Cautious optimism was the theme of the Annual General Meeting of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
Held at The Great Victoria Hotel in the heart of Bradford city centre, the event was attended by a plethora of different businesses and organisations from throughout the region to reflect upon the challenges and successes of the past year.
Chaired by Amanda Beresford of Schofield Sweeney, the thirty-minute meeting delved into how the Chamber has performed over the past twelve months – both in a financial sense and the physical work performed by Chamber members.
The annual report, produced by James Mason – chief executive of the WNY Chamber –, discusses the many achievements of the Chamber and the progress which has been made over the past year.
This report was adopted by the Chamber members at the AGM unanimously and Amanda further noted that, despite recent challenges arising from political upheaval, interest rates and inflation, “optimism levels remain higher in Yorkshire than the national average and businesses are showing little sign of looking to reduce head counts.”
Elsewhere within the meeting, sixteen individuals, nominated by local representative groups were appointed as non-executive directors of the West & North Yorkshire Chamber. These individuals included Amanda and James, in addition to Laurence Beardmore, Chris Black, Mike Briffett, Aquila Choudhry, Mark Cowgill, Sarah Czarnecki, Rebecca Fitzgerald, Kerry Hope, Scott Jenkins, Nasreen Karim, Dan Murray, Craig Thomson, Victoria Wainwright and Suzanne Watson. Following this appointment, Chamber members were asked to accept members of each of the three area representative groups (the Bradford Chamber Leadership Group, the York & North Yorkshire Chamber Leadership Group, and the Leeds Chamber Leadership Group).
Immediately following the Annual General Meeting came the Annual Lunch, held in the dining room of the Great Victoria Hotel. During this time, members got an opportunity to listen to three guest speakers: Zulfi Karim DL, West Yorkshire High Sheriff, David Kerfoot CBE DL and Alison Lowe from West Yorkshire Combined Authority and then take part in an informative Q and A session. The sold-out lunch provided a fantastic atmosphere, in which opportunities for networking and creating new business connections were abundant.
The AGM and subsequent lunch provided an opportunity for, not only to network, but to hear about the developments and improvements made by the Chamber over the past year as well as looking ahead to the coming year with a definite sense of optimism for businesses within the region.