Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch next week to support primarily small and medium sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts:

  1. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.
  2. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
  3. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

Further details, including on the lenders providing access to this scheme will be announced and the scheme will be available from early week commencing 23 March 2020.


Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered.

As the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020, that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc could be sufficient to make a claim.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy.

Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent upon damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

For more advice contact Lisa Petherick of insurance Gold partner, Konsileo at


Covid-19: Support measures for your clients – webinar update

Mazars logo

We recently held a webinar to discuss the Government support measures for businesses and individuals in these challenging times. We wanted to share this information with you, should it be of interest to yourself or your clients.
  • A recording of our webinar
  • The webinar slides
  • Answers to many of the questions asked during the webinar
  • Contact details for our speakers

HMRC have now released their detailed guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This and other FAQs regarding the scheme can be found here.

You can view our webinar recording here.
The slides from our webinar can be found here
Answers to the questions from our webinar can be found here. If you have any further questions please send an email to
Contact details for our speakers can be found here
For more information, please click here.

Further insight can be found on our COVID-19 Hub, here.

We understand this is a challenging time and often the advice being issued does not answer all the questions you may have.

If you need further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual Mazars contact or send an email to

Sci-Tech Daresbury sets £30,000 fundraising target for 2020

Sci-Tech Daresbury has pledged to raise £30,000 to support North West cerebral palsy charity Stick ‘n’ Step.

Sci-Tech Daresbury has chosen Stick ‘n’ Step as its charity partner for 2020 and will be fundraising money through a series of events supported by the 150 companies located on the campus.

Sci-Tech Daresbury’s joint venture board has already made a significant contribution by donating £10,000 to kick-start the fundraising programme.

Stick ‘n’ Step, which has centres in Runcorn and Wallasey, supports children and young people living with cerebral palsy and their families and provides free weekly conductive education sessions to more than 100 children every year.

It costs in the region of £600,000 per year to deliver the charity’s services, and the sessions are designed to help each child to reach their personal potential in terms of their confidence, mobility and independence.

The charity has a diverse programme of fundraising activity planned throughout the year for Sci-Tech Daresbury’s staff and campus-based organisations, including a Snowdonia challenge, abseiling, a sky dive and bike rides.

Amy Couture, chief executive of Stick ‘n’ Step, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sci-Tech Daresbury has chosen to fundraise so generously for us. One in four hundred children born in the UK has some form of cerebral palsy so there is a huge need for support both for them and their families. It costs £5,500 to cover the cost of just one child accessing our services for a year, this level of support from Sci-Tech Daresbury will significantly help us to support over 100 children across our two centres.”

John Downes, group chief executive of Langtree and chairman of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture, said: “Stick ‘n’ Step is a wonderful charity that touches the lives of hundreds of children and young people living with cerebral palsy across the North West. We’re very excited to be launching Sci-Tech Daresbury’s partnership with Stick ‘n’ Step as our official charity partner for 2020 and to be demonstrating our support for the fantastic services they deliver.

“Sci-Tech Daresbury is now home to 150 companies and we are confident that with the support of our tenants and other campus-based organisations, we can all pull together for a great cause and reach our target to raise £30,000 over the next 12 months. We’ve set our target high and we’ll need the support of everyone based at the campus to achieve this goal, helping even more children and their families to benefit from the incredible services that Stick ‘n’ Step offer and raising awareness of the work that they do.

To find out more about how you can get involved, visit Our Charity page by clicking here.

University of Huddersfield opens state-of-the-art lab at Sci-Tech Daresbury

The University of Huddersfield has opened a laboratory at Sci-Tech Daresbury in pursuit of new research collaborations with organisations based at the leading science and innovation campus and beyond.

A small team of university researchers have relocated to Sci-Tech Daresbury’s state-of-the-art laboratory building, Techspace One, as part of a drive to develop strategic partnerships with specialists on the campus in Liverpool City Region.

Researchers will focus on the ultra-precision surfaces – particularly optics, including lenses and mirrors – needed for the Science Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to deliver its science programme in ground and space-based astronomy, high power lasers and synchrotrons.  From this facility the University of Huddersfield also hopes to work with other similar organisations around the world.

The University of Huddersfield is the latest HE institution to link up with Sci-Tech Daresbury where the universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster already undertake significant activity including at the Virtual Engineering Centre, The Cockcroft Institute and through ESPRC’s SuperSTEM facility led by the University of Leeds and joined by the Universities of Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford and York.

