, and, front, Tim Richards, the company’s operations director, and finance director Beth Wilson.

The Shrewsbury Club, which also offers some of the most impressive fitness facilities in the county, is delighted to have attracted the support of G H Davies & Son.

Based in Shrewsbury, G H Davies, established in 1872, is one of the oldest and most successful privately owned granite importation, memorial design and manufacturing companies in the country.

Jon Gidney, the marketing manager at The Shrewsbury Club, said: “We are delighted to welcome G H Davies & Son as one of our main club sponsors.

“At The Shrewsbury Club we exclusively form mutually beneficial associations with brands in various business sectors. G H Davies & Son is certainly a great business which is local and in a sector that doesn’t compete with any of our other sponsors. We are proud to form this association and would like to thank the company for their involvement and support.”

Rik Richards, the managing director of G H Davies & Son, added: “I have personally been a member at The Shrewsbury Club for many years. With the outstanding facilities offered and dedicated staff, it has established itself as the premier family friendly health club in Shropshire and we, as a local business, are delighted to become a headline sponsor and associate ourselves with this fantastic club.”

As part of their sponsorship, G H Davies & Son will promote their brand at the Shrewsbury Club, including a large banner alongside the indoor tennis courts.

They also have exclusive sponsorship of indoor court No 1, with branding on either side of the net and at the far end of the court. Their logo appears on the club’s new #WinnersWall, a popular feature during the recent Aegon GB Pro-Series men’s tennis tournament, which saw a crowd of around 500 spectators enjoy the final.

All of the sponsors at the Shrewsbury Club are promoted via the club’s website while sponsors are also able to promote their products or services at a discounted rate for the benefit of
The Shrewsbury Club’s members, which currently number more than 2,300 people.

The Shrewsbury Club’s impressive facilities include a 20-metre swimming pool, 70-station gymnasium and 14 tennis courts while they also offer more than 80 fitness classes a week and an extensive children’s activity programme making it the perfect venue for all the family to enjoy an active lifestyle. The club, based on Sundorne Road, also features The Hub restaurant, which has a fully licensed bar, free WiFi and an adults only lounge.

Pictured at The Shrewsbury Club is marketing manager Jon Gidney, back left, with Rik Richards, the managing director of new sponsors G H Davies & Son, and, front, Tim Richards, the company’s operations director, and finance director Beth Wilson.

Lizzie riding high with new job

Lizzie riding high with new job

A solicitor who is also an equestrian expert is riding high after joining one of Shropshire’s largest legal firms.

Lizzie Hughes, vice president of the Shropshire Law Society, has been recruited by Wace Morgan Solicitors,

She will strengthen the family team at the firm’s Shrewsbury head office and Newtown office.

“I have specialised in family law, specifically cases involving children, including intervention by social services, adoption and custody disputes,” said Lizzie, of Tettenhall,

“I appear regularly on the West Midland, Shropshire and mid Wales court circuit before all levels of judges from magistrates to circuit judges.

“I am delighted to join the skilled and expanding team at Wace Morgan, which has one of the largest family departments in the county,” she added.

After completing her law conversion and legal practice course at The College of Law in Birmingham she was employed at a specialist family firm in Telford, becoming a director in 2015.

Lizzie represented England in dressage last year and has now qualified for the British Dressage Winter National Championships at Hartpury in Gloucestershire in April 2017.

Shropshire Aid For Syria

Shropshire Aid for Syria

A Shropshire company, which supplies medical equipment in the UK and around the world, has donated much needed aid to Syria.

A container of humanitarian aid, including donations of urgently needed medical supplies from SP Services, of Hortonwood, Telford, has been sent as part of a UK aid convoy.

The deliveries were made as part of a campaign to alleviate suffering in the historic city of Aleppo destroyed by bombing raids in the long running civil war.

SP Services MD Steve Bray gladly donated a pallet full of medical supplies in response to an appeal from One Nation, a UK charity which has supported the relief effort in Syria with over 30 aid containers.

“Having seen the terrible conditions on the news over the past few months, none of us could imagine being in that situation, it truly is heartbreaking. We are pleased to have again helped out with this small donation of urgently needed medical supplies,” he said today.

He praised One Nation for their efforts to collect and transport desperately needed supplies to the war torn country.

A spokesman for One Nation said the situation on the ground was constantly changing but medical supplies were always needed and in short supply.

