Kersten England, Chief Executive, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council – Solving the productivity puzzle – growing the Leeds City Region economy

Kersten is Chief Executive of Bradford Council. Bradford has one of the youngest populations of any City in the UK and an ethnically diverse and entrepreneurial population. The District is enjoying a period of economic growth; growth of local companies and inward investment, major capital schemes and expansion of the retail and leisure offer. Her main challenge is to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth and in particular to strengthen the skills base of the District.

Kersten is the lead Chief Executive for innovation and growth in the Leeds City Region, a trustee of Nesta (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), a member of the Council of the University of Bradford and of the National Media Museum’s Advisory Board and a Director of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone based in Bradford.

Kersten was previously Chief Executive of York. Highlights included the introduction of the living wage by many employers in the city, development of the first ‘gigabit city infrastructure’, designation as a UNESCO ‘City of Media Arts’ and hosting a stage start of the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014.

Kersten’s career has included work in the voluntary sector, higher education, central government as well as 23 years in local government. She is passionate about building resilient and confident communities, diversity and equality, supporting local democracy and sustainable and inclusive urban growth.


William Rogers, UKRD – Top tips from the No 1 company to work for in the UK

William is CEO of UKRD, a commercial radio group operating 16 local and national radio stations across England. UKRD has won the number 1 Sunday Times Top 100 Best Mid sized Company to work for in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Personally William has received the Sunday Times Best Leader of a mid sized company in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  William turned UKRD Group around from a loss-making company to one of operating profitability, paying regular dividends to its shareholders.
Outside his professional life, William has been chairman of a small housing society, Chairman of a college of further education, primary school governor, elected councillor and leader of the local authority on which he served and was awarded the
MBE in 1990 at the age of 30.


Ruth Whiteley, Impact Sales – Selling isn’t telling – it’s Asking Questions and Listening – How appearing on BBC The Apprentice confirmed this.

Ruth will give a brief overview about her time on the Apprentice and then give some examples of creating opportunities for fantastic selling, improve conversion ratio, make more profit and enjoy unrivalled repeat and referral business.



Joe Shrimpton, Extreme Lounging – My story: Joe Shrimpton

Young Ilkley Entrepreneur Joe Shrimpton, who owns local company Extreme Lounging, tells us his business story.





Gavin Patterson, Valeria Olive Oil & Truffle Co – It’s never too late to follow your dreams


Gavin tells us his business story as well as key learnings from his time on BBC’s ‘Second Chance Summer’ & how he feels he has now found his true passion.