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 cloud technology firm Vapour has entered into a new partnership to bring unprecedented scale, flexibility and security to clients’ data management.

Channel-first cloud and disaster recovery specialist virtualDCS is now hosting Vapour’s Veeam backups on behalf of its customers.

As part of the agreement, Jason Fenwick, who spent seven years at Vapour as a lead cloud infrastructure engineer and has worked in the IT industry for more than 30 years, has joined virtualDCS as a solutions engineer.

As well as having a strong knowledge of the company’s client base, Jason knows Vapour’s platforms inside-out, meaning his appointment will ensure service continuity and an excellent end-user experience for the firm’s customers.

In addition, virtualDCS has appointed Tom Best as a technical support apprentice. Tom will work alongside Jason and the wider virtualDCS team, handling support queries and helping to manage virtualDCS’s CloudCover backup and disaster recovery services.

Vapour has been a partner of Veeam — the global software giant and market leader in data protection solutions — since January 2021, but was keen to supercharge its data protection strategy to bring new dynamics of security, scalability and efficiency to its customer base.

All Vapour’s Veeam services have now been migrated over to virtualDCS, and have bolstered the ability of the business to deliver greater resilience, technical support and agile cloud growth for both new and existing customers.

Jason Newell, channel director from virtualDCS, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Jason and Tom to the team.

“Jason’s understanding of Vapour’s system and customers made him the perfect person to manage and oversee the transition, and we’re delighted that he’ll continue to be their key point of contact moving forward.

“We’re looking forward to supporting Vapour in building out its disaster recovery and business continuity portfolio.”

Elaborating on the partnership, Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer said: “As two businesses working in the same field, we’ve always known virtualDCS and had a high regard for their expertise.

“The IT industry is continually evolving and we’re now in a world where specialists thrive, and there is no doubt that virtualDCS is widely recognised for being backup, disaster recovery and cloud hosting experts.

“Crucially, our customers are at the heart of this new partnership. And as we continually expand our cloud portfolio, working with organisations of all sizes and across all industries, we’re always looking for ways to provide additional layers of availability and security.

“This leap enables us to offer even more virtualDCS CloudCover services, knowing that we have the best system, reliability, support and technical expertise behind us — giving both our team and customers complete confidence in our toolkit.”

Fell Promotions, a leading workwear and promotional clothing business based in Huddersfield, is delighted to announce its strategic partnership with Smith, a renowned creative and strategic brand agency.

The collaboration is set to usher in a new era for Fell Promotions with the design and development of a cutting-edge e-commerce website.

Fell Promotions has consistently delivered top-quality products to its customers for over 20 years, and now, it’s ready to take its online presence to the next level.

Alongside with investment in new premises at Park Valley Mills in Lockwood, the partnership with Smith is rooted in a shared vision to create an exceptional e-commerce platform that not only enhances the shopping experience but also catalyzes business growth.

Sarah Peckett, a representative from Fell Promotions, said: “We believe that this collaboration with Smith will not only improve our online shopping experience but also help us reach new heights in our industry. Our customers can look forward to an even better e-commerce journey.”

Joey Wright, web lead at Smith, added: “Working with Fell Promotions is an exciting opportunity for us. We look forward to crafting a website that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of Fell’s customers.

“This project aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering creative and strategic solutions that grow businesses – we’re truly looking forward to the challenge.”

Dark Woods Coffee, the Marsden-based speciality coffee roaster, has been re-certified as a B Corp, with an outstanding score or 147, reflecting their commitment to environmental and social sustainability.

Dark Woods Coffee was one of the first companies in Yorkshire to be certified as a B Corp, back in 2020; this successful re-certification and dramatic increase in score highlights their sustainability journey over the last three years.

Dark Woods is a purpose-driven business and reflects this in its relationships with small coffee producers, its support for the local community and its efforts to reduce plastic in its packaging and decarbonise its production processes.

The new score of 147 could potentially propel them to be one of the highest scoring coffee companies in the world.

Director Ian Agnew said: “We are delighted to have successfully re-certified as a B Corp and to see this increase in our score.

“It reflects the commitment and hard work of our team, to live out our purpose to balance people, planet and profit.”

Huddersfield-based law firm Eaton Smith has acted in the sale of the iconic Prego Restaurant & Waterfront Hotel in Brighouse.

The former Sugden flour mill and Wheelers Club, a grade II listed building, traded for 20 years before closing its doors in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It remained closed following the lifting of the restrictions and has now sold to the Sarwar family.

The restaurant, together with the 54-bedroom hotel, was an iconic part of the Brighouse hospitality sector during its 20 years of trading.

Jamie Humpheson, senior commercial property solicitor at Eaton Smith, advised on the sale.

The restaurant is expected to re-open later in 2024.

Huddersfield entrepreneur Ken Davy, founder of SimplyBiz which later became Fintel

Fintech group Fintel says it is continuing on the acquisition trail having added an events outfit to its roster of companies.

The Huddersfield-based firm announced the £2.3m acquisition of Owen James Events Ltd – a provider of engagement events in the financial services industry – in a deal including £700,000 of cash paid and a £1.6m contingent earnout clause in the first three years of ownership.

The move is intended to expand Fintel’s range of services and connect a ‘fragmented UK retail financial services market.’ It the sixth acquisition for the firm, which also owns SimplyBiz and Deaqto, in the past year including the purchase of compliance and development training outfit Competent Adviser and financial advisers reviews site VouchedFor.

Fintel talked up £12.7m of cash on its balance sheet, and £69m of headroom in its £80m revolving credit facility as it eyes future deals to grow its services. It came as the firm issued a year end trading update showing total organic core revenue fall 2.5% in 2023 to £55.1m – a movement it said was down to changes in the accounting treatment of its largest software reseller agreement.

The firm said it had managed to largely offset difficulties in the housing market thanks to growth in its software revenue and licence sales. Whilst mortgage related activities saw a 21.2% revenue decline during 2023, Fintel said the segment remained profitable and is ready for an uptick in the housing market.

Matt Timmins, joint CEO of Fintel plc, said: “In 2023 we made significant strategic progress, increased our scale, and reach through the acquisition of four businesses to our platform, and delivered a resilient financial performance in line with expectations.

“We have demonstrated continued evidence of our capacity and ability to drive organic growth, source and execute complementary acquisitions, and invest in our technology and data propositions.

“In line with our strategy, we are completely focused on consolidating a fragmented market to enhance our scale, proposition, and IP, as we continue to inspire better outcomes for UK retail financial services.

“Today, we welcome yet another market leader in Owen James Events, a business with huge potential, and our sixth acquisition in 12 months.

“We are confident of delivering further progress in the year ahead as we continue to scale our proposition, realise our very active M&A pipeline and invest in our service and technology platform, with our growth underpinned by recurring incomes and positive structural market drivers.”