Connect Yorkshire Sponsors

Connect Yorkshire sponsors are leaders in their fields, with a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. Our sponsors consist of Marketing, IT, Sales, HR, Private Equity and Venture Capital.

Our sponsors offer help and support to our members, with their specific knowledge and expertise. All businesses, no matter what their shape or size, need help and advice from these industries.

Our sponsors hold seminars and workshops on various topics ensuring our members are informed and kept up to date with all the latest news and developments that are constantly changing and evolving in the business environment.

Below are our sponsors:

Black Kat HR is a Yorkshire based HR consultancy, supporting growing businesses from "business owner +1” to growing SME’s who all have the same focus - to grow the business successfully through the great people they employ.

We take the mystery out of HR and employment law, taking a down to earth, personalised approach to supporting clients to attract and retain great people. Happy and engaged employees are also highly productive so it makes complete sense for businesses to do everything they can to steer things in that direction…… and away from costly and time consuming employment tribunals.

That is where we can help.

We offer a range of services to businesses including drafting employment contracts and HR handbooks, providing support with situations such as investigations, disciplinaries, grievances and redundancy projects through to being your trusted outsourced HR Manager, giving you access to HR advice when you need it at a fraction of the cost of employing a specialist HR employee.

Black Kat HR can take away the stress and uncertainty around being an employer, allowing you to focus on driving forward your business.

Kat Derbyshire


Having previously worked in HR in corporate businesses, Kat set up Black Kat HR Ltd in 2018 with the purpose of providing support to growing businesses who lacked access to much needed HR expertise. She has a real love of supporting businesses who have a genuine desire to be great employers and need help to achieve that in a way that works for the business and the people who work there, all whilst complying with Employment Law.

Kat loves the variety of working with clients across a wide range of businesses including those in manufacturing, engineering, logistics, charities, trades and professional services and away from her work she can often be found on a spin bike, taking part in a Les Mills Body Combat class, out in the fresh air enjoying a walk or in the cinema watching the latest film releases.
0773 8050147 or 01226 882835

Your Engine Room is a Leeds digital marketing agency with over 10 years of experience working with owner-led B2B businesses. We work with Yorkshire businesses to plan, fulfil, and improve their marketing activity over months, years, and decades – for lasting growth.

We are an extension of your business and become part of your team. You have access to a team of specialists in SEO, PPC, website, social media, copywriting, and graphic design. We don’t have account managers or salespeople. You speak with each person as you would an internal team.


Our role is to plan and deliver ongoing marketing activity that increases the visibility of your business online and reaches new customers. We create and manage a consistent and professional digital presence for your business and put an end to scattergun activity and wasted time.


We begin with an audit to assess your current activity, before undergoing a strategy process. Your digital marketing strategy determines who we need to reach and how we’ll reach them. Using your strategy, we deliver regular activity, checking in often and reporting on results each month.

Ian Hargreaves

Business Coach at Next Level BD, Managing Director at Your Engine Room

Ian is a Business Coach at Next Level BD and Managing Director at Your Engine Room. Ian has been helping owner-led SMEs to grow since 2008. He coaches business owners and managers to create and implement tailor-made growth plans. Ian’s coaching led him to create a marketing team dedicated to helping SMEs. He saw the frustrations business leaders face with marketing and wanted to establish an outsourced marketing function with direct access to the specialists. Your Engine Room and Next Level BD operate independently with their own clients, as well as some shared ones. Ian also acts as a Non-Executive Director for some clients and is extremely proud to be (volunteer) Chair of Trustees at Leeds Children’s Charity at Lineham Farm. Ian loves visiting new places, near and far, and getting to summer festivals when he can.


Web, PPC and SEO Specialist

Sean specialises in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Paid Ads (PPC). He helps Yorkshire based SMEs create strategies to grow their presence on search engines. Sean has a detailed understanding of website optimisation, helping businesses to convert more websites visitors into leads. Sean has over 12 years’ experience in digital marketing across in house and agency roles working in multiple B2B and B2C industries. He has a BA Hons Degree in Marketing & Advertising. He enjoys badminton, board games, and going on walks with his greyhound Arlo.


Strategy and Planning

Amy is our strategy and planning lead. She takes a business’s marketing objectives and turns them into a plan of action. Amy is responsible for planning and scheduling your digital strategy and monitoring its performance. Amy specialises in content marketing, helping businesses to communicate with their target audiences online. She helps businesses to create original content that is useful and interesting to potential customers. Amy has 10 years’ experience as a content marketer and is a member of the ProCopywriters alliance of commercial writers. She has a BA Hons Degree in English Literature. Amy is an aspiring gardener and loves sushi, yoga, and festivals.


Social Media Specialist

Ben is our resident social specialist, helping businesses to find an authentic and consistent voice online. Ben manages the organic and paid social media strategies for our clients. He helps businesses to grow their audience through a combination of scheduled posts, in-the-moment activity, and targeted paid ads. Ben is an employee advocacy specialist and delivers personalised training to help businesses and employees harness the power of social media. Ben has 13 years in digital marketing, working with B2C and B2B audiences. He is LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Certified and an Advertising graduate. Ben loves going to gigs, watching true crime documentaries and having a daft laugh.