BRADFORD businesses are being urged to sign up to a new initiative aimed at boosting the international economic success of the Leeds City Region by promoting overseas trade.

ExportExchange offers free advice to firms new to selling overseas from companies that are already successful exporters.

More than 50 experienced Yorkshire export businesses have already signed up to become official ‘patrons’ of the scheme, including Bradford’s Seabrook Crisps, and gearbox manufacturer, Hindle, which is also based in the city.

Victoria Boldison, ExportExchange network manager, said: “There are lots of sources of information out there on selling overseas but the difference with ExportExchange is that fledgling exporters can tap into genuine practical advice from people like Seabrook’s international director Kevin Butterworth, who have already built up years of experience in overseas markets to become successful exporters.

“Businesses who sign up to the programme can choose the patron with the experience relevant to their own industry and target overseas market. That’s the kind of invaluable help that money really can’t buy.”

She added: “The programme seems to have really struck a chord with businesses in Bradford and right across the region and we have had large numbers of companies signing up online since we launched at the end of June."

The ExportExchange programme is backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and delivered by the Department for International Trade, and private sector media, marketing and export specialists.

Under the initiative, the patrons, all experienced exporters and business leaders from across the Leeds City Region, will share their expertise on every aspect of exporting and growth with new small and medium-size exporters.

First-hand advice is central to the initiative and mentoring will also be on offer for businesses looking for help with trading overseas. For more information and to register visit