Headland Hull

John Connelly, managing director C4DI, with Ken Heptonstall, managing director, and Martin Dean, commercial director, Headland

Making headway in Hull

A digital agency which counts Alton Towers, ITV and Santander amongst its clients has expanded into Hull as it looks to capitalise on the City of Culture buzz.

Headland Multimedia was founded by Ken Heptonstall in 1991. The company initially provided creative design, marketing and publicity for his former employers at both Yorkshire and Central TV, where he worked as a creative director, as well as the BBC and Channel 4.

But it was in the mid-90s, and the coming of age of the digital era, that saw Headland really find its niche – winning over businesses keen to embrace these new digital solutions, amongst them ITV, who still, 20-years later, work with Headland.

Now as the company looks set to continue growing, it has opened a third office to complement its existing locations in Leeds and Nottingham with the launch of Headland Hull - which Ken believes will play a vital role in the company’s continued growth.

Ken said: “We’ve represented clients in Hull for many years and it’s always been a great place with huge potential, but 2017 finally feels like the year the city’s digital marketplace will fulfil its potential.

“The buzz created by the City of Culture badge is enormous, and the local digital tech talent pool is now not only the envy of every other northern city, but is being properly harnessed by the likes of C4DI. All of which means this is the perfect time to make our presence in this great city permanent.”

Headland, which already works locally with Rollits LLP, Kis-orca and Machine Mart, also has offices in Leeds and Nottingham and will relocate four staff members to its new Hull division in C4DI on the banks of the Humber.

And the move will also see the company hire a further five staff members over the next 12 months with Ken keen to stress that the Hull operation wont simply be used as a satellite office - but will have real strategic importance.

“Our intention with the new base wasn’t to open another satellite office,” he adds, “but instead to create a hub for inspiration, invention and the development of new commercial products. And having access to such a large talent pool was one of the key reasons we opted for Hull.

“Another reason was the C4DI Hub, which played a huge role in drawing us into the city. In it you’ve got over 100 digital and tech specialists working in a stunning building that has an extremely strong cutting edge research and development feel about it, and it was exactly what we wanted for what is going to be our R&D base.”

Headland’s core expertise lies in the creation and management of digital solutions for Fintech, mobile payments, e-commerce and cyber security. It also delivers traditional design and print solutions, and online design solutions for clients on local, national and international levels.

So, what does the future hold for the company following its move to Hull? Ken concluded: “There’s so much scope it’s hard to quantify, both in terms of local business opportunities here in Hull and the potential for forming collaborative ventures with others in C4DI.

“On top of that, we’d love to see more and more of our R&D projects develop into new commercial opportunities, and Fintech continue to grow. I also see work in the oil, gas and renewable industries, as well as medical and healthcare sectors becoming of ever greater importance.”