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Sun shines at Unity Business Centre as Leeds travel specialist continues to grow

A Leeds travel agency specialising in tailored group trips to the Caribbean has celebrated five years in business by moving into larger premises at Unity Business Centre in Chapeltown.

Phun in the Sun was set up by its chief executive Jackie Walker in 2018 from a desk in the centre’s newly established incubator for start-ups and home-based enterprises seeking to expand.

Since then, the business has gone from strength and now has a staff of four.

Next month, Phun in the Sun and the St Kitts and Nevis Association will co-host a meet and greet reception at Unity Business Centre for Her Excellency Dr Christine Walwyn, the Diaspora Ambassador for St Kitts and Nevis, following her recent appointment by the dual-island nation’s Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew.

Unity Business Centre is one of three facilities managed by Unity Enterprise – the not-for-profit subsidiary of BME housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise – which currently provides 142 affordable business units for more than 80 diverse businesses close to Leeds city centre.

Adrian Green, Unity Enterprise Manager, said he was delighted to see Phun in the Sun flourish over the past five years.

He said: “It feels like just yesterday when Jackie started her adventure with us, taking up a hot desk in our building. From the very beginning, her positive spirit and passion for creating unforgettable experiences for her customers and her unwavering commitment to achieve her dreams were clear.

“As her company expanded, so did her needs, and it did not take long for her to move from that hot desk to her own small office space within our premises.  Jackie has continued to chase her dreams one step at a time.

“She has now expanded even further, moving into a larger office space to accommodate her ever-growing team and clientele.  We could not be prouder of her accomplishments.”

Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise Chief Executive, said: “Jackie’s journey demonstrates the spirit of entrepreneurship – the willingness to take risks, the courage to dream big and the tenacity to overcome obstacles.

“She has shown us all that with a sharp vision and unwavering determination, no goal is unachievable.

“We are incredibly proud to have supported her business aspirations and look forward to working with her even more closely in the years ahead.”

Jackie Walker said: “I am excited to be expanding and to be able to do so at Unity Business Centre where Phun in the Sun has its roots.

“Adrian and his team have supported me in every possible way right from the beginning.

“It is wonderful that our shared success story will continue – bigger and better than ever before.”

The reception for Her Excellency Dr Christine Walwyn will take place on Wednesday 13 September at 6.30pm.

Further information is available by emailing [email protected]

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Notes to editors

Picture  Jackie Walker with Unity Enterprise Manager Adrian Green   Notes to editors Unity Housing Association was formed in 1987 with the objective of building a strong, BME-led, community housing association to address the needs of black and minority ethnic communities in Leeds.  The initial focus was on Chapeltown, but this has widened to other areas of the city including Harehills, Beeston, Holbeck, Chapel Allerton and Pudsey.  Alongside two schemes in Huddersfield, a new affordable housing development has recently been completed in Cleckheaton.  With a turnover of £6.8 million and an annual investment in new and existing homes of around £6.5 million, Unity now manages over 1,350 properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds. In 2000 the association established its not-for-profit subsidiary company, Unity Enterprise, to support local entrepreneurial activity.  It now provides 142 affordable business units for more than 80 diverse businesses across three centres in Leeds. Unity Employment Services (UES) was set-up in 2011 to support Unity tenants and their surrounding communities in accessing employment and training opportunities.  It has since supported more than 1,700 individuals into work and training.  

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