Bondholders Celebrates and Shares Best Practice with Italians

Bondholders celebrated its fifth anniversary in style on a trade mission to Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy as part of the INTERREG exchange of best practice among European Partners.

Deputy chair and co-founder Bondholder, Graham Howarth was joined by Ian Winterbottom and Lanie Green of Our Agency and Carmel Harrison of Carmel Harrison PR to collaborate with the Italian team who were already familiar with Bondholders thanks to their visit to Wakefield last summer.

Set in a former industrial heartland Reggio Emilia was the centre of industries as diverse as fighter airplane manufacturing and the world famous Parmesan cheese. But the medieval city suffered industrial devastation due to changing forces and fortunes that left many of the skilled workers unemployed.

Set on rebuilding its out of town industrial sites at the International City; one has already been converted to a hub bringing together world famous names such as Kenwood who share space with start-ups and research businesses all collaborating to promote growth and high skilled technical employment.

The Loris Malaguzzi International Centre is also home to early years education that has won global praise for its work on developing young children holistically. Already paying off it has helped the city quadruple its population to 160,000 since the last recession.

The Italian team had admired Wakefield Bondholders from afar and were keen to see how they could develop it for themselves and find out the benefits to all industrial sectors and potential pitfalls to avoid.

“Our hosts were keen to know who was involved, what demands were made of them, what support Bondholders had from the public sector, the investment needed and how it had helped the economic growth and development of the Wakefield District,” said Graham Howarth.

“We were able to highlight key issues such as membership, event content, branding and how we plan to move on in the future after the early years.

“Speaking to delegates in a converted cheese factory that is now an administration hub, early years education centre, entertainment space and offices it was clear that we could learn as much from them. It was also fascinating to see how they brought together globally successful brands such as Kenwood to support start ups with seamless research and mentoring all under one roof for mutual benefit,” he added.

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