Where do you come from? I’m from Rochdale which isn’t too far from Hebden Bridge.
Why do you visit Hebden Bridge? I visit the town because I own and operate a website that’s been running since March. It’s a modern platform for businesses and not-for-profit organisations in the local area, to showcase themselves to tourists and locals alike.
(Robert) It’s a very good website done on Word Press and it seems to be getting a lot of traffic and it’s good for anyone who wants to be involved with www.visithebdenbridge.com How would you market yourself? It’s a website business.
(Dean) What inspired you to start the website? Since I was young, I’d been coming to Hebden Bridge with my parents and now I visit with my wife and friends. I realised that it was difficult to find everything in one place on the internet so I wanted to create a platform for the businesses and organisations that was easy to access. I also did it because of my love for the place.
What do you like about Hebden Bridge? Everything. The people are lovely and there’s such a variety of businesses and things to do in such a small town. Everyone inspires one another and it is a very positive place. For example, each time the town has flooded; it has fought back and comes back better. I can’t think of a place where the locals are as resilient as in Hebden Bridge!
Do you only cover Hebden Bridge? I cover Hebden Bridge and the immediate surrounding areas like Mytholmroyd, Luddenfoot, Blackshaw Head, Todmorden and Walsden but I am open to talk to anyone.
Will you look to cover other areas in the future? That’s something people have asked me a lot. My main focus at the moment is Hebden Bridge and by the end of year one I’m looking to have 100 listings on the site. The aim is to become the No 1 Hebden business site. After that I may look at other places.
Have you got an IT background? I did IT at AVCE level but I left before the end of my second year. At the time, college wasn’t a priority for me due to the early death of my father. I had become somewhat disillusioned with things and needed a change. I had a part-time job in a corner shop which I enjoyed and this became full-time after employers were impressed with me. So I left college at seventeen with one ‘A’ level in IT – I wanted to be more hands-on and this ended up being my route into retail. I was managing a Spar shop at eighteen and I have progressed from there and as mentioned, I’m lucky to now have my dream job at Rochdale Football Club. I have very good IT skills which I am always using for the website and my other online business interests, so I can’t say I wasted my time at college.
(Dean) Have you anything to add? I’d like to thank you for interviewing me today, along with all the businesses, not-for profits and people who have trusted in me and who have supported me so far. Also thank you to all the fans and followers of Visit Hebden Bridge. I’ll be sticking around and hopefully everyone can benefit from being involved with my site as I continue to aim to bring the community together to make for a better Hebden Bridge.