Dates for your Diary 2019

We meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (except December).

Breakfast meetings are from 08:30 - 10:00 (b)
Early evening meetings are from 17:00 - 18:30 (e)

19th November (e)
3rd December (b)


DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 19th November - 17:00 - 19:00.

VENUE: Willow Burn Hospice, Howden Bank, Lanchester, County Durham, DH7 0QS.

This month we're focusing on Health and Wellbeing for Busy Business People

Our next DBN meeting is at the inspirational Willow Burn Hospice where our theme will be Health and Wellbeing for Busy Business People!

Running a business can be a very rewarding experience.  It provides income, offers greater lifestyle flexibility and can be a big boost to your self confidence as you prove to yourself and others that you can do things you never knew you could!

But running a business can be challenging at times and there are probably few business owners who haven’t felt stressed or isolated at some point.  So this month we’re focusing on how to look after our physical and mental well-being and staying on top form while meeting the challenges of running our businesses.  And also what to do if you’re starting to feel a little overwhelmed…

Earlier in the summer we set up some specialist groups in DBN and we're inviting the members of our Health and Wellbeing Group to take the lead at our November meeting with lively discussions, tips and ideas for everybody.

There'll be plenty of networking on the day and we'd love everyone to bring a small item (gifts, chocolates, toys etc) to donate to the Willow Burn Nurses Christmas Fair which takes place on 23rd November.


DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 3rd December - 08:30 - 10:00


Can you believe we're almost at the end of another year? It's a perfect opportunity to get together and celebrate our achievements together during 2019. But our members can't put their feet up quite yet...

We're putting you in the driving seat at our festive meeting! We need your help to plan DBN's programme for 2020. We'll be introducing more mentoring, skills and 1-1 coaching to help you and your business and we need your bright ideas!

2020 could be a challenging year for our small business community and we'll be ensuring that hands-on support, business growth and resilience are top of our agenda.
However, it's not all hard work! We'd like to celebrate our achievements at the end of a very successful year so please get ready to vote for our first ever DBN Awards! It's just a bit of fun really but we'd really like our members to tell us which other members inspire and help them the most and also which venues you found amazing in 2019. We'll be voting on the day (in a novel way!) And we'll have prizes to say thank you to all of our members on 3rd December.

The venue will be announced soon but in the meantime you can still book for the event!


From Gary Scott: "I'm really proud of our members and their amazing drive, creativity and enthusiasm. Thanks to everyone who came to our LaunchPad Expo last month. We had a record attendance and our exhibitors proved that energy and innovation is right at the heart of our amazing business network.

"If you have a small business (or an idea for one), why not join our friendly and supportive group? We have monthly meetings, offer skills, funding, mentoring and training support (all delivered by DBN members). It's great value and you'll meet amazing people every month - guaranteed! So if you think networking isn't your thing, come to DBN and see for yourself just how useful networking can be for your business."

Don't just take our word for it, here's what our members said...

"Exciting and dynamic meeting as usual. Great to be there to share the launch of so many new products and services by member businesses. Can’t wait for the premier of DBN The Movie!" John Atkinson 
"Fantastic event this morning at Derwent Manor Hotel & mini expo with SME's launching new Products & Services." Paul Sparks
"Great to see such a wonderful turnout. Congratulations to all of the businesses launching their new product or service and a big thanks as always to the rest of our businesses who are truly amazing! If you haven't been to a DBN event yet, why not sign up for the next one!" Andrea McGuigan
"What a wonderful morning. We all know how much work goes into organising an event & it’s so very much appreciated - you’re a great team!" Brenda Beveridge
"What a great turnout for the meeting this morning. Thank you for all your hard work in bringing so many fantastic North East businesses together." Lee Quarzi
"A brilliant morning. I love the network as people are so friendly, even those you meet for the first time." Gillian Fortune 

"It’s days like these I have to pinch myself as I LOVE what I do and love meeting people!" Moira Barnes

Other Events


All the webinars are free to UK companies.
You can expect to:

  • receive help and advice to sell overseas with confidence
  • gain new skills and knowledge
  • discover solutions to specific challenges to exporting
  • get your exporting questions answered by the experts

How long are the webinars?

Our experts usually present for 25 minutes and allow 35 minutes for answering your questions and helping you find solutions to any barriers you may face.