In time, the University of Huddersfield plans to increase the initial team’s size to up to 15 people, depending on grant and contract income. The university is also exploring potential secondments and placements from STFC, Sci-Tech Daresbury and industry to collaborate on joint projects.

The team is working on developing new and improved methods to process ultra-precision surfaces using CNC machines and robots and is starting to explore fully autonomous manufacturing using Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods.

Techspace One, is a three-storey, self-contained building comprising 33,000 sq ft of high quality wet and instrumentation laboratories, grade A office accommodation, meeting hubs and break out areas, immediately attracting industry interest.

One of the key attractions for the university to open a laboratory at Sci-Tech Daresbury was its location.

Professor David Walker, one of the leaders of ultra-precision surfaces research at the University of Huddersfield, said: “Our main reason for locating to this nationally important research campus is to develop strategic alliances with STFC, to identify partnerships with other organisations at Sci-Tech Daresbury and forge collaborative links with industry, research organisations and universities, including the Hartree Centre on future work on AI.

“Our ultra-precision polishing Zeeko machines are among the most advanced in the world and we see STFC as a potential end user of the sort of high specification optics we can make here for astronomy, space and synchrotron optics.

“Sci-Tech Daresbury is a major national facility with lots of activity, with excellent links to industry and convenient transport links. The environment is highly presentable to overseas visitors and stands up to comparison with major labs in other countries, including China, and we’ve received a most welcoming and positive attitude from everyone on-site from the outset.

“We’ve taken high-quality lab space in a new building which has been fitted out to our specification. The collaboration opportunities with STFC and Sci-Tech Daresbury are highly promising, with links into projects, labs and industries for the future.”

Jayne Furnival, group property director of Langtree, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the University of Huddersfield to Sci-Tech Daresbury, already a home to several different universities.  It’s a move that we hope will act as a catalyst for a range of new research collaborations on campus, as it has with others.

“Sci-Tech Daresbury is already home to some of the UK’s most ground-breaking research centres and this move reinforces the appeal for world-leading organisations to base their operations here and benefit from the highly innovative and collaborative landscape that we strive to achieve.

“We’re looking forward to supporting the University of Huddersfield as it pursues new partnerships with the diverse range of specialisms on campus which will help to propel its research strategy forward.”

Kate Ronayne, Executive Director of Business and Innovation at STFC, said: “The University of Huddersfield’s relocation is an important new addition to the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus which adds exciting complementary capability to existing facilities, such as the Campus Technology Hub.  We look forward to working closely with them to develop innovations that significantly benefit industry and the economic impact of our science and facilities.”

Collaboration drives £20m boost for Sci-Tech Daresbury companies

The impact of the collaborative culture at Sci-Tech Daresbury delivered a £20.3m boost in 2018 for companies based at the award-winning science and technology campus.

The total business value – an uplift of £3m on 2017 – comes out of the latest tenant survey to be conducted by Sci-Tech Daresbury and is evidence that the campus is continuing to achieve its aim of accelerating growth for high-tech tenant businesses by encouraging collaboration.

In a survey of 112 companies based at the Liverpool City Region campus, there are currently 202 collaborations between businesses located at the site, up from 161 in 2017 and 113 in 2016, with more than half of the businesses (54%) actively collaborating with each other.

The survey revealed that collaborations between companies have generated a business value of £5.5m in terms of new sales or cost savings. These collaborations are mainly in the form of buyer-seller relationships and collaborative partnerships.

The annual survey also revealed that there was very high level of collaborative intensity on the campus with 73% of companies have at least one collaboration on campus with either the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) or another campus company.

Further, 59% of companies reported they were collaborating with a university, an increase from 49% in 2017, with the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester representing the most prominent relationships, but with a significant increase with Lancaster and Liverpool John Moores Universities. In particular, there has been an upsurge in companies securing student placements and carrying out research with the universities.

Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO of ORCHA, a live resource for rated and reviewed medical and health care apps which relocated to the campus in 2016, believes that Sci-Tech Daresbury enjoys a community in where businesses can grow and thrive.

She said: “The location is critical to our growth both in terms of who we can collaborate with here, but also in drawing in talent. It’s really difficult finding talent in niche areas particularly in digital and everyone is fighting for the same people. But being located here means we can draw talent in from Liverpool, Cheshire and Manchester and from a number of different universities, helping us grow our workforce which is absolutely vital in achieving our growth ambitions.”

