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Nick Dale is the Local Authority Account Manager for Rochdale and is based in FireUp. Nick joined the Growth Company about three months ago and has settled well into the job. We talked to him about how he sees Rochdale and how is he finding working at FireUp. 

What attracted you to join the Growth Company and what did you do before? 

I live in Rochdale and therefore have a vested interest in the Town. Previously I worked for Rochdale Council within Regeneration and Economic Affairs. We provided free recruitment services and business support for companies moving to the Borough or those already based in Rochdale. I was also seconded to Rochdale Development Agency for a period of time. During this role, I developed numerous contacts which are useful in my current role. I carried out my research on the Business Growth Hub and was impressed at not only the amount of support offered but the wide range of services. To cut a long story short, I saw this role and was immediately attracted to it.  

As a Rochdale native, how do you see the town developing? 

Rochdale is a typical working class town that has had its ups and down, like everywhere however there are many exciting initiatives happening now. We have projects like Atom Valley and AMPI and the recent launch of CEAMS (Centre of Expertise for Advanced Materials & Sustainability). So good things are happening and with plenty of positive signs for the local economy.  

So how have you first few months been here at FireUp? 

When I saw the role advertised, I thought it sounded really interesting. I think I have made a reasonable start in my first three months. I'm gradually building good relationships with the RDA and the council. I think that the mixture of public and private sector experience I have helps to facilitate those conversations.  

I feel the role of Stakeholder Account Manager is important, as we act as the conduit between BGH and the Local Authority to ensure Rochdale’s business community has access to all the support available. Public institutions can be difficult to deal with and time consuming. We cut all that out for businesses. 

FireUp is a great space and has a real business community. There is a real sense of collaborative working. So, for example, we have a guy who runs a plumbing business, he got chatting to the guys in the next office, an accountancy firm, and they are now doing his books for him. 

Some days the place is really busy, others it is quieter, but footfall does seem to be increasing but then again, we are not Manchester city centre are we! All the offices are fully occupied, but we do have the hot desks available too. I had a client come and work for the morning here and his feedback was great, he loves the place. 

On starting with the BGH, it was stated that the role was hybrid based, but I live only 15 minutes away and quite honestly, I’d rather work from here. 

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