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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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  • 24 May 2019 2:13 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Open letter to businesses in Worthing Town Centre

    In January of this year Worthing Borough Council wrote to inform you about the issues being

    experienced, our collective actions being taken and the challenges we have around

    anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

    We - the Council, Sussex Police and Worthing Town Centre Initiative - feel it is important to

    provide you with another update.

    Firstly, we know town centres are changing and appreciate that businesses are having to

    work extremely hard through these challenging times. Thanks to your hard work Worthing’s

    reputation as a place where people want to shop, visit and invest continues to grow.

    It is important to us all that we continue to attract people into the town centre, making sure it

    is a safe and welcoming environment where people want to spend time and money.

    However, we share the concern about how recent events - particularly those which have

    attracted a lot of social media attention - have created a negative impression.

    We know these issues are not new and that Worthing - like other similar towns - is not

    unique in experiencing these problems. However, the high-profile nature of some of this

    anti-social behaviour has accelerated the need for organisations that support the town centre

    - including you, the businesses - to come together and look at ways we can collectively

    improve the situation for everyone.

    What are we doing at the moment...

    There are a number of evidence gathering and enforcement measures we have been

    working on to alleviate some of the issues we have experienced against individuals and

    items of concern. You will see, for example, the Section 41 notices being put in place along

    Montague Street in the next few weeks, aimed at removing items accumulating in spaces, to

    prevent encampments developing. For instance, some of you will have noticed the

    ‘encampment’ outside of Laura Ashley/Waterstones has now been cleared.

    We are working on the issues of street drinking with a relatively small number of individuals

    (up to 6 key individuals - a mixture of homeless and those accommodated) that have been

    involved in ASB or drunk and disorderly behaviour. There is a small number of individuals

    consuming, without causing any issues but who are very visible in prominent locations. The

    Police continue to address these issues in line with the Council’s Public Space Protection

    Order (PSPO) , i.e. remove opened alcohol, where there is associated anti-social behaviour.

    The current PSPO is in place until August 2019 and the Council has committed to extending

    this power and the other PSPOs until August 2022.

    As partner organisations, we have recently met to discuss these issues and started to

    explore different solutions. Some of the suggestions to be considered include:

    - How we can support the development and use of DISC (Worthing Shopwatch) to

    assist with gathering information and reports to support enforcement?

    - How can we improve the reporting process for businesses that are concerned?

    - Can we make interventions to those empty properties to minimise the wrong type of


    These are just some of the initial suggestions. We will work together to develop immediate

    and longer term interventions to improve the situation.

    It is important to note that some of the issues that have led to concerns are not

    homelessness issues and as outlined above, some of the behaviours are by those that are

    not homeless. Worthing, like other towns, is working hard to address the issue of

    homelessness with its partners, using assertive outreach to move people into support and

    into accommodation.

    How you can continue to help...

    Your support in helping us improve the town centre continues to be valued; it is only by

    working together that we can improve things. We ask that you continue to share these key

    messages to staff, customers and the wider public.

    ● This is a national concern and we are not the only town experiencing these

    issues. However, the Council, Police, TCI, businesses and other partners are

    working together to help improve the situation.

    ● Those sleeping rough are often very vulnerable, the majority need immediate help

    and support. If you see someone sleeping rough please report through

    ● If appropriate, give food and drink to those people in need, not money.

    ● Reporting crime/anti-social behaviour, including alcohol related incidents, is

    necessary - without this resources can not be directed effectively and action cannot

    be taken. This can be done via 101 or online via

    ● If a crime is happening and/or if anyone is at risk please call 999.

    We believe we’re all working towards the same goal of making Worthing a great town to visit,

    stay and spend. We would welcome your continued help in doing this.

    If you feel you would like more information or want to get in touch please feel free to contact

    us on the details below.

