We love it when businesses send us their good news and here’s our latest good news round-up, kindly sponsored by PALADIN. Awards, expansion, new contracts or new appointments, if you’ve got some good news you want to share please email the editor, Martin Shaw, on martin@huddersfieldhub.co.uk.

A couple who run a Huddersfield-based travel consultancy have been nominated for a community award.

Colman and Rachael Coyne, of Jetset Not Just Travel, have raised funds to pay for two life-saving defibrillators and have placed them in key locations in the local community.

Rachael, a former 999 call centre manager for West Yorkshire Police, has twice been diagnosed with breast cancer and has also recently suffered multiple cardiac arrests.

Rachael said: “In February 2023 I suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed. My son’s girlfriend kept me alive through CPR. My son was sent to retrieve a defibrillator from a local factory. It saved my life.

“A defibrillator can make a difference between life and death. We need to have more defibrillators in remote places.

“As a result, we have raised £3,400 and have bought two defibrillators and are currently fundraising for a third. You really never know when you might need this lifesaving piece of kit.”

As a result of their fundraising Colman and Rachael have been shortlisted for the TUI Community Hero award at the TTG Top 50 awards. 

The first defibrillator has been placed at Scammonden Water Sailing Club with a second one on order for the Jo Cox Memorial Wood in Liversedge.

Paul Edwards – Kirklees College head of business development and apprenticeships

Kirklees College is the largest apprenticeship provider in Kirklees and Calderdale, working with over 1,000 employers every year.

As part of the college’s plans to expand its apprenticeship provision even further, the college has recently appointed Paul Edwards in the newly created role of head of business development and apprenticeships.

Paul joins Kirklees College with 15 years’ experience in apprenticeships and work-based learning. Before joining Kirklees College, Paul spent the last five years working at The Sheffield College.

On joining Kirklees College, Paul said: “Everyone has been really welcoming and I look forward to getting to know everyone and working with colleagues to help our apprentices achieve their full potential.”

Helen Rose, director of external relations and apprenticeships at Kirklees College, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Paul to the college.

“Growing our apprenticeship provision and employer partnerships is a key strategic priority for the college and Paul’s expertise and ideas will help us to achieve our goals.”

If you want to find out more about the business benefits of apprenticeships, or how you can work with Kirklees College, contact the Employers team by emailing employers@kirkleescollege.ac.uk, or calling 0800 781 3020.

Fast-growing pet treat supplier, Sniffers Pet Care, has secured £850k in follow-on funding from Traditum Private Equity, following an initial investment of £1.75m by the West Yorkshire-based private equity house in September 2022.

Sniffers supplies natural pet treats for customers including Pets at Home and Jollyes under its challenger brand NAW, which was successfully launched in 2023.

The funding will enable Sniffers to accelerate production at its site in Elland and deliver an incremental uplift of £3.3m in annual revenue.

The business has experienced rapid growth in the past 24 months, with a 40% year-on-year increase in turnover and an 85% growth in headcount in the last 12 months, taking full-time employee numbers to 37.

The first round of funding enabled Sniffers to expand operationally and scale manufacturing and distribution capabilities. It also invested heavily in building its own IP through the re-brand of its natural dog treat brands, Buffalo and Walter Smith, to NAW, which stands for No Animal Wasted.

The range is made from 100% air-dried animal parts which would usually go to waste and is now stocked in large chains such Ocado, as well as a range of independent and specialist retailers.

The latest round of funding has been supported strategically by Sniffers’ senior leadership team, which includes chief financial officer Peter Harrison and non-executive directors Tom and George Page.

Brothers Tom and George were appointed in 2023 to provide both marketing and operational expertise, drawing on their extensive industry experience acquired at family firm, Inspired Pet Nutrition.

Speaking about the investment, Simon Brown (pictured above), CEO of Sniffers Pet Care, said: “The follow-on funding from Traditum is a real endorsement of our plan and the launch of our brand NAW last year.

“It will enable us to accelerate our growth in 2024 and make a real impact in the pet market with some exciting launches ahead.”

Brighouse-based PR and marketing specialists, Unify, has made a number of internal promotions in recognition of the exceptional work and commitment made by the team.

With over 18 years of service between them, Sarah Thomas and Olivia Brackenridge have been appointed to PR account director roles. Their day-to-day responsibilities will include overseeing the smooth operation of all client accounts, which span homewares, construction and KBB brands. Sarah will lead on the consumer facing brands, while Olivia will head up the trade side.

Rio Saltonstall has been promoted to senior PR account executive, with her role focused on media relations to secure high-profile coverage for clients across online, print and broadcast channels to ensure the team meet performance benchmarks.

Finally, Sophie De Luca will fill the position of senior influencer & social executive. A rapidly expanding specialism at Unify, Sophie will work closely with influencers and content creators across consumer brands to deliver activity which will drive sales and generate widespread awareness.

Emma Leonard, director at Unify PR & Marketing, said: “This year is all about growth for Unify, which is why we thought it time to revisit our account structure, giving everyone defined responsibilities as well as extra motivation.

“We’re a small but incredibly hands on team, so we need to ensure everyone is developing at a rate that suits both them and the company.

“We’re looking at ways we can expand our offering to brands we already have on our roster, giving clients a rounded experience across digital and PR activity.

“We’ve identified some growth opportunities and are exploring ways to develop our skillsets in these areas. It’s a very exciting year ahead for us at Unify, and the team and I are really looking forward to what’s to come.”

A building materials specialist from Huddersfield has been recognised for his commitment to the industry.

National trade body The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and Builders’ Merchants News (BMN), have joined forces to identify the Top 100 Young Achievers across the multi-billion-pound building materials sector, and shine a light on the brightest stars of the future.

Nick Sharpe, managing director at Global Stone Ltd, based in Huddersfield, has been nominated for the accolade based around his achievements within his career so far, and having a positive impact in the sector.

He said: “I am extremely pleased to be nominated for this industry award for young achievers and I congratulate everybody who has made the 100 nominations.

“I’d like to thank all of my past and present colleagues, customers and mentors who have helped me on my journey in the fantastic sector.”

The Top 100 Young Achievers programme follows last year’s Top 100 Merchant Influencer and Top 100 Supplier Influencers in 2022 and 2023.

John Newcomb, chief executive of the BMF, said: “The BMF is an active supporter of young people working within the building materials supply sector and this initiative celebrates the contributions of those who will carry the industry forward in the future and work to make a material difference.

“After the success of our previous initiatives, we’re delighted to be partnering with BMN to highlight the achievements of the Top 100 Young Achievers.

“This accolade reflects the positive influence Nick has had on the people around them and on the wider building materials industry.”

The Top 100 Young Achievers will feature in a commemorative brochure and be invited to a Gala Dinner celebration and networking event at the Belfry in May.

The BMF represents more than 950 merchant and supplier companies that collectively employ more than 208,000 people in the building materials industry, performing an essential national function in distributing construction materials and home improvement products across the UK.

Cedric Boston – chief executive at Unity Homes and Enterprise

Work is about to start on a new affordable housing development in Newsome.

Thirty two and three-bedroomed properties will be built by BME housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise in partnership with Kirklees Council, Homes England and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The land was previously occupied by Stile Common Infant and Nursery School before its demolition in 2011.

Unity was formed in 1987 with the objective of building a strong, BME-led, community housing association to address the needs of black and minority ethnic communities in Leeds.

It now owns and manages 1,386 properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds in West Yorkshire, including two affordable housing schemes in Huddersfield and one in Cleckheaton.

Unity chief executive Cedric Boston said: “The country continues to endure a national housing crisis which will only be eased with the construction of many more affordable homes.”