The SP Services donation included items that were specifically requested by medics on the ground such as wound dressings, syringes, needles, oxygen masks, tracheal tubes, sterile dressings for burns, sterile gloves and instant heat compresses.

SP Services supply first aid, medical, ambulance and paramedic equipment in the UK and worldwide. They also have a showroom open to the public at their Hortonwood HQ in Telford for companies and individuals to get a full range of medical equipment.

They regularly provide support for major disaster and relief projects across the world.

“Our first aid and healthcare can be found in war zones, disaster areas, refugee camps and in just about any situation where you will find our fellow human beings in need of medical care and humanitarian aid,” said Steve.

“Business is not just about making money on every single order, even though we are clearly a commercial business. We very much believe in providing assistance where we can and for many years, we have donated many pallets of medical supplies to charities and individuals who were providing assistance to refugees in countries such as Syria, Africa and even France.

“We will always continue to assist wherever we can now and in the future,” said Steve, who supplies medical kit to the NHS, healthcare organisations including hospitals and ambulance services, the MOD, police, fire and rescue services, Premiership football clubs and sports clubs.

Staff are on call 24 hours a day throughout the year ready to act quickly in cases of an emergency or disaster.

Chrisbeon Supports Caradoc’s Move

Leading Shropshire office furniture supplier Chrisbeon has been commissioned by Caradoc Medical Services to assist in their move to new facilities in Shrewsbury.

Chrisbeon, as an approved supplier to the Caradoc group, delivered new office furniture – and moved some existing items from their previous premises in Longbow Close, Harlescott Lane, Shrewsbury – to St. Julian’s Friars where they are now based.

“We part exchanged some items of office furniture which wouldn’t fit into the new building,” said Chrisbeon partner Richard Hughes whose Shrewsbury operation in Lancaster Road assisted with Caradoc’s move across town.

“As a result, we shall prepare these items, which we originally supplied a few years’ ago now, for our Pre-Loved furniture department in Telford.

“In total, we supplied Caradoc with new furniture, we part exchanged some items and moved existing furniture,” he added.

Said Caradoc’s Business Manager Peter Masters:  “As one of our group’s approved suppliers, we have a long-standing relationship with Chrisbeon and once again they demonstrated their commitment to assisting us and setting us up in our new premises.”

Popular farming legal seminar returns to Ludlow

The vital legal issues affecting Ludlow’s farmers and landowners will be covered at an annual Spring seminar taking place in the town later this month.

Rural specialists from Corve Street-based law firm mfg Solicitors, and colleagues from the Country Land & Business Association (CLA), will host the free seminar from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday 23 March at The Ludlow Kitchen.

The two-hour session will include presentations and debates on key issues affecting farmers such as Brexit, agricultural ties, tax planning and the safeguarding of titles.

Iain Morrison, partner and head of the agricultural and rural affairs division at mfg Solicitors, said: “Our Ludlow farming seminar is always a hugely popular fixture in the local farming and rural business calendar.

“It is an opportunity for farmers and landowners from the local area to hear first-hand from experts about big changes in the rural sector, how to deal with them, and especially for this year, how Brexit will impact the sector across the UK.”

The event will be chaired by Mr Morrison and will include presentations from agricultural specialists Helen Gough, Gary Priest, Hannah Taylor and Susan Morrissy.

Readers interested in attending the seminar, which includes a light buffet, must pre-register for tickets.

To reserve a place, readers can email Debbie Nicholson at the CLA through or telephone 01785 337010.

Businress Expo Web Banner

Telford Business Expo at Ironbridge Gorge March 22 – Book Now

Ironbridge Hi Res Logo

Back by demand….Shropshire Chamber of Commerce will be holding its next Business Expo on Wednesday 22nd March from 8.00am-2.00pm at The Engine Shop at Ironbridge Gorge Museum

The exhibition, one of the Chamber’s most popular, is a great opportunity for businesses to network and gain crucial business contacts, as well as promote their company and raise their profile within the community.

As always, we expect many exhibitors and good footfall based on previous events. Don’t miss the chance to meet new suppliers, generate sales and increase awareness of the products and services that you offer.

