Worthing & Adur Chamber

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News & updates 

Regular news and updates from the Chamber, our members, local Councils and other relevant business news will be posted regularly here. 

Don't forget, as a member one of your many benefits is being able to submit your press releases and news for inclusion here as well as on either the members or business news emails and social media. Please submit to lauren@worthingandadurchamber.co.uk 

  • 17 March 2022 3:39 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    A free course for ambitious professionals that want to grow a purposeful network

    More than 12 hours taking place across 6 weeks, GLIDE – Radical Collaboration is a fully funded, modular, online course you can curate yourself. Through keynote events, webinars and interactive workshops, completing this course will give you a grounding in modern network-building and the knowledge to make the most of contemporary tools, collaboration opportunities and social business models. The GLIDE programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Buckinghamshire New University.

    The old business relationships between companies, customers, and their competition no longer apply. The rules are being re-written. Successful enterprises are putting purpose first, embracing fragmentation and making the most of a new collaborative landscape to build sustainable networks around ideas as much as products.

    GLIDE – Radical Collaboration brings together experts in this collaboration mindset to help you find others who share your ambition and who will help you push your ideas to the next level.

    The course will kick off with a webinar on March 29th which features a keynote from Neil Gibb, author of The Participation Revolution.

    Full course details and registration: https://www.alwayspossible.co.uk/building-business/how-we-help/glide/

  • 15 March 2022 2:30 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Brighton Summit: Unite

    Date: Friday 29th April
    Time: 8:30am - 6:00pm 
    Venue: Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, Falmer, Brighton 
    Cost: £105 - £150 - Worthing & Adur Chamber Members get £10 off! Email Lauren to get the discount code

    It’s been a tumultuous few years for businesses in Brighton and beyond. But teaming up, collaborating and helping each other still epitomises everything that Brighton Chamber stands for – and everything the Brighton business community is about.

    This year’s Brighton Summit: Unite is about how we can link together to improve, well everything really – our business, our lives and those of others. It’s about coming together and accepting that we can’t always do everything ourselves.

    Brighton Summit will offer unrivalled opportunities to connect, communicate and combine with like-minded businesses.

    *Worthing & Adur Chamber Members get £10 off ticket price! Email lauren@worthingandadurchamber.co.uk for the discount code*

    Click here to find out more

  • 10 March 2022 2:34 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Lancing Business Week 2022

    A series of events in and around Lancing Village, running from 13th - 19th March 2022.

    The Lancing Traders Association are hosting their first ever Business Week from 13th - 19th March 2022. No less than four events will be hosted over the week, encouraging residents, families, guests to the area and business to all come see our Village and what we have to offer.

    13th March - Sustainable Market - Family Market

    15th March - Meet Your Business Neighbour - Business Networking

    17th March - A Century in Business - Workshop

    18th March - Hosted by Lancing Business Park - Introduction To RISE Webinar

    19th March - Family Spring Trail

    Date & Time: Sunday 13th March 10am - Saturday 19th March 1pm.
    Freedom Works  - FABRIC, Lancing BN15 9TF 

    Click here to find out more 

  • 09 March 2022 10:36 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing & Adur Chamber President Vacancy - Applications Open

    The vacancy for the post of President of Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce from March 8 2022 is hereby notified and declared on the Chamber website. Within 14 days from today, invitations will be sought for nominations to fill the post. 

    Job Purpose: To provide executive leadership to the Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce in the fulfillment of its mission and develop strategies towards a successful and financially stable future. The President is the voice and face of the Chamber in the public arena and will be required to attend events and meetings to represent and promote the Chamber and its members.

    Please click here to download the full job description. 

    The Nomination Process

    The nominations for President are open to all fully paid up members of Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce. 

    The nominations will be considered by a Nomination Committee consisting of Chay Took (outgoing President), Peter Webb (Vice President), Anne Feldberg (Vice President) and Tracie Davey (Operations Manager). 

    The closing date for applications is Tuesday 22 March. After this date, the Nomination Committee will invite candidates for interviews on Tuesday 29 or Thursday 31 March. The Nomination Committee will present the candidate information to the Chamber Executive Committee who will propose a candidate for election at the AGM on the 18 May 2022. 