    Kind regards

    Tina Favier
    Head of Wellbeing
    Worthing Borough Council
    Miles Ockwell
    Chief Inspector
    Sussex Police
    Michael Clinch
    Town Centre Initiative

    Contact details:

    Worthing Borough Council


    Sussex Police


    Worthing Town Centre Initiative


  • 22 May 2019 2:41 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Government back New Monks Farm decision

    Adur District Council leader Neil Parkin has welcomed news that the application to build 600 homes and an IKEA superstore in Lancing will not be reviewed by the government.

    The Council’s Planning Committee approved the proposal for New Monks Farm in October 2018 subject to it being referred to the Secretary of State for Communities.

    Today (22nd May, 2019), the Council received notification from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government it would not be called in - meaning the decision to approve the application stands.

    Speaking after receiving the news, Cllr Parkin said: ”After seven months of waiting, I very much welcome this decision from the government which gives certainty to the developer while also providing a massive shot in the arm for our local economy.

    “This application was one of the largest ever in Adur’s history promising an investment of more than £150 million and the creation of hundreds of homes and jobs, along with community space, in our area.”

    The application from New Monks Farm Development, a subsidiary of Brighton and Hove Albion FC, is for land between Shoreham and Lancing which borders the A27 and Shoreham Airport.

    Thirty per cent of the homes are affordable and 108 families from Adur's housing waiting list will get the chance to move to the new development.

    Plans also include the provision of a new roundabout on the A27, a country park, land for a school and a community hub. It will also see the relocation and expansion of the Withy Patch Gypsy and Traveller site.

  • 17 May 2019 3:16 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    New Mayor of Worthing is elected

    The next Mayor of Worthing is pledging to support people in our communities who can often be forgotten or unheard.

    Councillor Hazel Thorpe has put on the Borough's century-old robes and chain for the first time (17th May 2019) when she was appointed to the post at Worthing Borough Council's annual meeting.

    In the next 12 months, the avid gardener and theatre fan will be the town's first citizen, attending hundreds of events and supporting three local charities.

    Cllr Thorpe will be supporting: Care For Veterans, The NSPCC local district and Coastal West Sussex Mind.

    After putting on the mayoral robes for the first time, Cllr Thorpe will be looking forward to the mayor's inaugural dinner on June 1st.

    She will be accompanied throughout the year by her husband Robin. They recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

    Cllr Thorpe's Deputy Mayor will be Councillor Lionel Harman, who lives in Worthing and represents Castle ward.

    She succeeds Councillor Paul Baker. In the last year, Cllr Baker raised £15,000 for his chosen local charities - Guild Care Haviland House dementia care home; Ferring Country Centre; and Love Your Hospital.

    Read the Q&A below to find out more about the new mayor Hazel Thorpe:

    What is your background?

    My background is in engineering, I later became a teacher, and then I was asked to become a Councillor in 2000.

    What are your interests away from being a Councillor?

    Theatre, I really love live theatre, and I have performed in Am Dram years ago. I am very interested in anything to do with handicrafts, I knit, I used to do printing, all sorts of things like that. I love reading and most of all I really love looking after my garden.  I’ve got a husband and family and I like to spend a lot of time with them. Anything that’s active I like.

    Why did you become a Councillor?

    “I became a Councillor, partly because I was asked to, partly because there was an issue in my village in Tarring that needed the residents to speak out for, and I have always been one to speak up for people who need a bit of extra help.”

    What are your priorities for the coming year as Mayor?

    “My priorities as I enter the mayoralty is to put the town of Worthing on the map, and I intend to do it via the music and art, and to some extent the environment, but focusing on the people, because there are a lot of people behind the scenes who don’t get any recognition or who don’t seem to be valued, but I value them.”

    Which charities will you be supporting as Mayor?

