Tag: Wakefield

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.”

Wakefield Launches New Stimulating Strategic Marketing Series

Wakefield Council have been working closely with new businesses across the city and have heard the crucial calling for a comprehensive guide to Strategic Marketing in 2019 and beyond, and so here it is!

Market Me takes you right back to basics where you can either start from a blank slate, or build upon an early developed plan. Wherever your start-up business is in it’s marketing evolution, this 5 day series will educate, challenge and inspire your next steps in marketing your business and identify essential gaps that could expand your business to new levels of success.

Market Me is a strategic marketing series for new business who are serious about scaling.

Delivered by BrownDog Agency for AD:VENTURE, MarketMe will help Wakefield based start-ups and scale-ups who are trading B2B to take their products and services to market more effectively.

Combining interactive and thought-stimulating exercises with real world experience of the marketing mix, the series will take you from a start point of explaining your challenges, to matching your business to changing national and global circumstances,
carving out a point of difference for you to take to market, and equipping you with the most effective tactical skills and content with which to acquire new business.

 13 November Market Me – Session 1 Environment Mapping – Understanding our world

 20 November Market Me – Session 2 Who Are You? – Creating a stand-out Professional Profile

 28 November Market Me – Session 3 CO-STAR – Turning ideas into reality

 4 December Market Me – Session 4 Marketing Planning – Anticipating and Delivering Customer Wants, Profitably

11 December Market Me – Session 5 Content Marketing – The Mainstay of the Thought Leader

 

If you want to contact sector development managers Cara Brundle or Keith Evans directly, just drop them an email.

The AD:VENTURE programme is supported by the 2014 – 2020 European Regional Development Fund.

The AD:VENTURE programme delivers ERDF funded growth support to existing businesses in their first 3 years of trading and for people planning to start a business within the Leeds City Region.

FREAKS OF NATURE WIN BEST NEW START-UP AT THE GROCER GOLD AWARDS 2019

Plant-based dessert expert, Freaks of Nature, has won the accolade of Best New Start-Up at The Grocer Gold Awards. The Judges said, “they were impressed by the innovative spirit of the brand” and “its major listings are clear testament to the product”.

With its own purpose-built facility in Yorkshire, Freaks of Nature have not only created a challenger brand in the fast-growing dairy free market, but crucially are in complete control of product development and manufacturing.

Its clear vision in the sector, allowed it to open a facility that does not bring any dairy, gluten, egg or soya, into the production area.

This prestigious award comes hot on the heels of Freaks of Nature recently winning significantly extended distribution in Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and another major retailer from July for its award-winning hot puddings and cold serve desserts.

Founder of Freaks of Nature, Peter Ahye says: “Winning The Grocer Gold Award for Best New Start-Up is an industry renowned marker that we’re doing something special. We’re so pleased to be part of the plant-based revolution which is taking place with our range of great tasting puds”.

Freaks of Nature’s current range of products include the first plant-based grocery retail Cherry Bakewell, Chocolate Fudge, Sticky Toffee and Lemon Sponge Hot Puddings; Double Choc Ganache and Choc Caramel Cheesecake; Blueberry and Strawberry plant-based Yogs.

In foodservice they offer Chocolate Fudge, Sticky Toffee Puddings and its popular Christmas pudding which launched last year. Ahye said “Chefs are telling us our great tasting products remove complexity from back of house and the fact that they are free from and vegan is a real bonus. One product for all consumers”

Freaks of Nature managed to achieve listings with all the major supermarkets and is working strategically with a number of them to deliver even more exciting products over the coming months.

To find out more about Freaks of Nature please visit https://www.freaksofnature.co.uk

The team have worked with both AD:VENTURE and the LEP to accelerate their growth plans.

Funding boost for Wakefield tech company helps turn a concept into reality

What started out as a first-year university project for students at Backstage Academy (Production Park) in Wakefield, has transformed into a commercial spin-out, Interactive Immersive Classroom Ltd. as a partnership with Enquire Learning Trust and Production Park.

Using £11,000 in match-funded grants from AD:VENTURE, the European Regional Development funded programme of practical and financial support for young businesses in the Leeds City Region, the start-up purchased projectors that would allow for the system to be perfectly optimised and integrated in initial feasibility testing.

