After 11 years as the Managing Director of The Design Mechanics, Stewart Leahy will be standing down at the end of May to launch a new initiative aimed at new-start businesses. The Yorkshire Powerhouse will provide high-quality new-start and SME business advice and free resources (such as downloadable business plan templates) as well as offering opportunities for companies looking to advertise their services to this marketplace.
Anyone who has worked with us will know that Stewart has been a leading presence at The Design Mechanics since launching the company with his business partner Dave Pannell in 2006 (see photo below from The Huddersfield Examiner soon after the launch!). Since then the company has grown beyond all recognition, moving from our original marketplace of providing mainly low-cost logo and website design to the full-service agency we are today.
During his time with the company, Stewart has been a regular presenter for both The Design Mechanics and other local organisations, gaining a reputation (or some may say notoriety!) for his no-nonsense, ‘telling it like it is’ style – as well as being a founding Kirklees Council Business Advocate for the area – one of just a small handful.
Stewart commented, “It’s been a pleasure to work with a team of such talented people and I’m happy that I’m leaving The Design Mechanics in really good hands, with my original business partner Dave Pannell and our Technical Director Phil Mells stepping up to lead The Design Mechanics into its second decade. This won’t be the last you’ll see of me though, Yorkshire Powerhouse is a great new venture that The Design Mechanics will continue to support, and you will very likely hear from me soon wearing my new hat!”.
Dave added, “Stewart has always been the champion of small businesses. Yorkshire Powerhouse is an initiative we set up last year to plug the gap of good-quality advice to this sector, and the fact that Stewart is now going to be able to focus full-time on developing the resources and effectiveness of the site can only mean good things for new start businesses in our region. It’s also a great time for us to take stock of The Design Mechanics, what we have become and the opportunities that we have for further growth. We can look back at the last 11 years with a lot of pride, but we’re really excited about where we are going to take the company next.”
If you want to wish Stewart good luck with Yorkshire Powerhouse (or talk about pre-launch advertising on the site) you can still contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org until the end of May 2017, or if you want to talk about new opportunities with The Design Mechanics you can email Dave and the team on email@example.com.