    The term of office for the new President will be 2 years.

    Nomination forms can be downloaded by clicking here. Candidates will require a fully paid up member to propose the nominee (candidate). The completed nomination form should be emailed to info@worthingandadurchamber.co.uk or returned to the below address to be received no later than 5pm on Tuesday 22 March 2022. 

    Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce, Sphere Business Centre,
    GB MET, Broadwater Road, Worthing, BN14 8HJ

  • 03 March 2022 3:42 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Local businesses invited to get a workplace health check

    A local businessman has praised a pioneering programme delivered by Adur & Worthing Councils which offers free health checks for workers. 

    Owner of the Fat Greek Taverna, Andy Sparsis is one of many businesses to sign up for the Wellbeing at Work programme after recognising that his staff were feeling the strain from working under challenging conditions during the COVID pandemic. 

    The programme, which is delivered by Adur & Worthing Wellbeing, with funding from West Sussex County Council, is designed to help businesses cut staff absences due to sickness by supporting employees to improve their health. 

    Nationally, 131 million days a year are lost to sickness absence, which costs the UK economy an estimated £100 billion every year. And this figure is expected to rise as the fallout from the COVID pandemic continues. 

    Remote working has led many employees to feel isolated, leading to reduced mental wellbeing. And the introduction of protective measures such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks in public places has placed extra pressure on staff working in hospitality and retail, which makes up a significant proportion of the Adur and Worthing workforce. 

    Andy Sparsis said: “As a business, by law, we have to go through various safety checks and risk assessments. This includes making sure our cooks wear chef whites, have the right footwear and are fit for work in a physical sense, but there’s was nothing about mental health,” 

    “Hospitality is low paid and the hours are unsocial so you have to find ways to make it enjoyable. Creating the time to prioritise workplace health has made a huge difference to our employees.”

    The initiative, which is aimed at small businesses in Adur and Worthing, is unveiled as the lead story in the latest edition of ThriveAW -  a 28-page online magazine, which is produced by Adur & Worthing Councils. This issue shines a spotlight on the work of the Councils and partner organisations to support those impacted by the COVID pandemic. 

    Other stories include an appeal for residents and businesses to support the foodbanks, following a sharp increase in demand for their services, and the support available locally to assist those who have been hit by the cost of living crunch. 

    Cllr Kevin Boram, Adur’s Executive for Health & Wellbeing, said: “It’s been almost two years since the first lockdown was announced and the pandemic is still far from over. Long periods of being isolated from family and friends, uncertainty about work and not being able to exercise freely have taken their toll on our health and wellbeing. 

    "In this issue, we lead with a story about the pioneering Wellbeing at Work programme, which is run by Adur & Worthing Wellbeing. The service offers a free workplace health check for local businesses and is designed to support employees to improve their health, which in turn can reduce sickness absence.”

    Cllr Dr Heather Mercer, Worthing’s Executive Member for Customer Service, said: “The power of community has never been felt more strongly in Adur and Worthing than it does now. Communities bring people together, to look out for each other and help to create a sense of belonging. In this latest edition of ThriveAW, you will find lots of stories about some of the incredible projects that are running in our communities.

    “Sadly, the demand on our food projects continues to grow and they are supporting hundreds of families a week. We anticipate this demand will continue to grow as the cost of living crunch is set to hit households of the winter months.”

    You can read the magazine in full at:  https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/thrive-aw/

  • 03 March 2022 3:38 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Councils put pressure on Southern Water to cut pollution

    Southern Water has vowed to clean up its act by agreeing to explore a series of measures to cut down on its dumping of raw sewage in the sea and rivers after pressure from Adur & Worthing Councils.

    The under-fire company agreed to field pre-submitted questions from both the public and Adur & Worthing Councillors at a Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) meeting  on Thursday (January 27th).

    JOSC is the committee of councillors established to question and scrutinise decisions made by the Councils’ Leaders also known as Executive Members. It has no jurisdiction over planning or licensing decisions but regularly invites other public bodies to discuss issues that affect Adur and Worthing.

