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Chamber News & Blog

Important announcements from the Chamber, our members, local Councils and other relevant business news will be posted regularly here.
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  • 21 July 2017 11:00 AM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Charity Concert in aid of Chestnut Tree House Children's Hospice

  • 20 July 2017 12:40 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)


    The leaders of Adur and Worthing councils today expressed disappointment at proposals for improvements to the A27  with one likening them to “rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic”.

    Highways England yesterday published the details of its proposed improvement scheme for the stretch of the road through Worthing and Lancing.

    The £69m option dismisses radical solutions such as underpasses and flyovers in favour of more modest improvements to six junctions between Durrington Hill and the Lancing Manor roundabout.

    Highways England’s own scoring system points to no “significant benefits” achieved by the scheme.

    Neil Parkin, leader of Adur District Council said, "We need to continue to grow our economies and are being asked by government to build hundreds more houses yet we need the transport infrastructure to do so.

    “As far as that infrastructure is concerned Highways England have just rearranged the deckchairs on the Titanic with these proposals."

    Dan Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said,"I am very disappointed by these proposals and fear that the solutions offered, particularly at Grove Lodge and Lyons Farm, will not bring the benefits clearly needed given the costs involved.

    " We think residents will also be disappointed by the lack of information Highways England give in their consultation to back up why they have gone for this option."

    Consultation ends on September 12 with two years of construction expected to start in 2020 if the scheme is approved.

    For more information visit

  • 20 July 2017 12:15 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)
    A27 - Message from MPs Tim Loughton and Sir Peter Bottomley

    Tim Loughton and Sir Peter Bottomley have reacted furiously to plans by Highways England to upgrade the A27 through Worthing and Lancing as a non-starter and a bad use of public funds for minimal effect.

    “The long overdue upgrade of the A27 which is the central artery through our constituencies has been the most important issue locally for decades. We very much welcomed the news that the Government had put the A27 back on the agenda and we are grateful for the work that Highways England and their consultants have undertaken.

    What that work has clearly shown is that it is impossible to achieve an effective solution to the congestion problem within the indicated budget which has straitjacketed their work. As a result the only option that they have been able to come up with represents a ‘tinkering round the edges’ at the 6 key identified junctions from Salvington to Lancing. There is no convincing case that this will have any significant impact on traffic flow, congestion or air quality to deal with the existing problem let alone the significant growth in traffic expected if various proposed developments go ahead.

    As we have warned all along it is essential that we have a budget that is fit for purpose and that is at least commensurate with that applied to other parts of the A27 if we are to achieve any meaningful and sustainable solution. If the Arundel section is working on the basis of a budget upwards of £250m around a town of 5000 inhabitants it is hard to follow the logic of applying just £50m-£100m to achieve a solution for a much busier and more problematic section of the road through Worthing with over 100,000 residents.

    Speeding the passage of vehicles around Arundel to join lengthening tailbacks going into Worthing won’t wash and we have always worked with our West Sussex colleagues for an holistic solution. It is also impossible to see how major proposed new developments such as that at New Monks Farm, including a new branch of IKEA, can possible go ahead in the absence of a scheme that effectively addresses the existing congestion problem even before adding to it.

    In the absence of a bypass through the Downs being an affordable or effective proposition at this time the only solution is for grade separation involving flyovers Worthing’s MPs dismiss A27 Improvements Scheme as an expensive damp squib

    and/or underpasses at the key junctions. We are pleased that Highways England have looked at these options and clearly identified major benefits but have not been able to explore them further as they come in over the indicated budget.

    We will therefore be recommending to the A27 Working Group and our constituents that the option in this consultation should be rejected outright and further work authorised on the more extensive options involving grade separation.  We have already spoken to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to make him aware of or objections and deep disappointment and asked him to keep an open mind about increasing the budget to accommodate this further work. If it means a slight delay to any scheme starting this is surely much more desirable than spending money and causing upheaval for a scheme which will be redundant before it is completed.

    We have not spent 20 years as the Parliamentary representatives for Worthing and Adur fighting for an effective solution to congestion on one of the busiest roads in Sussex to oversee an expensive damp squib which alas what this amounts to.
  • 19 July 2017 4:39 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Planning in balance: Protecting a Market Town’s Identity whilst meeting the demand for Housing and Jobs

    How do you protect a market town’s identity while meeting growing demand for housing and employment?