A list of exhibitors will be updated here daily:

  • Rybrook BMW
  • The Georgia Williams Trust
  • Exhibition and Presentation Solutions Ltd
  • Install UK Ltd
  • Bespoke Computing
  • Global Freight
  • Network Telecom
  • Shukers Land Rover
  • myworkwear
  • Ironbridge Gorge Museum
  • Henshalls
  • Climbing the Walls (Rent-a-Space)
  • Nick Jones Wealth Planning
  • Telford College
  • Chrisbeon
  • Hatchers
  • Clear Design Consultancy
  • The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant
  • Barringtons
  • Auditel
  • Oyster Communications

Regardless of your size and sector, Shrewsbury Expo is a must attend event. This is an exciting free to attend exhibition which opens at 10.00am running through until 2.00pm with a number of free seminars held during the event.

If exhibiting is not for you, then join us for a Networking Breakfast meeting. Why not take a look around and chat to the exhibitors and fellow visitors following this session

For £145 (members rate) or £185 (non members rate) we offer the following:

one place at the breakfast meeting, one networking lunch, exhibition space with wifi, table and chair(s) plus company name mentions on all social media links and press releases


07.45 REGISTRATION Tea/Coffee/Bacon Rolls

08.00 NETWORKING BREAKFAST MEETING with Guest Speakers, Gill Hamer, LEP Director and Anna Brennand, CEO, Ironbridge Gorge Museum

Find out about the Midlands Engine Investment Funds, DIT services, their virtual website, helpline and the Marches Growth Hub in Telford – at the Innovation Campus

Ironbridge-Hi-Res-LogoMarches LEP logo (002) (002)Marches Growth Hub logo

You will also be given the opportunity to stand up and deliver a 60-second pitch about your business.

£10.00 (members rate) £20 (non members rate)


For businesses wishing to book breakfast, lunch or an expo stand, please book by clicking the appropriate links from the events calendar.

10.30-11.15   SEMINAR  1: Bespoke Comp Logo

‘How To Protect Your Business From Ransomware’ If neither you or anybody you know has been caught out by ransomware, chances are you’re asking the wrong questions.  Nearly 50 percent of businesses have been hit with ransomware and the American FBI believe more than $1bn will be paid to cyber criminals in 2017.

In this session, you will hear from technology expert Chris Pallett of Bespoke Computing Ltd.  Chris has more than two decades of hands-on experience and is a respected Charted Fellow in his area of expertise.

You will be guided through the risks to your business, gaining proactive advice on how to reduce the risk of becoming a ransomware victim yourself, and understanding how to recover your business without paying the ransom.

11.30-12.15   SEMINAR  2: CG

‘The Missing link between Business and the Environment ‘ … Everyone is greener than they think they are.  Green up your business and win more work,  stay ahead of the competition and engage with your stakeholders.

12.30-1:00     SEMINAR  3:  nick jones Logo Stacked     0183-Workie-Carousel-543

What is Auto Enrolment? The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer with at least one member of staff now has new duties, including enrolling those who are eligible into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards it.

This is called ‘automatic enrolment’ because it is automatic for staff – they don’t have to do anything to be enrolled into a pension scheme, but it is not automatic for employers.

Why should I attend? If you have yet to reach your Staging Date you have time to learn the requirements, understand the new terminology, design the most suitable scheme for your business and comply in a timely manner.

Who is presenting? Nick Jones, Principal of Nick Jones Wealth Planning and his team. They have helped more than sixty businesses comply with the auto enrolment demands and are highly qualified Financial Planners. These informative workshops are delivered in a friendly yet professional style.

Who can attend? Business owners or Directors running businesses within Shropshire and the surrounding areas.

1.00-2.00       NETWORKING LUNCH £15.00 (members rate) £30.00 (non members rate)


Network and enjoy a business lunch with exhibitors and guests attending the expo. The informal, yet organised, atmosphere of this event puts everyone at their ease to provide maximum benefit for all attendees.

The expo will continue until 2pm for those not wishing to have lunch


Book your free place to attend

Book your breakfast meeting place

Book your networking lunch

Book your exhibition space


Meet the expert 290317 Banner

Meet the Expert Online Bookings now Open

Join us at the
Department for International Trade Shropshire

Meet the Expert Event

Wednesday 29 March
0900 – 1630 BST
University of Wolverhampton, TELFORD Campus
Priorslee TF2 9NN

Book your appointments at this event where you have the opportunity to have 1:1 meetings with leading experts who will be housed in four zones including Finance, Funding, Digital and Practical.

