Business Market thrives, but veteran organisers step down

Graham Wild, Liz Wild and Carol Beeley of Harrogate chartered accountants Wild & Co, which won Best Stand (Small Business) Award. (1804301AM4)
Graham Wild, Liz Wild and Carol Beeley of Harrogate chartered accountants Wild & Co, which won Best Stand (Small Business) Award. (1804301AM4)

Almost 1,000 business-owners and managers packed into the Pavilions of Harrogate for the Yorkshire Business Market, which featured nearly 100 Yorkshire firms and organisations showcasing their goods and services.

For six years the YBM has been one of the region’s top networking events and this year’s was no exception.

The VIPs: YBM organiser Brian Dunsby OBE; the Mayor of Harrogate Coun  Anne Jones; David Kerfoot, Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire; and Mark Lancaster, chairman of the Yorkshire Business Market.  (1804301AM12)

The VIPs: YBM organiser Brian Dunsby OBE; the Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones; David Kerfoot, Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire; and Mark Lancaster, chairman of the Yorkshire Business Market. (1804301AM12)

Exhibitors came from all over the district, and from further afield, such as Tadcaster-based marketing company Cúpla and AD:VENTURE, an EU-backed start-up support organisation for the Leeds City Region, as well as large corporations such as office space plc Regus and performance car brand Tesla.

The event was officially opened by David Kerfoot MBE, who is Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and the new chairman of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership. The Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Anne Jones, was also present.

The healthy turnout was a fitting tribute to the driving forces behind the event, who have announced their retirement.

Since 2005, Brian Dunsby OBE and his wife, Beryl, have created and organised the Yorkshire Business Market, and, for the last six years, the Harrogate Christmas Market, which last year attracted 75,000 visitors.

Charmain Pennant, Jessica Everett and Lois Woodhouse of The Potting Shed bars, which won Best Stand (Medium-Sized Business) Award. (1804301AM13)

Charmain Pennant, Jessica Everett and Lois Woodhouse of The Potting Shed bars, which won Best Stand (Medium-Sized Business) Award. (1804301AM13)

Mr Dunsby, the former chief executive of Harrogate District Chamber of Trade, said: “Both Beryl and I have recognised that the time has finally come for us to retire.

“This decision hasn’t been taken lightly, in fact far from it. However, we aren’t getting any younger, and whilst we have relished the challenges and rewards both markets have given us, we now want to enjoy what time we have left with our children and grandchildren, who all live abroad.”

Mr Dunsby – who was awarded an OBE in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to business and the community – added: “Beryl and I have been incredibly lucky to have been supported in both events by wonderful teams of volunteers whose skill and enthusiasm have ensured the successful delivery of each event.

“Our Perlex office staff have always provided faithful and flexible working to accommodate the variable nature of these projects. Maggie Hall has actually worked with us as PA and event administrator for over 30 years, whilst Chris Muir has been our database administrator for over 12 years.

Lisa Gaskin and Ian Webster of Skipton-based Whitaker's Chocolates. (1804301AM2)

Lisa Gaskin and Ian Webster of Skipton-based Whitaker's Chocolates. (1804301AM2)

“With the Yorkshire Business Market and Harrogate Christmas Market, we have two ready-made events that each need someone to take over the reins.

“They are both well established and our hope is that they will continue to be annual fixtures in the Harrogate business and tourism calendars for many years to come.”