UK Business Ambassador Larry Hirst CBE speaks to Dewsbury entrepreneurs

ENTREPRENEURS and professionals who work and live in Dewsbury were urged to play their part in the town’s future during a conference.

Make Dewsbury Your Business aimed to bring together influential figures from the business community to talk about ongoing regeneration work and their role in turning around the town’s fortunes.

The guest speaker at Tuesday evening’s event was Larry Hirst CBE, a UK Business Ambassador born in Chickenley.

Addressing 124 guests at Dewsbury Town Hall, Mr Hirst said: “You’re here because you’re entrepreneurs, because you had an idea about how to make something better than everyone else.

“If you bring your differences with you and we start to talk about the positives of being different, I genuinely believe we’ve got an opportunity with the team that are presenting tonight to make something of this town again.”

The meeting, organised by Dewsbury Regeneration Board and sponsored by Kirklees College, heard from council officers, councillors and business people working with that aim.

Coun Salim Patel (Con, Dews East) said: “We are moving forward – not as quickly as some people may like – and making progress.

“I don’t just mean the council, but the good people from Dewsbury, the voluntary sector, market traders and more.”

Town Team member Alec Michael, of Michael Steel and Company surveyors, said Dewsbury could not be saved by public money alone.

He said: “Investing in Dewsbury is about investing in business opportunities, properties and people.”

He said local entrepreneurs should be investing their time and expertise, not just their money.

Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dews East) agreed.

He said: “A lot of the ex-mayors were Victorian businessmen. They felt a duty to put back into the place they live in.

“Commit yourselves to doing something to improve this town’s prospects. It is vital.”