Hambleton businesses gather to discuss future opportunities

Business conference

Businesses from across Hambleton gathered in Easingwold recently for the region’s annual conference to look at opportunities for the coming 12 months.

Now in its fourth year, the Hambleton Strategic Business Forum (HSBF) event attracted more than 100 people from 60 businesses in the district who discussed the pros and cons of business and government working together.

Delegates heard from keynote speakers MP Kevin Hollinrake, Richard Menage from Industrial Textiles and Plastics, Debbie Keeble of Heck Foods, Anna Addison who runs Anna Addison Associates and Lindsay Ross, HSBF Chairman.

Topics covered included the highs, lows and the challenges that politicians and companies face, whether government and businesses work together for mutual benefit, whether government initiatives always support what businesses want and whether there should be more input from businesses to make initiatives more effective.

Lindsay Ross, chairman of the HSBF, said: “We explored whether government and businesses could work together more efficiently, more productively and for the greater good. With the personal experiences of our speakers we hope to have shed some light on these issues and provided guidance to businesses across the district. The speakers promoted some very interesting talking points.”

Councillor Peter Wilkinson, Deputy Leader of Hambleton District Council also updated the business representatives on the work of the authority. He said: “We have set up business breakfast meetings and lunch and learn sessions, delivered successful business awards and we have a masterplan for central Northallerton, with the purchase of the prison. Over the last 12 months we have worked to review all the industrial parks and future employment land needs and bridge the gap between schools and businesses. We support businesses with apprenticeship and graduate internship grants and help businesses with advice. It is a very exciting time for Hambleton – it’s a great place for business to grow.”

The conference – held at Hawkhills in Easingwold on May 13 – was organised by the Hambleton Strategic Business Forum and sponsored by Hambleton District Council, Federation of Small Businesses, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, North East Chamber of Commerce and Teesside University.