VANBAR associates join the pack at Nunroyd Park

VANBAR associates is delighted to be one of a growing number of local companies to sponsor a player for the 2016-17 season at Yorkshire Division 3 table-toppers Aireborough RUFC. 

Kris Brook, who deservedly lifted the 'Player of the Year' and 'Clubman of the Year' trophies at the end of last season, in our view represents all that is good about rugby union in general and 'Aire' in particular.

As well as his own training and playing commitments with the 1st XV, Kris also serves as Coaching Coordinator with the club's junior section, the Aireborough Lions, and even finds the time to be Head Coach with the Under 9s.  

Unbeaten in September with four wins from four games, Aire go into Saturday's home encounter with Castleford determined to consolidate their lofty league position with a bonus point victory. 

The club has designated this Saturday as a Sponsors Day with a buffet and pre-game drinks in the clubhouse, followed by the game which kicks-off at 3pm.  

The 1st XV will also be wearing their brand new kit and, afterwards, there will be presentations and a chance to mingle with the players and other sponsors.

If you are interested in sponsoring the club or a player, Nick Jackson would be delighted to hear from you.  His email address is

We hope to see you at Nunroyd Park on Saturday and, with a bit of decent ball, maybe Kris will treat the big crowd to one or two of these.  

Leeds ice rink plan set to glide

More good news for Leeds today as the Yorkshire Evening Post reports that work will begin next week on a long-awaited and certainly impressive new indoor ice rink for the city.  

Sited adjacent to Elland Road, the facility is due to open before the end of the year.

Artist's impression

Artist's impression

Although its primary purpose will be to offer paying patrons the opportunity to skate, its owners - Ice Rink Company - have made clear that it could also act as home to a professional ice hockey team.  

It is therefore notable that the original plans have been changed to increase the number of seats from 1,000 to 1,500, surely raising the chances of Leeds one day hosting an Elite League franchise and all the benefits that would bring.

One to watch. 

Chancellor's Chinese delivery

Big overnight news from George Osborne’s high profile Chinese trade mission as he announced a £1.2 billion deal for his hosts to fund the building of 10,000 new homes in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield, creating 18,000 jobs.

All part of the Chancellor’s drive the create a 'Northern Powerhouse' to counterbalance the economic might of London, the agreement is set to deliver a major extension of Thorpe Park in Leeds, a large scale office, retail and leisure development led by Yorkshire property firm Scarborough Group.

Kevin McCabe, Chairman of the Scarborough Group, who is travelling with Mr Osborne on the five-day trip, said this morning: “As a family business with its roots in the North of England, we are now very proud to bring our partners in China to the UK to invest in our great Northern cities and to accelerate the development of our major projects." 

As the Chinese economy slows and with the Chancellor’s sights fixed very firmly on succeeding David Cameron as Prime Minister, perhaps China’s difficulties could well prove to be the North of England’s major gain. 

VANBAR Associates joins the Herd

Leeds digital recruitment platform Herd has appointed communications agency VANBAR Associates to provide PR support and boost its business profile.   

Amy De-Balsi, founder of Herd

Amy De-Balsi, founder of Herd

Herd was founded last year by entrepreneur Amy De-Balsi to act as a link between technology firms in the Leeds City Region and help candidates access the growing number of vacancies in the local digital sector. 

The firm also organises regular networking events and offers members access to industry intelligence and contacts in Yorkshire.

Recent sign-ups include Epiphany, Sky Bet and Leeds City Council.

Mrs De-Balsi said it was an ideal time for Herd to further capitalise on the opportunities the burgeoning Leeds digital community presented, with many London companies now relocating their software engineering functions to the city.

In April 2015 the Government launched the Tech North initiative to help digital firms in Leeds and neighbouring cities work more closely together and promote the North as a prime location for global technology businesses to invest. 

And in his Budget a few weeks ago, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced plans to create new three new Tech Hubs in the North including £3.7million for a six-floor technology business incubator in the centre of Leeds.

The Leeds digital sector is on the march, as evidenced by the ever-growing number of jobs being created by Herd members and made available on our website and via social media, Amy said.  

In our short history, Herd has established a strong record of achievement in filling these roles.  And through our other activities such as providing networking opportunities, weve enabled many local tech firms to collaborate. 

Herds partnership with VANBAR Associates will raise our brand profile, increase industry awareness of what we do and attract many more members to our ranks.  

VANBAR Associates is an integrated communications firm established in 2014, also based in Leeds.

Barry White, a partner at the agency, said: Ive worked with Amy in the past and been immensely impressed by the professionalism, knowledge and skill she brings to the table.

Under her leadership, Herd has rapidly become a vital resource for digital and tech firms across Leeds City Region.

VANBAR Associates looks forward to playing our part in assisting Herd to expand its role and membership in the months ahead.

Leeds set for place in General Election spotlight

With just a week to go until we traipse off to our local polling stations, all politically-inclined eyes will be on Leeds Town Hall tonight as David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg face questions from David Dimbleby and an audience of voters.      

Yes friends, it's the BBC Question Time Election Special and it's taking place right here in t'Yorkshire.

It's a heck of a coup for Leeds, which has rapidly become the UK city of choice for major events outside the capital including BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the Tour de France Grand Depart.

If you're not from the city or aren't familiar with the Town Hall - opened by Queen Victoria in 1858 - then tune in to BBC1  at 8pm to see the iconic building in all its splendour.     

And if you are, then switch on anyway for a televisual spectacular which could have a significant impact on the General Election outcome.

Just remember that it'll all be over soon.  Honestly.

Easy, Lionel

10 out of 10 for the PR team at the First Direct Arena in Leeds who have clearly been having fun promoting tonight's Lionel Richie concert on social media.

Earlier today they posted this pic on their official Twitter feed.


However, our favourite tweet is this one which appeared yesterday.

You've got to love that.

We could now make a cheap gag about the prospect of tonight's lucky ticket holders "dancing on the ceiling."  But have you seen how high it is? 

Enjoy the gig if you're going.