Businesses share in Hull's success stories
Businesses throughout Hull are being urged to act as ambassadors for the city to promote its attractions further afield and to encourage more investors to bring jobs to the area.
Kathryn Shillito, HullBID City Centre Manager, revealed that her organisation is in demand among operators of business improvement districts in other cities who want to learn from the transformation in Hull.
Kathryn added that businesses are also spreading the word to their contacts. Andy Steele, owner of 360 Chartered Accountants, said: “One of my clients is thinking of opening a new office somewhere in Yorkshire and I persuaded them to come and look at Hull.
“I gave them a guided tour which ended at Humber Street and they were blown away. There’s no guarantee that they will come here but they were very impressed, and Hull wasn’t even on their list before that.”
Andy was in the audience at the latest HullBID networking event which brought together owners of a variety of city centre businesses for an update on investment by Wykeland Beal in the Fruit Market area and the improvements being made by British Waterways Marinas Ltd. The event took place at the Holiday Inn Hull Marina, which was one of the first leisure developments in the area and which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
David Parkinson, Manager of Hull Marina, said City of Culture status encouraged his company to increase their investment in facilities around the marina, the boatyard and at Warehouse 13 in readiness for a starring role at the launch event in January, the arrival of the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu for Saturday’s Minster-making event and the Hull Folk and Maritime Festival, which will take place in July.
David Donkin, Property Director of Wykeland Group, and his colleague, Development Surveyor Tom Watson, outlined the progress made so far in Humber Street and the wider Fruit Market area and told how the new businesses will be supported by the creation of 101 residential units next year.
Business leaders who attended the event responded positively to the update. Kirk Akdemir, Chief Executive of AA Global Language Services Ltd, also owns Tasty, a café at the side of the marina.
He said: “Both businesses are very different but they are each seeing the benefit of the increased footfall in the area. Tasty is getting more customers through the doors and is also getting more catering orders from businesses moving into the area. AA Global is raising its profile by being in such a popular location.”
Yvette Stafford, Managing Director of Browns Books for Students in George Street, Hull, said: “It’s fantastic to come to an event like this and see the enthusiasm for Hull. The improvements are long overdue and very welcome, and it is great to see everybody getting behind the city.”
Kathryn added: “The HullBID networking events are of immense value in terms of bringing city centre businesses together so they can share their own success stories and so they can see for themselves what sort of things are going on to improve their working environment.
“HullBID has been called upon to advise the operators of new business improvements districts in cities including York, Leeds and Wakefield and it is great to know that business owners are sharing Hull’s success stories among their contacts.”
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A planning application has been lodged for the repair and redevelopment of 61-63 Humber Street which houses Fruit, including the creation of a new, purpose-built and sound-proofed multi-arts performance venue, accommodated partly within and also extending to the rear of the building.