    This was the challenge outlined by Dr Chris Lyons, Director of Planning, Economic Development and Property at Horsham District Council, at the latest meeting of the Sussex Property Alliance at South Lodge Hotel, Horsham.

    Dr Lyons spoke about the council’s local plan, which envisages an additional 16,000 houses across the district by 2031 and the creation of 9,000 extra jobs over the same period. Central to the delivery of these objectives is a mixed use site north of the town that would provide 2,750 homes, a 46,450 sq metre business park, new schools and leisure facilities.

    “In effect we are creating a whole new community, and uppermost in our planning is to ensure that Horsham retains its identity as a market town, because this is what makes Horsham special for the people who live here already,” said Dr Lyons.

    Complementing major development opportunities is a 10-15 year vision for the town centre. This is intended to strengthen retail and leisure, support economic growth, increase and diversify housing provision and provide new cultural and community infrastructure.

    “It’s vital that we continue to invest in the town centre, otherwise we risk creating a ‘donut’ effect where people live in the town and travel outside for work,” he said. “So we will be investing in the public realm to protect the unique identity of Horsham…we don’t want it to become a ‘clone’ town.”

    The Sussex Property Alliance provides a forum where property professionals get together, exchange ideas, and build relationships. It is supported by MHA Carpenter Box chartered accountants, Bennett Griffin solicitors and Michael Jones commercial real estate agents.

    Our photo shows (l-r) Steve Berrett (Michael Jones), Robert Dowling (MHA Carpenter Box), Dr Chris Lyons, and Kate Hallin (Bennett Griffin).

  • 19 July 2017 4:36 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Pioneering digital app that helps GPs and their patients wins national award

    A pioneering digital app that helps NHS patients get the help they need while freeing up GPs has won Adur & Worthing Councils a prestigious innovation award.

    The app allows doctors to refer patients to non medical services in the community thus freeing them up to concentrate on people with medical conditions.

    Now that digital work has been awarded Best Not-For-Profit Project at the Computing News annual awards, a blue chip event for pioneering work.

    The award recognises outstanding innovation in the public sector to ensure services are providing better value to both the people they serve and the taxpayers who fund them.

    In this case the Councils, working with Bedford-based firm MATS and the company’s ‘Low-code’ application development platform, sought to meet the challenges of changing lifestyle of residents and the UK’s aging population

    After an NHS Alliance and Primary Care Foundation study estimated 27% of GP appointments could be avoided by using better technology, the councils decided to take action.

    The result was a scheme called Going Local an innovative social prescribing programme designed to build bridges between NHS care and local communities.

    It provides Community Referrers who work across services in local communities, to spend time with referred patients with complex issues and connect them into local social and community based solutions to improve their health and wellbeing.  

    Three partners came together last year - Adur and Worthing Councils, Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, which holds the local NHS purse strings, and West Sussex County Council - to design and fund this work.

    A critical feature of this programme was the need to develop innovative digital technology to assist the Community Referrers to make these connections to local providers and community groups.   

    Adur and Worthing Councils, through it's Digital and Communities and Wellbeing Team have designed and created this, working with digital developer Digital Friendly and funded by the Local Government Association.

    Paul Brewer, Director for Digital and Resources at Adur & Worthing Councils, had been using MATS Low-code to replace legacy systems for some time, and he saw that a Low-code app could quickly streamline the process of referring patients to non-medical services.

    The scheme is supported by a new digital solution, built by the team in weeks using MATS Low-code, which delivers:

    ·         Case management for referred patients

    ·         A service directory for matching patients to the right services

    ·         Appointments, reminders and communications tools to keep patients and service providers up to date

    Paul says the scheme is making a real difference: “We’re immensely proud to have won this award. The results from the scheme have been fantastic for us and we’re looking forward to continuing to improve the way we deliver services by implementing further Low-code innovations in the future.”

    Martin Scovell, CEO of MATS, said: “Adur & Worthing Councils’ vision and achievements in digital innovation is inspiring – and this success is well deserved. The scheme is an excellent example of digital innovation at work and it’s great to see MATS Low-code making a real difference in people’s lives.”

  • 19 July 2017 4:26 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Worthing parks and gardens among the best green spaces in Britain

    Three parks and gardens in Worthing were today (Tuesday, July 18th) named among the best in Britain.

    Beach House Park, Field Place and Highdown Gardens, which are owned by Worthing Borough Council, are among a record 1,797 UK parks and green spaces to receive a prestigious Green Flag Award.

