Events Archive

Hive Social – Caribbean Style

When – 26th October 2017
Where – Turtle Bay, Blackburn
The latest Hive Social event saw tickets sell out in less than two weeks for a Caribbean extravaganza at the coolest new bar in town, Turtle Bay. Situated in the newly redeveloped Cathedral Quarter in Blackburn town centre, guests were treated to free cocktails, filled up with an amazing selection of Caribbean food and wowed with cocktail making classes in an amazing event generously sponsored by Napthens Solicitors.

Blackburn is Hiring – Careers and Jobs Fair

When – 14th September 2017
Where – Blackburn Cathedral
Hosted in the wonderful Blackburn Cathedral, this amazing event brought together some of the biggest employers and training providers in Blackburn with Darwen to enthuse the future workforce of the borough. The event was organised in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackburn College, Hive Business School, Cummins Mellor, Northcote, Lancashire Employment and Skills Executive Partnership and Organic Insurance. Sponsored and supported by Hive Business School, the event saw a multitude of Hive businesses on display and was a roaring success with around 2,000 young people attending on the day.

Hive Social – Flipout

When – 7th September 2017
Where – Flipout, Blackburn
The latest Hive Social event saw all of the family welcomed to Lancashire’s largest trampolining park at Flipout Blackburn. Generously sponsored by Personalising Freedom, the event saw all members of the family bouncing their way to success whilst networking their way to future business.

Hive Social – Mixology and Magic

When – 27th July 2017
Where – Oyster and Otter, Blackburn
After the roaring success of the first Hive Bee Social event in June, the Hive Social group again wowed local businesses with their second soiree – a cocktail making master class with a twist. This fabulous event was hosted by The Seafood Pub Company at The Oyster & Otter and was generously sponsored by the lovely LH Recruitment.

Implications of the New Government

When – 11th July 2017
Where – Blackburn Rovers, Ewood Park
This latest of the Hive networking events saw BBC Radio Lancashire Breakfast presenter Graham Liver grill a panel of leading business people from the region, including new Chief Executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Miranda Barker. The panel discussed a range of topics including the Northern Powerhouse agenda, combined authorities and Brexit, looking at potential implications for Blackburn and Darwen and the opportunities this presents.

Primary Engineer Celebration

When – 28th June 2017
Where – St Wilfrid’s C.E. Academy
Primary Engineer is a project which pairs local businesses with primary schools in Blackburn and Darwen to work on an engineering project over the course of an academic year. Part-funded by Hive and in collaboration with Hive Business School, this year’s project culminated in this amazing celebration event where the final projects were judged.

Launch of Hive Bee Social – Let There Bee Gin

When – 22nd June 2017
Where – The Clog and Billycock
This gin tasting extravaganza marked the launch of the Hive Bee Social events, a monthly event created to introduce a social aspect to the Hive network and to get as many business people from the local community together as often as possible in a more informal environment. Five different gins were tasted with expert opinion from two local gin makers and networking was continuing long into the night!

Hive Awards 2017

When – 10th May 2017
Where – King George’s Hall
The third annual Hive Awards showed a change of venue, but lost none of the sparkle of previous years. Taking place at the magnificent King George’s Hall, the awards returned to reward the borough’s best businesses in another star studded ceremony. Awards were presented across a range of categories, including titles for those that showed the business growth, manufacturing excellence, innovation and investing in skills, as well as business person of the year and and young employee awards for individuals.

National Festival of Making

When – 6-7th May 2017
Where – Blackburn Town Centre
May saw the first ever National Festival of Making take place in Blackburn town centre. Organised by Wayne Hemingway and supported by Hive and other partners, the festival saw over 30,000 people flock to Blackburn town centre to enjoy the celebration of makers and making. With segments shown live on BBC Breakfast and Saturday Kitchen filmed live in Cathedral quarter, many Hive members exhibited on the day and showed the country what an excellent array of businesses we have in Blackburn and Darwen.

Hive is Five

When – 25th April 2017
Where – Blackburn Rovers, Ewood Park
This hugely successful event saw over one hundred delegate descend on Ewood Park for a celebration of five years of Hive. Guests heard from a variety of members of the steering group, as well as students from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, on the successes of Hive over the last five years and the plans for the future to ensure Blackburn and Darwen grow and thrive as a business community.

Hive Skills Showcase

When – 7th March 2017
Where – Darwen Aldridge Community Academy
The Hive Skills Showcase saw over a thousand students attend an event which showcased business in 10 different sectors. This hugely successful event gave students an opportunity to see the wide range of careers on offer to them in the local area that young people are clearly not aware of.

Lancaster University / Hive / NatWest Masterclass with James Whittaker of Microsoft

When – 1st March 2017
Where – ASK Centre, BAE, Samlesbury
Coming hot on the heels of the launch of the Masterclass series saw a last minute opportunity to host an event with American coding great James Whittaker who has worked for the likes of the FBI, IBM, Ericsson, SAP, Cisco, Microsoft and Google where he led teams working on innovations such as Chrome, Chrome OS, Maps and Google+. James wowed the audience with talk of the future of technology and how they will change the way the world does business.