Online bookings for 1-2-1 meetings are now open and booking up fast. Please register your interest in this event and you will then be sent an email with information on how to book your 1-2-1s.

Click here to register.

Practical Zone 

  • Logistics
  • Language & Culture
  • Export Documentation
  • Food & Drink Regulations
  • Labelling & Packaging
  • Intellectual Property
  • Economic Growth Solutions
  • Cyber Security
  • Enterprise Europe Network
  • IntaTrade
  • Business Solutions

Finance Zone

  • – Economic Growth Solutions
  • – Export Finance
  • – Getting Paid
  • – Get Set for Growth
  • – Accountant

Funding Zone

  • – ERDF
  • – Marches Growth Hub
  • – Business Innovation Programme

Digital Zone

  • – Website Internationalization
  • – Google Analytics
  • – Social Media
  • – Selling Online

Businesses urged to get clued-up on new Apprenticeship rules

Shropshire businesses are being invited to learn more about the Government’s new Apprenticeship Levy at a breakfast briefing in Telford.

Businesses urged to get clued-up on new Apprenticeship rules - Beej Kaczmarczyk

The event is being organised and hosted by Telford College of Arts and Technology on March 9, with a light breakfast at 8.30am and a 9am start.

The guest speaker is Beej Kaczmarczyk, director of Learning Curve Group, an experienced consultant and trainer in the post-16 education sector.

Telford College’s business development manager Dale Kynaston said: “The aim of this event is to get local businesses fully clued-up on the implications of the new Apprenticeship Levy, which comes into force in April.

“Beej is an acknowledged expert in education funding policy with more than 20 years of experience, and he will be giving the morning seminar.

“This is an opportunity for Shropshire companies to learn from his experience, and ensure they receive the kind of support in training that can lead to increased productivity, a multi-talented workforce, and the ability to branch out into new areas.”

The College is already working with a number of local companies to help identify internal development opportunities, recruit and train new team members, and ensure they get access to available funding.

Dale Kynaston added: “Shropshire companies may be able to access Government support, even if they haven’t contributed to the Apprenticeship levy – and Beej will be explaining how this works.”

For more details, or to book a place on the seminar, call the college on 01952 642237, or go to and search for Telford College.

TG Group Divisional Manager Kevin Retires with Over 35 Years Service

A divisional manager with over 35 years’ service with a family-owned Shropshire firm is to retire from his role.

From left to right, Mark Evans, Tudor Griffiths and Kevin Gardner

From left to right, Mark Evans, Tudor Griffiths and Kevin Gardner

Kevin Gardner will leave Tudor Griffiths Group this month after 38 years with the company and during his time with them, he has played a key role in establishing the Group as a major player in the builders’ merchants sector.

Managing Director Tudor Griffiths said Kevin would be a real loss to the team, and praised him for his dedication and commitment over nearly four decades of service.

“When Kevin joined, we had just two builders’ merchants’ branches in Ellesmere and Tattenhall. Since then, under Kevin’s guidance, we have added branches in Northwich, Oswestry, Nantwich, Welshpool, Kidderminster, and our latest in Bridgnorth which opened just last year.

“Kevin has successfully managed the business over this period of sustained growth to take us to our current position as a significant regional player in the builders’ merchants’ sector with a flourishing network of eight branches. I am very grateful for all the hard work and dedication that Kevin has put in to achieve this. He will be a tough act to follow and will be missed throughout the Group.”

Kevin has spent much of the last two years working on the new Bridgnorth branch, right through from the design and planning stage through to ensuring it was open for business and trading well.

He said: “Tudor Griffiths Group has been a huge part of my life, and it will be very strange not to come into work after all these years.

“I’ve been privileged to have had the opportunity to help build up the builders’ merchants’ side of the business from its humble beginnings to the thriving network we now have in place, and I’d like to thank the Group for the confidence it has shown in me during my time with the company.”

Kevin’s role as Divisional Manager will now be taken up by Mark Evans, who will work with the rest of the management team to drive the business forward. Mark has worked for TG Group for over 20 years in a variety of roles, most recently as Group Sales Manager.

Tudor said: “I am sure that with everyone’s support Mark, like all the managers within our Group, will continue to run the business as successfully as we have in the past and we are looking forward to further steady growth into the future.”