Last week marked an important milestone in Leeds’ international relations, with the opening of a new Estonian consulate in the city. The consulate, which will cover the North of England and the Isle of Man, will be based at AQL in Leeds, with Professor Adam Beaumont appointed as the new Honorary Consul for the Republic of Estonia.
Professor Beaumont was appointed as the Honorary Consul on 18 April at an event at AQL’s Salem Church, with Her Excellency Tiina Intelmann, the Estonian Ambassador to the UK, presented him with a special consular plaque.
An honorary consul is someone designated by a foreign government to look after the affairs of their citizens in foreign countries. They also handle issues like visas and trade. They are not official foreign office personnel but tend to be expatriates or business people who have ties or other connections with the recipient country. Professor Beaumont has built strong personal and business relationships with Estonia through a number of trade missions and trips to several regions of Estonia, as well as hosting Estonian delegations in Leeds. This has ranged from AQL’s participation in founding UK:Estonia Techlink, to building partnerships between Northinvest and the Estonian Business Angels network and investment in Estonian start-up companies.
Earlier that day, the Ambassador was involved in an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Jane Dowson, at the Civic Hall. The event brought together representatives from the cultural sector in Leeds to talk about potential collaboration in the field of arts and culture. A strong area for cooperation between Leeds and Estonia is around film, with the Leeds International Film Festival already having built strong links with the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. More details of this film collaboration feature in this blogpost.
The British-Estonian Chamber of Commerce organised a trade mission which included companies representing the Estonian IT industry and tech start-up companies. They attended Leeds Digital Festival events and had business-to-business meetings with local companies last week.
Professor Beaumont is also a Child Friendly Leeds Ambassador and is pictured below with the Ambassador Tiina Intelmann and Leeds Ted.