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.

Huddersfield-based Track Metrics, a leading provider of software development and business intelligence services, has signed a multi-year contract with the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

The authority’s aim is to stimulate economic growth and foster job creation in the Tees Valley region covering Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.

Track Metrics will be spearheading the development of comprehensive reports tailored to assist the authority in monitoring progress and key performance indicators across all departments.

Phil Hey (below), managing director at Track Metrics, said: “We are really pleased to be able to help the Tees Valley Combined Authority to deliver on their mission to create jobs, drive investment and transform the Tees Valley.

“Signing this agreement means we will be able to take on a new apprentice locally and enhance our overall offering.”

Track Metrics is a full-service strategic partner to online start-ups, established digital businesses and more traditional organisations seeking to modernise their products and services.

Cleckheaton-based employment law and health and safety consultancy Howarths has been appointed by vet-tech scale-up company VidiVet.

The Liverpool-based company, which was founded in 2020 by vet Ben Sweeney, has engaged Howarths to deliver ongoing employment law support and a HR strategy.

Gavin Howarth, managing director at Howarths, said: “VidiVet is an exciting and rapidly growing tech start-up. Ben and his team recognise the importance of building a people culture that is engaging, rewarding and that drives performance, to help the company achieve its ambitious growth targets.

“We’ll work closely with the team to work through our Empower programme, helping them put all the required employment law compliance in place, and exploring how the business can develop a high-performing team that supports business growth.”

VidiVet founder Ben said: “We’ve grown rapidly in the last 18 months and have significantly increased the numbers of veterinary practices and pet owners who are using VidiVet.

“We want our team to help shape the growth of the company and be well looked after, so we’ll be working closely with Howarths to really develop areas including functional HR procedures and staff development pathways to make sure all our employees, present and future, reap the benefits.”

The VidiVet app gives pet owners immediate access to a UK-registered vet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company was recently named as one of Tech Nation’s top ten most exciting early-stage UK scale-ups, with more than 15,000 pet owners using the app.

Gavin Howarth (left) with Ben Sweeney

Over the last couple of years, Kirklees College has been working closely with a range of employers in Dewsbury to identify local skills gaps in the furniture manufacturing sector.

The result of this consultation project is the college’s new Level 2 Furniture Making apprenticeship with HSL (High Seat Ltd) and the first intake of apprentices started in October.

The apprenticeship offers two pathways, working towards qualifying as a wood machinist, or modern upholsterer. Both pathways will develop apprentices’ understanding of the furniture manufacturing process and where they fit into it, from selecting the right materials and hand-crafting pieces, through to meeting customer expectations and quality standards.

The apprentices will study at Kirklees College’s Brunel Construction Centre in Huddersfield during their college hours, where a brand-new specialist CNC machine has just been installed to help train the budding furniture makers.

It is hoped that the course will not only equip apprentices with specialist skills, but with a wide range of skills needed to work in a number of roles within the sector.

Steve Plumstead, head of faculty for construction at Kirklees College, said: “It has been a pleasure working with HSL to develop the Furniture Making apprenticeship. We hope to generate a lot of interest in the apprenticeship and help kick-start many careers in this thriving local industry.

“Our specialist training facilities at Kirklees College will help support the apprentice’s learning and development of skills during their college hours and we will be here to support them throughout the course.”

Steve Radley, HR business partner at HSL Furniture, who has played a pivotal role in getting the apprenticeship up and running, said: “HSL are delighted to be enrolling our 2023 intake of apprentices onto courses provided by Kirklees College.

“It is great there is now a local provider to meet the training requirements for our furniture manufacturing business.”

To find out more, go to www.kirkleescollege.ac.uk.

Holden Smith, the Huddersfield-based law firm, has announced the promotion of conveyancer Ryanne Smith (above) to director, as the firm continues its rapid growth trajectory.

Holden Smith co-founder David Bancroft said: “We are delighted to announce the promotion of Ryanne to director. Ryanne’s hard work and determination have been instrumental to our business growth over the last 12 months.

“In her new role, she will continue to work closely with me and the senior management team as we bolster our team and services over the coming months.”

In May, Holden Smith – which employs over 100 people – relocated its head office to brand-new 3,200 sq ft premises in Denby Dale.

Speaking at the time, co-founder James Smith said: “We’ve experienced rapid growth in the last 12 months and now is the right time for us to take up a new, larger office that gives our current team the facilities they need, and the room we require as we continue to grow our team.”

After working together to create the signage for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice’s new Hebden Bridge charity shop – opened by Happy Valley star Rhys Connah (above) in March 2023 – Leading Edge Signage and Graphics Ltd decided to step up their support for the charity by becoming a Platinum Partner.

Matthew Evans, managing director at Liversedge-based Leading Edge, visited the hospice to receive a Platinum Partner plaque from Huddersfield businessman Ken Davy, president of Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice Platinum Partners.

Mr Evans said: “Having worked with the charity for a number of years and been impressed with the amazing work they do, the opportunity to partner with Forget Me Not both to strengthen our links and also provide financial support to the team was something we are excited by.

“We are looking forward to being more active with the charity’s events and meeting new, like-minded people along the way.”

Mr Davy (pictured top with Mr Evans) said: “All of us at Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice would like to thank Leading Edge for joining us as Platinum Partners.

“We loved their work on the Hebden Bridge shop – they are now Forget Me Not’s preferred signage and graphics partner. We look forward to this joint partnership as they support the vital work we do at the hospice.

“Leading Edge have already joined us in some of our networking events and have linked up with some other like-minded businesses.

“Becoming a Platinum Partner enables networking relationships to develop and business opportunities to be explored, all while supporting our work helping children with life shortening conditions and their families.”

For more information go to the Forget Me Not website HERE.