    The announcement of the awards coincides with Love Parks Week, a Keep Britain Tidy initiative to celebrate the country’s love of parks.

    The international Green Flag Award, now in its third decade and also run by Keep Britain Tidy, recognises green spaces that:

    ·         Have the highest possible environmental standards

    ·         Are beautifully maintained and

    ·         Have excellent visitor facilities.

    Beach House Park, near Worthing Hospital, receives a Green Flag for the first time. As well as its glorious flowerbeds, hanging baskets and herbaceous borders, the park boasts bowling greens of international standard and the charming Palm Court Pavilion cafe.

    Field Place in The Boulevard gains its award for the third year running. With displays of colourful seasonal bedding plants and impressive shrubs, facilities include tennis, bowls, croquet and a popular wedding venue.

    Highdown Gardens, known as Worthing’s hidden gem, has been flying the Green Flag for more than a decade. Nestling in the chalk hillside above the town, the stunning gardens are so important that they are a designated National Collection. They have also just marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Frederick Stern, the man who created them.

    Councillor Diane Guest, Worthing’s Executive Member for Environment, said:

    “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for all three sites. We have worked very hard to manage these important parks and gardens for the people of Worthing to high standards, and are very pleased that this has been recognised with this award.

    “These are special places where we work closely with our community who have a significant input into how we steward our natural resources and help influence how they are shaped.”

    International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said:

    “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.

    “The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.

    The glorious grounds at Highdown Gardens

    The Mayor of Worthing, Councillor Alex Harman, planting a tree at Highdown last week to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the gardens’ creator, Sir Frederick Stern. With him are Interim Head Gardener Gary Prescod and Mark Bodicoat as Bottom from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was performed at Highdown last week as part of its summer series of open air productions

  • 11 July 2017 2:03 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Joseph Crouch selected as Conservative Candidate for Marine Ward by-election

    Following the retirement, due to serious ill health of long-serving Councillor Joan Bradley, West Worthing Conservative Association is pleased to announce that Joseph Crouch has been selected as Conservative candidate in the resultant by-election to be held on 3 August 2017.

    Many residents have expressed dismay that opposition parties have called the election to fall in the middle of school holidays, when for many families an autumn poll would have been far more sensible. Nonetheless Joseph and his team are looking forward to the campaign and meeting with as many residents and their families as possible over the coming weeks.

    Joseph’s priorities will be:

    • 1.      Protecting front-line council services whilst keeping council tax low
    • 2.      Pushing for greater regeneration of the town centre, and upgrades to the A27
    • 3.      Ensuring sensible and sustainable development and
    • 4.      Increased leisure activities for children and families


    Sir Peter Bottomley MP

    “I have been pleased to work with Joseph Crouch. He is committed to the quiet undramatic provision of service to local people. Whether the concern is for leaseholder interests, fairer funding for schools or gaining greater security for all, he and I can work together with you.”

    Cllr Steve Waight (Chairman of West Worthing Conservative Association)

    “I am delighted that Joseph Crouch has agreed to be the Conservative Candidate for the Marine Ward by-election. Joseph is a born and bred Worthing man who runs a successful business. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will be invaluable to his residents and the town.”

    Joseph Crouch – Candidate

    “I’d like to pay tribute to Councillor Bradley’s years of dedicated service and am humbled to have been selected to stand. Worthing is a great place to live, work,  grow up and retire, but there’s always more to do. I’d like to see more facilities for families and young people, better access to our town on the A27 and work done to support the town centre regeneration”


    Twitter: @JosephCrouchUK


  • 11 July 2017 1:59 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)


    Merging council services across Adur and Worthing has saved £17m over the last ten years, according to new figures.

    The tenth anniversary of the amalgamation of services between borough and district falls on Wednesday (July 12) and finance chiefs at the councils calculate that the ongoing saving is still amounting to more than £3m a year.

    Adur and Worthing were the first councils in the country to merge service functions such as refuse collections, officer responsibility, IT systems, benefits, planning policy and parks.

    The pioneering move has meant that the councils have been able to protect frontline services against central government grant cuts. For instance Adur & Worthing Councils are one of the few local authorities still committed to weekly refuse collections,

    Many other council across the UK have since adopted Adur and Worthing’s blueprint. While back office functions have been merged the councils themselves have remained completely independent with elected councillors for both authorities deciding their own priorities for their residents.

    Leader of Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin said:” I think it is worth noting this milestone anniversary. It was a bold move and people thought we were mad. We have saved taxpayers money while maintaining frontline services.

