'Hull has changed beyond recognition' - The Business Day recap

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 13 Jun 2018

A TRIO of celebrities provided a sparkling finale to the Humber Business Week as they entertained a crowd of leading business figures in Bridlington. 

Sir Bob Geldof was joined by Yorkshire cricketing legend Geoffrey Boycott OBE and leading social entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn MBE on stage at The Spa on Friday, June 8. 

The Business Day brought together hundreds of entrepreneurs and leaders from across the Humber region, with seminars and workshops also held throughout the day.

Speaking to the Mail, Mr Boycott OBE said: “Hull has changed beyond all recognition in recent years. When I first went to Hull I was playing for Barnsley, and it was a very different place back then.

“It is staggering how much has changed. It is a wonderful place. 

“It used to have the reputation of being out on a limb, but now it is fantastic.

“I also remember visiting Bridlington as a kid and playing cricket on the beach. People didn’t used to go abroad on holiday back then, so we used to go to Bridlington and Scarborough.”

The former Yorkshire and England cricketer shared tales from his years both on the field and off it, as well as his insight on the future of the sport.

He was later followed by Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder of Social Bite, which through its sandwich shops supports the homeless in Scotland.

Mr Littlejohn MBE also founded The Scottish Business Awards, and shot to fame when celebrities including George Clooney and Leonardo Di Caprio visited one of his outlets.

Speaking about the issue of homelessness – a subject which has been the centre of debate in Hull in recent times – he said: “A common misconception is that homelessness is caused by addiction.

“The truth is, a lot of these people have had terrible upbringings. They may have been taken into care as a child, been passed around the system, and then thrown out of care when they reach  

“From there they slip into addiction, and then it is very difficult to leave the homeless world.

“We need to be disengaging in hostels and B&Bs, and police taking people into cells, and start looking at the cause of the problems and helping the homeless into work.”

The Business Day saw more than 600 people converge on Bridlington for a day of networking, activities, seminars and speeches.

For the first time ever, the leaders of East Riding and Hull City Councils, Councillor Stephen Parnaby and Councillor Stephen Brady, took part in a debate which was chaired by former Hull MP Alan Johnson.

Other speakers on the day included Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity and leadership guru Rene Carayol MBE.

Humber Business Week has now drawn to a close for another year.

Speaking about its impact, Kath Lavery, chair of the committee, said: “Whatever the size of business you are, large or small, there is something for you.

“We like it to have an almost festival feel about it. We have had more than 50 events, and the support we have from businesses getting involved is brilliant. A lot of businesses pay to host their own events, and we are hugely appreciative of that.”

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