A new year, a new home and lots of potential new business as Hull thrives as UK City of Culture
By Maxine Saffery, commercial manager at FM+
It's fair to say that Hull has been buzzing in the first few weeks of its UK City of Culture year.
We've seen the spectacular fireworks display, the stunning Made in Hull lightshow, a huge blade has taken pride of place in the city centre, the Ferens Art Gallery has reopened ahead of hosting the Turner Prize later in the year, and we've had royal visitors in Prince Charles and Camilla.
The positivity is all around us at present, and it has been spreading in the media, with many national publications and broadcasts commenting upon the city in a positive manner.
It may be early days, but there's certainly a feel-good factor across the business community too.
As members of the Hull Bondholders scheme, which markets the Humber region on a national stage as a great place to live in, do business and to invest, we hear of the many great initiatives and business success stories in the city. It is really uplifting and underlines all that good going on here.
What has become absolutely clear from the opening to our year as City of Culture is the importance of pride and passion. The people of Hull are hugely proud of their city and what it stands for, but only now are many starting to shout about it.
The same goes for business. Many businesses from Hull are household national names. We need to shout about our success, the businesses which lead the way nationally, and the impact their expertise and knowledge has nationally, and internationally.
For our part, we are certainly proud of Hull and the fact our facilities management services are called upon by many great businesses and establishments in Hull, including the likes of KCOM, P&O Ferries, Heron Foods and The University of Hull.
We're also extremely proud of our own achievements and growth.
Last year saw us bring all of our successful businesses under one brand, with Green Commercial Cleaning and Contract Flooring & Interiors Ltd (CFI) coming under the FM+ brand, whilst we also added many new services to our offering as we expanded on our Facilities Management work.
It is always a bold decision to change and to expand into new areas, but it brought rewards, and the honour of being named Medium/Large Business of the Year at The Chamber Bridlington and Yorkshire Coast Business Awards in November.
We've started 2017 by moving into our new purpose built headquarters at Priory Park, with all of our office staff now based together ‐ a major benefit given the many aspects to our work which are intrinsically connected to one another ‐ whilst we also now have extensive warehousing facilities and offices which also show off our product range.
All of this has helped us make a great start to the year, with new contacts secured, new employees already hired, and new opportunities arising for the months ahead.
The year of 2017 is one of great opportunity for Hull, and for its businesses. We have seen that already, and long may it continue.