Tag: Kirklees

Bang for your buck: Here are the best locations to run your business in the UK

New rankings reveal the best locations to run your business according to average rent prices, size of the talent pool, access to government funding and broadband speed

Leeds leads the way as one of the best places to set up a business

Four Leeds City Region locations appear in the top ten in the UK

From monthly bills to access to the best talent, a new ranking reveals the best places in the UK to run a business – and Leeds City Region is leading the way.

Having developed the ranking system based on evidence from a variety of metrics linked to setting up and running a business, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) aims to highlight some of the best locations around the country for business leaders to set up shop.

The ten metrics used to create the ranking system were:

  • Price per square foot for commercial rent properties1
  • Parking availability and price (£)2
  • Number of finance and support schemes available from Government3a & 3b
  • Broadband speed (average download speeds Mbit/s)4
  • 4G coverage (%)4
  • Unemployment rates (%)5
  • Quality of life score6
  • Young population (ages 18-34) (potential employees for businesses)7
  • Number of arts, entertainment and recreation services/professional, scientific and technical businesses per 1000 18/34-year-olds8
  • Annual media gross pay (2019)9

The LEP also reviewed population statistics10 in the top ten metropolitan districts, as well as the capital, and ranked each according to the ten metrics

The three best areas for business leaders to pay attention to were revealed as Leeds, Kirklees and London, with Leeds leading the way as the number one location for businesses across all metrics.

The top ten places to run a business from in the UK according to these measures are:

  1. Leeds
  2. Kirklees
  3. London
  4. Bradford
  5. Liverpool
  6. Birmingham
  7. Wakefield
  8. Coventry
  9. Manchester
  10. Sheffield

With the average rent per square foot coming in at £301, Leeds is not the lowest cost destination to host a business. Kirklees* takes that coveted spot with the average rent per square foot in the area costing only £13.501.

However, Leeds ranks best in terms of low unemployment rates (4%)5, a high quality of life score (7.76)6, a large percentage of young population in the city (222,673)7 and a high annual pay (£33,245)9, helping the city achieve the overall top spot.

Looking outside of Leeds City Centre, other areas within Leeds City Region also ranked highly for low rent prices alongside Kirklees* (£13.50)1, including Bradford (£15)1, Wakefield (£16)1 and Sheffield (£25)1. The findings indicate the Leeds City Region should be a real consideration for any business leaders looking for a new location.

Bradford also ranked highly for the average cost of parking, which on a weekday is only £3.342 compared to rocketing prices in places such as London (£44)2.

For businesses still looking to establish their headquarters in London, leaders should be prepared to pay 344% more per square foot compared to Kirklees, with the average rent in the capital coming in at a hefty £60+ per square foot.

Unsurprisingly, businesses based in the capital have access to a higher volume of government funding schemes (44)3 compared to other cities, however everywhere within the Leeds City Region (including Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and Kirklees) has access to an impressive 12 schemes3b. Manchester (10)3, Coventry (4)3, Birmingham (3) and the other listed cities also have access to a range of funding opportunities, should businesses qualify.

Other costs to be considered include energy bills, however this is determined by the size of the business rather than location. Large businesses can expect to foot a bill of around £3,139 each year for energy compared to £706 for small businesses11.

In addition to these metrics, Leeds has a large volume of higher education student enrolments, with over 63,00012 currently in the city, meaning businesses have access to a high volume of graduates who are keen to begin their professional careers. The education ecosystem in Leeds City Region also boasts nine universities and 14 higher education colleges contributing to a fast-growing talent pipeline.

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11 commented “We’re thrilled to take the top spot when it comes to entrepreneurs looking for a place to set up their business. We truly believe that the Leeds City Region has so much to offer, from top of the range office space and a thriving business scene, to an impressive talent pool, it’s a fantastic place for any business to start, or continue their journey.

“We’ve so far helped 11,000 businesses to grow through £43 million funding, and have also launched the £2.5 million Digital Investment Fund which includes the #Grow and #Welcome programmes to help tech businesses thrive in our region.”

“With tech giants such as Channel 4 and Sky making the leap to the Leeds City Region, we look forward to welcoming more businesses to our community.”

