Durham Business Group - 40th Anniversary Plus One...and Counting

Issue 81

As we came to the end of our 40th year, in which we rebranded and expanded, it's onwards and upwards for Durham Business Group

Founded in 1981 as Durham Small Business Club, the present-day Durham Business Group brings together three areas of activity: its virtual office company Durham Office Services; senior directors’ network The Executive Group; and Durham Business Club, the popular regionwide networking organisation that continues to be the group’s main reason for being. Alison Gittins, CEO of Durham Business Group said: ”Like many of our member businesses, we’ve had to navigate challenging times, but have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future. Our feet haven’t touched the ground since in-person events returned last year, we’ve welcomed 50+ new members and uncovered new venues like Stirk’s Italian Steakhouse, Raby Castle and Turtle Bay Durham, while returning to some old favourites in Beamish Museum, Durham Cathedral and our founder members; New College Durham and Durham Cricket, for both our Member Showcase and T20 Summer Social. July will see our club meeting at Crook Hall Gardens as it reopens its doors, after being taken into the care of The National Trust, and we’re proud to share this gem with our members on the eve of their opening day.”

”Portland House is the hub of all our Club and wider Durham Business Group activity, and we are delighted to have taken over the whole of the building. This would not have been possible without a Business Recovery Grant from Durham County Council and Business Durham, and the support of our landlord and biggest champion, Gurpreet Jagpal of Durham Group Estates. The new conference facilities, with 75 inch interactive screen have proved popular with hybrid events becoming the normal for many clients.

”The ground floor will continue to house our reception, phone answering service, meeting rooms, and a suite of tenanted managed offices. In the new upstairs space, we have created further offices for rent, as well as a series of hot desks that can be hired by the day or for longer periods, and that are already proving popular as more and more North East businesses embrace flexible working practices.”

Graham Soult, Durham Business Group vice-chair, added: ”As part of our rebrand, our new logo, designed by club member Sarah Greenwell from Stick Marketing, was inspired by the Rose Window at Durham Cathedral – another of our established members – and we are delighted with it. It’s an exciting future for Durham Business Group and a rebrand that reflects not just where we’ve come from, but also our positivity about the future. Our values remain constant – the warmth in how we go about things; the support we offer and foster; the knowledge we share; the trust we help build; and the fantastic relationships we enable.

”We’re also proud to introduce Sophia Stovall, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, George Fryer of Harlands Accountants, and Gary McLafferty of Ministry of Defence to the board of non-executive directors, who oversee the focus and direction of the organisation, and help provide the expertise needed to run the business successfully.” Due to our current growth we have recently welcomed Marie Nesbit as Client Relations Manager, Marie is a pilates instructor, so along with her business expertise is bringing zen to the office. Wonder how long it will be before there’s a pilates themed networking event! Alison and her team at Durham Business Group are there to help you and your business. If you would like to find out more, why not get in touch.

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