Turning the concept of immersive spaces within learning environments into a reality, in its initial precommercial phase, the business created and installed three immersive classrooms in schools in Grimsby, Stockton-on-Tees and Manchester.

Using integrated advanced technologies from the Live Events industry, Interactive Immersive Classroom has installed projectors within each school to deliver a 360-degree socially immersive experience.

An evolution of virtual reality technology, these immersive classrooms improve the social engagement and comprehension among pupils and provide a suite of new tools and content sources to allow flexibility in teaching practice.

Working with pedagogical curriculum consultants and with the integration of streaming and casting tools means that a world of internet media and content can now be mapped into the room for a dynamic and engaging learning environment.

Project Manager for Interactive Immersive Classroom, Andy Delmaine, comments: “Children are growing up surrounded by technology, they know no different. Creating an environment where they are able to immerse themselves into a world that is built around them makes the learning experience all the more engaging.

L-R James Whitaker, Andy Delmaine and Charlie Cooper. Image by Northern Exposure

“We would like to thank AD:VENTURE for the support and encouragement they have given us. Using the funds to complete the viability tests meant that we could show the product as an installation and all the benefits it can deliver in support of our initial installations in partnership with ELT. The company is now exploring other sectors that could benefit from the technology including museums, retail, emergency services and other training providers.

Andy comments: “We are looking to extend our relationship with other schools that want to try new things and embrace innovative ways of teaching. We are now using these installations as case reference as we commercialise the system and to sell it to other institutions that could benefit from immersive content on their walls.”

Tom Stannard, Wakefield Council’s Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth, comments: “We are delighted that start-up businesses in Wakefield are developing market-leading digital technologies. This is a real success story and I’m encouraged to hear that the business is now working with the wider city region to transfer their knowledge and technology.

“Taking a concept that was developed from a university project and turning that into a viable business model that has secured commissions is real testament to the collaboration and commitment of all involved; Interactive Immersive Classroom, Backstage Academy, Production Park, Enquire Learning Trust and AD:VENTURE.”

For further details about the visual technologies and installations that can be delivered by Interactive Immersive Classroom please visit http://immersiveclassroom.one/ or for details about AD:VENTURE and the practical and funding support on offer please visit www.ad-venture.org.uk

Get me started network launches in Wakefield

These FREE networking and support sessions will connect new and young businesses to people with the similar experiences and challenges, providing a valuable insight to help with their growth plans.

Innovative and resourceful business leaders from industries as diverse as web development, pet food & nutrition, health & well-being and snack food manufacturing attended the first event and  shared a wealth knowledge in this very first session, proving that it doesn’t have to be lonely starting a business!

Daniel Downs said it was “A valuable session for sure and will grow from strength to strength” as the weeks go on, relationships build and discussions become richer.

Some of the challenges business discussed included:

  • The science behind pricing
  • The misconceptions of FREE not being valuable
  • Finding the right talented team to suit your business
  • As the Business owner how do you make efficient use of your own time
  • Legal and Contractual obligations
  • How to -Sales techniques

Does this sound like something you need to be part of? It’s not too late to benefit from this start up network & peer to peer discussion as sessions will run every third Thursday of the month. Each session will be structured depending on topics covered previously and demand from the group.

The next session will take place on Thursday 21st February, from 8:30-10am will feature Alexis Bradbury focusing on Sales – Everything from cold calling and business development to e-commerce, interactive tools, digital content development and SEO/PPC.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR SPOT AT THE NEXT EVENT!

Get Me Started is part of the AD:VENTURE business Support Programme and receives funding from the 2014 – 2020 European Regional Development Fund.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR MUSIC MASTERCLASS

Music Futures

A series of fully-funded music masterclasses are coming to Wakefield this February.

As a kick-starter to the Music Futures series of music industry masterclasses, people can now sign up to the introductory one taking place on Wednesday, 21st February.

This full day free masterclass will uncover how labels, publishing, and the live industry operates today in a digital world and give expert insights into how you can use data and technology to your advantage when setting up your own music business.

