Where Yorkshire businesses interact, innovate and grow


Opening Speeches from the 2017 Yorkshire Business Market

Good morning everyone and welcome to the 13th YBM.

A particularly warm welcome on this rather damp day to our opening party especially the Mayor of Harrogate Cllr Nick Brown and Roger Marsh OBE chairman of Leeds City region LEP.
As President of Harrogate District Chamber it is my pleasure to thank the organisers Brian and Beryl Dunsby with Mark Lancaster in the guise of YBM LTD for all there hard work in organising this event together with an army of volunteers many of whom are chamber members.
Judging by the number of people already here I am sure that the event for exhibitors and visitors alike will be the success everyone wishes it to be.
Without further ado I am very pleased to introduce the Mayor of Harrogate Cllr Nick Brown…
Michael Webster

President Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce

Good morning ladies and gentlemen…

As Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate can I welcome you all here today to this the 13th Yorkshire Business Market, whose main purpose is to promote business opportunities to it’s visitors.

As a businessman myself I know only too well how important networking within the business community is, and here everyone has a marvellous opportunity to do just that, together with actually doing some business as well !!

All business enterprises, especially SME’s, are a hugely important part of the economy of the Harrogate Borough and this Yorkshire Business Market is an integral part of the local business scene.

I would like to thank Brian Dunsby who has organised this event since 2005 so well done Brian and I hope this years Market is as successful as previous ones !!

I would now like to formally welcome Roger Marsh OBE, here today, to officially open this event.

Roger really needs no introduction, for those of us involved in business, as he is the Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership that promotes our region’s interests on a national and international scale.

He is a graduate of the University of Leeds and a former local partner in Price Waterhouse Coopers. He has advised Government and the Cabinet Office and in 2015 was awarded his OBE for services to business and the economy.

We are hugely grateful for him being with us today.

So, ladies and gentlemen, please warmly welcome Roger Marsh….

Councillor Nick Brown

Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate

I am delighted to be here today at the 13th Yorkshire Business Market.

It’s an excellent turnout, and with over 100 exhibitors, I am sure you will have plenty of opportunities to make new contacts, explore new leads and find out about the support available to help your business grow and develop.

– I represent the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership or LEP. To date we’ve helped over 350 companies in Harrogate to grow but if we haven’t yet had the chance to have a conversation with your business, let me give you a bit of background.

– LCR is the largest city region economy in the country outside London.  Our GVA is £64.6 billion and it’s the second centre for banking in the UK. Over 3 million people live within LCR and we have significant strengths in a number of key business sectors (healthcare and life sciences, digital and data technologies, advanced manufacturing and financial and professional services).  LCR includes all of West Yorkshire, York, Harrogate, Craven and Selby in North Yorkshire and Barnsley in the South.

– (make point about overall economic growth 2014: £55bn, 2017: £64.6bn)

– Harrogate is a key part of our city region (5% of LCR GVA and 10k  businesses out of LCR 120k businesses).

– Locally, as well as helping over 350 Harrogate businesses to grow, including providing £2,095,093 in grant funding, we’re also working closely with the Council, Brian at the Chamber, and our regional colleagues in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help the Harrogate borough and beyond realise its economic potential.

– We are aware from conversations with the wider Harrogate business community and the Chamber that improved transport links with Leeds, the airport and the wider region are a major priority. In 2014 we secured the largest deal in devolved funding through the Government’s Growth Deal to create amongst other things a £1bn+ Transport Fund Programme that will help transform the region’s local transport infrastructure over the next 10 years and beyond.

Each Transport Fund Programme scheme is designed to support economic growth and there are currently seventeen being progressed through the Programme, which is forecast to help create an additional 20,000 jobs and boost to the local economy annually by £1.35bn over the next 10 years over and above its natural growth: Ambition by 2036 – £100bn regional economy.

– But today is about more immediate opportunities for growth. A wealth of support is now available to help your business grow and I would encourage you to explore the stands and make the most of these opportunities; extraordinary SME growth is key to our economic transformation ambition towards a Net contributor.

– The LEP Team is on stand W82 and would be delighted to help point you in the direction of the support that might be most helpful for your business. Although plenty of support is on offer in the region, it can be difficult to navigate and this is where we help by providing no-nonsense advice focused on your real business needs. If nothing else today please remember this number to call for help is Leeds (0113) 348 1818

– If you’re a start-up or early stage business you might want to have a chat with our friends at Ad:Venture, who have support and grant funding available through our European Programme. They’re right next to our stand on W83.

– Harrogate Council – meet our local growth manager, Alistair Forbes, who’s our man on the ground – working with Harrogate businesses that are really ambitious to grow, and providing them with more intense support to realise those ambitions.

– Also the recently launched £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, of which I Chair the Strategic Oversight Board (creation of NPIF by 10 LEPs pooling and collaborating;  £130m EU funds leveraged up to £400m fund of funds) – If you are an entrepreneur, a start-up or a small and medium sized business located in the North of England, the NPIF could provide the funding you need to help your business realise its potential. NPIF could provide micro finance, loans and equity finance of between £25,000 – £2 million.

– So have a great day, make the most of the opportunities and thank you for your time.

As George Bernard Shaw saidwe are made wise not by the recollection of our past but by the responsibility for our future and with that I am delighted to declare the 13th YBM open.

Roger Marsh OBE

Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership