Name: Katrina Cliffe
What is your background?
Having completed my GCSE’s I was eager to get into the world of work and started my career as a Business Administration apprentice. I worked for a number of local firms including design agency, ATTIK which was founded by James Sommerville and Simon Needham and online retailer InternetDirect which was based in Marsden.
I then joined Dublin based i-conX solutions, a billing software company specialising in the telecoms sector where I was responsible for their global marketing remit. After 6 years I decided to take the leap to launch my own business. Initially starting out as a freelancer, before taking the opportunity to step it up and build a business.
Five years later both I am my colleagues have been responsible for developing and implementing the marketing and PR strategies for a number of businesses across a variety of industries to help them achieve their business goal.
What inspired you to join Huddersfield Unlimited?
Although I was born in Halifax, I was raised very much in Huddersfield. Establishing a business while being a working mum has been a challenge. To work around my family commitments I have missed out on opportunities to take part in initiatives which are commonplace in cities like Leeds and Manchester.
However, we do have a fantastic business community and there are some great things happening. We just don’t get the promotion we deserve on a larger scale and in particular we are let down by our local politicians.
To ensure Huddersfield’s future is bright, it is up to those in the private sector to step up to showcase the great things happening in Huddersfield, the opportunities for young people and to ensure job creation to ensure a strong local economy. As a mother of two girls, this is vitally important for me.
Explain your role within Huddersfield Unlimited?
My role primarily revolves around how we can positively raise the profile of Huddersfield. Through my business, KC Communications, we have gifted 6 months pro-bono marketing and PR activity to get this off the ground.
Alongside this, I actively represent Huddersfield Unlimited at various meetings such as with Kirklees Council and the LEP to showcase what is happening in the town to support more investment in the region.
What do you think are Huddersfield’s main strengths and how can they be capitalised on?
The passion of its people. From a business perspective the majority whom I come across care greatly for Huddersfield and its potential and want to do what they can to support it. On the other hand, there is some negativity, but I hope that through the activity that Huddersfield Unlimited is undertaking, along with seeing the Kirklees Council Huddersfield Blueprint start to come to life, that we can begin with work together to benefit not only Huddersfield, but surrounding towns and villages in the district.
What is your vision for the town in 2030?
For Huddersfield to have a thriving business community, one which looks within to work with each other to help the local economy thrive.
I would like to see start-up and scale-up businesses benefit from an accelerator programme to support entrepreneurship in the town which in turn will lead to job creation. Along with this, I would like to see our bigger businesses in the town engage more with micro-businesses to support this.
I hope that by 2030 we will see key spaces such as St. Georges Quarter and the former Kirklees College in full use.
If you could have one wish for Huddersfield, what would it be? E.g. this could be a specific development, cultural or other outcome.
I would like to see more leisure opportunities for young people, in particular in the town centre which will aid the leisure and retail economy and give our young people and families a reason to visit the town centre. More gigs at the John Smith Stadium is a must and it is fantastic to see that over the last few years we’ve managed to attract some big names to the town. Getting the George Hotel open again is vital to this.