Lancaster University / Hive / Masterclass with Michael Finnigan of i2i

When – 16th February 2017
Where – Blackburn College University Centre
February saw the launch of the Lancaster University Masterclass events in Blackburn. The Masterclass series of events are a highly successful series which currently take place at the Lancaster University campus, but a collaboration between the University, Hive and NatWest has led to the agreement of 3 of these events to take place in Blackburn in 2017. The first of these saw Michael Finnigan of i2i invigorate the crowd with talk of how businesses should organise their business from the top in order to empower employees and help a good business become “great”.

Hive Business School Fantastic Futures Event

When – 1st February 2017
Where – Darwen Aldridge Community Academy
The Fantastic Futures Event was an opportunity for students to meet a wide range of Hive businesses showing them the wide range of careers available to young people in Blackburn and Darwen. The students grilled businesses on a wide range of subjects from qualifications needed to potential salaries.

Hive Business School Employability Day

When – 31st January 2017
Where – St Wilfrid’s C.E. Academy
The Hive Business School Employability Day saw a wide range of Hive businesses descend on St Wilfrid’s Academy for a mock interview day. Students were grilled by our local businesses in an effort to help prepare them for the future world of work.

Business and Education with Nigel Haworth

When – 6th December 2016
Where – Blackburn College University Centre
Michelin star chef Nigel Haworth, of Northcote fame, told delegates of the importance of linking education with the business world. Nigel talked through the development of the Northcote brand and his rise to fame, leading to his current strong links with Blackburn College and the importance of the apprentices the Northcote Group take on. The event also saw two of Nigel’s students giving a student perspective on the importance to them of links with the business world in the early part of their career and how Hive can assist with this.

Hive Ambassadors Launch

When – 22nd September 2016
Where – Blackburn Rovers, Ewood Park
This breakfast event saw the launch of the Hive Ambassadors Network to bring together the key business leaders in Blackburn and Darwen to move forward and harness  the power of our businesses, build on the momentum of the past four years and position the Hive Ambassador’s Network to lead and strengthen the business community and encourage investment.

Hive Awards 2016

When – 26th May 2016
Where – Blackburn Cathedral
The Hive Awards returned to reward the borough’s best businesses in a star studded ceremony at Blackburn Cathedral. Awards were presented across a range of categories, including titles for those that showed the most creativity, manufacturing excellence, innovation and investing in skills, as well as young entrepreneur and young employee awards for individuals.

 Hive Networking Event with Edwin Booth

When – 21st April 2016
Where – Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio
Chairman of Booths and Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership wowed delegates with his story of the development of Booths supermarkets as well as the role of the LEP. Edwin explained what it means for Blackburn with Darwen and the County as a whole, as well as Lancashire’s role in the Northern Powerhouse. Delegates also heard from students of Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio and their involvement in Hive Business School.

Hive Business School Launch

When – 25th February 2016
Where – Our Lady & St John Catholic Arts College
Creative Director and fashion designer Patrick Grant of Savile Row and television fame helped to launch BwD Hive CIC, a new Community Interest Company designed to further the objectives of the original Hive business leaders’ network, and ensure that all businesses within the borough, large and small, have the opportunity to play their part.

Hive CIC Launch

When – 8th October 2015
Where – King George’s Hall
Hosted by Our Lady and St John Roman Catholic Arts College in Blackburn, around 90 leaders from the worlds of commerce and education went back to the classroom to learn of the Hive Business School project. Hive Business School has been created to ensure greater engagement between young people in education in Blackburn with Darwen and the towns’ employers, following a commitment from Hive for businesses’ skills needs to be met.

Insider’s Manufacturing Champions Breakfast 2015

When – 19th June 2015
Where – Blackburn Rovers, Ewood Park
Insider’s Manufacturing Champions’ Breakfast brought together some of the winners and shortlisted companies from Insider’s Made in the North West Awards, which celebrates the cream of the region’s manufacturing sector. This was also an opportunity to hear from the North West’s top companies in the manufacturing sector about their growth plans and challenges as they look to the future.

Hive Awards 2015

When – 30th April 2015
Where – Blackburn Cathedral
The borough’s best businesses were given special recognition at the first ever Hive Blackburn and Darwen Business Awards. To take home a trophy, organisations and individuals first had to undergo a rigorous judging process which sorted the good from the great.  Awards were presented across a range of categories, including titles for those that showed the most creativity, manufacturing excellence, high growth and international achievement, as well as young entrepreneur and bright spark awards for individuals.

Jobs Fair for 16-24 Year Olds

When – 5th March 2015
Where – Blackburn Leisure Centre
This event was an opportunity for local businesses to promote their ‘live’ and upcoming job vacancies, apprenticeships and work experience placements to young people.

Careers Event for Year 10 Students

When – 2nd March 2015
Where – King Georges Hall, Blackburn
This event highlighted the local opportunities available to young people and provide a valued insight into their careers of preference so that they can make informed decisions regarding their on-going education and future careers.