Based at Vanguard House, one of six campus facilities, ORCHA started with five staff and now employs 21 FTE roles with plans to double in size in 2019. In the last year ORCHA has been working with the Hartree Centre, the high performance computing and data analytics research facility, part of STFC.

Liz said: “The core of what we do is to review health apps and we use technology to review more of them than anyone else globally to ensure that that process is efficient, effective maintained and scalable. We are currently doing a number of projects with the Hartree Centre around Artificial Intelligence and looking at ORCHA data and what we can do with it.

“We have been part of a number of EU projects with the Hartree Centre to look at how we can improve and expand our offer. We are about to go into another big bid with them that will continue that partnership on an ongoing basis and which will help our growth and futureproof us.”

She added: “Sci-Tech Daresbury provides a community where they want to support you for your whole journey. There is no doubt that, as we originally hoped it would, it’s helped us establish ourselves and thrive and will aid our expansion ambition.”

John Downes, group chief executive of Langtree and chair of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture company, said: “In 2016 we revised our Science & Innovation strategy to focus on five key areas, including powering productivity through partnerships. It’s part of an explicit drive to cement collaboration at the heart of the campus, because it allows innovation and entrepreneurialism to thrive unlocking business growth.

“This year’s survey proves that the financial and commercial value of knowledge exchange between companies continues to deliver fantastic results, positioning Sci-Tech Daresbury as one of the UK’s leading scientific assets.

“We are continuing to build our reputation with the recent launch of the HealthTec Cluster. This will further increase collaboration, cross-sector engagement and support the translation of research and development to application by linking the business and research community and end-organisations at the forefront of delivering health innovation.

“We are also looking to create a similar cluster for digital sector companies as well as build further strategic activity with universities to increase interaction with companies.”

Global firm Hosokawa Micron launches state-of-the-art lab facility at Sci-Tech Daresbury

Kathryn Hipkins hosokawa micron and lee williams sci tech daresbury

International process technology company Hosokawa Micron Ltd has launched a new state-of-the-art Technical Innovation Centre at leading science and innovation campus Sci-Tech Daresbury.

Hosokawa Micron is a specialist in development, manufacture and installation of machines for powder and particle processing.

The company has relocated its Hosokawa Technical Innovation Centre to a new laboratory at Sci-Tech Daresbury’s Techspace One building, having previously operated from its nearby main site in Preston Brook, Runcorn.

The relocation is part of a strategic move to expand Hosokawa’s testing facility and manufacturing capabilities in the UK.

The Technical Innovation Centre is a purpose-built laboratory and will be used to house the company’s customer and contract manufacturing R&D. The workspace also incorporates a small office area which will be used as a ‘hot desk’ for sales and technical centre employees.

Hosokawa’s Technical Innovation Centre offers its customers unique opportunities to test equipment, processes and systems in a controlled and convenient environment. Its testing facility features a range of Hosokawa and ancillary equipment which can be organised into unified in-line processes to suit the customer’s specific needs.

The firm operates around the world and has offices in Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and the USA. It also has satellite offices in Korea, China, and India.

Kathryn Hipkins, Technical Centre Manager said: “We chose to relocate Hosokawa’s Technical Innovation Centre to Sci-Tech Daresbury as part of a strategic move to increase our contract manufacturing capabilities in the UK.

“Sci-Tech Daresbury is an internationally-recognised location with a strong emphasis on technology innovation and growth and we felt this was a natural fit to base our operations out of the campus. We’re now situated within a highly-collaborative business environment and its location offers opportunities to work with academic and industrial partners on the campus and across the wider region.”

Sci-Tech Daresbury is a private-public joint-venture partnership between developer Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council and Halton Borough Council.

Jayne Furnival, group property director of Langtree, said: “Our reputation as a key location where science and innovation businesses can meet their ambitions is increasingly attracting companies from around the world. Without doubt Hosokawa Micron’s decision to open a facility on the campus is a great coup for us and we are delighted to welcome them here.

“Such is our appeal that we are now home to companies from 13 countries besides the UK itself, big name players with a strong global presence accessing the North West’s rich talent pool, surrounded by successful and ambitious cities, towns and universities and enjoying excellent support and collaboration opportunities on the campus and through our networks.”

Techspace One is a three-storey, self-contained building comprising 33,000 sq. ft. of high quality wet and instrumentation laboratories, grade A office accommodation, meeting hubs and break out areas, located in  the Sci-Tech Daresbury Enterprise Zone.