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On Tuesday, we attended the York Business conference 2014 keynote event hosted by York Means Business.

Guest speaker was Lord Stuart Rose, who was interviewed by Martin Vander Weyer of The Spectator. The event was held at the City Screen, York and attended by a select number of Business leaders, entrepreneurs, movers and shakers in York and the wider region.

A power cut down the whole of Coney Street got the event off to an unconventional start. The speakers including James Alexander, Leader of York City Council and Master of Ceremonies, David Parkin did an admirable job of kicking things off from the Cinema foyer, amongst the popcorn stands and breakfast buffet before the power was restored and we continued in Screen #1. The panel and audience was varied and engaging.

York’s business history

There was a screening of a truly inspirational video montage setting the scene and outlining the history of York as a business centre for the last 800 years. It turns out that there is a lot more to York’s historic business links than we knew when we decided to set up Paradigm Family Law in this great City.

York was founded by the Romans in 71 AD.

In 1212, King John gave York the power to govern itself, allowing its citizens to collect taxes, hold Courts and appoint its own Mayor. It was self governed by successive Mayors until government reorganisation in 1974.

Devolution isn’t a new idea. In 1522, Henry VIII re-established the ‘King’s Council of the North’ something that had previously been introduced by Richard III in 1484.It remained a powerful body until the end of the sixteenth century.

The Council’s existence boosted York’s economy. It led to a steady influx of visitors, spending money at the City’s merchants. It became a ‘destination’ City, with more than 60 inns and hospitality was a major economic driver for the City. York prospered, clearing its debts by the end of Elizabeth I’s reign.

York became a centre of commerce, leisure and social activity; a role that it quietly grew into during the 18th century.

The first train left York in 1839. The first direct trip from York to London was a year later, in 1840. York had the largest station in the world when it opened in 1877. By 1888 294 trains were arriving each day.

Joseph Rowntree and his chocolate factory became a major employer and economic and social force in the City. His factory was completed in 1906 employing 4000 people. He built Rowntree Park in 1921 and presented it to the people of York.

In more recent times, York has become a centre for learning, the new University of York was completed in 1963 and which has become a major player in scientific research, and has it’s own Science Park. York’s business credentials seem in safe hands, and York Council’s commitment to technology in the form of City Centre WIFI and proposed Fibre Optic broadband bring the prospect of a ‘GIGABIT City’ will continue to enable new businesses to set up and grow into successful employers of the future.

Right place, right time

We at Paradigm Family Law certainly believe we are in the right place at the right time. We have been encouraged by York’s business friendly approach and look forward to being part of York’s continuing prosperity.