Look through the list to find the webinars you would like to attend.

Each link will connect you to a webinar registration form so you can receive your unique link to join the upcoming webinar.


For a list of current offers and events at Hotel 52, please click here.

Did you know that Hotel 52 are now offering their conference room free of charge for DBN members?


As part of the North East Business Support Fund Programme, NBSL are launching Bitesize Business – short, snappy, knowledge-packed sessions to fill your business brain!

With time and knowledge being two of the biggest pressures facing SMEs in County Durham, we’ve programmed a range of sessions to help improve know-how on a range of business basics.

Launching on 24 September, County Durham businesses can apply for a place and pick from a range of topics – choosing the most appropriate for you and your business.  Subjects include:

  • Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers – find and keep your customers
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Sales (Keep on Selling)
  • Customer Experience Impact
  • To Tweet or Not to Tweet – Digital Marketing 101
  • Time Robbers – Time management for Business

Taking place at the modern Viewpoint, part of Derwentside Business Park on the outskirts of Consett.  Simply click on the link here and apply for a fully funded place now but be quick – there are only 8 places per session available!


Having a fresh pair of eyes looking at your business can help you see potential opportunities to sell more that you may have overlooked.  We will spend two hours looking at your business, how you currently build client relationships, how you manage your sales and how you follow up.  We will then devise a new sales path for you using the 22 page NEW EXCLUSIVE Sales Strategy Workbook which will arm you with a firm plan for the coming year."
The cost of this session is £199 inclusive, which includes the EXCLUSIVE Sales Strategy Workbook and for DBN members I will include a FREE up to 30 minute follow up Zoom call worth £40 to answer any ongoing questions that may arise.  I still have some availability in November and December so let's get your ducks in a row before the start of the new decade.


DATES & VENUE: 11th – 15th November, 2019 - Shanghai

Join this Northern Powerhouse-led mission to Food Hotel China (FHC) 2019 to explore the variety of export opportunities in the largest grocery market in the world.  This week-long programme focuses on the food and drink market in Eastern China and the key cities of the Yangtze River Delta.

For more information or to register your interest click here.


DBN's very own intrepid acheaeologist will be undertaking a 24 hour lock-in at Jedburgh Jail to raise money for FACT (Fighting All Cancers . . . Together) on Tuesday, 12th November.

On the 12th November 2019 a small team led by Chris and Annette Fox will enter Jedburgh Jail at noon for a 24 hour paranormal investigation, not emerging until noon on the 13th November.

Jedburgh Jail has been subject to a number of paranormal investigations, including TV shows. The jail is allegedly haunted by a ghostly bagpiper, as well as the spirit of a violent prisoner named Edwin McArthur, executed at the jail in 1855. This investigation will be the first 24 hour investigation undertaken at the jail by a small team (not counting television crews!).

Please give generously to FACT and spread the word about them.


DATE & TIME: Wednesday, 13th November - 09:15-13:00

VENUE: RTC North Sunderland, Colima Avenue, Sunderland, SR5 3XB

Is your business missing out on valuable enquiries and sales from overseas because of fear or lack of understanding of digital, language and cultural differences?  How can you communicate successfully with people from different countries and cultures online and offline and ensure you are Easy to Find, Easy to Contact and Easy to Do Business With?  This free half-day course will give you the tools you need to streamline your international communications strategy to help boost your sales and customer satisfaction.  For further information or to book your place, please click here.


DATES: November 2019 (Companies wishing to take part have the choice of joining one of two groups (17th - 19th November or 19th - 21st November).

VENUE: Düsseldorf, Germany

The Department for International Trade (DIT) invites healthcare and life sciences businesses from across the Northern Powerhouse region to join this trade mission to the leading international trade fair for the sector. Medica will offer businesses a platform to showcase Northern expertise, network with key industry professionals and connect with overseas buyers.

For further information and to register, please click here.


DATES: 18th - 21st November 2019

Join the Department for International Trade (DIT) at the Smart City Expo, where executives, city representatives and academics from around the world meet to explore a better future for our cities.  Smart City Expo World Congress is the leading international event on urban development, with over 21,000 attendees and 800+ exhibitors from over 700 cities.  Smart City Expo World Congress exists to empower cities and collectivise urban innovation across the globe.  Through promoting social innovation, establishing partnerships and identifying business opportunities.

