Leading brand guru to launch The Forge

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Rita Clifton

One of the world’s leading experts on brands and branding is to officially launch Teesside University’s new business hub in Darlington.

Brand guru Rita Clifton CBE, the former Vice Chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi, will lead the unveiling of The Forge at the University’s campus in Darlington on Friday June 5.

The Forge is the dynamic new identity for Teesside University’s award-winning products and services for business.

Described by The Telegraph as ‘the brand leading the brands’, Rita Clifton has worked with many of the world’s leading companies on their brand 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.

Rita also regularly appears in the media and has featured on a wide variety of TV and radio programmes on business, brand, marketing and communication issues, including CNN, BBC Breakfast, Channel 4 News, BBC World Service, Sky, Radio 4 Today programme and Radio 5 Live.

She was listed in Debrett’s 2015 list of Britain’s 500 most influential people and, in 2014, was awarded a CBE for Services to the Advertising Industry.

The Forge provides a single point of contact for Teesside University’s business services including R&D, training, leadership development and professional education support.

With its main base at Teesside University’s flagship £13m campus on Central Park in Darlington, now also home to the emerging National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, The Forge will be the ‘front door’ to the University for businesses ranging from start-ups and SMEs to blue-chip multinationals.

The official launch of The Forge will take place at a special Business Exchange event in Darlington, where Rita will be talking about branding in a B2B marketplace.

Laura Woods, Director of The Forge, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Rita Clifton to the launch of The Forge.

“She is one of the foremost experts in her field and has helped some of the world’s largest firms maximise their brand profile.

“Our business audience can expect some fascinating and enlightening insights into the world of brand strategy.”

Each year, Teesside University works with hundreds of businesses and in 2014 was presented with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for ‘world class excellence’ in the field of enterprise and business engagement.

The University has spun out over 400 start-up businesses and also leads DigitalCity which marked its 10th anniversary last year.

The Forge will build on this enviable reputation and continue to offer a range of Teesside University’s services including research and innovation, consultancy, knowledge exchange, start-up incubation and mentoring and graduate placement.


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