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North East Chamber of Commerce: In focus – My chamber

Esh Group is known across the North of England for its construction, housebuilding and civil engineering prowess. Here, Darush Dodds, director of corporate affairs and social value, talks about its relationship with the North East Chamber of Commerce, and how it is continuing to help the Bowburn-headquartered company secure fresh success.

What led Esh Group to become a North East Chamber of Commerce member?

Ultimately, to contribute to North East prosperity by harnessing our position as one of the largest privately-owned businesses in the region as a force for good, by collaborating with, learning from and sharing a platform with like-minded businesses from a range of key sectors.

The Chamber has a number of membership packages. Which is Esh Group subscribed to, and what does it deliver?

Esh Group is a partner member, the only construction sector member in the partner band. We have access to unique engagement opportunities and intimate events, access to highly influential regional business representatives and a platform to influence regional and national decision-makers.

What key benefits has Esh Group derived from being part of the Chamber?

One huge benefit is knowledge sharing – helping businesses solve problems we may have already solved, and being connected with businesses who have successfully navigated problems we face.

The North East’s collective is astounding, and the Chamber acts as an independent broker to link regional experts. Collaboration and innovation are other key benefits.

We work with several educational and sector specific groups to better understand emerging trends and to horizon scan – and our Chamber relationship is no different. We benefit greatly when developing new programmes, adapting policies and amplifying the coverage of our social, economic and environmental programmes.

And I must also mention profile building within the region. The Chamber provides a great platform for communications through its large, relevant readership – the region’s business community.

We often share our content with the Chamber’s communications team, which is then shared on their website, electronic newsletter and social media.

Key to the Chamber’s membership offer is its expert policy support and high-profile events calendar. How have these helped Esh Group forge better industry awareness and connections?

We have recently contributed to events focusing on social value, procurement, carbon reduction and supporting the Armed Forces.

We regularly attend partner breakfasts, which always have very interesting keynote speakers, and relevant Esh colleagues attend events that help them develop knowledge in their respective fields, such as HR, people development, talent retention, mental health and finance.

Esh Construction, our main trading arm, delivers construction projects for all 12 of the region’s local authorities, with whom we have excellent relationships.

The Chamber provides a high-level view of regional and national politics and devolution through its events series, and allows us to learn from, understand, advise and, in some cases, challenge key political figures.

For what reasons would you recommend Chamber affiliation to a non-member business?

Make the most of your Chamber! No matter the size or sector of your business, there is a membership package to suit your budget that will deliver return on investment.

The Chamber team is knowledgeable, supportive, well connected and, most importantly, they listen, ensuring they deliver a quality service centred on what is most valuable to your needs.

May 10, 2024

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