    JOSC members agreed unanimously to a series of recommendations, including:

    • Increase spending in the region
    • Fix more misconnections of pipes
    • Increase the number of sensors in the sewer system
    • Reduce the number of storm overflows
    • Become more transparent
    • work as part of a multi-agency to stop house boats discharging waste into the RIver Adur

    Councillors criticised the company’s past pollution record, but while Southern Water admitted the number of incidents was too high, insisted there has been a 30 per cent reduction in the past year and bathing waters in Adur are rated ‘excellent’ while Worthing’s had risen from ‘sufficient’ to ‘good’.

    The company was fined a record £90million last July after the company admitted 6,971 illegal spills from 17 sites in Hampshire, Kent and West Sussex between 2010 and 2015 and told councillors its record in dumping raw sewage in the sea and rivers is ‘unacceptable’.

    Barry Woodham, the company’s Bathing Water Manager, told councillors: “It is unacceptable but we have to focus on where we are going now and 2040 is the zero target and we’ve got some pretty aggressive targets to hit.

    “In this investment period we were north of 400 category 1 to 3 pollutions a year, our target is to get that below 80 by 2025. We do have a large task ahead of us as we’ve got 40,000km of sewer, 3,500 pumping stations and 360 treatment works. The scale of the challenge is large but we accept no pollution is acceptable and zero is the target. We have a lot of work to do. Performance at pumping stations is not good enough.”

    There have also been reported incidents of street flooding at places such as the former  civic centre on the Brighton Road, in Shoreham. The company was asked whether the existing sewer infrastructure could cope with an expected 2,500 new residents expected to move into the town, as a result of new housing developments. Southern Water said it is fixing misconnections - when a wastewater pipe is incorrectly connected to surface water sewers - and assessing the situation to see what additional capacity is needed.

    Reflecting serious public concerns, councillors also demanded to know what work was being done to improve pollution caused by storm overflows to which Southern Water said it is targeting reducing the number of them by 80 per cent by 2030 in favour of using more nature-based approaches. 

    In addition, Southern Water vowed to invest around £3.8bn to improve the situation across their whole region of operation with around £140million spent in the Adur and Worthing area in a bid to cut the prospect of further incidents. The company has also declared it will be much more transparent with figures available on its own website..

    In response to minimising future incidents, the company said it will increase its use of technology with a Network Digitalisation that includes 20,000 to 30,000 sewer sensors that are connected to a control centre to give much greater visibility of issues before they cause problems for residents, as well as improving operational response and also appealed for the public to report any incidents of pollution as soon as they spot it.

    Southern Water also agreed to again look into connecting the 44 houseboats in Shoreham to a main sewer as part of a joint agency approach with the Council and the Environment Agency to stop discharge into the River Adur.

    Councillors also questioned them over sewage leaks in Lancing back in December 2021. While compensation had been paid to some residents affected, the company agreed to look into further compensation claims from those who live on the west side of West Way who had to travel through waste water and those on Brighton Road who suffered disruption from  tankers causing damage to roads and kerbs.

    In a joint statement, JOSC chair and representative for Adur District Council, Cllr Joss Loader and JOSC chair and representative for Worthing Borough Council, Charles James, said: “This was a positive and productive meeting, with councillors agreeing a series of proactive recommendations to help address ongoing and significant public concerns relating to bathing water quality and other environmental issues. Our thanks to Southern Water for attending."

  • 03 March 2022 3:34 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Pioneering rivers project gets government recognition with grant to Adur District Council

    The government has recognised pioneering ecological work by Adur District Council with the award of a major grant, the first time it has been given to a local authority.

    The Council’s decision to step in to buy two large areas of land on the Adur estuary, Pad Farm and New Salts Farm, to promote the return of biodiversity and to bolster natural flood defences has been widely applauded.

    Now the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has awarded the Council £94,000 to fund further studies about how the restoration of these vital salt marsh and wetland habitats can be funded.

