Livingbridge invests in Upper Street Events

Livingbridge has completed an investment in supporting a management buyout of Upper Street Events Limited (“Upper Street Events”) for an undisclosed sum.

Based in Islington, London, Upper Street Events is a leading B2C events business, owning a portfolio of market leading shows including The Gadget Show Live, The Cycle Show, London Art Fair and Country Living Fairs.

The business was set up in 1987 as a division of the Business Design Centre Ltd (“Business Design Centre”), until it became independent in 2009. Upper Street’s 17 events cater for nearly 400,000 visitors and work with some 3,500 exhibitors at venues including Alexandra Palace, The Business Design Centre, Olympia, The NEC, Harrogate International Centre, The RDS Dublin and the SECC Glasgow.

The investment by Livingbridge will support Paul Byrom (Managing Director), Isobel Dennis, Dan Holmes and the Upper Street Events team in continuing to develop existing and new concepts, deliver creative and relevant content that engages audiences, exhibitors and brands.

The Livingbridge team was led by Matt Upton and Nick Holder.  Matt Upton will be joining the Board.

Paul Byrom, Managing Director, Upper Street Events, comments:

“Our previous major shareholders, the Morris family have been incredibly supportive in the development of Upper Street Events. Their investment in the company and support of our growth strategy has been essential to our success.  I am therefore delighted to have been able to find such a good cultural match with our new investors and am excited by the scale of events media business we can now develop with Livingbridge and our new Chairman Phil Soar.”

Matt Upton / Nick Holder, Livingbridge, comment:

“We have been extremely impressed by Paul and his team, and in particular their real focus and insight into how to engage with their audiences.  Their grasp of current trends and innovations across all the event segments provides a great foundation to develop the existing portfolio and introduce new concepts.  B2C events are forming an important part of the marketing mix for brands, providing face to face contact with relevant consumers in what is otherwise an increasingly remote digital relationship.”

Dominic Jones, Chief Executive, Business Design Centre Group, comments:

“It is of course a sad moment to say goodbye to the Upper Street Events team which I have worked closely with and who have been part of the Business Design Centre’s history for over 26 years,” said Dominic Jones, Chief Executive, Business Design Centre Group and a Director/Shareholder of Upper Street Events, “it however seemed a very natural progression to see the team find a new investor who are excited to take the Company through the next stages of its life. However, as we’ve always done, Upper Street Events and their shows at the Business Design Centre will continue to receive first class service and we look forward to welcoming them back to the venue in 2015.”

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