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Bondholders Chair changes hands at pivotal time for the region

The Chair of the Hull and East Yorkshire Bondholders is to hand over the reins, having overseen rapid growth in membership and the development of powerful marketing messages for the region.

Jim Dick is to relinquish the position on Friday 1st March just over two years since stepping in to save the organisation following the demise of urban regeneration company Hull Forward.

At that time, Mr Dick said he would take on the role for a year to stabilise the Bondholders scheme, a private sector-led network of organisations who work together to raise the profile of Hull and East Yorkshire and attract investment to the area.

Now, with the Bondholders flourishing, he has decided to pass on the position of Chair, to allow the Bondholders to move forward under new leadership at a pivotal time for the region.

Mr Dick’s successor is Goole-based entrepreneur Peter Aarosin whose companies operate in the shipping, logistics and renewables sectors with operations on both banks of the Humber, as well as in Europe.

The change was announced at a breakfast meeting of Bondholders members at the Mercure Royal Hotel in Hull today (21st February).

Mr Dick, a former President of healthcare giant Smith & Nephew’s Hull-based Global Wound Management division, said: “The Bondholders has gone from strength to strength and I believe that now is the right time to make this change.

“There is so much going on. We are seeing huge investments in renewable energy and related industries; the Humber LEP is now well established; we are very hopeful of City Deal status; and Lord Heseltine has begun his review of the region’s economy. This is our time”.

Mr Dick has been a pioneer of work to improve the image of Hull and the wider region. He was a founder member in 1994 of the Image Group, which created a network of businesses who paid a “Bond” to support work to promote the city. The Image Group also launched breakfast meetings. The first was attended by about 25 Bondholders; now the regular events can attract over 200 leaders from organisations across the region.

The Image Group became Hull City Image and Mr Dick was Chairman from 1999 to 2005 when it became part of Hull Forward.

Since the Bondholders relaunch in November 2010, the scheme has increased membership from 120 to 172 companies and other organisations and become a leading voice for local business. The Bondholders has also developed a powerful economic story for Hull and East Yorkshire under the “green growth, blue horizons” theme, focused on the area’s key strengths and potential.

Most recently, the Bondholders has worked closely with the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, supporting the LEP’s marketing activity, including developing the message that the Humber is the UK’s Energy Estuary. This has resonated within Government and was used by Business Minister Michael Fallon at the recent launch of a £30m Humber LEP fund to support business growth.

Mr Dick welcomed the appointment as Bondholders Chair of a businessman with pan-Humber interests at a crucial time for the region. “Peter ticks all the boxes,” he said. “His businesses are involved in the key sectors for the Humber economy and operate around the estuary; he is an entrepreneur; he is well-connected; and he is international. He’ll bring fresh-thinking to the role.”

Mr Aarosin said: “I am looking forward to taking up this position and to playing my part in ensuring the region takes full advantage of the very exciting opportunities ahead of us.

“The Bondholders is a fantastic organisation which is business-led and business-focused. As a member I have been very impressed with the number and diversity of companies involved.

“We now have an excellent opportunity to continue to increase the Bondholders membership and develop our interaction with member businesses, while playing a vital role in promoting the region as a location for investment.”

As Bondholders Chair Mr Aarosin will join Hull’s newly-formed City Leadership Board and also the Humber LEP Advisory Group. He said he was delighted that the Bondholders was working so closely with the LEP on marketing the estuary.

He said: “With the help of the Bondholders, the LEP has been able to establish itself quicker than has been the case elsewhere. We must continue to work with the LEP and other organisations so that all our efforts are aligned and we grasp the opportunity to create wealth throughout the Humber.”

Mr Aarosin also paid tribute to Mr Dick’s leadership of the Bondholders. “To follow in Jim’s footsteps is quite a task,” he said. “I have been amazed by how much he has been involved in and has achieved. He has been a real driving force”.

Notes to Editors

Jim Dick

Jim Dick spent 30 years with healthcare giant Smith & Nephew, the last seven as Global President of the company’s Wound Management operation, based in Hull.

Since retiring from Smith & Nephew he has taken up a number of non-executive and pro bono appointments. He is a former Non-Executive Director of Consort Medical plc and former Board member of the Hull York Medical School.

Mr Dick is a founder and Chairman of the Trustees of youth development charity CatZero, which works with young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs). He is former Chairman of the Smith & Nephew Foundation and was a founder Director and investor in the KCFM commercial radio station until its sale in 2009. He is also Chairman of the Trustees of the Smile Foundation and Pro Chancellor and Member of Council at the University of Hull.

Mr Dick was a founder member of the Image Group formed to challenge false and outdated perceptions of Hull. This later became Hull City Image, which Mr Dick chaired from 1999-2005. He has been Chair of the Hull and East Yorkshire Bondholders, a private sector-led marketing organisation, since 2010.

Mr Dick is also a Deputy Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire. In 2012 he was awarded the Lifetime Contribution Award at the Mail News & Media (Hull Daily Mail) Business Awards.

Peter Aarosin

Peter Aarosin is a director and shareholder in several companies that operate in the sea and road-based logistics, ports, storage and warehousing sectors in the Humber estuary and beyond.

His business interests include being Managing Director of Danbrit Holdings and Danbrit Shipping and Chief Executive of RMS Group, which has port operations in Hull, Goole, Immingham, Grimsby and Scunthorpe, employing more than 200 people, as well as owning and operating RMS Trent ports.

Mr Aarosin is also a Director of EastTrans, a contractual logistics company based at Stallingborough, near Immingham; freight forwarding company GXD Logistics, based at Goole; and Blue Water Danbrit, a UK-Danish joint venture which is a world leader in renewables logistics.

Born in Denmark, Mr Aarosin has been based in East Yorkshire for 34 years. His companies have strong links to the continent with offices in Copenhagen, the Danish port of Hundested and Rotterdam.

He is a founder member of the HumberPort partnership, which promotes the estuary to investors as a single ports proposition; a former President of the Goole Chamber of Commerce; and a former Director of the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce.

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