The future of a popular business network has been secured after it was bought by Cumbrian PR agency Intro.
For six years LA23NET built up a reputation for wacky and inspiring events which saw delegates taking part in lake cruises, zip wire challenges and Christmas jumper quizzes. Speakers have included Jonathan Warburton, of bakers Warburton’s, and Ian Gregg, founder of Gregg’s.
The network’s previous custodians, Sophia Newton and Janett Walker, are also responsible for setting up Anti-Racist Cumbria and felt the need to concentrate on that project full-time.
LA23NET is to continue after the business was bought by the owners of creative Cumbrian PR agency Intro who have vowed to keep it going in the same vein and build on the success of recent years.
Janett admitted that it would be a wrench for her and Sophia to hand over LA23NET to its new custodians, but promised to return as delegates for future events.
“We’ve had so much fun putting on the LA23 events and the response from people across Cumbria and Lancashire has been brilliant.
“They’ve really responded to this being the opposite of boring networking events and know that they will get to hear from the best in the business and have a laugh with each other.
“We know that Intro’s ethos is the perfect fit for LA23NET, they’ve got fantastic ideas for the future that will see the heart and soul remain but also allow it to grow,” she added.
Helen Statham, director of Intro, said: “We love what Janett and Sophia have created with LA23NET, and we’re just so pleased they trust the Intro team to carry on their good work.
“We’re going to continue to hold events in amazing spaces with inspiring speakers to help attendees build meaningful connections and relationships with other real-life humans in Cumbria and beyond.
“We’ve already started planning our September event in south Cumbria, we can’t wait to get started.”
The Cumberland Building Society, Edwin Thompson and NXT Recruitment will continue to sponsor LA23NET as Intro plan the next season of events.
Grant Seaton, senior commercial manager at The Cumberland, said: “While we’re sad to see Janett and Soph go, we’re pleased that the work they’ve put into creating amazing events will be carried on.
“We’re feeling energised to see Intro taking on LA23NET – they care about the community that’s been created, and we’re pleased The Cumberland will continue to be a part of it all.”
John Haley, commercial partner at Edwin Thompson, is delighted that Intro are taking the reins of LA23NET: “Cumbria is blessed with excellent locations, businesses and people which is what LA23NET is all about: meeting new contacts through fun experiences and being part of a lively and good bunch of networkers.”
And Emma Lindsay, recruitment manager at NXT Recruitment, added: “We love being sponsors – the feedback we get from LA23NET events is amazing.
“Every new person who attends always comments on how informal and friendly they are. Having an activity at each event – whether that’s the Christmas quiz or making paper at James Cropper – is a nice way to break the ice and meet people at some amazing local businesses.”