Free business support popping up in Airedale

Businesses in Bradford and Craven are encouraged to attend a Popup business event on 11th February at Steeton Hall Hotel, Keighley where they will find local experts waiting to give practical answers to questions on a range of business topics. It is totally informal, more like a caf� than a conference and is completely free.

Mark Delves, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) growth manager for Craven and Bradford, will be there to explain the support available to local businesses. He will be joined by local experts who have volunteered their time to share their knowledge on social media; website optimisation; HR advice; tax and accountancy; staff development/training; marketing; access to finance; manufacturing business advice and how to try new markets.

Eric Hawthorn, Managing Director of Shipley-based telecommunications business Radio Design, and LEP Board member said:

“Whether you are starting-up or a more established operation, this is an efficient way to speak to a number of local experts on issues that impact on your business. There is a wealth of support out there and local Popup events like this are an informal, low-risk way of answering your business questions and sampling the support available to help boost the performance of your business.”

Heather Robinson, Digital Marketing Specialist at local agency Skittish, one of the local experts who will be giving advice at the event said:

“At Popups I’m always asked about how to get greater engagement with customers on social media. It is important to get the right balance of tone and content to keep customers interested in the brand. There are some great local businesses who use social media really well. Hartley Bedrooms in Skipton use Twitter very effectively, whilst Saltaire-based Caroyln Mendelsohn Photography uses Facebook to showcase her business to impressive effect. I will be talking to attendees about how they too can harness the power of social media to build relationships with their customers.”

There is a wide range of support available and local businesses are already benefitting from LEP assistance. Craven-based company Timberworks spotted a gap in the market for a new product and wanted to create a new paintwork facility. To enable this growth, the business successfully applied for a £19,000 LEP grant to purchase and renovate a store close to their premises. Timberworks director, Rebecca Bullock, who runs the company with her husband Ian, said the creation of the paint workshop was having a real impact on the company’s performance by better meeting the needs of their customers.

Meanwhile, the Haworth-based engineering business, Airedale Springs, received support from the LEP to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and has recruited five new apprentices. Chairman, Tim Parkinson, said the new machinery had reduced overall production times by more than 50 per cent making a significant and positive difference to the business. The apprentices mean vital skills are passed on and expert knowledge is retained.

If you are a business keen to find the best in local expertise, come to the Popup event at Steeton Hall Hotel, Keighley from 08.30-12.00. To book please email, or book here.