Ahead of our upcoming Business Forum launch, we sat down with Ian Noke, Branch Manager at Handelsbanken in Huddersfield, to hear about the exciting things the brand is doing here. We’ve got Handelsbanken on-board to sponsor our first Business Forum event, and they’re keen to join us on our mission of making Huddersfield THE place to be!

Our inaugural Business Forum will focus on the theme of investment. You can book your place on Eventbrite.

Handelsbanken is a local relationship bank, built on satisfied customers, financial strength and sustainable values. Established in 1871 in Sweden, Handelsbanken now has an extensive network of  branches across the UK, as well as in Scandinavia and the Netherlands.

  • Describe what your business does?   

Handelsbanken is one of the world’s strongest banks, offering a wide range of both business and personal financial services through local branches.

We believe that building long term relationships with customers is a must. Our unique decentralised model allows decisions to be made locally by the people who know our customers and the area best.

  • Tell us about your recent change of premises.

After 15 years we had outgrown our original branch, and so the time was right to move to larger premises. We were lucky to find our new branch in the Pennine Business Park at Bradley. It’s given us a great foundation to continue our growth in Huddersfield.

  • Why is Huddersfield the ideal place for Handelsbanken?

With a rich history of successful businesses, Huddersfield warrants a relationship bank with local lending decisions and a wide range of financial services.

Most of our customers come to us on the back of personal recommendations and the high level of service we provide.

We have a fantastic catchment area in and around Huddersfield, that includes successful businesses and personal customers who benefit from the face-to-face relationship that we provide.

  • What do you like the most about being part of the business community in Huddersfield?

We regularly hold coffee and breakfast meetings (known in Sweden as FIKAs) in branch with members of the business community. We find it’s a great way to maintain relationships.

  • What are your hopes for Huddersfield 10 years from now?

We hope that the capital projects earmarked for Huddersfield town centre have all been successfully delivered, that the University has continued to go from strength to strength, and that Huddersfield has become a go-to leisure destination through the Transpennine Route Upgrade. Oh and of course for Huddersfield Town FC to be back in the Premier League!

  • What advice would you give to someone looking to set up or relocate their business in Huddersfield?

My recommendation would be to seek out and engage with local business support organisations to establish what support and guidance is available. There are many sector-specific trade bodies that you may wish to become affiliated with (e.g. textiles).

Other organisations such as Huddersfield Unlimited or the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce may be helpful in recommending local professionals or providing support.

  • What do you think Huddersfield Unlimited’s Business Forum events will bring to the business community?

I believe they’ll provide an opportunity for like-minded business people, who want to see Huddersfield grow and prosper, to come together, support ideas and make things happen.

  • Are there any recommendations or local knowledge you’d like to share with a visitor?

A visit to Castle Hill is a must for one of the best views in the area!

Connect with Ian on LinkedIn.