In our latest personal profile, we sat down with Oliver Smith, managing director of Smith, a Huddersfield-based branding, design, and marketing consultancy. 

As well as being the founder of Smith, Oliver is the founder of Let’s Go Huddersfield, a website spreading positivity about the town. 

We chatted with Oliver about what made him start his business in Huddersfield, what he loves about the town, and what his hopes are for the next ten years. 

Hi Oliver, can you describe what your business does?  

We’re a creative and strategic brand, design and marketing consultancy. We help SMEs solve business problems, grow revenue and win more customers.  

What attracted you to start/operate your business in Huddersfield?  

Initially, it was because I was born and raised here. As the business has grown and our reputation has broadened throughout the UK, we have constantly been advised to move to a city.  

We’ve been compelled to stay in Huddersfield because it has easy access to hubs such as Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and surrounding areas. The rent is moderate compared to the above, and there’s plenty of access to talent from the University of Huddersfield.  

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

It completely depends on the business in question, but all in all we have fantastic access to the transport network, so that’s definitely an advantage. If you need an office but don’t need to be in the ‘city’ then Huddersfield can offer a lot of variety without the postcode price tag.  

It’s also easy to get to for staff. It’s very central and offers access from multiple locations. And from a housing point of view, there’s lots to choose from, and it’s not London prices either.  

What are your hopes for Huddersfield ten years from now?  

I hope the narrative of Huddersfield changes both internally and externally. I hope we have a thriving town centre, and I hope that because of this the villages that make us unique are still thriving. 

I hope that people are attracted to Huddersfield from all walks of life, for our creativity, industry, scenery and hidden potential.  

On a personal level, what do you love most about the town?  

I love that in two minutes you can be out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by hills. There’s space to escape here.  

What is your opinion on Kirklees’ Council’s plans for the ‘Cultural Heart’?  

It should have been done a long time ago, but I think it’s great that there’s investment and things are actually moving. This feeling of momentum will have ripple effects in all kinds of areas. I’m optimistic about it.  

What is your opinion on the University of Huddersfield’s plans for the National Health Innovation Campus (NHIC)?  

The more magnets that pull people into Huddersfield the better! It puts our name on the map, and for something quite significant too. The University is doing a great job.  

What is your opinion on the TransPennine rail route upgrade?  

In our line of work, we always talk about changing behaviour. In behaviour change, you have to help people have the motivation to do a task. The easier it is to travel into Huddersfield, the better. More access more often will surely lead to more people deciding to come here.  

Where is your favourite place to eat/drink in Huddersfield?  

I would say eating at Devour in Holmfirth, Northern Sole Cafe in Slaithwaite, or Peel St Social in Marsden. And then for a drink with a view, there’s the Travellers Rest in Meltham – especially in summer! 

Do you have a favourite shop in Huddersfield?  

I’m going to say a coffee shop, and that’s Coffeevolution. I’m there every morning tapping away on my emails!  

What is still on your “to do” list in Huddersfield?  

To run from Shepley to Marsden, through Uppermill and then back. Reason one is for the challenge, reason two is that you get to see the best views of Huddersfield.  

What’s your idea of the perfect day, or a perfect weekend in Huddersfield?  

Either breakfast in Holmfirth or Slaithwaite, and then a walk in the moors or by the canal in Slaithwaite.  

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

There’s more to Huddersfield than you think, get out and explore its villages. See the countryside we have to offer and speak to every local with a smile on their face, as Huddersfield has so many interesting facts that I wouldn’t be able to capture in this interview.  

Check out Oliver’s LinkedIn page.