Business heavyweights to discuss club’s blueprint for Super League success

A Super League side with ambitions to be the best-run in the game is to present two key members of its new board, and the region’s most successful entrepreneurs, to a corporate crowd at a business brunch.

David Kilburn (left) and Paul Sewell at Sewell Group Craven Park.

David Kilburn, co-founder of building supplies giant MKM, and Paul Sewell, chair of the multi discipline Sewell Group, will tell how they are applying their experience to build a bright future for Hull KR when they take the stage at the event on Thursday 4 May.

The pair, who have known each other for more than 40 years through their work in the construction sector, are also expected to reflect on milestones in their own careers, insight to their mindset and approach to business, plus the importance of business and sporting investment to the social and economic development of Hull and East Yorkshire.

Paul Lakin, Chief Executive of Hull KR, said: “David and Paul got together recently for some media interviews. They’d never done that jointly before and it became clear straight away that there was a chemistry between them and a candour which would be of great interest to a business audience.

“They’re happy to talk with other business people about the factors which attracted them to rugby league and the potential they see at Hull KR and in the sport generally.

“It’s a one-off event and a chance to engage directly with two people who have built businesses in our East Hull heartland and achieved great success. We’re expecting strong interest in the event from our existing sponsors and business contacts who want to hear from two of the most successful entrepreneurs in the region.”

David founded MKM in 1995 and the business boomed thanks to a strategy of rolling out a network of branches managed by people who were local to that community, and who held a stake in the business. The company now employs 2,600 people working across more than 100 sites nationwide.

Sewell Group dates back as a construction business to 1876 and over the years has branched into filling stations and convenience stores, facilities management, consultancy, investments, data mapping and intelligence.

It employs more than 500 people and looks after them better than most firms in the country, winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity and making countless appearances in the UK’s 100 Best Companies to Work For Awards.

Paul Sewell became chair of the club in November 2022 and set about assembling a board which would support Paul Lakin and the owner, Neil Hudgell.

He said: “We are a board that has come here to help and to attract investment and make this the best-run Super League club in the country, not the richest. That’s why we’ve got the best business people I know. I look forward to sharing some stories and insight at the event. 

The business brunch will take place at Sewell Group Craven Park on Thursday 4 May with brunch from 9.30am, a live interview with Q&A at 10.15am and networking at 11.15am.

To book, head to