The Big Idea

“To act as a collective voice for local businesses, focused on improving our town and encouraging greater trade and tourism”

We have long been aware there are many websites that each promote slices of Hebden Bridge life, but not one single site bringing together a simple positive message that informs and stimulates the visitor economy, whilst promoting the many businesses and organisations at the same time. It certainly was a big idea and one we hope we’re now achieving.

Who we are is run by the Hebden Royd Business Forum

The website has been jointly funded using the prize money from The Great British High Street Award, match funding by Calderdale Council, support from the Big Lottery Fund and more latterly Hebden Royd Town Council, who funded the new Our Vibrant Valley section.

About the website

This website is for visitors and locals alike. A place to share what we love about Hebden Bridge,
Mytholmroyd, Cragg Vale and beyond and to encourage visitors, and people who live and work in
and around Hebden Bridge, an opportunity to look a little deeper into such a unique town and its
close neighbours.

In essence, it’s a ‘Local’s Guide’. It’s run by the Hebden Royd Business Forum who have a mandate
to stimulate the visitor economy and help businesses and organisations in HX7 thrive; and it’s not for
profit, as spare funds are re-invested into local projects that will benefit all businesses in HX7.

The reach for promotions via and our social media is far and wide and is a great
platform for businesses to advertise themselves and their activities.

It’s also a ‘Visitor’s Guide’ for anyone wondering just why they should visit this picturesque part of
the world and sample what it has to offer, from hospitality, places to stay and shopping to walks,
heritage and activities.

The introduction of the new ‘Our Vibrant Valley’ event guide, sponsored by Hebden Royd Town
Council through the Hebden Bridge Recovery Group and unique to, will be a
showcase for everything that helps promote recovery across the Hebden Royd area for locals and
visitors alike. From the arts to sport, festivals and gatherings to ……. Whatever the activity, whatever
the event, whatever the interest – ‘Our Vibrant Valley’ will have it all!

About HRBF

The Hebden Royd Business Forum acts as a collective voice for local business and is recognised and
respected by Hebden Royd Town Council, Calderdale Council, The Town Board and beyond.

It’s a non-profit organisation with a mandate to stimulate the visitor economy and help businesses
and organisations in HX7 thrive.

We are focussed on improving our town and encouraging greater trade and tourism. We normally
hold 4 networking events per annum when circumstances allow and send out many important
newsletters, covering all sorts of topics for businesses to get involved with.

Our ‘Loyal to Local’ initiative to help and promote local businesses, is particularly relevant in the
recovery process post pandemic and will go from strength to strength in the months ahead.

We are proud of our town and surrounding area and working together for the benefit of all is
something that makes us unique.

HRBF does not have a membership as such, instead inviting all interested parties to sign up to our
newsletter or to promote their businesses via sponsorship on the website.

Meet the team

Hebden Royd Business Forum and the website are run by a wonderful diverse committee of local business people on a voluntary basis. Meet our team below…


Alison Bartram

Chair & Recovery Programme Collective

With family born and raised in Halifax it was inevitable that I would end up planting firm roots somewhere in the beautiful Calder Valley and I am proud to have my business in Hebden Bridge. Heart Gallery opened on Market Street in 2006 to bring a different shopping experience to the town. Passionate about working with local and UK based designers, makers, and artists I have worked hard to realise my dream whilst hopefully changing the way people think about how they shop and where they shop. I am happy to be part of a great team that is striving to keep Hebden Bridge a destination full of great independent businesses.

Roger Benn

Vice-chair & Recovery Programme Collective

I have lived in Hebden Bridge for over 30 years and married with 4 children and 5 grandchildren. A former police officer, I started my own travel business – Benchmark Travel – nearly 20 years ago. First operating from home, I then moved the business to Top Land Country Business Park before taking over Whitesands Travel in 2012 when the merged business moved to its present home at Bridge End, Mytholmroyd  (opposite Sainsburys).  Benchmark Travel offers a full range of travel and holiday services including its own specialist tours. I am a member of Rotary and currently responsible for organising the Easter Monday Hebden Bridge Duck Race which this year will be an online event. I am also a member of the Hebden Bridge Recovery Group currently looking at ways to shape the future of HX7, both short and long term.

