Our 100 Club Supporters: Fergus Clawson

Fergus Clawson is CEO and founder of Blueclaw Media and a member of the Leeds Community Foundation’s 100 Club, a patronage scheme for individuals who are motivated to make a difference in Leeds. Here, he discusses what he loves about the city of Leeds and why he is involved in the foundation.

What is your favourite thing about Leeds?

Located in its distinctive riverside setting on The Calls, the Blueclaw office benefits from being directly in the hustle and bustle of the city.

For those wanting to work in a culturally diverse and vibrant metropolitan area, the centre of Leeds has a lot to offer – including a thriving digital sector. With this, brings a wealth of opportunity and with the arrival of Channel 4’s northern HQ, the city’s creative/media credentials will only continue to grow.

Alongside the great culture, it is the continuous potential and opportunity the city has to offer that makes me thoroughly enjoy and appreciate being based in such an area.

What’s your ideal day out in Leeds?

I often visit the street food stalls littered around the wonderful Kirkgate Market. Hosting a wealth of independent vendors, this isn’t your typical chain food shopping centre tour.

My favourite eatery within the market is undoubtedly Sweet Saeeda – the owner cooks awesome Tunisian food, all freshly prepared, and his baked bread, straight out of the oven, is simply divine!

In a city that’s known for great food but commonly dominated by fast food chains, it’s great to see various small and local vendors thriving.

What is the best lesson you have learnt in business?

1. Never fear failure. I’ve suffered a number of epic fails but when the dust settles a period of calm reflection can spur you on to make things better the next time round.

2. Surround yourself with talented people and build an environment that allows them enough space to thrive and prosper.

What single thing do you think could help the city?

The increased use of greener tech such as electric cars and buses will help improve city centre air quality. I’d love to see the council provide incentives, such as free parking spaces for electric cars, that help entice drivers to go electric and do their part.

What inspired you to join the 100 Club?

Cleveland Henry, a good friend of mine, invited me to attend a local community digital inclusion seminar hosted by the 100 Club.

The seminar highlighted to me that Blueclaw, as a local business, wasn’t doing enough to help those less fortunate and that’s why I decided to join the 100 club.

What community issues are important to you?

Back in the early noughties, I led various Youth Inclusion Projects in Harehills, Chapel Town and Burmanentofts. However, as of late, I’ve noticed that recent austerity measures have ripped away much youth provision such as youth clubs and youth creative projects.

This is something that has to change. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow and I feel that investing in them should always be a priority, now more so than ever.