IMAGES: Buoyant mood at Yorkshire Business Market in Harrogate

Around 1,500 people attended the Yorkshire Business Market.

Business owners and managers from across the county took part in the tenth annual event, which took place at Pavilions of Harrogate.

Yorkshire Business Market .Picture by Simon Hulme

Yorkshire Business Market .Picture by Simon Hulme

The event is organised by Harrogate Chamber of Business and Trade.

Chamber Chief Executive Brian Dunsby said: “There was more space this year for networking.

“We had four different areas, with three different groups all showing different ways of structured networking sessions.

“15 seminars ran - all free - and the aisles were full.

“Business isn’t only done online. A lot is done face to face and this is a good way of doing it.”

MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough Andrew Jones was at the event. He said: “There is more confidence this year.

“There was a very good range of organisations here - the breadth was fantastic.

“I spoke with a lot of businesses and they all reported more confidence and an upturn in business.

“The Harrogate district is doing very well. It’s one of the very best in the country at job creation, with unemployment at just 1.3 per cent, and it’s fallen by 40 per cent over the last year.

It’s also in the top 1 per cent of areas in the country for youth employment.”

He continued: “In this constituency, 630 workplaces are now employing an apprentice - that’s up from 480 two years ago.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic thing, giving employment and skills, so that young people can earn as they learn. It’s all part of addressing the skills gap.”

Lisette Meadows, account senior at CCF Accountancy, said: “It’s been very good. We’ve been offering free events, which is good for picking up new customers, and we’ve had lots of people stopping.

“It was a very good event for us last year too, because we had lots of enquiries and lots of new business from it.”

Suzanne Tinkler, marketing manager for Finance Yorkshire, said: “We’ve had lots of enquiries, lots of chats.

“We get a lot of business through the banks and accountants, so this is a very good place to be, because there are lots here.

“Compared with last year, we’re on track, or possibly slightly busier - although whether that’s to do with our location this year, I don’t know.

“We’ve had lots of businesses with projects coming up needing financing, so enquiry levels have been very good, as has the amount of actual applications. It’s been very positive overall.”

David Elsey, group sales manager, The Upton Group, which hires out “bean-to-cup” table-top coffee machines from its Selby base, said: “There’s been decent, constant footfall.

“We’ve had at least 15 to 20 leads from today, so I’m sure we’ll be getting some of these units out on the back of this.”

Kevin Wilson, account manager at Russell Telecom, which has bases in Leeds and Newcastle, said: “The economy’s picking up, and for more and more companies, telecoms equipment is a big requirement.

“It’s been a good day - in fact, it’s been successful for us for the last couple of years.”