When I first set up my animation studio, Qurios Entertainment, back in 2002, I had a lot of help and support from the enterprise team from Hartlepool Council and from Business Link (one of the region’s business support agencies). They were both very proactive and supportive, especially Mick Emerson and Andrea Miles (then working for Business Link, later for the council), so when they asked a handful of local businesses to join forces to promote the town I gladly said yes.
It was an eclectic mix of a recruitment company, a glass manufacturer, a clothing company, a biological specialist, a wallpaper design company, a photographer and me. But we had one thing in common: we’d all just started out in business. The idea was that we would help to encourage others to start up new businesses in the town. Mick came up with the name Enterprising Hartlepool and we began to promote the group in the local press.
Over time, new members joined us, and we would often attend events to promote the campaign. Business Link even got me to feature in adverts for them.
These pictures below are from one of the roadshow style events we did in the town centre. That’s me as a giant blue silhouette!
The group carried on for a number of years, and we even went to campaign in the Houses of Parliament around 2008. I spent three days in the capital, sitting at a desk on a very grand staircase landing with Mick Emerson, trying to persuade passing MPs that Hartlepool was a good place to do business. We ended our time there with a dinner reception with invited guests including the local MP, the Mayor of Hartlepool and the leader of the council plus a bunch of other noteworthy types, whose names I’ve totally forgotten. We also got a tour of Parliament, including a look inside the chamber. It was a fun week, but I can’t find a single photo from my time there. (We were told not to take pictures inside the Houses of Parliament.)