Hull’s city centre businesses have been praised for their resilience and sustainability and urged to celebrate survival and success in the face of ongoing adversity.
Praise came at the latest HullBID Awards ceremony by the organisation’s Exec Director Kathryn Shillito, who assured them of the unwavering support of her organisation as they ride out the economic storm and work towards a brighter city centre which will share the benefits of transformational investment.
She said: “It is quite extraordinary to witness the sustainability of businesses, particularly in retail and hospitality, who doggedly continue trading. They may have a reduced workforce, they may have reduced opening hours, but they are still around.
“We have a dining and drinking scene to be proud of. We have thriving professional services and beauty services sectors. The growth in city centre residents brings knock-on spending and the gradual increase in footfall is encouraging.
“We see new unique independents springing up. The final phase in the Fruit Market’s development shouts success and we are witnessing progression as the BHS building is demolished, making way for Albion Square, whilst the Maritime Museum is undergoing transformation.”
The HullBID Awards brought together more than 300 people at the city’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel to honour the city centre business community and, in particular, the best in a series of categories showcasing attributes including customer service, innovation, eco-awareness and health and wellbeing. The hospitality sector was prominent among the winners, and others came from law, retail, the community and local government.
Kathryn added: “HullBID continues its vital role in keeping businesses connected and sharing information on behalf of Hull City Council, the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP, the Chamber of Commerce, travel providers and more on anything that has a positive or detrimental effect on our members.
“HullBID knits into the fabric of our great city centre and our awards guest lists shows we cannot do this alone. Our relationship with Hull City Council is one of partnership working, with our frequent calls for support dealt with quickly.
“Safety and security is our members’ biggest concern so the resurrection of the City Stakeholder Group, jointly chaired by a senior police officer, gives businesses an opportunity to share their real, everyday concerns.
“This year we’ll be working with our partners including Visit Hull to animate and promote the city centre further with more street entertainment. We know from research into our events that they benefit businesses by attracting thousands of participants and spectators of all ages.
“They also secure sponsorship from large and small businesses from the local area and further afield. Backers included some national brands which have experienced the benefits of stepping up as key partners and investing in our community. We are grateful to all of them for that support.”