City of Culture duo launch new events business venture in Hull
Two members of the Hull UK City of Culture team are launching a new events business in the city.
As joint managing directors of Dock Street Events, Chris Clay and Jenny Hutt will offer their services for indoor and outdoor arts, entertainment, sports and corporate events.
The duo have based their new business at The Deep Business Centre, next to the aquarium which was the setting for some of City of Culture’s most recognisable work.
One of their first projects will be the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival this summer, but a base in London was never an option.
Chris said: “People have been asking whether we’re going back to London but there is no back to London for us. We live in Hull now and it feels like a very positive time to move forward rather than back.”
Jenny added: “Coming here transformed my perception of Hull – this is a city which gives people great opportunities. We have made some really good contacts here and it’s a city of the scale that enables you to build on that very quickly. Why would we go to another city?”
Chris, whose contract as technical and operations director ended on January 31st, began work immediately on Dock Street Events.
Jenny, head of artistic administration and events manager, will join the company when her contract ends in March.
Martin Green CBE, chief executive of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, commented: “Chris and Jenny have fantastic ability and such a wide variety of experience and they offer so much to the industry.
“I can’t wait to see what they come up with and I’m thrilled that two key members of our team are staying in Hull to take the next step in their careers.”
Chris continued: “We have worked on a lot of things together and we have been talking about the idea of launching our own company for about 10 years. It just seemed like the perfect storm, both finishing on a big project at roughly the same time and now being able to achieve a long-held ambition.”
Chris has worked in more than 30 countries during his three decades in the industry. Their collective CV includes In With A Bang, Made in Hull, Blade, LGBT 50, Radio 1’s Big Weekend, the Royal Ballet in Queens Gardens, the Turner Prize and successive season launches.
Jenny said: “We offer tailored, bespoke services – we will bring together the people who are right for a project and, using our extensive network of freelancers, contractors and collaborators, will build a team that works for an individual event.
“Our business plan involves expanding the core team over the next three to five years and we hope to offer opportunities in the industry to local young people and graduates.”
Freya Cross, business and corporate manager at The Deep, concluded: “As an organisation we were at the heart of City of Culture, contributing to the funding and hosting events in the aquarium, in the car park and even with spectacular projections onto the side of the building that were transmitted worldwide, promoting Hull2017.
“We specialise in providing the support that businesses need, particularly when they are small and starting out, and we are genuinely excited to be involved in the launch of Dock Street Events, a company which already has its cultural fingerprints all over so much of our city.”
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