    “I will be supporting Care For Veterans, they are celebrating 100 years’ service for families of people who’ve come back from wars rather differently, they actually cover a lot of things including rehabilitation. My second charity is the NSPCC and that’s the local district and that’s to help young people speak out against cyber bullying. My third charity is Coastal West Sussex Mind for families, because I think the families of people with mental health issues need a bit of extra help and support. I will be organising events, and we’ve got one on June 1st which is my inaugural dinner which is really the launch of my mayoralty and that will be at The Ardington.

    What are your three favourite things about Worthing?

    “My three favourite things about Worthing are the pier, particularly the windows that show off the amazing things that we have done, the theatres, I love going to theatres and concerts, and I also think the food here is very good too. “

  • 15 May 2019 2:19 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Three new Partners appointed at MHA Carpenter Box

    Sussex-based chartered accountants MHA Carpenter Box has appointed three new Partners to further strengthen its leadership team, including the youngest Partner to be appointed in the firm’s 95-year history.

    The practice has enjoyed significant growth over recent years at its offices in Worthing and Gatwick, and the three new appointments bring the total number of Partners to 16, supported by 170 staff.

    Sam Uwins joined the firm in 2009 on six weeks’ work experience and was offered a trainee role at the age of 17. He was the youngest trainee ever to qualify as a Chartered Certified Accountant at the firm at just 22 and has now been appointed Partner in the Business Services Group at only 27 – the youngest Partner ever be appointed at the firm.

    Sam works within the media and entertainment sector providing tax and business advice to social influencers and online content creators. He has built the reputation of MHA Carpenter Box to market leader in this very niche sector. Sam commented: “Having trained at MHA Carpenter Box, I am delighted to become a Partner and very much look forward to helping the firm continue to grow over the coming years.”

    David Crowter has been appointed Tax Partner after a career of nearly 20 years providing tax advice to clients of every size. He is a specialist in property tax and tax reliefs available to young, innovative businesses and currently oversees all of the work of the Tax Team at the Gatwick office. David also supports other fee earners at MHA Carpenter Box in resolving complex tax issues.

    David said: “I feel honoured to have been made a Partner at such an exciting time in the firm’s evolution. The tax environment is increasingly fast moving and complex and the needs of our client base for our specialist services will no doubt continue to grow in the years ahead.”

    Dan Hobbs joined MHA Carpenter Box in 2016 and after 17 years in the industry, has been appointed Partner in the Tax Services Group. Dan is a specialist VAT adviser, helping clients to structure their business transactions that will give them an optimal level of tax efficiency.

    “I’m delighted to become a Partner at MHA Carpenter Box,” said Dan “I’ll be working hard to support the ever-growing number of VAT clients that the firm now has. They really value the level of VAT advice we provide. This in-house expertise benefits our clients and gives us a competitive edge, as, unlike us, many accountancy firms have to use external consultants to deal with non-routine VAT questions.”

    Photo shows (l-r): David Crowter, Sam Uwins and Dan Hobbs.

  • 15 May 2019 2:17 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Gatwick celebrates new ownership with continued investment to “put passengers at heart” of exciting new chapter

    London Gatwick today announced a new chapter in its ownership as VINCI Airports completed the purchase of a 50.01% stake in the airport. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) will continue to manage the remaining 49.99% interest in Gatwick. The new partnership promises continued investment to put passengers at the heart of Gatwick’s future plans.

    VINCI Airports, the world’s leading private airport operator, will bring its expertise to Gatwick including a strong focus on quality of service and programme management. Now part of a global network of 46 airports in 12 countries, Gatwick teams will have access to broader opportunities particularly in international career development and in-house training. As the world’s most efficient single runway airport, Gatwick will also share best practice with VINCI Airports as the company continues to pursue its operational improvement strategy.

    The completion of the transaction is the ideal opportunity for Gatwick’s shareholders to express their shared vision for the future of the airport and to announce the evolution of Gatwick’s governance based on continuity. Sir David Higgins, Stewart Wingate and Nick Dunn will remain respectively Chairman, CEO and CFO of the airport, and will be joined by Cédric Laurier, from VINCI Airports, as CTO (Chief Technical Officer).

