Business and innovation mentor, Charles Maltby, has been announced as the new programme director of Huddersfield Unlimited, an organisation made up of local business and community leaders championing the economy of Huddersfield.

Charles has been appointed to drive and deliver the group’s ambitious plans for 2022 across areas including infrastructure, transport, inward investment and business growth following a series of director appointments, including Sue Cooke, CEO of the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC) and Liz Towns-Andrews OBE, Professor of Innovation at the University of Huddersfield.

With health tech identified as one of the potential growth sectors in the town, Sue and Liz were keen to join the Huddersfield Unlimited Health and Med Tech Working Group, given their interest and experience in health innovation.

To support and boost the town’s local economy and attract inward investment, Charles aims to coordinate and support multiple initiatives across the Transport, Health Tech and Property Working Groups to re-establish Huddersfield in its rightful place as one of the great towns of the North.

Chairman Sir John Harman said: “Charles’ enthusiasm for our aims has impressed the board, and we are looking forward to working with him.

“Our current projects include transport improvements, opportunities for investing in sites in and around the centre of town, and supporting the growth opportunities around the university’s Health Innovation Campus plans, and Charles will enable us to raise the pace in all these areas.

“With a background in innovation, technology and engineering at executive level in various sectors, Charles has a wealth of experience to bring to Huddersfield Unlimited when it comes to dealing with people, running programmes and business, and building relationships.”

Charles Maltby with Sue Cooke and Liz Towns-Andrews (inset).

Charles said: “Having moved from a single full-time executive role to a portfolio career, my ambition is to give more back to local businesses and the wider community.

“Whilst Huddersfield Unlimited has to some extent been a ‘best-kept secret’ until now, it is wonderful to be part of its future as programme director to help drive a number of the key initiatives.

“In my view, I believe Huddersfield can and should be the location of choice in West Yorkshire to build and grow innovative businesses.

“Desirability will significantly increase with multiple initiatives backed by the council and university and additional private investment into local business and property development opportunities.

“As one of the largest towns in the UK, Huddersfield could be knocking on the door to become a city!”