Speakers at the debut event include; Patrick Cloherty (Sentric Music), Steve Davis (SSD Concerts), Aaron Snowdon (Future Sound), Andy Smith (Kendal Calling), Kameil Sattar (Proper Music Distribution), Achal Dillon (Killing Moon), and Rob Nancollas (Motive Unknown).

Designed by talent development agency, Generator, and led by Wakefield Council as part of the ERDF funded AD:VENTURE programme, this industry relevant series will cover topics including VR/AR/XR, streaming, digitally-led marketing strategies and complex industry rights while also offering access to incredible coaching opportunities from music industry specialists including Tileyard and Production Park.

Jim Mawdsley, CEO at Newcastle-based Generator, said: “We are really excited to be producing this masterclass series in Wakefield and the wider Leeds City Region. Some of the plans underway for Wakefield and the growing music industry presence there are really forward thinking so this is a perfect opportunity for businesses in the area to increase the awareness and understanding of how the music industry operates both now and in the not too distant future.

“By bringing the elements of recent and future opportunities and developments in the technologies affecting the music industry alongside fundamentals and music related business needs to know, this series will really help push business forward in the region.”

Limited places are available for eligible SME businesses or individuals across the Leeds City Region, register your interest now by visiting www.ad-venture.org.uk/MusicFutures or call 0845 524 0210 to find out more.

The event will be held on Wednesday 21st February 9.30 – 5.00pm at Wakefield One, Burton Street, WF1 2EB

 

AD:VENTURE supports launch of innovative new tech business

Business support

Remind2Find launches online gift platform that keeps on giving!

The founders of Remind2Find have taken their pioneering shopping platform to the next level after teaming up with Futurelabs and the AD:VENTURE business support programme to take part in an innovative workshop programme designed to take new business ideas into reality.

Supporting early stage or first time tech entrepreneurs or teams with an idea or a product not yet ready for an accelerator or to raise funding, the funded programme was delivered free to businesses by Emma Cheshire, Co-Founder of Futurelabs, bringing a number of specialists to Unity Works in Wakefield to deliver specific content over a 4 week period in March and April 2017.

Launched in August, Remind2Find is a smart shopping platform that takes the guesswork out of buying for other people. After creating and sharing profiles with family and friends, users receive convenient reminders before an occasion along with inspiration on what to buy.  Profiles can be fully personalised to include favourite brands and retailers, links to wish lists or, for those who don’t want anything, alternatives such as going for a drink or charitable donations.

Steven Binnion, co-founder, says “91% of people shop in a rush at the last minute and only 23% have received a great gift in the last year, so there is significant room for improvement. As fast paced as the world is now, consumers really value services that actually save them time and stress!

After a period of slow progress setting up the business, I looked for a workspace that offered informal mentoring. Futurelabs became an obvious choice, having a genuine interest in real grassroots start-ups and an understanding of what they need.

Whilst working from the space at Futurelabs helped us to recover some momentum, the opportunity to receive structured mentoring and support through the FutureStart workshop programme tipped the balance. We quickly validated and spotted some gaps in work we had done. Most importantly, we left with a clear plan about what to do next and knowledge of people who could help us. Without this I fear we could still be refining our service rather than trialling it and getting customer feedback”

Steven, and his co-founder, Marc Mills are now working hard on the launch of the live platform and will continue working with the AD:VENTURE programme and the Futurelabs team as the business launches and begins its exciting growth journey with ambitions to take the platform to a worldwide audience.

Funded by the European Regional Development fund, AD:VENTURE enables businesses to grow through support such as expert mentoring, grants, professional workshops, finance brokerage, incubator office space and peer to peer learning.

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “We are delighted to see businesses already benefitting from the opportunities and connections a regional programme like AD:VENTURE can offer. The programme was developed to help businesses just like Remind2Find to get off to the best and most informed start, and this is a fantastic example of how this type of programme works to boost the growth of SMEs in our region”

Wakefield business commits to quality through skills funding

Start-up Funding 1

Businesses in Wakefield and across the Leeds City Region are benefitting from over £2 million worth of training grants thanks to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The funding has supported the training of over 600 businesses, enabling them to invest in the development of their workforce.