    The airport’s ambitious plans for the future remain, with a further £1.1 billion Capital Investment Programme (CIP) set to deliver a range of passenger improvements by 2023.

    Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airports, said:

    “This partnership marks the beginning of a very exciting future for London Gatwick and VINCI Airports. Applying our joint skills will add significant value to both VINCI Airports and London Gatwick Airport and benefit all our stakeholders, notably airlines and passengers. Combining our expertise will further improve our operational excellence and sustain our shared vision of putting passengers’ satisfaction at the heart of everything we do.”

    Sir David Higgins, Chairman, Gatwick, said:

    “Today’s announcement marks an exciting new era for Gatwick, its airlines and passengers. We welcome VINCI Airports to Gatwick and are grateful for this strong vote of confidence in Gatwick and the UK.”

    Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick, said:

    “Today is the start of a new chapter for Gatwick, with new owners and further investment enabling the airport to continue on its successful journey. The management team and I will remain focused on delivering exceptional service to our passengers and to developing longer-term plans to grow our airport.”

    Michael McGhee, GIP Partner, said:

    “The GIP-VINCI partnership is focused on continuing the transformation of the airport. VINCI’s global airport expertise, coupled with GIP’s intimate knowledge of Gatwick and the UK market, offer a unique and complementary world-class airport capability to carry on delivering exceptional performance.” 

    The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”), as part of the 49.99% interest managed by GIP, will retain a 9.99% stake in Gatwick.

    Paul Mouchakkaa, Managing Investment Director - Real Assets, CalPERS, said: “CalPERS is excited to be a part of this new chapter of Gatwick’s future.”

    Since December 2009, Gatwick has grown passenger numbers from 32 million to more than 46 million in 2019, while maintaining very high passenger satisfaction scores. In December 2018, Gatwick’s Quality of Service Monitor (QSM) score was 4.29 out of 5.0 – a ten-year high.

    Throughout this time, the airport has focused on delivering on its mission to be the UK’s most sustainable airport through its Decade of Change programme. Highlights include achieving a Zero Waste to Landfill accreditation from the Carbon Trust, as well as becoming a carbon neutral airport.

    Gatwick has also achieved much success in growing its long haul network, with over 60 long haul routes now available across Asia, North and South America and beyond. Gatwick flies to more destinations than any other UK airport. Recent route launches include Shanghai, Rio De Janeiro and San Francisco.

    This has been supported by strong levels of investment in airport facilities, with more than £2 billion spent on improving Gatwick since 2009 including the world’s largest self-service bag drop in North Terminal, a brand-new Pier 1 and a state-of-the-art security area in both terminals, through which 95% of passengers pass through in less than five minutes.

    The airport also continues to look to the future and recently consulted on its Draft Master Plan for the next 15 years, looking at how Gatwick could make best use of its existing infrastructure and, notably, its existing standby runway. The final master plan is due to be published later this year.

  • 15 May 2019 2:14 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Extension To Brighton and Hove Albion’s Training Ground Approved

    Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club has been given the green light by Adur District Council’s Planning Committee to extend their Lancing training ground.

    The Premier League side received backing to invest a further £22million to transform a corner of land to the southeast of the £22 million American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

    The designs include building a ‘Club Hub’ and three additional football pitches.

    One of the Club Hub facilities would be to provide a dedicated facility for the club’s womens and girls teams, who currently are based at the University of Sussex.

    Other resources include an advanced medical and sports science facilities, yoga and Pilates studio and changing rooms, which would be accessible for people with complex needs.

    The proposals were submitted by The Community Stadium Ltd to Adur District Council whose Planning Committee approved the plans at a meeting last night (Monday May 13, 2019).

    The club hope that work would begin in the summer.

    Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “I am pleased to see Albion continue their investment in Lancing and the wider District.  This is a Premier League investment by a Premier League club which will create world-class accessible facilities for footballers across Sussex.

