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.

Kirklees Council has been recognised nationally for their outstanding achievements and contributions in public sector procurement after winning the Social Value Award (Local Government) at the UK National GO Awards 2022-23.

The council was awarded the prize at a ceremony at the voco St John’s in Solihull after impressing a judging panel comprising some of the UK’s leading procurement figures.

The GO Awards, organised by procurement experts BiP Solutions, are the UK’s most prestigious public procurement excellence awards, showcasing organisations and individuals who are leading the way in public procurement best practice, and recognise the achievement and successes of everyone involved in the delivery of public sector services, a marketplace worth £300 billion a year.

The winning award submission featured an example through the Cultural Heart procurement activities which are helping cement Kirklees Council’s ambition, intent and passion but most of all putting social value at the heart of their projects and highlighting the benefits of working collaboratively with a wide range of partners and stakeholders.

Clr Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “It is a moment of pride for the council to win such a prestigious national award and reflects the hard work and dedication of our council staff.

“Winning this prestigious Social Value Award is a testament to our unwavering commitment to creating meaningful change in the way we approach procurement.”

Huddersfield headquartered law firm Ridley & Hall is celebrating five years of its Leeds office and supporting over 650 clients from the city since 2018.

In that time, the firm’s turnover has grown by 92% to £4.6 million in 2023.

Claire Linden, partner at the firm’s Leeds office, located at Park Place, said: “Over the last five years, the legal and business communities in Leeds have welcomed us and provided us with a fantastic base on which we’ve been able to grow our professional network and support hundreds of clients across the city and wider region at some of the most difficult times in their lives.

“We have exciting plans and have recruited several roles over the past few years, including a head of family law in Leeds, Emma Hopkins Jones; family solicitor Kate Hames; care solicitor Jennifer Keefe; and trainee solicitor Ernestas Motiejunas.

Ridley & Hall is a Legal 500 ranked law firm and employs over 120 people across four offices in Huddersfield, Leeds, Pontefract and Barnsley.

Award-winning Portland Nursery Group are offering a 10% discount on childcare at Bradley House Nursery for parents who work in businesses close to the site. 

As part of their commitment to helping local employees and parents, they are offering the discount to employees of Forget Me Not Trust, All Saints High School, the NHS and businesses located at Bradley Business Park. This is for children who are to start between now and March 1 2024. 

Portland Nurseries was founded in 1991 by childcare pioneer Rosemary Murphy and set the standard for childcare in Huddersfield – and across the UK – as Rosemary used her first-hand experience at Portland to establish the NDNA, for which she earned an OBE. 

The Portland group, which has six settings across Edgerton, Birkby, Bradley, Lindley and Shelf – three of which are rated Outstanding, the highest rating given by regulator Ofsted – is run by Rosemary’s children, brother and sister Anastasia Murphy and Michael Murphy and offers children an education from birth to five-years-old. 

Joint managing director Anastasia Murphy said: “We understand that a lot of parents are experiencing tighter budgets with the current cost of living crisis. We want to do everything we can to make childcare more accessible and affordable for those working locally to our nursery.

“In 2022 we introduced a free childcare policy for all of our own employees in recognition of their hard work. We are committed to supporting working parents, especially during these trying times.”

Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice has won a prestigious Hospice UK ‘Innovation in Income Generation’ award for their work engaging with local South Asian communities.

The winning project was developed after the hospice identified that while around half of the families that the charity supports are from a South Asian background, there was a lack of awareness and understanding of its work within these communities.

Forget Me Not was keen to address this issue to ensure that all families who needed help were able to access its services as well as open up new fundraising opportunities.

To deliver the project, Forget Me Not recruited a community engagement officer, Salma Pandor, who over the last 18 months has built strong relationships with influential figures and groups, leading to a number of valuable partnerships, events and activities.

This includes the charity’s first Iftar event earlier this year at the hospice, as well as being chosen as the charity of the year by former Mayor of Kirklees Clr Masood Ahmed and the Asian Standard (Kirklees).

The Hospice UK judges said that the winning project was “a fantastic example of investing in fundraising for the medium to long term. The introduction of a community engagement officer into the fundraising team was a bold and innovative move and from the outset building trust with key individuals who could influence locally was the key to success.”

The judges were impressed by the “multiple successes this initiative has already seen from a well-attended dinner to increased engagement from trustees from diverse communities.”

Gareth Pierce, CEO designate at Forget Me Not, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have won this award. It’s testament to our pioneering approach to children’s hospice care – we’re always looking for new ways to ensure that no family has to face the loss of their child alone.”

Folk arts and witchcraft brand, The Witchery, based in Salem, Massachusetts, USA, has appointed Huddersfield PR agency Wild PR to support its growth into the UK.

Following exceptional growth in the USA, Wild PR has been appointed to help increase awareness and visibility of The Witchery’s latest venture, Wheel of Fate, an Edinburgh-based store and e-commerce retailer.

After securing a two-year lease, Wheel of Fate will be adopting a similar business model to the USA store, offering authentic and memorable crafting workshops such as broom making, bookbinding and fibre arts, as well as selling art from local artists and workshop kits to make at home. 

To support footfall, brand awareness and visibility of the new store, Wild PR will help elevate the brand’s presence both locally and online, with an aim to drive workshop bookings through a tailored SEO-focused digital PR strategy. 

Katrina Cliffe, managing director of Wild PR, said: “Working with brands like this is always exciting as their offerings are unique, allowing us to be a little more creative with our campaign work and explore new topics. We look forward to helping the new sister store increase visibility online and in-store.”

Nigel Stephenson has been appointed general manager of Huddersfield-based medicines and healthcare products supplier STADA UK.

The group owns Thornton & Ross and makes leading brands Covonia, Savlon and Zoflora. Thornton & Ross has a production facility in Linthwaite and offices in nearby Slaithwaite.

Mr Stephenson will be based in Huddersfield and will report directly to STADA’s head of Western Europe and Germany, Stephan Eder.

He will take over from Rudolf Bär, who has successfully led the UK business for almost one year in addition to his responsibilities for STADA’s Mid-Sized European Markets.

Mr Stephenson has been described as a “dynamic and modern commercial leader” with extensive experience in sales and marketing across Europe.

He said he was looking forward to relocating to the UK and working on some iconic brands and added: “I am sure that our high-performance team will continue to deliver sustainable growth and to outperform the industry.”

People had the chance to see a working dairy farm in action in Huddersfield … and bust a few misconceptions about farming at the same time.

The open day was held at Woolrow Farm at Roydhouse in Shelley which is one of two UK dairy farms working with supermarket Aldi and the UK’s largest dairy cooperative Arla to participate in their Open Farm Sunday.

Aldi has a Dairy Farm Partnership programme it set up in 2018 in partnership with Arla to continuously explore, develop and practice the highest standards in dairy farming across six key areas of farm business with a particular focus on animal welfare, the environment and research and development.

Liz Fox, corporate responsibility director at Aldi UK, said: “Inviting the public to visit some of the farms in our programme and learn all about the farming process has the power to change the way that people think about farming.”