Photography focus for Professional Oldham Network at revamped Hollinwood Business Centre

Professional Oldham at Hollinwood Business Centre, Oldham.

Photographer Darren Robinson highlighted his range of work at the latest Professional Oldham business networking event, held at Hollinwood Business Centre which has had a major upgrade.

Darren worked for 26 years at the Oldham Evening Chronicle and now runs his own photography business.

His former role covered all types of news photography including business, sport, human interest and community stories.  He covered serious ‘hard news’ stories including photographing Phil McClure, who is the father of murdered soldier Lee Rigby, and the huge fire at Oldham’s Maple Mill in 2017. He also covered many good news stories over the years from families, schools, workplaces and the community, along with sporting successes for Oldham Rugby League FC and Oldham Athletic.

Since setting up his own freelance business last year, Darren now works for businesses across Oldham, Greater Manchester, the north-west region and beyond.

His presentation to Professional Oldham guests highlighted examples of business, industrial and events photography used for websites, social media, printed brochures and catalogues; press releases for local and trade media, and for industrial training.

Examples included images taken in engineering factories, a chemical plant in Cumbria, pop music and product launches at the Trafford Centre, and high-level steeplejack work at St Paul’s Cathedral in London for the national Association of Technical Lightning & Access Specialists (ATLAS).

Walter Urquhart, manager of Hollinwood Business Centre, then highlighted the recent upgrade of the 45,000 sq ft former mill and gave visitors a tour of the venue.
The centre was first opened in 2001 by Oldham Council and a partner organisation. Current owner Biz Space took it over in 2008 and the upgrade was done over the summer and autumn. It currently accommodates 50 businesses with 400 employees.

The business centre has new kitchens and bathrooms, reception areas, events rooms, new lighting, heating, furniture and a 360-degree mesh telecom system. All businesses have access to fast or super-fast broadband.

The upgrade comes amid wider changes in the Hollinwood area, which is earmarked for a new Travelodge hotel, pub, offices, industrial units and housing.
Oldham Council is working on plans with developer Langtree at a 30-acre former gas holder site nearby, called Hollinwood Junction.

The site is close to Junction 22 of the M60 motorway, Hollinwood tram station and the A62 road to Oldham and Manchester city centre.

Professional Oldham is a not-for-profit group with a steering committee of volunteers from local businesses. The Hollinwood event was hosted by Robbie MacDonald, of Cornerstone Design & Marketing and contributing editor of Oldham Business Edge magazine.

Robbie paid tribute to Kath Soliman, the former chief executive of Oldham Training Centre (OTC), who died recently. He said Kath was well-regarded across Greater Manchester’s manufacturing sector and wider business community, and she had supported previous Professional Oldham events including a tour of OTC in 2017.

Other Professional Oldham volunteers are Suzanne Wright of Pearson Solicitors & Financial Advisers, Bridget Batty of Limetree PR, Stephanie Doherty and Helan Graham, both of Caremark Oldham; and Dave Whaley and Lisa Buckley, both from Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.

Mr Whaley is former editor at the Oldham Chronicle newspaper and now income generation and communications manager at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice. Lisa Buckley recently took on the role of capital appeals fundraiser at the hospice.


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