For further information and to register, please click here.


DATES: 19th - 22nd November 2019

Latin America offers a wealth of opportunities to companies and right now the region is looking for UK expertise in the infrastructure, construction, rail, aerospace, consulting and design industries, as well as other related sectors.

The opportunities are particularly relevant to well-established companies with export experience and the capacity to invest in establishing relationships by visiting overseas contacts and partners.

To help your business establish long-lasting trade relationships in the region, we have developed a Northern Powerhouse Premier Trade Mission programme which will identify key opportunities for your business and connect you with the right contacts in market.

Colombia and the UK have a strong relationship with total trade worth £1.3bn in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2019 and export of goods and services from the UK of £625 million in the same period.

The country also ranks highest in the Latin America and the Caribbean region for “ease of doing business” and is ranked at place 34 globally. With projects such as the new airport at Cartagena, the Metro in Bogota and the Central Railway concession on the horizon, Colombia is a place to consider as your next target market and could be your gateway to Latin America.

Joining delegates will benefit from the following programme activities:

  • Welcome briefing with DIT Colombia
  • Full access to the 16th National Congress of Infrastructure (CCI) exhibition, worth over £700
  • Meeting space availability
  • Access to translators on selected seminars at CCI
  • Pre-arranged company visits
  • Pre-arranged one-to-one meetings with key industry and DIT Latin America contacts
  • One-to-one match-making event
  • Visit to local infrastructure projects
  • Invitation to a UK reception
  • Ambassador reception
  • Access to buyers
  • Discounted hotel rates
  • Access to pre-mission webinar

Why you should join the mission:

  • Support from DIT in Latin America and specialised sector teams
  • Access to 130 overseas staff in 17 countries across the Latin America and the Caribbean region
  • Funding to help towards the expenses of the mission for eligible companies
  • Support throughout the mission from our experienced trade mission staff and International Trade Advisers

The cost to join the mission is £199 plus VAT, which covers all programme activities. It is the delegate's are responsibility to book and pay for their own flights and accommodation but may be eligible to apply for a travel grant with their local DIT office.

With a steady GDP growth, a recently signed trade continuity agreement which will protect a trade flow of £2.1 billion and lots of major projects in the region, this is a mission not to be missed.

Click here for more information or to register your interest.


DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 19th November - 10:45–17:00

VENUE: St James’ Park, Newcastle 

Whether you are new to export or looking to enter new overseas markets, this workshop will provide you with an understanding of the benefits of exporting and what your company needs to do in order to position itself for long-term exporting success.  Discover what the ingredients are of successfully exporting your product or service and the things you need to consider to avoid the pitfalls associated with trading overseas.  This free workshop covers all of the basics that a company should consider in making international trade a success for them.  For further information and to register, please click here.


DATES: Saturday, 23rd November 2019 - Saturday, 30th November 2019

PLEASE NOTE: Last chance to register your interest to attend the Northern Powerhouse India Premier Mission

The Department for International Trade invites businesses working in advanced manufacturing/engineering with potential to offer innovative products and services to Indian buyers to participate in this Northern Powerhouse trade mission to Chennai, Pune and Mumbai.

The mission is aimed at advanced manufacturing/engineering businesses and associated technology providers, as well as educational and service sector businesses who can support the advanced manufacturing/engineering industry. The visit will provide delegates with an opportunity to visit three key Indian markets:

Chennai is India’s leading city in the automotive industry, responsible for approximately a third of India’s total vehicle and component production; home to leading global manufacturers such as BMW, Ford, Daimler, Hyundai and Nissan.

Pune is India’s largest Indigenous Automotive & Advanced Engineering Cluster and an education hub.

Mumbai is the commercial capital of India; responsible for 40% of India’s foreign trade; home to 10th and 11th largest stock exchanges in the world. It is also the birthplace of the Indian IT industry; home to the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) – ranked by QS as the top university in India and a top 100 university worldwide for computer sciences.

Participating delegates will have access to the following programme activities:

  • A pre-mission briefing and post mission follow up support session
  • Entry in the mission brochure to facilitate networking
  • Seminars, briefings and round-table events with industry and country experts
  • Meetings with DIT overseas commercial officers
  • Networking events in Chennai, Pune and Mumbai
  • Support throughout the mission from experienced in-market experts

For more information or to register your interest click here.