Paula Waring


I have worked in the retail industry for British Airports Authority, Norweb and the Cooperative Group as a Head Office Buyer and Marketing Director for over 20 years before re-training (following the arrival of three wonderful children) to teach Higher Education in Business, Management and Marketing at Calderdale, Burnley and Bradford Colleges and UCLAN University. I now love working for the local family insurance business ‘Ryburne Brokers & Co’, established for over 50 years, and located on Market Street, Hebden Bridge. I am a strong advocate for Hebden Bridge and passionate about our local area having lived here for 28 years with my husband Simon, raising our three children.

Simon Waring

Networking Organiser

I am a partner in Ryburne Brokers and Co, independent insurance brokers who advise and arrange on all types of insurances, personal and commercial. We are one of the longest established firms and employers in Hebden Bridge. I was born and raised in Hebden Bridge, moved away after Uni but returned in 1993 with my wife Paula where we raised our 3 children.

I am passionate about Hebden Bridge and have seen the town struggle, re-invent itself and prosper. I believe a strong community needs a vibrant and successful local business core, where we all support each other and the town.

Sam Morton

Graphic Design & Social Media

I started in a small advertising agency learning skills that have underpinned my career. I became a photographic art director, moving to France to control photographic shoots and catalogues for the fashion industry. Rebranding the company and implementing protocols in three countries. On returning to my native Yorkshire eight years ago I established Creative Noir up on the hills of Hebden Bridge, focusing on branding, photographic art direction and catalogue design for numerous businesses. I have branded and marketed Heptonstall Festival for 5 years. I also make Handmade Silver Jewellery; my design background plays a major part in my designs.

Sue Ellis

Secretary – Social Media

I have worked most of my life in sales, I was a Sales Director for the Silentnight Group for many years. But, after being beaten to death by targets I decided to go it alone and opened a Bespoke Beds & Interiors retail shop in Hebden Bridge called Junamoon on Crown Street, which was unfortunately just as demanding. Wanting to ease off the pedal and achieve a slower pace to my life, I decided to change tack and run a holiday let in Hebden Bridge, ‘Hebden Royd House’ on Heptonstall Road. I find changing sheets much easier and less hassle!

I originate from south Manchester but have lived in the Calder Valley for the last 25 years and will never leave. I have a natural enthusiasm for the area and the people and want to put my knowledge and experience to good use, hence I joined the business forum several years ago and never looked back.

Haley Tansey

Recovery Programme Collective

I have lived in the Calder Valley since I was three years old and passionate about our patch of Gods own country. 
As a local businesswoman, I have been the landlady of The White Lion since 2017 and have also continued my parent’s, 30-year legacy and took ownership of Crown Street Fisheries in 2018. I have worked hard to ensure that the businesses buy local, support local and employ over 50 local people who are all part of my wider work family. I have been a committee member of the business forum since 2018 and sit on the new Recovery Programme Collective for the Calder Valley. This programme wants to promote the area and organise some additional events, all the time recognising Hebden Bridge’s rich and diverse culture. The aim is to keep the town as a popular regional centre that is vibrant and active with a strong economy and strong sense of community.

Mike Stephens


I help kick start and drive organisations, projects, and communities to improve people’s lives for the greater good, focusing on delivering quality outcomes and achieving lasting impact. I am a co-founder of Ayup Digital, a Tech for Good business creating impactful web software and platforms for the government and NHS, putting research, co-design, and stakeholder engagement at the heart of our work. I live and work in Hebden Bridge and I am passionate about the local community, economy, and environment. I co-founded Happy Valley Pride, the annual LGBTQ+ festival and I am also Chair of Out In The Valley, a charity working to benefit and advance the LGBTQ+ community across the Upper Calder Valley all year round.

You can find me on my Website, LinkedIn or Twitter

Sue Slater

Mytholmroyd/Cragg Vale representative

I was born and lived in Heptonstall area all my life. I opened my own hairdressing business Headquarters in Mytholmroyd 39 years ago after training at Bradford College and working in Halifax. I have been a Heptonstall Parish councillor since 2013 and is a trustee of Mytholmroyd Community Centre and Hebden Bridge and District Old People’s Welfare committee.

I have an active role on the Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd Town development board and as part of Royd Regen I was instrumental in setting up Mytholmroyd Business Network.

Want to join the team?

We are always looking for passionate, enthusiastic and business people to join our team. If this sounds like you, drop us a line.