Recent investor Paramjit Uppal, Founder, AND Digital added “We decided to open an office, or as we call it, a club, in the heart of Halifax as we saw a fantastic opportunity to help organisations in West Yorkshire accelerate the development of its digital capabilities. West Yorkshire is a vibrant, welcoming region with a real appetite for growth and innovation – we’ve been delighted by the warm and enthusiastic welcome we’ve had and the support we have received from the LEP.”

Business Woman Swaps Smart Suits For Smartphone

After a successful career as a Sales Director, travelling the world and enjoying a healthy package, a desire to try new things and push her personal boundaries led Michelle Cowan to review her priorities.

Putting her passport to one side, Michelle took the opportunity to spend time with friends, family and associates before deciding what to do next.

It was during these conversations she recognised that there were three simple things stopping smaller organisations and start-ups from using social media for business; time, the cost of hiring an agency and creativity.

Eighteen months later, with a business partner and thanks to lots of hard work, Michelle launched My SMART App, a downloadable app that based on a user’s preferences can create, schedule and post content to Twitter and Facebook business pages.

Available from Google and Apple App Stores, the product uses content that is based on days of the week, awareness days, weeks, months and key UK events making it ideal for businesses that target a consumer facing audience.

Furthermore, the device allows the user to customise the pre-prepared posts, to add personality and use the correct tone of voice for the business, while also accepting unique content too, supporting smaller organisations as they build their brand and presence online.

Michelle comments: “If someone had told me two years ago that I would be running my own organisation and that it would solve a problem and meet with the challenges that are faced by other small businesses I would have thought they were crackers!

“As it stands, that’s exactly what has happened. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, not least from business support services such as AD:VENTURE, and can see that taking the time to attend workshops, sessions and networking has all been worth it. Knowing that we have a product that is available for download is really exciting!”

The My SMART App is available for download with a 60-day free trial and then a monthly cost of just £8.49. For further details please visit www.mysmartapp.co.uk

TimberTight secures £22,000 grant funding for expansion

TimberTight Ltd, An innovative Yorkshire-based construction company from Cleckheaton, which is capitalising upon the demand for timber-framed housing, has secured £22,247 from AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded programme supporting start-ups throughout the Leeds City Region.

Businessmen Paul Williamson, Gordon Lorimer and Jake Hinchliffe launched TimberTight Ltd to meet with the growing preference for timber framed buildings, a specialism that is embraced and regularly used by construction firms throughout the world.

Ensuring the UK competes with standards that have been set throughout Europe and the USA, the company uses timber, a more environmentally friendly alternative to bricks and mortar, to create frames that take less time to implement and allow for the process of building a property to run concurrently in a factory whilst work progresses on-site.

Expanding quickly, the Directors recognised the need to access funding support so that the company could invest and upgrade its machinery to allow for precision high-volume cutting of timber to meet with an increasing number of commissions. 

Gordon Lorimer from TimberTight, comments: “We worked with Paul Tansey from AD:VENTURE. Not only was he very pleasant but he was a seasoned businessman. In the first instance we expected some hints and tips but what we had access to was free, professional business consultancy.

“Working with the processes, plans and advice that was given we were able to secure more than £22,000 in match-funded grant which allowed us to invest in the machinery that we needed to give us a competitive advantage. We also employed a further seven employees to run the equipment, expanding the business and giving local people the opportunity to work and to learn new skills.”

The TimberTight Team

Paul Williamson from TimberTight, adds: “We are an even stronger business than before thanks to the help we have accessed from AD:VENTURE. The new contracts that we have won through our enhanced competitiveness is proof of that.”

Thanks to the associations and partnerships between business service providers, TimberTight has also accessed support from Kirklees Council and Works Better, an employment support programme that is part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Karl Battersby, Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure, Kirklees Council, comments: “Working with innovative and progressive businesses like TimberTight is really encouraging, not only have they identified a rapidly expanding specialism, but they have embraced it and created a business model that is sustainable as a result.

“Knowing that we have market leading talents in Kirklees and that these skills are being passed to a workforce that are able to develop their career within a local organisation, gives us a success story to share with others.”

With the increase in demand for homes and buildings throughout the country, TimberTight set its sight on working with residential and commercial property developers throughout West Yorkshire. It has quickly become established as a credible brand and is responsible for self-build, social housing, local government projects and commercial structures.