    The cash will also help the Council take its environment project further by engaging other landowners along the Adur to join it to create a thriving natural habitat from Shoreham to Steyning. Community and environmental groups will also be included in consultations and workshops about the projects.

    The attraction of funding to help sustain these natural habitats will be vital in protecting them and the Council hopes it’s research into various models for doing this might be used throughout the UK.

    Salt marshes and wetlands are important habitats for many rare and unusual species of plants, birds and animals which have adapted to living in an environment that is regularly covered by tides. They help protect the land around from flooding, in addition to being a natural source for capturing climate-changing carbon gases.

    Adur District Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Cllr Emma Evans, said, ‘This is great news and a ringing endorsement of our bold initiative to buy these two pieces of land to help preserve the natural habitat of the Adur tidal estuary for generations to come.

    ‘I’m particularly excited that this money will allow us to engage other farm and land owners to join us in exploring how nature restoration can be a part of the future of farming, and how it will be paid for

    ‘This will be good for the environment but also we will be able to explore ways that landowners across the country might be able to secure funding to restore natural habitats which will be good for biodiversity and the fight against climate change.’

    Pad Farm and New Salts Farm were bought by the Council in 2020. Pad Farm, is 45-acres of arable farmland on the western banks of the River Adur north of the A27. Returning this to salt marsh will help take pressures off the river elsewhere and encourage biodiversity. Meanwhile the 70-acre piece of land, New Salts Farm, between Lancing and Shoreham, was purchased to protect it from housing and return it to wetland habitat.

    The Council is working with a number of partners on the project including Defra, the Environment Agency which is responsible for flood control, the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust and the Arun and Adur Farmers Cluster,  a group set up to encourage the return of important flora and fauna on farmland.

    The ambitious and vital work is a part of the fast developing Sussex Bay initiative that aims to galvanise and support nature restoration projects all along the Sussex coast.

  • 03 March 2022 3:28 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Inspector backs council fight to protect vital green spaces

    Efforts to protect the green spaces that border Worthing have been strengthened by the support of a government inspector, a report says.

    Two open spaces known as the Goring Gap to the west of the town and Brooklands in the east are considered as crucial to protect the integrity of the community and prevent urban sprawl.

    The report to members of Worthing Borough Council’s Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) says initial feedback from a Local Plan Inspector has strongly indicated he accepts the argument that the sites should remain undeveloped and describes this as ‘a good news story’.

    Members of the JSC heard although his final report is awaited the inspector had made a strong inference that Local Green Gap (LGG) status should be awarded to both Chatsmore Farm and the Goring-Ferring Gap and that an even stronger protection Local Green Space (LGS) should be applied at Brooklands.

    The timing of the inspector’s intervention was also described as very helpful coming at the time an appeal hearing against the Council’s decision to refuse a plan by Persimmon to build 475 homes at Chatsmore, north west of Goring railway station, was being heard. 

    A decision on that appeal is expected later this year but the Council is hoping the Local Plan inspector’s indications will work in favour of continued refusal.

    Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Kevin Jenkins, said, ‘I welcome this report and the strong indications that all our hard work to produce a robust Local Plan to both protect our vital open spaces while creating opportunities for much-needed new homes on brownfield site within our urban areas is being recognised.

    ‘We will continue to fight tooth and nail against any attempt to fill in these much needed open spaces and we will do so armed with the tremendous amount of work and expertise that have gone into creating this Local Plan.

    ‘I look forward to the council being in a position to formally adopt this Local Plan later in the year once the inspector's report is published so that we get vital protection for these green spaces.’

    Despite the Council being under pressure to meet government-backed house building targets the report says the inspector has indicated he wants to see proposals to allow 60 homes to be built at Titnore Lane removed from the Local Plan. The report accepts this intervention and says the number of homes can be made up by slightly increasing density at a number of brownfield sites.

    The full and final report from the inspector on the Worthing Local Plan is expected in the Spring.

  • 03 March 2022 3:24 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Cash boost to fuel hydrogen future

    Greater Brighton is giving a £25,000 kickstart to plans for a low carbon hydrogen economy for the region.

