Businesses back pulling power of city centre at HullBID flagship dinner

HullBID brought together member businesses from across the city centre for one of its flagship events which has become established as a highlight of the Humber Business Week calendar.

Mike Rice of Hugh Rice jewellers, Kathryn Shillito, Ben Davis-Rice of Reach Recruitment, Humber Business Week Chair Pat Coyle, James Pinchbeck of Streets Chartered Accountants

The Inspiring People dinner at The Deep attracted a full house of guests from a wide variety of sectors. They heard stories of challenges, resilience and success from Natasha Barley, CEO of the Sailors’ Children’s Society, Humberside Police Chief Constable Paul Anderson, and David Kilburn CBE, co-founder of MKM Building Supplies.

Guests relished the opportunity to learn from each other and to collaborate on driving the economic regeneration of the city and its surrounding area.

Pat Coyle, Chair of Humber Business Week and the Director of Marketing and Client Relations at Rollits LLP, said: “We amassed more than 40 events for biz week this year and the Inspiring People dinner was a highlight once again.

“It’s something I always look forward to because The Deep is a unique venue and the occasion brings together such a wide variety of businesses from the BID area.

“Rollits has been based in the city centre since the firm was founded over 180 years ago. We are totally rooted in Hull and we place a high value on the work of HullBID, They help to make sure we have a safe environment to work, visit, shop and eat and that’s very important to our clients, visitors and people.”

Rory Clarke, a Non-Executive Director at J.R. Rix & Sons Limited, which relocated the headquarters of its 150-year-old business to Humber Quays in 2021, said: “The city centre has changed so much in the last 10 to 20 years and we  have one of the best locations, looking out over the marina and the Humber.

“One of the reasons we moved was to make ourselves a more attractive employer and particularly to younger people. Our staff love being here. We have learned a lot more about HullBID since we moved here and it’s a fantastic scheme which supports us and our staff brilliantly.”

The guest speakers told of their lives and careers and a common theme was their recognition of the importance of people.

Natasha said: “One of the best things you can do is invest in yourself and do some professional development having a business mentor has been a game changer for me. Also, surround yourself with good people, people who you aspire to be like, who motivate you and who support you in the good and bad times.” 

David said: “We follow people because people make businesses, not buildings. If you haven’t got the right kind of people running your businesses, the people who understand what they have to do to make it successful, then you are not going to have a good business.”

Paul said: “It’s team work that makes you tick. Every one of those men and women who I lead wants to protect and keep people safe. They are remarkable people doing an extraordinary job and my job is to watch their back.”

The Chief Constable also underlined the importance of partnerships with Hull BID and other organisations.

He said: “The partnership between the police and business is paramount and that means localism – dedicated officers who know local businesses who in turn talk to each other. The intelligence from this is absolutely key.”

Liz Ridley, Hull College Executive Director, Adults and Employability, said HullBID is a key partner for an organisation which has 7,000 students aged 14 to 80 and 500 staff at its city centre campus.

She said: “We are a big part of the local economy and HullBID really helps us engage with the business community and make sure that what we do meets their needs.”

Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, added: “You achieve so much more by working in partnership and HullBID is a great example, bringing together the business community and the City Council to get things done in the city centre.”

Ben Davis-Rice, Managing Director of main event sponsor Reach Recruitment, said he moved the business into Hull City centre about six years ago and then relocated to the Fruit Market area in 2022.

He said: “We made the move because I want to do the best for my staff and I want them to be happy. It’s nice to be able to take clients and our  team to the venues in the Fruit Market area.

“We sponsored this event because we wanted to get involved with HullBID. They provide a lot of help in the city centre from keeping it clean and safe to organising events like this.”

Kathryn Shillito added: “The Inspiring People dinner is an integral part of Humber Business Week and we assembled an audience of accountants, solicitors, charities, hospitality operators, recruiters, property developers, cultural organisations, public bodies and more to tap into the networking opportunities available.

“The turnout is testament to how HullBID is viewed as a vital conduit, putting businesses in front of each other and with decision-makers and getting things done. When businesses tell us they have made good contacts and will be working with them in the future that’s our aim achieved.”