Huddersfield’s first business week has been hailed a success as hundreds of delegates from across the Yorkshire region and beyond attended to take part in the 40 events hosted throughout the week by 33 organisations.
Organised by Lindley-based PR and Marketing agency, KC Communications, Huddersfield Business Week aimed to bring together the Huddersfield business community to showcase the diverse range of businesses in the town. It was also a platform to provide the opportunity to share knowledge and best practice to enhance the outcomes of local companies.
Launching with a panel session at Magic Rock Brewery sponsored by business programme, Ad:Venture, over 100 delegates had the opportunity to hear from leading members of the business community which included Claire Paxman of Paxman Scalp Cooling, Simon Bodsworth of Daval Furniture, Ray Woolhead of Divine Gin and Katrina Cliffe of KC Communications and founder of Huddersfield Business Week.
During the session, the panel shared insights on their business journey, the challenges they have faced and their ambitions for Huddersfield. Guests were able to ask the panel questions and had the opportunity to network with fellow attendees.
Kirklees Council also hosted an overview how it plans to ‘Unlock Kirklees Economic Potential’ at The Media Centre which included presentations from representatives of Kirklees Council’s Inward Investment Team, the LEP and Sean Jarvis of Huddersfield Town Football Club.
The Business School at Huddersfield University presented a session to local employers on how they can support businesses with recruitment through its internship and knowledge transfer partnership schemes, which includes match funding via the Santander Internship Programme.
Milnsbridge manufacturer, Specialist Glass Products which employs 70 people from across the area, hosted a tour of its factory which has recently undergone a £5.5m investment in state of the art machinery to demonstrate how it creates bespoke glass products for buildings such as The Gherkin and Wembley Stadium.
Huddersfield Giants also hosted their Giants Women in Business Event which saw over 200 businesswomen in attendance at the Manor House in Lindley where the guest speaker was the owner of Manor House, Sara Presley. Sara shared her journey which led her to take on the mammoth task of restoring the former children’s home into the boutique restaurant with rooms.
Other events taking place during the week covered a variety of business topics including; culture, HR, marketing, legal advice, finance, workplace wellbeing and many more. Businesses involved included Sheards Accountants, Ridley & Hall Solicitors, Connect China, The Secret Events Service, Do Impact, PiP to Grow Strong, Eaton Smith Solicitors, CultureBlox, Crowther Accountants, Partners in Management, Modesto.Works and Key Commercial Finance.
Magic Rock Tap, The Media Centre and Heritage Exchange provided complimentary use of their facilities which enabled organisations without meeting facilities the opportunity to participate in the week.
Brent Woods, CEO of The Media Centre, said: “It is an honour for us to support the first Huddersfield Business Week. Huddersfield is a town of extraordinary people and remarkable businesses, and too often we don’t hear from them as they’re busy in their offices working. A week like this is an opportunity for the community to come together and meet each other to find out about the amazing things going on in the town. Huddersfield business Week is the perfect opportunity for us to do that”.
The LEP and Ad: Venture also hosted events focused on functions of a business and sourcing finance.
Bringing together the overall theme of unlimited opportunities, a fundraising quiz night was held at Revolution in the town centre hosted by Huddersfield rugby legend Eorl Crabtree. Sixty individuals from the local business community came together to take part in the Huddersfield themed quiz, with a variety of raffle prizes and a signed HTAFC shirt up for auction. Money raised from the evening will put four young people through a video game development academy provided by Ocean Spark Studios who are based in The Media Centre. The four-day programme will see young people learn new skills and the opportunities available to them in the town.
Feedback received thus far indicates the week attracted visitors from Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Wakefield, Bolton, Sheffield and Liverpool. 90% of the organisations involved in hosting events have expressed interest in being involved next year, while 56% advised that they had received leads or new business as a result of hosting an event during Huddersfield Business Week.
Katrina Cliffe commented: “We are blown away by the response to Huddersfield Business Week. What started as an idea to celebrate KC Communications reaching its five-year business milestone developed into one of the biggest projects we have worked on. We invested a significant amount of time and money in bringing a business week to Huddersfield, which would have many positive outcomes. The buzz in the business community has been outstanding. It has demonstrated that Huddersfield still very much punches above its weight and it’s fantastic to see that it attracted visitors from outside of the region and businesses have gained new leads and business off the back of it. The feedback we’ve received shows that HBW is a very much wanted addition to the business calendar, and we look forward to bringing in back in 2020”.
Huddersfield Business Week returns 5th – 9th October 2020. Contact [email protected] for more information.