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Leeds Beckett and Yorkshire Bank join forces to support new businesses


Leeds Beckett University and Yorkshire Bank have announced a new partnership to offer expert advice and support to early-stage and growing businesses in the region.

Yorkshire Bank headquarters in Leeds

The partnership will see Yorkshire Bank offering bespoke support to businesses based within Leeds Beckett’s University Business Centres. The Centres are based in Leeds, Halifax and Wakefield, and support hundreds of early stage and growth businesses, stimulating prosperity in the region and beyond.

Katie Rigarlsford, University Business Centre and Regional Business Development Manager at Leeds Beckett, said: “All businesses have key requirements in terms of legal, accountancy, access to finance and digital solutions. We are excited to work with key partners within these sectors to help support the success and growth of our University Business Centres and to help those businesses based within them to set up, survive and flourish. We are delighted to be able to do this with Yorkshire Bank as our trusted partner for the provision of banking advice and services to our business clients.”

Yorkshire Bank will join existing partners, law firm Lupton Fawcett, Exa Networks, and WGN Accountants, in providing regular free advice clinics to business clients at the Centres as well as workshops and advice on areas such as loans and investment, growth and business planning.

Yorkshire Bank was founded in Halifax in 1859 and has a long history of working with businesses and communities to support economic growth in the region. Last year CYBG, the owner of Yorkshire Bank, signed up to the Government’s Northern Powerhouse Partners Programme.

Simon Wright - Yorkshire Bank
Simon Wright

Simon Wright, Head of Customer Banking Centres, England, at Yorkshire Bank, said: “We are committed to working with SMEs at every stage of the business lifecycle and, last year, we launched our lending commitment to help fuel growth. We have pledged to lend £6bn to UK SMEs in the three years to 2019, with £900m being earmarked for businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber. We are well on our way to achieving this target, with £305m of funding being given to the region’s SMEs in 2017.

“Leeds Beckett University has developed an excellent proposition with its University Business Centres, offering vital support and guidance for businesses. Their approach to working with the region’s business community mirrors our own ethos so the partnership is a perfect fit. We are looking forward to sharing our banking knowledge and expertise to ensure the continued growth.”

Leeds Beckett operates a network of University Business Centres that have been operating for over 15 years. More than 240 businesses across the region are currently located in Leeds Beckett’s private offices and co-working spaces in Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax, which to date have supported over 800 businesses to accelerate their growth. Support from Leeds Beckett has been proven to almost double business sustainability, with a 95% business survival rate in the first year of trading.

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