Hucknall man to help boost business growth by becoming a Discover Ashfield ambassador

A Hucknall man is offering his experience and contacts to Discover Ashfield as part of its ambassadors’ programme.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 2:37 pm

Andy Middleton, a marketing entrepreneur and Nottinghamshire regional director for Catena, will use his skills and connections to help develop new opportunities for Ashfield.

Ashfield has lately attracted new industries based around transport and logistics, and there has been a growth in the number of smaller enterprises and self-employment.

Andy will combine this work with several other business ventures, including running the specialist business introductions organisation Catena.

Andy Middleton has been made a Discover Ashfield ambassador. Photo: Steve Edwards

He said: “Bringing like-minded business leaders together is an incredibly powerful way to make an impact.

"That’s true for both the individual firm, and for the local economy.

"I have always believed that networking and influencing are built on strong relationships, especially trust, and I would like to see this part of the region better able to create wealth and skilled jobs through strong business connections.”

Martin Rigley MBE Discover Ashfield chairman, added: “Andy is just the sort of Discover Ashfield ambassador we need more of.

"His extensive experience and network, linked to his desire to see Ashfield thrive and survive as a great place to do business, raise a family and visit, epitomises what we look for in an ambassador”.

During his first year as a regional director for Catena, Andy has contributed to a 44 per cent annual growth in network membership despite the recent pressures on the East Midlands business community.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, the organisation made more than 1,050 introductions taking the rolling total of business done between members to £1.5 million.

Collaborations have included video work for a new wound-care product and an innovative printer cartridge recycling project.

Catena founder and director Claire Bicknell believes her organisation plays a very practical role in local economic development through the support and development of member companies.

She said: “I am delighted that Andy will represent the Ashfield area as an ambassador.

"We share an ambition to find creative ways to make running and managing a business that little bit easier and more productive.

"We find that carefully considered introductions make a big difference to the outcome of a potential sale or collaboration.

“I am encouraged by the interest in Catena from businesses around the UK as well as welcoming visitors from France, Germany, Austria, Denmark and, on Thanksgiving Day, from the USA.

"Covid has shown us how to do business differently, and we will continue to learn from this.”

“We are very fortunate in having Andy as a regional director and we will continue to look for candidates to run Catena in other parts of the UK.

"The economic downturn has affected the income of many business professionals so I’m glad to be offering this opportunity.

"What I am trying to achieve with the network is the ability for UK-wide businesses to grow relationships with each other, developing trust to the point they feel confident to do business together or recommend to others.”

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