Action man

Don Cruickshank, former Oftel chief has been appointed to head the Government’s Action 2000 project to alert business to the computer millennium problem. He will devote one day a week to the project.

Pattinson goes

Pattinson Brothers, the Sheffield engineering firm established in 1862, has called in the receivers after a customer brought an expensive court action. The firm has a £1.8m turnover and a workforce of 40. It will be sold as a going concern said joint receivers David Stokes and Edward Klempa of Coopers & Lybrand.

Meritus hands over

British Federal, the Dudley resistance welding equipment manufacturer has acquired Meritus, the St Albans resistance welding and wire mesh welding equipment manufacturer. Manufacturing will be transferred to Dudley.

Bottling out

Plysu will take over the manufacture of more than 100 million plastic bottles and other plastic components now produced in-house by The Body Shop. The work and equipment will be transferred to Plysu’s UK sites.

Funding point

Millennium Point, the £111.6m project to build a science and technology centre in Birmingham, has attracted £6m in sponsorship from local firms including Rover, Jaguar, Dunlop, Midlands Electricity, and Severn Trent Water. The project has secured £50m from the Millennium Commission.

Women’s press

The DTI’s Women’s Development Unit yesterday published a handbook advising women on careers in science, engineering and technology. Women occupy 20% of top management posts in science, engineering and technology and women’s pay is on average 80% that of men.