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Johnston Carmichael offers specialist engineering support

Posted on 27 Mar 2024 and read 738 times
Johnston Carmichael offers specialist engineering supportLeft to right: Paul Shields and Jim Lockhart, joint heads of the new service sector

Top UK accountancy and business advisory firm Johnston Carmichael is expanding its sector focus to offer greater specialist support to the engineering and manufacturing industry. Engineering contributes an estimated £645 billion annually to the UK economy and the recent Budget included a provision for an extra £4.5 billion for strategic manufacturing sectors over the next five years to bolster economic growth and support the industry.

Johnston Carmichael’s service expansion follows the appointment of new partners, Jim Lockhart in Glasgow, and Paul Shields in Newcastle, who will act as joint heads of the new service sector. A chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser, Mr Lockhart is working with clients from across the firm’s key sectors including technology and life sciences, food and drink, and financial services but has a particular focus on supporting the growth of the firm’s engineering and manufacturing offering.

He said: “We want to do more than just advise companies within the sector. We are a partner-led firm, connected to relevant stakeholders and funding opportunities within the market and we are embedded in the manufacturing ecosystems where we operate, which means we are in a prime position to support businesses of all sizes within the sector. Our team is passionate about working in the sector and wants to deliver exceptional services to our clients.”

With over 25 years of experience working across the finance sector for firms of all sizes, he
is keen to work with Scotland’s growing space technology industry. Glasgow has become a UK leader in the manufacture of small satellites, while Prestwick’s aerospace hub has become a centre of excellence for the sector, hosting some of the world’s largest aerospace companies and supporting more than 3,000 jobs.

Deep knowledge

A qualified auditor, Paul Shields is an established business figure in Newcastle and has a deep knowledge of the local sector. He has advised clients in the North East of England for over two decades, and the rapidly expanding Newcastle team is focused on supporting the region’s most prominent sectors including engineering, manufacturing, construction, and property.

With a primary focus on Newcastle and Glasgow, which have a history in engineering and manufacturing, the sector team is in a strong position geographically to access a wide range of opportunities across the UK.

Mr Shields said: “We have worked in the engineering and manufacturing sector for many years now, with companies that span food and drink manufacturing, precision machinery, steel fabrication, textiles, and decommissioning, to name a few. We have spent a lot of time in the North East of England and Scotland, getting to know the businesses that operate there. It is a sector we know very well, and we understand the challenges companies face, which means we can bring full accountancy services tailored to what the industry needs.”

UK manufacturing covers everything from food and drinks to textiles, electrical equipment, chemical products, and much more. In 2022 The Royal Academy of Engineering estimated that the UK had 729,000 engineering businesses and some estimates claim that manufacturing accounts for 51% of the UK’s total exports.

As part of its support for the sector, Johnston Carmichael has also become an affiliate of the Engineering and Manufacturing Network (EMN), which is a cross-sector membership organisation supporting engineering and manufacturing businesses across the North East of England.

The firm will provide EMN members with a free 30 minute consultation as well as a wide range of accountancy and business advisory services, which include audit and assurance, corporate tax, digital transformation, and outsourced finance.

Established in the North East of Scotland almost 90 years ago, Johnston Carmichael has evolved into a business of more than 850 people spread across Scotland, the North East of England, and London. It has adopted fully hybrid working, enabling its people to service a diverse range of clients no matter where they are based across the UK or overseas.