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Collaboration is key at Hoults Yard

What does being a ‘good business’ mean to you? Residents at HyHubs are coming together to discuss just that.

Over the past year businesses in Hoults Yard have been taking part in The Good Business Meet Up, a joint initiative between BeaconHouse Events, Opencast, and HyHubs to drive change for the local community through positive conversations and consistent, considered projects in the local area, including sharing learning on becoming more carbon responsible or sustainable travel. But this group isn’t just about having good conversations. It’s about making things happen. In April 2024 over 30 people from Hoults Yard business community came together to litter pick around the local area, together picking up more than 50kg of waste and filling 20 bin bags in just an hour and this is just one in a series of initiatives being actioned from the meetups. Rather than discussing what could happen, the task force will be out and about in the community through a series of planned initiatives to demonstrate that small, consistent actions really can equate to big change.

Business including Opencast, Swarm, GSS Architecture, Steel River Consultants, Tandem Property Asset Management, Acropolis, Red Engineering and Ingram AV have all been rolling up their sleeves to champion what being a good business means here in the North East and Sarah Thackray, co-founder of BeaconHouse Events thinks this could be the start of something really impactful for the region.

Speaking about the Good Business Meet Up, which is currently held once a quarter, Sarah said, “While this has started as a way for businesses in Hoults Yard to come together to support each other to make positive change, in the future I would love for this to expand to include representatives from across the whole of the region so we can share and learn from each other and expand the reach of what we can achieve. The conversations that we have are really positive and focus on how to be a purposeful business; this isn’t about shaming businesses who aren’t doing things perfectly, it is about having action-focused conversations and celebrating and learning from those individuals and organisations who are doing what they can to become more sustainable and give back to the communities that we operate in.

“Future initiatives we are planning include a volunteer day showcase that will bring charities and community groups into the yard to let businesses who call HyHubs their home, know about the projects operating locally and how they can get involved on a voluntary basis. Here in Byker, we are surrounded by non-profit groups who are doing amazing things and this would be a way to match-make those organisations with businesses who align with their mission.”

While some members of The Good Business Meet Up are certified B Corps, the group is keen to help all business leaders discover what the best path is for them when it comes to exploring what being a purpose driven, responsible business means to them.

Sarah continued, “There is no ‘perfect’ way to do ESG (Environmental, Societal and Governance) and it is important to have really honest conversations with each other about what has worked and what hasn’t, that’s certainly something that has benefited me and the team at BeaconHouse Events. Having a community where you can ask questions without fear or judgment, team up to make things happen, and understand what sustainability means in practice is a really powerful thing and I’m excited to see where it takes us.”

Dan Pearson, Executive Delivery Manager at Opencast, said: “It’s been fantastic to see how an idea that Sarah and I had last year has transformed into a growing community, where local companies are coming together to discuss our shared ESG goals and challenges.

“Opencast prides itself on being a purpose-driven business that exists to make life better through the power of people and technology. Social expectations of what businesses should be doing have changed with employees and investors expecting much more – so groups like ours play an important part of how, by getting together, we can do more to make a positive impact.

I am excited about the future for our group as we evolve and continue to collaborate, share best practices, and provide guidance to address issues collectively.”

Louise White, marketing manager at HyHubs said, “At HyHubs, we’re actively taking steps to ensure we’re a good business in every sense. Through initiatives like The Good Business Meet Up, we’re not just talking the talk, we’re walking the walk. It’s amazing to collaborate with other HyHubs-based businesses, seeing the community come together to plan and work towards positive impacts. Whether it’s a litter pick or a community project, we’re rolling up our sleeves and making things happen.

HyHubs residents and businesses from across Hoults Yard are invited to take part in the Good Business Meet-Ups that take place quarterly at Hoults Yard. For more information on the next meet-up and for wider North East England purpose driven meet ups email