HullBID seized the opportunities presented by a major festival of technology to connect with a communications and IT services pioneer in supporting city centre businesses.
Kathryn Shillito, Executive Director of HullBID, held informal discussions with Tim Shaw after the Chief Executive of KCOM delivered a keynote speech at Tech Expo, held at the MKM Stadium as part of Tech Week Humber.
Kathryn welcomed Tim to the HullBID breakout area at the event and told how her members are eager to share in the benefits of KCOM’s latest £100m investment to give Hull, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire the fastest, future-proofed and most accessible full fibre broadband network in the UK.
Kathryn said: “Tim’s speech reinforced the fact that if you are a business working in Hull and the surrounding area you need instantaneous access to the internet and we have become used to having that at our fingertips.
“He also spoke about how KCOM is providing that access with historic investment which made Hull the UK’s first digital city followed by an expansion programme to develop a full fibre footprint covering about 300,000 homes and businesses.
“During the summer Tim announced a further £100m investment programme and it’s not lost on us that such investment can have a huge impact on improving our city centre because better connectivity gives people more options around flexible working and urban living.
“We took the opportunity to brief Tim on what HullBID can do to bring together city centre businesses and decision makers and make them aware of the opportunities arising from KCOM’s investment.”
Tim added: “KCOM committed to supporting Tech Week Humber as Leading Connectivity Partner as part of our programme of activities to mark the tenth anniversary of the launch of our Lightstream full fibre broadband and to reinforce the message about our new investment.
“It’s a statement of confidence as we make our region one of the best connected in the UK and beyond and it underlines our commitment to supporting businesses and local communities.
“Technology presented all sorts of opportunities and even lifelines during the pandemic but it also highlighted the need to build digital inclusion and make sure nobody is left behind. That applies to businesses and we’re keen to work with HullBID to make business easier in the city centre and to help its membership of more than 800 excel and reach their full potential.”
Kathryn also spoke to representatives of other HullBID member businesses including the Tech Expo organisers about their investment in The Edge Hub technology education and training centre in Hull city centre.
She said: “We sponsored the breakout area to provide an opportunity for delegates to get together informally with keynote speakers, ask a few questions and discuss some of the themes and ideas.
“We also wanted to show our support for the Edge Hub project which will ultimately support businesses by helping people to develop their digital skills and will also attract more people into the city centre to support the economy.”