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Recent insights

UK Freeports: what happens now?

20 Apr 2021
The locations of the UK’s eight new Freeports have been announced with the promise of simpler planning, favourable customs tariffs and duties, and tax breaks to encourage growth and investment. But what should you do now? 

Womble Bond Dickinson advises on investment in Newcastle life sciences pioneer

19 Apr 2021
Womble Bond Dickinson has advised Mercia Fund Managers and Enterprise Ventures on the recent £5.25 million investment in Newcells Biotech, the Newcastle-based cell technology business. The Mercia-managed funds which participated in the fundraising included Northern VCTs and the North East Venture Fund, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia. Further funding was provided by the North East Innovation Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures.

Government proposes changes to MEES to help implement EPC band B by 2030

19 Apr 2021
Buildings are responsible for around 31% of carbon emissions in the UK. Reducing their energy consumption is therefore one of the major challenges in the race to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Last month the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) issued two consultations concerning the energy efficiency of non-domestic property. Here we bring you up to date on the latest proposals relating to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).

Womble Bond Dickinson advises beneficiaries in landmark trust case

16 Apr 2021
The Private Client team at Womble Bond Dickinson recently advised the beneficiaries of a complex family trust on unlocking distributions of capital that were tied up in a historic trust structure. The process required an application to Court for consideration of whether the trustees had the ability to make the capital advancements, using the statutory powers available to them under the Trustee Act 1925.

Supporting housing delivery through new planning powers

14 Apr 2021
Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the government created a new use Class E 'commercial, business and service' category from 1 September 2020, to make it easier for high street premises to change use without the need for a planning application. The aim was to facilitate a wider range of commercial, retail and leisure uses commonly found in town centres adapting to changing circumstances and respond to the needs of their local communities.