Business diary: The stage is set to help Broadsides

Comedian and actor Lenny Henry who played Othello in a Northern Broadsides production
Comedian and actor Lenny Henry who played Othello in a Northern Broadsides production
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THEY’RE famous for turning Lenny Henry into a heavyweight Shakespearean actor, and now the staff at Northern Broadsides are looking for entrepreneurs who can add a dramatic flourish to their headquarters.

For almost a quarter of a century, Northern Broadsides has been delivering Shakespeare with a Yorkshire accent. Nobody can forget the company’s production of Othello in 2009, which featured a stunning performance from Lenny Henry in the title role.

Northern Broadsides has received a grant to help with essential improvements to the company’s iconic Viaduct Theatre based at Dean Clough, Halifax. These improvements include installing an infra-red assisted listening system, and providing safer audience access and spaces for wheelchair users.

The company’s landlord Dean Clough has donated extra space close to the dressing rooms, which will become a rehearsal room for Northern Broadsides and the wider community.

Broadsides have also made friends with businesses in the area who have been able to contribute to the project by offering in kind donations.

A spokesman said: “So far the new friends have supplied a kitchen and worktops (Arnold Laver), sanitary ware (Brian Slattery Plumbers), kitchen equipment (Harvey’s of Halifax) and beautiful soap (Friendly Soap) because they wanted to help and that is what they have to offer.

“Northern Broadsides would love to hear from businesses who could help by providing other materials in kind such as suspended ceilings, light fittings, sockets and switches, carpet tiles, sofas and chairs, laminate flooring, plywood, toilets, electric showers, paint, a Belfast sink and wall mirrors.”

If you feel you can help, contact Kay Burnett, Northern Broadsides’ creative projects development manager at

The spokesman said: “It may start out as the kindness of strangers but you might become the best of friends.”

In September, the company will start touring the UK with its latest production, JB Priestley’s When We Are Married.

Back of the net

So you thought that fantasy football league ladders were a waste of company time?

Well, they could provide staff with a motivational shot in the arm, according to research from Peninsula, the human resources and employment law specialist.

Around 62 per cent of employees found their involvement in an office fantasy football league boosted their morale, while 49 per cent of respondents said it also helped to build relationships with fellow employees, Peninsula’s research concluded.

Alan Price, HR director at Peninsula, said: “Many employers and employees conduct office fantasy football leagues as it is a great way to increase employee morale and camaraderie among co-workers.”

To make the league open to every employee, it might be worth considering establishing a ‘no fee’ league.

However, Peninsula believes that guidelines should be put in place to make sure staff don’t allow their fantasy role as a football manager to stop them from doing their real job.

Bosses don’t want to show the red card to somebody who takes the fantasy league a little too seriously.

Fourth innings

As Yorkshire County Cricket Club fights to retain its county championship title, law firm Bond Dickinson, is doing its bit to back the stars of the future.

Bond Dickinson is supporting Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s academy for the fourth successive year.

Simon Pilling, of Bond Dickinson, said: “There are a lot of fantastic younger players across our region and our support helps these players learn and develop their skills, so one day, they may become the next Yorkshire-bred superstar in the England team.”