North West family business leaders get set to share their stories at MidiCon event in October

< Back to News

North West family business leaders get set to share their stories at MidiCon event in October

A diverse group of family business owners from across the North West will gather to share their family business journeys and experiences at a special conference event next month in South Cumbria.

The Family Business MidiCon – North West will take place at The Crooklands Hotel near Kendal on Thursday 6th October, bringing together like-minded family business leaders and those that support the sector.

Organised and hosted by The Family Business Community, the MidiCon will feature a series of engaging family business interviews, a parliamentary family business update from MP for Carlisle – John Stevenson, plus interactive sessions on topical family business issues as well as networking time.

Sue Howorth, Co-Director of The Family Business Community said, “We’re really looking forward to holding our second North West MidiCon event this autumn. Our regional events are a great chance for family business leaders to meet and learn from one another in a relaxed environment.

“We know that many family business owners have common goals and challenges. Sharing these real-life experiences can really resonate with peers and often it can lead to some significant impact on their role within the business or even their future business strategy.”

The speaker line-up includes five family businesses from across the North West, including: Managing Director of Liverpool based firm Algeos – Max Sheridan, Rachael Baker – Managing Director of JJ Smith Woodworking, William Whitaker – fourth-generation of Whitakers Chocolates, siblings Matthew and Laura Farrall of Farrall’s Group, and two generations of the Doherty family who own The Plastic Bottles Company in Cumbria.

Some of the key topics on the agenda will include succession planning, the journey and transition into leadership for new generation successors, stepping away from tradition and the importance of a strong brand and vision.

Speaking on the day will be third generation siblings, Matthew and Laura Farrall from Farrall’s Group based in Cheshire, the 2022 winners of the North West Family Business Awards.  They will share their experiences as the ‘new’ generation working within their haulage and logistics business.

Laura Farrall commented, “Our journey as the ‘new’ generation started back in 2019. We were thrown in at the deep end with hurdle after hurdle to jump over, but we stayed strong to our values and happily, it all paid off. We think it’s important to share our experiences with others, good & bad so we can all learn and grow”.

Also speaking on the day will be mother and daughter business duo, Julie and Olivia Doherty of Ulverston-based business, The Plastic Bottles Co. The business began on eBay selling spare plastic bottles; now it is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of plastic bottles, jars and caps with a worldwide client base.

Julie explains, “Myself and my daughter, Olivia are looking forward to sharing our family business story and experiences with a like-minded group at the MidiCon next month. Like all family businesses, having a good work/life balance is important to us but letting go of the reins can be difficult. We hope to share our experiences of succession planning and bringing in non-family leadership, which has enabled us to drive the business forward”.

The Family Business MidiCon – North West, supported by Marsh Commercial and Cumbria LEP will run from 10am – 3pm on Thursday 6th October 2022 at Crooklands Hotel, Crooklands, nr Kendal, Cumbria, LA7 7NW.

Tickets are £65 +vat including lunch and refreshments and can be booked online or via

To find out more information about The Family Business Community, visit