The pros and cons of business and government working together were highlighted at a major business conference in Hambleton.
Now in its fourth year the Hambleton Strategic Business Forum (HSBF) event attracted more than 100 people from 60 businesses in the district.
Delegates heard from keynote speakers MP Kevin Hollinrake; Richard Menage, Industrial Textiles and Plastics; Debbie Keeble, Heck Foods; Anna Addison, Anna Addison Associates and Lindsay Ross, HSBF chairman.
There were thought provoking accounts of when business has been supported by government – as well as the highs, the lows and the challenges that politicians and companies face. That included whether government and businesses work together for mutual benefit, do government initiatives always support what businesses want and should there be more input from businesses to make initiatives more effective.
Lindsay Ross, forum chairman, 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.”
And Coun Peter Wilkinson, deputy leader of the council – who updated the business representatives on the work of the authority – 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 – 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.