Office acquisition and key hires underline regional growth aim as HBP looks to further city success

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IT specialist HBP Systems is setting itself on a post-pandemic trajectory for growth, with a prominent new Hull office and two senior hires.

Tens of thousands of people a day will be made aware of the Scunthorpe-headquartered firm’s enhanced presence on the north bank with the opening of a new office at Hessle.

Managing director Jo Dixon said it is just one significant step from a company determined to come back strongly from more than a year of Covid-restricted activity.

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“Our strategy will be about growing through appropriate acquisitions, and the first step is the acquisition of a highly-visible new north bank home on Livingstone Road,” she said.

The premises will be in full view of the constant stream of drivers using the A63, and builds on a smaller location at Priory Tec Park, opened in 2015.

“This is a high-profile statement,” the Hull-born award-winning MD said. “We’ll be keeping the Scunthorpe premises as our HQ, but a prominent home at the north end of the bridge will give us a springboard into the North Bank economy, from its growing offshore energy sector to the more traditional industries. It will also bring other Yorkshire cities within much easier reach.”

A commitment to the area’s economy has already been made, with contractors and suppliers who’ve had an input to the move all operating in the area.

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The decision to establish new premises is about more than business. HBP still has ambitions to earn a place on The Times list of the UK’s Best Companies to Work For.

“Although that initiative went onto the back burner when the Covid difficulties began, it never went away completely,” Jo said. “The new Hull office, which will have space for about 15 people and be managed by Rachel Hand, illustrates that. As well as the business rationale behind it, we have employees who live on the North Bank. Giving them somewhere to work that’s closer to home will reduce their commute, enhance their work/life balance, and be good for the environment too.”

She sees that with vaccinations now at such a high level, a return of office-based work is becoming possible. “It’s important that people start to take the opportunity to return to work in a controlled and safe manner,” Jo said, having ensured she spoke to every employee every month through lockdown. “Interaction with colleagues is of great benefit, but we recognise that as an IT company we can look after our customers from anywhere. “That’s why we’ll be incorporating more ‘working from home’ into our daily routines as things get back to normal.”

A £10 million turnover group, with HBP Systems the largest element, Hampshire firm Jugo Systems was acquired last November, adding to Kamarin Computers in Peterborough, Monpellier in Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear and Copier Systems in Barnsley.

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And another significant building block in the strategy is the appointment of Simon Webster as group finance director, working on a consultancy basis.

“His role will be to share his experience to help us chart our path through our growth strategy,” Jo said. “He has significant experience from a series of increasingly-senior roles in sectors as diverse as coffee, flowers, farm machinery, retail, seafood, and steel – but the threads that run through them all are numbers and people. On that basis he’ll be able to advise us on the best options to realise our ambitions.”

Also joining HBP is Ben Kirby, who takes up the position of head of IT services. The newly created role has been designed to sit between operations director Tony Pearson and the rest of the team. Tony said: “He has lots of IT experience, and will oversee our entire IT infrastructure.”

Ben brings HBP experience as a customer in his previous role, having been IT manager for landscape products supplier Kelkay Ltd.

Tony added: “Ben’s experience and attitude will make him a great asset for the HBP Group, and I’m looking forward to him working with the team and our customers in the future.”

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