    “Albion have shown that they are committed to investing in our community and I look forward to continuing to work this partnership for many years to come.”

    Councillor Carol Albury, Chairman of Adur District Council’s Planning Committee, said: “The Albion training ground has been a welcome addition to Lancing and over the years there has been a steady growth in the use of the community pitch.

    “The committee took into consideration the concerns of neighbours but on balance felt this investment in world-class sporting facilities was the right decision. Personally I’m delighted to see that this investment will support the growth of the women’s game and I hope this will allow Albion to remain a Women’s Super League club for many years to come.”

  • 15 May 2019 2:11 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing Beach Wins Top National Award

    Worthing Beach has been recognised as one of the best in the country after winning the coveted Seaside Award for the third year running.

    Overseen by Keep Britain Tidy, the honour identifies and rewards beaches achieving the highest standards of beach management and water quality.

    Worthing Beach, a seven mile stretch of shingle, soft sand and rock pools, was one of those selected, joining the best beaches in England.

    Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for regeneration said:

    “The seafront is the lifeblood of any coastal town.”

    “Worthing beach hosts a wide spacious prom, independent traders, world-class water sports, and soon we’ll be home to the largest observation wheel on the south coast.

    “This area of Worthing is a community resource for all ages, which is why I'm delighted we have won this award again.”

    “It is a real stamp of approval showing Worthing and its seafront is ready for summer.”

    The accolade comes as work continues on the SustainableAW programme, which strives to tackle some of the largest environmental challenges of our time.

    This ambitious project for the local area operates with the local community and partners to tackle areas such as water efficiency, clean energy and waste recycling.

    This year environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy is presenting 208 awards to England’s very best beaches, including 71 international Blue Flags and 137 Seaside Awards, with 52 beaches achieving both awards.

    All the beaches are united in cleanliness safety and meeting the highest environmental standards, as well as the tough international bathing water quality standards.

    Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said:

    “The success of the 156 beaches in reaching the very high standards demanded by both awards is a testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches – from beach managers and volunteers to local people and businesses.

    “When you enjoy a trip to a beach flying an international Blue Flag or Seaside Award, you know you are on one of the safest, cleanest and very best in the country.”

  • 13 May 2019 9:37 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing Museum reveals newly accessioned and conserved works for the first time in latest exhibition
    Worthing Museum & Art Gallery has welcomed some exciting new additions to its fine art collection in recent months, particularly from contemporary artists, many of whom have a local connection to Sussex.
    The museum’s new exhibition Collected and Conserved reveals these newly accessioned works for their first showing at WMA, and explores how and why certain works are selected by the museum’s curatorial team.
    Alongside artworks which are completely new to the collection will be some old favourites which have recently had professional conservation work undertaken to them, thanks to the generosity of the Friends at Worthing Museum. This exhibition explores the importance of conservation work and takes a more detailed look at the type of treatment these works have recently undergone. 

    In addition to pieces from within the fine art collection, WMA are also displaying one of their dresses from the costume collection; a late eighteenth century tambour work dress which has recently been conserved.
    Discussing the exhibition, Emma Walder, Worthing Museum Art Curator says “We often find that visitors are very interested in what goes on behind the scenes in museums and we get many questions about what our roles are as curators.  This exhibition gives us an opportunity to display new pieces as well as some recently conserved pieces, whilst giving an insight into some of the fundamental aspects of our curatorial role.  We've included lots of information with all of the pieces on display to highlight their significance in the exhibition.  As a result of the eclectic nature of the work this exhibition is visually quite unusual.”

    Collected and Conserved will be exhibited in Worthing Museum’s Norwood Gallery from Saturday 4 May – Saturday 21 September 2019, for more information visit

  • 13 May 2019 9:29 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Shocking shirts, funky frocks & cream tea!

    It's time to impress your friends, family and colleagues with your appalling taste in clothes!