Plan for Prosperity’ Launch Event

When – 18th November 2014
Where – Accrol Papers
Businesses came together with the Councul and partners to sign up to the Plan for Prosperity and set the priorities for the borough for (2014-2020). These include creating 2,700 new jobs, getting more residents in work, bringing new investment and improving the infrastructure and housing of the borough.

Blackburn Rovers / ‘Arte et Labore’

When – 1st October 2014
Where – Blackburn Rovers, Ewood Park
Following a busy summer period, the Hive business leaders network met at Ewood Park for a session with  the borough’s biggest brand – Blackburn Rovers Football Club. Under the theme ‘arte et labore’ (by skill and hard work – the motto of the town sits proudly above the town hall and features on the Rovers logo) attendees heard from the Club’s management team on their ambitions for B.R.F.C, the town and engagement with the local community.

Creative Hive: Understanding Digital Marketing

When – 1st May 2014
Where – Blakeys Café Bar, Blackburn
The seond Creative Hive event tackled the subject of Digital Marketing with Tom Stables from 3ManFactory and Alastair Clark of Tick the Publicity Box.

Grow your Business in Southern Asia

When – 10th April 2014
Where – Graham and Brown, Blackburn
UK Trade and Investment came to town in April as part of export week. Working with Hive and other local partners, arrangements are underway for a special regional event here in the borough aimed at getting more businesses exporting and to different markets.

This session focused on the high growth markets of Southern Asia, including exporting to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This was an opportunity to hear from experienced exporters and people who can help your business grow, as well as understanding the essentials about doing business in South Asia and learning about what UKTI and Export Week can do for your business.

A Plan for Prosperity

Where – Blackburn Youth Zone
Earlier this year, the Borough’s Local Strategic Partnership (which brings together leading figures from the private, public and third sectors) held a summit at Blackburn Youth Zone on the area’s emerging ‘Plan for Prosperity’. The session was used to explore three main issues:

Creative Hive Launch

When – 6th March 2014
Launched on the 6th March 2014 by Andrew Graham, CEO of wallpaper design and manufacturing firm Graham and Brown, along with Wayne Hemingway MBE, Creative Director for Blackburn is Open, Creative Hive is the borough’s newest network, and forms an important part of the wider network of Hive’s business leaders.


When – 28th January 2014
Where – Blackburn Rovers, Ewood Park
Hive’s latest event saw the network’s business leaders meet at Blackburn Rovers Football Club for a connectivity inspired event. Along with an insight into how Blackburn College is working with young people to test new technologies through the international GirlGeeks project, and a LinkedIn masterclass with trainer Mark Williams of ETN LinkedIn, the Hive heard from 6G internet on the business benefits of superfast broadband.

Hive’s Finance Workshop

When – 5th December 2013
Where – Accrol Papers
Manufacturing giant Accrol Papers provided the perfect setting for Hive’s inaugural ‘Finance for Business’ workshop organised by the network’s finance group comprising David Sharpe of Pierce Chartered Accountants, Jamie Allison of Napthens Solicitors and Mark Gardiner of RBS.

Wayne Hemingway at Crown Paints Learning Academy

When – 25th September 2013
Where – Crown Paints
Hive business leaders network hosted inspirational designer Wayne Hemingway MBE at Crown Paints – another of the network’s impressive founder members. Wayne spoke passionately and unscripted about his upbringing in the town, his work on helping to create a new radical strategy for Blackburn town centre and set Hive’s members an important question: what does Blackburn stand for, and what sets us apart from the rest?

Hive Helps Borough’s Young People Into Work

When – 18th July 2013
Where – King Georges Hall
Around 30 employers from the Hive Network showed their support for the next generation at a joint event as part of the Council’s ‘Your Call’ initiative. More than 100 unemployed 16-24 year olds wanted to speak to employers to find out what is expected of them, what local firms are looking for and what they can offer as well. Key employers from the local area attended the event at King George’s Hall Blackburn with many offering several work experience placements, or discussing live vacancies.

Hive Hosts Government Minister for Trade and Investment

When – 5th February 2013
Where – Graham and Brown
Hive welcomed Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, to Blackburn with Darwen earlier this year.
Addressing the network’s new and existing members at wallpaper giant Graham and Brown, the export Minister hailed Hive as the ‘best Network in Britain’ and ‘an outstanding example’ of companies working together which the Government wanted to replicate elsewhere.

Hive Launch Event

When – 25th September 2012
Where – Blackburn Youth Zone
The Hive Network was officially launched in September 2012 at an inspirational event at Blackburn Youth Zone.

Described by the Lancashire Telegraph as the launch of a ‘bold new initiative’ to turn Blackburn and Darwen into a world class business area, the event featured key addresses from the network’s Chairman Khalid Saifullah of Star Tissue UK, Andrew Graham CEO of Graham & Brown/Chairman of Blackburn Youth Zone and Brian Davidson, Chairman of Crown Paints.