A Cardiff-based company launched earlier this year to provide sea-born transfers to wind farms in the North Sea has secured a £90,000 financial package from Finance Wales and UK Steel Enterprise.
The deal has enabled Severn Offshore Services to conclude its purchase of its first state-of-the-art transfer vessel from the Damen shipyard in Gorinchem, Holland.
The new 26 metre vessel, Severn Provider, registered in Cardiff, has immediately started transporting equipment and personnel to and from the Meerwind Offshore Wind Farm in the German sector of the North Sea. It won the on-going contract against international competition.
Said company managing director Ryan Hopkins, who lives in Penarth: “Severn Offshore Services was specifically established to respond to the needs of the burgeoning offshore energy industry. The Severn Provider is a high-spec vessel that can transfer up to 12 personnel at operating speeds of up to 25 knots.
Charities are voicing concern that the new Trustees Reporting requirements introduced this year under the SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) arrangements are diverting volunteer resources away from core activities.
Sarah Case, Head of the Charity and Not-for-Profit sector at MHA, the national association of independent accountants, said: “As we progress through 2015, not-for-profit organisations are telling us that they view some of the Trustee Reporting requirements and additional SORP disclosures as cumbersome and non-value adding, even though the overarching objectives of the new measures are understood and transparency is welcomed by the sector. The effect is that vital managagement and trustee volunteer resources are being diverted into administrative duties both to understand and comply with the new obligations.”
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Did the Life Sciences sector emerge as a winner in the summer Budget on 8 July?
George Osborne’s overall aim was to tackle the deficit by reducing spending and boosting growth via fuller employment creating a further 2 million jobs.
According to the Welsh Government , there are over 350 companies in the Life Sciences sector in Wales employing over 11,000 people, and welcome news for the sector came when the Chancellor announced a lowering of the corporation tax rate from 20% to 18% by 2020 – a significant reduction compared to 28% in 2010.
There was further encouragement in terms of allowances for capital expenditure, which can be significant in many Life Sciences companies. The annual investment allowance (AIA) for eligible capital expenditure is currently £500,000 but was due to fall to only £25,000 from January 2016. The Chancellor announced there will now be a permanent AIA of £200,000 per annum. This will be very helpful to many small/medium sized companies in the sector.
According to the SRA, its decision to make changes to the format of the accountants’ report and to the criteria upon which these should be qualified and thus require submission is set to “improve their value and reduce the burden on (Law) firms”.
In the SRA Board meeting held on 15th July 2015 it was agreed that Accountants will now be able to use their “professional judgment to assess if the firms they report on have substantively complied with the SRA account rules”. The hope is to remove qualified reports resulting from ‘trivial breaches of the rules’ so that accountant’s can target their work to ‘focus on risks to client money’ at the same time as using their expertise to advise on potential risks, thereby delivering ‘value for money’.
The intention is that accountant’s should ensure the work they undertake is both proportionate and targeted to the size of firm and the nature of work the firm undertakes, so by definition this will be case specific. It should not come as a surprise therefore that for some firms this may mean increased costs.
The Welsh Business Rates Scheme provides financial support for business rates liabilities incurred by small and medium-sized businesses located in the seven Enterprise Zones in Wales.
The scheme which, was launched in 2013, will run until 2015/2016 and will target support at boosting job creation and business growth.
If your business qualifies for the Business Rates Scheme, you will receive up to a maximum of £55,000 (the cap on the Scheme per annum) or the business rates paid, whichever is the lower.
The Scheme is focused upon SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) located within Enterprise Zones that are new starts or are increasing the size of their workforce.
Applications for this Round can be made from 22 June – 30 September 2015.
Please contact Mike Fenwick should you require any further information.
Farmers need to do some serious planning to take advantage of new Annual Investment Allowances and tax arrangements on dividends unveiled in today’s Budget announcement.
Here’s a review of the main changes affecting the agriculture sector.
As expected, Annual Investment Allowance will fall from the current figure of £500,000 p.a. to a new permanent limit of £200,000 p.a., so where major capital expenditure is planned, farmers should ideally accelerate it to before 31st December and take advice on the transitional rules, since timing is important.
Farmers Averaging was not mentioned in the Budget speech but a 26 page consultation on how five year averaging might work was issued later the same day. Two potential methods were illustrated, both of which will give rise to complex calculations.
Changes unveiled in the budget could prompt doctors to consider early retirement and many healthcare professionals would be affected by the change.
From April 2016, the amount that top earners can pay into pensions will be reduced. Those with income above £110,000 will have their annual allowance reduced from £40,000, gradually tapering away to £10,000.
The new arrangement will increase their personal tax liability and add further complications to an area that is already confusing, potentially making many doctors consider early retirement from the NHS scheme. With a GP shortage already in primary care this may only worsen that position. Doctors should seek early advice over this impact in order to plan accordingly.
Corporation tax rates, which are currently the joint lowest in the G20 at 20%, are to be reduced again. Just five years ago the main rate was 28%, however from April 2017 the rate will reduce further to 19% and then to 18% from 2020.
In addition, the annual investment allowance (“AIA”) currently allows for an immediate tax deduction for the first £500k of capital spend. This was introduced as a temporary limit and was set to reduce to £25k from the end of this year. However this will now be set at £200k for expenditure from 1 January 2016 and is said to be permanent. This will allow businesses to plan their capital expenditure on plant and machinery with more certainty as per the calls on the Chancellor pre budget.
These two measures will be welcomed by companies as they will reduce liabilities further and, with the increase in future AIA, help to simplify the system for the vast majority of businesses. With the devolved power to set corporation rates across the UK, it will be interesting to see whether the other rates across the UK will follow suit.