    The money for Hydrogen Sussex was agreed by the Greater Brighton Economic Board (GBEB) as part of the Greater Brighton Energy Plan, which aims to tackle climate change and help the city region become carbon neutral by 2030.

    The board - made up of seven councils along with businesses and universities - aims to lead the way in switching to cleaner, renewable power and laying the foundations for the development of a thriving low-carbon economy. Hydrogen Sussex’s work centres on the creation of a hydrogen industry that could eventually support more than 9,000 jobs and attract £4 billion in private investment to the UK.

    GBEB chairman Cllr Peter Lamb said: “Switching to greener fuels like hydrogen is essential as we push for net-zero emissions to limit climate change. Hydrogen will play a vital role in the development of an affordable, zero-carbon energy system.

    “We want to lead the way in the Greater Brighton region by becoming cleaner and greener. This initiative is an important step towards reducing our carbon footprint and helping us develop new green industries for the future.”

    Hydrogen is a key fuel in the route to net zero. It can be produced, stored and used without any carbon emissions, and is essential in decarbonising many areas of the economy, including transport, maritime and aviation, and industrial processes.

    Hydrogen Sussex was launched in February 2021 to support the development of a low carbon hydrogen economy across Sussex. Its members include local authorities, businesses, transport providers, utilities companies, colleges, the universities of Brighton and Sussex and many other organisations.

    Abigail Dombey, Chair of Hydrogen Sussex, said: “We’re delighted that Hydrogen Sussex has received this funding from Greater Brighton. Hydrogen will be key for us achieving net zero.

    “There are a lot of really exciting hydrogen projects taking place across the region. This award will identify our strengths as a region and help us and our members take the next step in attracting funding opportunities to the area.”

    GBEB’s £25,000 of funding will pay for strategic work and to appoint a specialist consultant to advise on future projects. This follows almost £14,000 that was given to Hydrogen Sussex last year for training and development.

    Further funding will be needed by Hydrogen Sussex but it is hoped that will come from commercial investments as well as partnerships with public and private sector organisations.

    Hydrogen Sussex has worked with its members on projects developing the technology to support the use of hydrogen to power large vehicles like bin lorries, buses and emergency vehicles, and to find potential locations in the region where hydrogen could be produced using renewable energy.

  • 03 March 2022 3:21 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Adur’s budget set for 2022/23

    More affordable homes, better council housing and developing more sustainable communities will be at the heart of funding in Adur over the next 12 months. 

    Adur District Council approved its spending plans for the next financial year last night (Thursday 24 February) with a balanced budget to help those most in need.

    A focus on bringing forward the building of hundreds of new affordable homes and social housing in the district will be accompanied by extra investment to boost the standard of the existing council housing stock.

    There will be extra funding for the area’s parks and green spaces to encourage people of all ages to lead more active lives and boost their health and wellbeing, as well as work to improve biodiversity at sites including Pad Farm and New Salts Farm for the community.

    Wellbeing hubs to help residents to get and stay healthier will be supported by work to tackle food poverty in the district. The Council’s successful targeted Proactive scheme, launched during the pandemic, will be extended - focusing on identifying and providing practical or financial support to those households who are most in need of urgent support.

    A large-scale bike and electric bike rental scheme to transform the way people travel around the district will be rolled out, as will food waste collections, free public wi-fi in shopping areas and a programme to make council buildings and homes more environmentally efficient.

    There will also be investment in making communities safer and helping victims of crime.

    Councillors agreed to set Adur’s share of council tax at £317.61 for an average Band D household for 2022/23 - a 1.99% rise on last year which equates to an extra 12p a week.

    Cllr Neil Parkin, the Leader of Adur District Council, said:

    “During the last 12 difficult months of the pandemic, we have worked with residents and businesses to ensure we have provided quality public services for those most in need.

    “This budget continues that work, helping those in need today and building prosperity for tomorrow. Adur is a great place full of everyday heroes, and our ambitious plans for the next year will not only support our communities but help them to thrive.”

    To view the budget papers and watch the meeting visit https://democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=137&MId=1626.