GPLD has a number of experts working with us to help boost the appeal of our area for younger people. Shaun and Beth Nixon, of Craven Digital, are our techie gurus, our connections creatives who look after issues from broadband to websites. We caught up with Shaun to hear their story…
Shaun Nixon decided to return to his roots when he and wife, Beth, started their young family.
Now the couple and their two children live in a converted barn, quite literally in the middle of a field, deep in the countryside near East Marton. From there they run Craven Digital, their website and digital media company, which is also a vital cog in the GPLD machine. The company is responsible for keeping our website vibrant and easy to use and Shaun and Beth are also our go-to couple for any digital, connectivity or IT advice.
Shaun explained: “We’re looking at how all things digital affect young people’s perceptions and reality of what it’s like to live, work and connect here. We run a small digital agency, passionate about creatively helping clients across the area, so it’s really close to our hearts and experiences.”
Shaun grew up in Barnoldswick, which is the family’s nearest town and where the children go to school. Following university in Bristol he went to work in Grantham for the Woodland Trust where he met Beth at the local theatre group. After working his way up to managing the digital engagement team, Shaun subsequently moved to the Wildlife Trust where he led a collaborative working project to network 47 different charities’ websites and digital communications.
Said Shaun: “Then we started our family and we wanted to come home. When we had kids we realised that having your family support around you is really important. Also, I missed the community spirit which is so ingrained in life in this area. My family are all in Barnoldswick and now Beth’s parents have moved up here as well.
“We looked for somewhere where we could run the business from home. Going self employed was quite a jump, but there is an attitude here of people wanting to use local businesses and they will go out of their way to do this. I haven’t seen that anywhere else – it is a mindset here that doing business is a nice thing. All our clients are also our friends. It all goes back to that community spirit.”
Shaun and Beth have found that even being in the middle of a field some distance from their nearest neighbour has not been an obstacle to entrepreneurialism.
Shaun added: “We have 4G, full coverage from two different mobile networks and our internet connection – beamed from the top of a distant hill – is great.”