Vibrant SME ecosystem is Rochdale’s secret weapon
Celebrating Rochdale’s ‘hidden gems’ was the subject of our latest business roundtable.
The borough is blessed with several major employers like JD Sports (pictured), Zen Internet and Hanson Springs but there’s also a vibrant ecosystem of start-ups and SMEs that contribute hugely to the placemaking agenda.
A diverse panel of Rochdale businesses gathered at Hopwood Hall College’s Middleton Campus to discuss ideas on how the borough continues to raise its profile.
Nazir Mackmood, sales director, Kiren Foods, said: “The really talented people brought up in Rochdale are normally looking for jobs in big cities and we have a lot of really good businesses that mean they could be employed locally.”
Clare Coria, owner, Coria Commercial Finance, said: “My family has been in Rochdale for generations and generations. The history of Rochdale is all about industry and co-operation. The present Rochdale is about industry and co-operation so we just need to all work together and be proud of it.”
Steve Kerr, chief executive, Rochdale Hornets, said: “For me Rochdale businesses should continue to improve its inward trading within existing businesses across the town, sharing resources and sharing the positive news stories that we keep secret for far too long. We need to shout about them a lot more.”
Gregory Couzens, managing director, Gregory Couzens, said: “Rochdale is in a really privileged position of moving forward. I think we need to go out and tell the world about the great things happening in the borough.”
George Brigham, general manager, Ibex Marina, said: “I find it fascinating just what Rochdale has to offer. It’s phenomenal. Rochdale needs to keep marketing itself in order to grow.”
Paul Beaumont, general manager, Central Networks and Technologies, said: “I’m a new boy to Rochdale, almost by accident, but I’m amazed by the great businesses in Rochdale and the attitude of the people that run them. What we need is promotion and the ability to understand what’s in Rochdale so we can work together.”
Angela Cullen, owner, Stitches R Us, said: “It’s really important to be aware of everybody else and not just Rochdale itself because Rochdale is part of a much bigger borough.”
Bev Wrigley, director, Engaging Safety, said: “It’s about the Rochdale business community coming together because there are so many small businesses doing some big things that we don’t know about.”
Ian Cotterill, director, FinTech Business Solutions, said: “Rochdale needs to raise its profile to help change people’s perceptions.”
Stuart Collinson, business development manager, Premier Automotive Kia said: “Rochdale needs to shout a bit more about the positives it’s got going on. Businesses in particular need to speak to each other a bit more and work together and push Brand Rochdale forward.”
Tracey Wood, business development manager, Hopwood College, said: “We should be working together to raise our brand and do business together and showcase to Greater Manchester the businesses that we’ve got here. We’re Rochdale’s best-kept secret.”
The Natural History Museum's famous dinosaur, Dippy the Diplodocus, has been enthralling and exciting thousands of visitors at Number One Riverside, in Rochdale since February.
In the UK, manufacturing makes up 11% of GVA, 44% of total UK exports, 70% of business R&D, and directly employs 2.6 million people.
Among the crowd at Saturday's Rochdale v Newcastle United match was Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who took the opportunity to highlight the good work taking place in Rochdale.