Fact-finding mission for Moldovans

Visitors from Moldova taking a tour of Brighouse.
Visitors from Moldova taking a tour of Brighouse.

A group of Moldovan business people have been visiting Brighouse on a week-long fact finding mission.

The group of 30 have been visiting some of Yorkshire’s cultural highlights including spending time with Brighouse Business Initiative and visiting Rokt climbing gym.

Organised by the European Cultural Foundation, the trip is part of a two-year development programme called Trio to find out how business can be built without state help.

Brighouse was chosen as the destination because of its recent successes at regenerating town centre business through it’s programme of community events, run entirely by volunteers.

Some of the key events include the street markets, Diamond Jubilee street party and the Olympic Torch event. This summer sees a 1940s weekend on June 1 and 2 with visitor numbers expected to exceed 30,000.

The group, some of whom had never left their home country before, were given a presentation by Lesley Adams and Steven Lord before enjoying a tour of the town.

Lesley said that they had been introduced to fish and chips by Steven. “It is a chance for them to explore what can be achieved and for them to take that back with them,” she said. “They have visited Rokt to see how they have transformed a building that has not been used to something that attracts thousands of people.

“It is quite exciting to have them here. They are really friendly people and we are just having a great time showing them all around.”

She said they seemed to love visiting the charity shops and had been encouraging Czerwiks to stock Moldovan wine.

And Steven said that his group found the carpet shop was the favourite. “I learned from their interpreter that many of them are involved in the hand making of rugs. It will be quite a site at the airport as they arrive with rolls of carpet under their arms bought in Brighouse.”

Visitor Eleanor Saran said she enjoyed the tour. “There are a lot of shops and we have found the people here are really nice. In my country there are too many problems but over here people are happy and smiley.”

Their trip included visits to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Saltaire, Hebden Bridge and Leeds. They also attended Holmfirth Folk Festival and, in national costume, performed their local folk music and dances.