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From | Wednesday 23 January 2019

Freya Cross pays tribute to outgoing Business Centre Association executive director Jennifer Brooke at a gala dinner in London. 

From left, Freya Cross, BCA Chair Andrew Butterworth, Jennifer Brooke and David Kinnaird.

The head of The Deep Business Centre in Hull paid tribute to a leading industry figure to mark the end of a distinguished career.

Freya Cross, business and corporate manager at The Deep, made the presentation to Jennifer Brooke, who had served as executive director of the Business Centre Association (BCA) since its foundation almost 20 years ago.

Jennifer stepped down at the BCA’s gala dinner in London, where Freya highlighting her influence on The Deep's business facility and support for Hull’s embryonic Digital Cities initiative.

Jennifer joined the former Federation of British Business Centres as Executive Director in 1999, and immediately set about re-shaping and re-branding it to create the BCA, long-established as the voice of the industry.

Freya, in her second term on the national BCA board after six years of service, said: “As executive director, Jennifer led the transformation of the perception of business centres, which are now recognised as highly professional, well-equipped facilities supporting entrepreneurs and their businesses from start-up through all stages of development.

“I was invited to make the presentation because I have known Jennifer since 1996, during which time we have developed from being a little-known industry into a major contributor to the economy.

“Jennifer has always been a valuable source of information – what she didn’t know you didn’t need to know – and she has done so much for the industry, lobbying government and other organisations and leading technological development.

“When The Deep Business Centre opened in 2001 it was the first high-tech centre in the city and I was on the steering group of Hull City Council’s Digital Cities initiative. That was the first step to the city’s digital prowess which we see today, and the support from Jennifer was vital in enabling us to set the standards.

“We have demonstrated best practice with the help of the BCA and we share knowledge with other less experienced business centre managers and operators in our region, including BCA members and non-members.”