We are thrilled to announce that we have received funding from the Derwent Valley AAP for an exciting project! 

Building Self-Belief CIO shall be working with young people from Consett Academy and Learning for Life to develop and design new sensory spaces at Learning for Life, a SEND provision in Consett.  We launched the project with Marie Matthewson, Head Teacher at Learning for Life, through our brilliantly supportive local Do Business Network‘s event at the Derwent Manor Hotel.

At the event we asked for business sponsorship of equipment towards the improvement of the sensory spaces at Learning for Life, as well as any potential help that could be offered by our local business community. Peter Brewis, of Briary Gardening Services, came up with an excellent idea – and our bulb planting activity was born. We had a fabulous morning in the autumn sunshine in the garden at Learning for Life. Students from Consett Academy worked alongside some of the young people at Learning for Life to plant bulbs in their large garden planters, as well as plant bulbs in a series of pots that we provided.

Thank you to Andy Smith from ASure Financial Limited for his £30 pledge towards rubber bangles, sensory light up rugby balls and some stretchy apples and worms!

Ann English has also been brilliantly supportive. She provided Building Self-Belief CIO with a ‘power hour’ where she has given us a whole host of ideas and strategies for improving the visual impact of our charity’s stand. Ann has also provided us with an extensive range of ideas about how to appeal and encourage people to visit our stand.

We will be at Citizen’s House in Consett on 30th November 2019 to help at the Learning for Life Christmas Fayre. Please come along and support us and see us putting Create Intrigue’s suggestions into practise.


DATE & TIMES: Sunday, 1st December 2019 

     Session 1: 10am – 11.30am

     Session 2: 12pm – 1.30pm

     Session 3: 2pm – 3.30pm

VENUE: Land of Oak and Iron Heritage Centre, Spa Well Road, Winlaton Mill, Blaydon-on-Tyne NE21 6RU

Join local artist and author Noriko Matsubara in this intricate workshop, learning the traditional Japanese skill of paper folding.  Noriko will take you through origami folding techniques step-by-step, using beautifully patterned papers to create a Frost Fest, winter themed origami mobile to take home.

There will be 3 sessions available to book, each one lasting 90 minutes. Suitable for both adults and children aged 11 and over.  Cost per workshop £15, including materials.


DATE & TIME: Wednesday, 4th December - 09:15–13:30

VENUE: Durham County Cricket Club, Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street, Durham, DH3 3QR

By identifying and prioritising certain overseas markets, exporters of products and services can develop a more effective international strategy. During this interactive masterclass we will look at the countries exporters have traditionally targeted and focus on the new market opportunities for future development. Over the next three years small emerging economies are forecast to outpace the powerhouses of China and India in terms of economic growth. We will look at the world’s fastest growing economies – where are they and do they represent the real opportunities for UK exporters.  For more information or to register your interest click here.


With only a few months to go until the festive season begins, we have released our Christmas 2019 Brochure!  If you’re starting your Christmas plans early and looking for things to do with the family near you this Winter, from Christmas to New Year- at Pazzo, there will definitely be something to take your fancy.

Our Brochure will take you through what’s on at Pazzo this Christmas.  Our Christmas Fayre Menu and Santa’s Grotto are back by popular demand and we are also offering some brand new festive events.

Click here for the Pazzo Christmas Brochure.


DATES6th January to 10th January 2020

The Department for International Trade is offering businesses an opportunity to visit Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the world’s gathering place for leading businesses from the consumer technologies industry.

The mission will provide a unique opportunity for any Northern Powerhouse based company operating in the 5G, automotive, blockchain, health and wellness, home and family, immersive entertainment, product design and manufacturing, robotics or sports sector to visit CES.  The exhibition has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years — the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

What Are the Benefits?

Participating delegates will:

  • Be accompanied by an experienced mission manager
  • Attend a pre-mission briefing and post mission follow up support session
  • Gain entry into the show
  • Be a part of the NPH Pod on DIT’s UK Technology Pavilion
  • Have access to meetings with DIT Sector and Overseas Commercial Team
  • Have the opportunity to demonstrate their technology on a global stage and meet key players in the consumer electronics market
  • Participate in DIT’s sector team programme of events including networking opportunities
  • Attend a NPH evening networking event at the show
  • Get a delegate profile in the NPH mission brochure

Click here to register your interest.