“Our aim was not only to encourage local businesses to work together but attract attention to our multitude of highly successful businesses from further afield.” The message struck a chord with Bingley’s Mortgage Advice Bureau and Janus Interiors, who quickly signed up as the event’s headline sponsors.
Rick Tonks, of Leonard Street-based Janus – who have built a reputation for supporting local events and good causes – said: “Business has been up and down since the Brexit vote and events like this are very useful in putting local businesses in touch with each other.
Some of that is undoubtedly down to the establishment of Bingley Town Council which, now it’s finally pulling through the overly-rigorous and tiresomely-bureaucratic setting-up process, is starting to talk about a coherent vision for the town’s future.
For the first time since the failed grand plans to build a new digital business hothouse on the site of the former livestock market, there is talk of economic regeneration. Bingley has unfairly suffered from its location as somewhere a little further out of Bradford than Shipley but not quite in Keighley which, even today, doesn’t really want to be part of the Metropolitan District anyway.
The event took place at Bingley Arts Centre and, if the first one is anything to go by, is destined to become a regular fixture on the town’s calendar.It was the brainchild of two local businesswomen, Rachel Barratt, of digital marketing agency Aire Media, and Emma Steele, of content-writing service ES Editorial, who met through the Bingley Hour community networking event.It was clearly a meeting of minds: “We just felt there was nothing in Bingley to promote a positive message about businesses in the town,” says Rachel.“As a first event for Bingley, it has gone extremely well,” she said.“There have been lots of local businesses along today and a great mix of types as well, which is great for networking.” Her words were echoed by Wendy Spencer, CEO of not-for-profit Airedale Enterprise Services: “It’s been a really good event and very worthwhile attending.