Securing a Part in the Bigger Picture

As a lifelong resident of Wakefield Melissa Armitage, the new Lead for Sales and Membership and Wakefield Bondholders recognises first-hand the wealth of opportunity that our district has to offer; not just as a place to invest in but as an area to live and visit.

Combining this with her previous role and experience as a Sales and Business Development Project Manager, Melissa is perfectly placed to support the development and growth of Wakefield Bondholders.

Putting her passion for the District that she so clearly loves to good use, Melissa is keen to get started in shaping and delivering the Bondholder membership and engagement strategy.

What do you love about the Wakefield district?

Being born and raised in Wakefield means that I have a real soft spot for the District and all it has to offer.

Wakefield has something for everyone – for businesses, residents and visitors. Its infrastructure and connectivity is second to none, we have great schools and strong affordable living, a bustling retail and leisure scene along with strong cultural attractions.

In fact, we’re extremely lucky as we do not need to invent reasons to visit and invest. We simply need to continue to get the message out there and encourage others to appreciate the great things on offer. Naturally, we don’t boast on how great the city is, that that has to change, believe in your city, as I and our members do.

What role will you play in Bondholders and how will this impact on the future of the district?

Amongst other responsibilities, I’ll be focusing on developing the growth of Wakefield Bondholders to ensure that our District retains its strong and diverse business networks and increases its visibility to a national and international audience; all in support of the promotion of our District as a place to live, work and invest.

Building and retaining those local connections between businesses whilst inspiring and maintaining the commitment, enthusiasm and passion that individuals and business have for Wakefield and the surrounding towns and villages is the starting point in ensuring that this region fulfils its ambitious plans.

With those supportive business links in place the District becomes a place which promotes fellow businesses and increases the prosperity of everyone within!

What challenges do we face as a district?

In my opinion, our biggest threat is failing to realise our own potential and standing still while everyone else is moving forward.

What are the biggest opportunities?

Again, in my opinion, it’s passion and partnerships.

We house strong partnerships with public sector organisations and leading businesses in all sectors, each share the same drive and determination for development, have enthusiasm and are genuinely committed to the Wakefield District.What excites you the most about your new role?

My day to day involves engaging with businesses, so being able to make connections and bring businesses together really excites me, as does supporting the voices and actions of our Bondholders and our Sector Marketing Groups.

I’m passionate about the Wakefield District and am excited to become a strong ambassador for the area.

Ultimately this is an extremely rewarding role as the repercussions for this not-for-profit organisation is that money is directed back into the district.

What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?

Wakefield Bondholders has already developed at an accelerated pace and there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure that we have the infrastructure to support future growth – this provides me with really strong foundations to build our membership base, retain existing members and build our team further.

In growing our membership, we increase the opportunities to shout about our district to a national and international audience.

Creating connections is also critical to future success as we know that this is of great interest to our members, so continuing to host a dynamic, informed and proactive local business to business network is also important.

Ultimately, I would like Wakefield Bondholders to be recognised for continued growth which helps to unlock the potential for outside investors to live, invest and visit.

Do you know any interesting facts about the district?

There are lots of influential individuals that were born and lived in Wakefield, not least John Harrison and Charles Waterton.

John Harrison, a self-educated carpenter and clockmaker, invented the marine chronometer (a device which calculates longitude while at sea); whereas Charles Waterton invented the bird nesting box and was deemed one of the world’s first environmentalists when he built a nine-foot high wall around Walton Hall transforming the area into the world’s first wildfowl and nature reserve.

You can visit some of the fantastic works of John Harrison and Nostell Priory and enjoy The Waterton Collection, which is on display now in the Wakefield Museum.

We’d like to wish Melissa luck in her new role, and one thing’s for sure – with Melissa on the case, we’re sure that Wakefield Bondholders and the Wakefield district are destined for even bigger things!

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