Business news

Brand guru launches The Forge

08 June 2015

One of the world’s leading experts on branding has officially unveiled Teesside University’s dynamic new identity for its award winning products and services for business.

Caption: (left to right) Director of The Forge Laura Woods, Rita Clifton and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Business Engagement) Professor Cliff Hardcastle at the launch of The Forge.
Caption: (left to right) Director of The Forge Laura Woods, Rita Clifton and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Business Engagement) Professor Cliff Hardcastle at the launch of The Forge.

Rita Clifton, the former Vice Chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi, spoke of how important it is for businesses to find ways to connect and interact with each other as she launched The Forge, the University’s national business hub based in Darlington.

Based at the £13m campus at Central Park, Darlington, The Forge is the ‘front door’ to the University for businesses ranging from start-ups and SMEs to blue-chip multi nationals.

Each year, the University works with hundreds of different companies providing research and innovation, consultancy, knowledge exchange, start-up incubation and mentoring and graduate placement.

The Forge will provide a single point of contact for businesses and triage them according to their needs.

The creation of The Forge responds to recommendations made in a government-commissioned review by the Chief Executive of GlaxoSmithKline, Sir Andrew Witty, which said that universities should be drivers of economic growth.

Laura Woods, the Director of The Forge, said: 'It’s very important that we work with business and learn new ways of doing things and give companies an uncomplicated way to access what we’ve got to offer in the University.

'We want businesses to come and use this building. We’ve got fantastic resources and we want to fill this building with business users.'

Rita was speaking at a special Business Exchange event attended by the University’s business partners.

She has worked with many of the world’s leading companies on their brands as well as start-ups and businesses in every sector.

For more than 15 years, she was London CEO and then Chairman at Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy.

She now holds a portfolio of directorships as well as being a speaker, facilitator, writer and business leader.

She spoke to guests at the Business Exchange about how a brand was more than a logo and catchline.

It is a company’s most sustainable asset and it is vital that all parts of the business are engaged with the brand values, she said.

Speaking about the launch of The Forge, she said: 'It’s very important to have a single point of contact where you access ideas and information.

'Bringing people and businesses together is incredibly important. When you have that sort of connection of ideas and expertise across sectors – that is where innovation happens.'


In the News

Brand guru launches The Forge
Evening Gazette, 06/07/2015
Rita Clifton launches The Forge, Teesside University's national business hub based in Darlington.


Former Saatchi and Saatchi Vice Chairman unveils Teesside Uni national business hub
bdaily.co.uk, 08/06/2015; Congoo News, 08/06/2015; Northern Echo, 09/06/2015; Journal, 09/06/2015; Northern Echo, 08/06/2015; GazetteLive, 09/06/2015
Rita Clifton, former Vice Chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi, has officially unveiled The Forge, Teesside University’s national business hub based in Darlington.


Branding expert unveils Teesside University's The Forge
Evening Gazette, 16/06/2015, pg 5
One of the world's leading experts on branding has officially unveiled Teesside University's dynamic new identity.


Radio - The Forge
Star Radio, 08/06/2015
Star Radio broadcast about the opening of The Forge

Back to top