For further details about TimberTight and its innovative approach to construction please visit: www.timbertight.com and for information about the practical and funding support that can be accessed through AD:VENTURE please visit: www.ad-venture.org.uk.

NEW PRODUCT MAKES GLOBAL SPLASH THANKS TO £20,000 FROM AD:VENTURE

Hydro-flux, the company providing innovations to simplify swimming pool installation and maintenance, is celebrating thanks to a £20,000 match-funded grant from AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded programme supporting start-up and young businesses from across the Leeds City Region.

Launching in October 2017, the business set out with the ambition to create products that would make the installation and maintenance of swimming pools simpler, safer and more environmentally friendly.

With the design for the FlowBright, a swimming pool lighting system that would illuminate without the need for complex installations, expensive additional equipment or electrical costs, the company recognised that it needed some assistance to take its idea to the next stage.

Turning to AD:VENTURE, the company worked alongside a dedicated Business Advisor, Paul Tansey, to put together detailed plans, forecasts and targets. Once complete, the organisation was assessed for its eligibility to access grant funding from the programme and secured just under £20,000.

Using the funds to change a large warehouse into furnished offices, the business was able to purchase furniture, computers, printers, and the tooling equipment required to manufacture the product, making it a viable innovation to take to market.

Director at Hydro-flux, Michael Burnham, comments: “Without AD:VENTURE there is no way we could have put our idea into practice. Not only did we need some guidance and governance to make sure we were following the necessary processes, but we were also finding it difficult to raise the funds, as the equipment and tooling isn’t cheap.

“Securing the grant made all of the difference and we went from kitchen table to furnished offices almost overnight. It was great. Not only was the environment different but our mindset and the way that we approached the business changed.”

 

Michael Burnham, with Paul Tansey from Ad-Venture, at Hydro-Flux, Batley, Yorkshire

 

Roger Marsh, OBE Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “I am very pleased that Kirklees-based Hydro-flux was able to turn their ideas into a reality with support from AD:VENTURE.

“It is great that innovative and ambitious businesses like Hydro-flux are able to access the finance and support they need for equipment and premises, enabling them to meet their growth ambitions.”

Attending the International Pool, Spa and Patio Expo in Las Vegas and the Piscine Global, Swimming Pool and Wellness Exhibition in France during November, the company had its first opportunity to showcase the FlowBright, which is the most environmentally friendly lights on the market, as it contributes zero carbon emissions during its operational lifetime.

Engaging with global distributors the business owners were overwhelmed with the interest in the product and in addition to two signed agreements, they have further partnership opportunities in Dubai, British Columbia, Romania and Turkey to consider.

Director at Hydro-flux, Michael Burnham, comments: “The response to the product has been really positive. We expected interest in the innovation but certainly not to sign two distributor agreements there and then!

“This experience has given us further confidence and reassurance in the potential that our business has moving forward. There really is nothing like the FlowBright on the market and as we have taken the time and effort to patent the technology, we know we have a real niche that we now need to capitalise upon.”

Using the feedback from its FlowBright product, Hydro-flux is now working on other innovations that will allow it to capitalise upon the technology that it has patented and meet with the challenges that it knows pool installers and maintenance staff are faced with.

For further details about Hydro-flux please visit www.hydro-flux.com or call 01924 472665 and for more information about AD:VENTURE and the range of sessions, workshops, support and funding that the programme offers please visit, www.ad-venture.org.uk.

Growth grant supports relocation for ambitious PR firm

Business Growth Grants

Up and coming marketing consultancy KC Communications have accessed the AD:VENTURE business support programme to get help towards a move to new premises by successfully securing a grant towards their refurbishment costs.

Formed in 2014 KC Communications, based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire has achieved significant growth since starting up, and were ready for the next step in their expansion plans.

Founder and director of KC Communications, Katrina Cliffe had started her career at 15 as a marketing apprentice and found she had a love for the industry. As she continued her career path after having children, she wanted greater flexibility, but remained ambitious.

“When I started out, I had spent 5 ½ years working for a tech organisation, working from home, they were based in Dublin and I travelled internationally. I had no local business contacts whatsoever, yet in my first month of establishing the business I had 4 clients on board”

Fast forward two and a half years and in a short time, Katrina had grown her team to 5, but faced a classic challenge for a thriving new business… they were rapidly outgrowing their space as they expanded and needed solutions to give them room to grow.