    Please join Safe in Sussex at the launch of their first annual Shocking Shirts & Funky Frocks Day. 

    Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    Date: Friday 28th June 2019 
    Venue: The Barn, English Martyrs Catholic Church, Goring Way, Goring By Sea, Worthing BN12 4UH 

    As it's National Cream Tea Day, it would be silly not to combine the two, so you'll be able to enjoy a delicious Cream Tea for £3 per adult and £2 for children. 

    All profits raised will help Safe in Sussex to support people affected by domestic abuse. 

    Shocking Shirts & Funky Frocks are optional so, if you don't want to dress to impress, you can still come along and have fun. There will be a raffle and games for the children. 

    There is no need to book - just drop in and say hello!

  • 13 May 2019 9:20 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    New Summer of Circus season swings into Worthing

    Today, Worthing Theatres have announced their latest Summer of Circus season, which includes a host of free outdoor performances by renowned circus companies, a wide range of workshops for all ages and skill levels, and a variety of gripping indoor productions at the Pavilion Theatre from 8 June to 26 August.

    The thrilling circus season will be launched in style with a free family fun day on Saturday 8 June, where everyone is invited to enjoy a variety of fun interactive stands, circus demonstrations by Poi Passion, face painting, a DJ and more exciting activities alongside two outdoor performances of Belly of the Whale performed by world renowned circus company Ockham’s Razor. The performers, like surfers on a wild sea, ride a giant semi-circular see-saw made of wood and steel which creaks and groans as it constantly transforms – creating an ever changing landscape. The company will also be leading a workshop within the structure so participants can try out moves featured in the show.
    Other free outdoor performances on the Pavilion Promenade include the return of all female circus company Mimbre, who will be performing Lifted (20 July); a collection of funny, poetic and surprising moments, which explore, in different ways, what it means when one body is carried by another. Trampoline artists Max Calaf Seve perform their latest show ‘Dip’ (3 Aug), where three performers embark on an epic quest, giving life to everyday objects with breath-taking twisting tricks combined with funky tunes. Also returning to Summer of Circus is The Giant Balloon Show (24 Aug) by Dizzy O’ Dare. The company will take everything you know about balloons and will twist it into a highly entertaining show. They will also be leading a balloon modelling workshop for children on the day.
    Inside the Pavilion Theatre will be a selection of full length circus productions by companies performing in Worthing for the first time. Chores (6-7 July) by Hoopla Cirque, is the heart-warming acrobatic comedy that follows the story of two brothers hanging out in their messy bedroom, but when they hear their mum approaching they have to hustle to get their jobs done! Written and performed by circus artist Jess Love, Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl (9 July) is the strikingly truthful tale of one woman’s voyage to connect with her convict past, where twisted storytelling and spectacular circus combine in this dark moving comedy for adults. Hikapee Circus bring playful puppetry to the season in their beautiful show Look Up (17 Aug) which follows the story of Robyn, a child puppet who is curious about interacting with the outside world, encouraging others to look up away from their phones to see the life around them.
    Throughout the season there will also be a series of aerial taster sessions led by circus artist Carolyn Watt for Adults (24 June) and Children and Young Adults (29 July). Participants of all skill levels and body types are encouraged to learn how to use aerial silks and hoops in a fun and nurturing environment. In addition to this there is also a beginners’ flexibility taster session for adults (26 August), to encourage flexibility, strength and body awareness.

    Amanda O Reilly, Head of Culture for Adur & Worthing Councils, says
    “We wanted to ensure that this year’s Summer of Circus was accessible to as many people as possible, so we programmed an eclectic range of free outdoor performances to make sure that everybody can enjoy this exhilarating art form. Our interactive workshops offer participants a chance to learn new skills, and if you’ve never experienced circus before, make sure you come along to our family fun day to get a taste of what’s in store.”
    Whilst outdoor performances are free, workshops and indoor productions are priced individually from £5 - £12.50. To find out more call the Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206 206 or visit

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