A North Shields businessman, who has been based in the town centre for the past 18 years, has been appointed Chair of the North Shields Business Chamber.
Rob Gibbons, co-owner of YPD Creative on Howard Street, will take over the reins from outgoing Chair, Miles Walton, in January and is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Rob, who has an arts-based background, joined what was Prontaprint back in 2002 before buying the business 14 years ago and rebranding it as YPD Creative, providing joined-up creative services for small businesses.
He has been a member of the North Shields Business Chamber for many years and was keen to take on a role that could help to steer the direction of its activities going forward.
“The Chamber represents business from North Shields Town Centre to the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate and from Tynemouth Village to the Fish Quay and Royal Quays,” explained Rob. “It’s a wide and diverse mix of businesses and I’m really keen to reach out to them all, to find out what’s important to them and for the Chamber to be able to make a tangible difference for them.
“We are very keen to grow our membership, there are around 2000 businesses in our geographical area and with more members we’d have a much stronger voice. I think that it is vital that we concentrate all our activities and efforts on ensuring everything we do is about helping businesses and creating a dynamic business environment,” he continued. “As we come out of all the COVID-19 restrictions and finally see the back of what has been a disastrous 2020 for many businesses, we want to be there to support local businesses to help them bounce back and thrive.”
Outgoing Chair, Miles Walton, who has held the role for three years, is delighted to see Rob stepping up to the role.
“The Chamber has done some excellent work over the past few years,” he said. “We rolled out our plan to involve all parts of North Shields, not just the town centre; we worked closely with the Port of Tyne to encourage passengers and crew on cruise ships arriving in North Shields to shop in the local area; we introduced the first outdoor market in North Shields town centre and have kept local business up to date with financial support available from the Government We have also strengthened our good relationship with North Tyneside Council.
“But after three years, it’s time to step down and bring in someone with new ideas and new energy,” he continued. “Rob has been a key part of the North Shields business community for many years and knows what challenges businesses face on a day to day basis.
“I’m sure he’ll use this to take the North Shields Business Chamber forward and I wish him every success in the role.”