Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 09.53.58A Redcar networking group that aims to connect businesses and community groups to the benefit of the area has received a funding boost from Darlington Building Society.

Revitalize Redcar, which runs monthly networking events with the intention of bringing people from the business sector and community-based groups together, used the money it received from the Society to purchase promotional materials to attract more people to its events.

The networking events are an opportunity for businesses and organisations to receive support for projects, promote their services and build better working relationships across sectors, whilst also supporting the local economy by encouraging participants to trade with other local businesses.

The first event was held in March this year by two former work colleagues, Paul Kitchener and Jason Reed, who both run their own businesses in the area. They wanted to engage with as many local businesses as possible, but found that there wasn’t the same networking opportunities as elsewhere in the country, and so decided to create one for themselves.

What started out as just a handful of attendees has now grown to regularly host around 40 businesses and community groups at bi-monthly meetings.

Nicky Donaghue, Branch Manager at the Society’s Redcar branch, was inspired to secure the funding for Revitalize Redcar after attending the networking event. She said: “After going to one of the first networking events, I could see the potentially huge benefits for local businesses and community groups.

“Revitalize Redcar’s ambition to support local business and organisations fits perfectly with Darlington Building Society’s aim to make a positive difference in the community, so we were only too happy to help.

“The events are a great chance for community groups to forge links with businesses who have the expertise to help them achieve their aims, and it is also a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to connect with one another.

“Redcar is a great place to do business and we have many amazing community groups; connecting the two is especially important in the current climate. I am looking forward to seeing the relationships forged at Revitalize Redcar events continue flourish to the benefit of the area.”

Paul Kitchener, Co-founder of Revitalize Redcar, said: “Since the first event, Revitalize Redcar has grown at an amazing rate. With new businesses and groups still joining every week, it looks set to continue to be a conduit for local enterprise and community ventures.

“As we continue to grow, we may introduce a small subscription fee which will pay for more guest speakers, mentors and training opportunities for our members.

“When Jason and I first started Revitalize Redcar we didn’t think that just a few months later, we would be able to say that we have helped facilitate over £15,000 worth of business. We have had attendees from across a number of sectors including IT, beauticians, hotels, food banks, councillors, business development specialists and web designers, so the breadth of knowledge and skills at our meetings is outstanding.

“That is definitely thanks in part to the marketing materials that were purchased with Darlington Building Society’s donation. We have had many enquiries directly off the back of the flyers, posters and pull downs that we purchased, all of which will see us through until the end of next year.”

The bi-monthly business and community networking events are held at 7.30am on the first Wednesday of every month at Redcar Leisure & Community Heart, and 6pm on the third Wednesday of every Month at the DECK, Bath St, Redcar.

For further information visit or to book a speaking slot please email

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