Music legend Midge Ure revealed as speaker on opening day


Organisers of the 2017 Humber Business Week have revealed plans to reshape this year’s ‘festival of business’ by introducing new events aimed at encouraging smaller companies to take part and staging a major networking event at Bridlington Spa to close the week.

International music star Midge Ure has also been confirmed as keynote speaker on the opening day for the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Humber Luncheon, which will be held at the KCOM Stadium on Monday June 5.

Popular events have also already committed again for 2017, including the Bondholders Breakfast, which will again kick-off the week.

Other events returning include the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce Expo (now in its 21st year), The ‘Inspiring Women’ Dinner organised by Hull BID, and the Made in Hull Awards, organised by Streets Accountants.

Hull 2017 has also confirmed plans to be involved and stage its own event relating to the city’s status as UK City of Culture, whilst the Hull Lifestyle Awards, part of the same brand which has been hugely successful in London for the past seven years, will be staged in the city for the first time on Thursday, June 8 as part of the week.

In a bid to help smaller businesses for the first time, the Business Week Steering Group is also planning two ‘hub events’, which will be staged on either banks of the Humber, and aimed at removing the barriers for small businesses to stage sessions as part of the week.

Planned and organised by the Humber LEP, this will give businesses the opportunity to hold sessions, workshops and benefit from speakers being at their venue, giving them more to offer potential delegates, coming together in one event rather than competing for numbers in attendance.

The week, which is again being supported by The University of Hull, which will host The Business Week Celebration Dinner, will be concluded at the Bridlington Spa on Friday, June 9, with a day-long business and networking event, including keynote speakers, entitled ‘Let’s Do Business’.

Kath Lavery, chair of Humber Business Week, says she is delighted with how the week was shaping up already, with new events already scheduled into the plan and many more indicating their intention to be involved in a planning meeting last week.

“Every year when Business Week comes to a close we always wonder how we are going to repeat it the next year, and for me, the buzz and positivity on the back of 2016 was the best I have ever known,” she said.

“I’m delighted that, with four months still to go, we have a really strong programme shaping up already, and what we can promise at this early stage is that Humber Business Week in 2017 will be fresh, with new ideas, new formats, and some major new events.

“The introduction of the Hub events is something we’ve introduced on the back of feedback from delegates last year. Many found the calendar so busy last year that they couldn’t get to all events they wanted to, so by staging events together under one venue, we’ll hopefully tackle that issue and also help smaller businesses have the confidence to take part.

“It should also ensure those smaller events are not competing against one another, but helping each other get the best from the week, so we are really grateful for Humber LEP stepping forward with that and taking the lead.

“We are also being well supported by the City of Culture team who have been involved in our Steering Group this year, whilst the Hull Lifestyle Awards, and ‘Let’s Do Business’ in Bridlington will also be fantastic new additions to the week.”

Tickets are expected to sell quickly and early booking is advised for the IoD Humber Luncheon, at which co-founder of band Aid and Live Aid Midge Ure will be special guest speaker.

Ure enjoyed success in the 1970s and 1980s, most notably as lead singer of Ultravox, who released the hit single Vienna. In 1984, he wrote and produced ‘Do They Know Its Christmas?’ with Bob Geldof in response to the Ethiopian famine. He was made an OBE for services to music and charity in 2005.

Pat Coyle, chairman of the IoD in East Yorkshire, said: “This is a very special year for Hull as we celebrate City of Culture 2017 so we wanted to pull out all the stops to secure a well-known, world class speaker.

“Our annual lunch has become a popular fixture in the regional business calendar. It is the perfect way to kick-start a week of excellent Humber Business Week events. Tickets are selling fast so I would urge people to book early.”

If your business would like to be involved in Humber Business Week 2017, call Mandy Abbey at the University of Hull on (01482) 466800 or email

Gary Pepper