    “And of course we remain separate from Worthing but nevertheless we work well together on big projects that benefit residents of both places.”

    Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Dan Humphries said:” £17m is a hefty saving and has allowed us to focus on what is really important for the people of this borough.

    “We have never lost our individual identity but working together has brought great benefits to both communities.”

    Early savings in senior management costs saved around £400,000 and removing duplication of services continues to save money.

    Bringing together refuse services under the banner Adur&Worthing Councils Services (AWCS) was the first large-scale project undertaken with the streamlining of operations and routes making significant savings

    In addition the councils reduced the number of their own office buildings down from three to two, with Worthing Town Hall and Portland House, Worthing remaining and Adur Civic Centre now the subject of a pioneering district council-backed homes and offices development scheme.

  • 10 July 2017 1:00 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)
    Showcasing The Dome For Your Event

    We are super excited to present to you this new video showcasing our beautiful venue. 

    Click on the image above to view (and yes, we're not only about weddings)


    Not just a Wedding Venue.  Engagement Parties, Birthday Bashes, Naming Ceremonies (and even a few parties for no other reason than just to have a party), over the years, The Dome has hosted them all. Situated a step away from the beach, and with a range of spaces to choose from for the smaller occasions to the biggest days of your life, The Dome is the perfect venue. 

    We know that everyone has an image of how their unique event will look and at The Dome we will work with you to create something truly memorable. Contact our imaginative and creative event planners to show you around the venue and discuss your plans.


    Worthing Dome Website


  • 10 July 2017 10:15 AM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Business Navigator Newsletter - July 

    £1.5m to Help Businesses Export

    The Department for International Trade (DIT) will be running a series of launch events across Coast to Capital to raise awareness of the additional £1.5m funding that has been made available to support export through the European Regional Development Fund.  For more information on international related support and events contact the Growth Hub team on 0800 977 4146 or visit the website

    Finding Overseas Opportunities

    Searching for new export opportunities has never been easier thanks to the DIT Portal.  Using this service you will be able to:

    • Access live opportunities so you can sell your product or service
    • Get alerts whenever an overseas company is looking for a product or service like yours
    • Reach new customers around the world with ease
    • Get support along each stage of exporting.

    Export opportunities are waiting for you, so visit the Portal today!

    Export Support from Sussex Chamber of Commerce

    UK exporters will at some point need export documentation. The Sussex Chamber is licensed to certify and arrange legalisation of export documentation.  The Chamber also assists exporters throughout the process of completing the documentation. Export documentation is required to comply with import regulations in the country of arrival, evidence the country of manufacture of the goods and ensure payment under a Letter of Credit. 

    Sussex Chamber can also offer guidance through its International Trade training. Courses include import and export procedures, commodity and tariff codes, becoming an AEO, controls and licensing, inward processing relief and much more. For more information visit the Sussex Chamber website

    For more information

    Gatwick Meet the Buyer – International Opportunities

    The 2017 Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers event brings local, regional and national buyers together with local businesses in the region.  This event creates new business for those taking part and over £22.5m of business is estimated to have been created since 2010. There will be more than 2,000 sales meetings at the event which takes place on Wednesday 18 October 2017 at the Arora Hotel in Crawley.

    As a result of the reach of this event FICCI, a key membership organisation from India, will be attending to help businesses explore international sales opportunities with India.  FICCI is the voice of India's business and industry, drawing its strength from diverse regional Chambers of Commerce and reaching out to over 250,000 companies.

    For further information

    International Support Provided by Business Navigator Growth Hub

    Click here to see how the Coast to Capital Business Navigator Growth Hub service helped Horsham based EMCEL Filters to take advantage of international opportunities.  Manager Jason Allen said:

    The Business Navigator Service has signposted EMCEL to relevant advice and opened up several opportunities and forums to explore and benefit from. This has included one to one meetings, online support and a willingness to help and be available for any questions we may have.”

    Coast to Capital Confirms its Priorities

    Coast to Capital launched its 2017/18 Business Plan last month which sets out the work which will be delivered over the coming year.  It highlights seven key strategic priorities which includes encouraging trade and inward investment.   Coast to Capital’s objectives in this area are to build a pipeline of new exporters, ensure existing exporters get the best support and maximise inward investment in the region If you would like to find out more about Coast to Capital please visit the website or view the latest news. Subscribe to the Coast to Capital Newsletter to receive further information directly to your inbox.

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