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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 

  • 07 November 2023 11:14 AM | Anonymous

    George Square Financial Management Ltd Monthly Market Commentary

    In Conjunction with Albemarle Street Partners

    Pragmatism prevails:

    While central banks were initially behind the curve in fighting inflation, they raised policy rates faster than any cycle since the 1990s. This unambiguous stance caused businesses and households to prepare for the economic winter we're now experiencing. Though it may not feel like it, the battle against inflation is over and the next hurdle is avoiding past policy errors.

    The good news is that the pause in rate hikes we are now seeing in the US, Europe, and the UK, marks a step change in traditional central banking. Policy makers are exercising pragmatic restraint and utilizing real-time price data as they try to avoid undue damage to the real economy.

    While this subtle shift may not seem like much, it moves central banking into the 21st century and away from static models of inflation and unemployment. Add to this the enhanced communication, which the Fed has perfected, and you have the wherewithal for businesses and consumers to make better decisions around savings and capital expenditures.

    Silver linings:

    It is hard to take positives from lacklustre economic growth, stock and bond market volatility and record high financing costs, but there are plenty that we see on the horizon. Monetary policy works because high interest rates attract capital. This capital flows from risky investments to safer ones and in so doing curtails economic activity. Prices are just an offshoot of this activity and as sure as night follows day, prices start to fall.

    The flight of capital to safe assets and the curtailment of economic activity is temporary. As pools of ultra safe savings swell, they cause anxiety to dissipate and animal spirits in the real and financial economy to reignite. We have just endured a two-year period of lower economic activity and higher savings. This is not the normal situation and when interest rates are loosened, the excess savings that people and businesses have accumulated will find their way back into other assets and the real economy.


    Portfolios fell over October as equity markets reacted to higher yields in longer dated bonds. While the selloff in bonds has reversed in recent days, the year-to-date rally in stocks, particularly large cap technology companies, has reversed in the last three months.

    Third quarter earnings season has often marked a change in tone for markets as companies talk about the coming year. The good news is at the halfway point, US Q3 earnings are up 2% year on year. Expectation for the near term remains muted but earnings are finally growing, and margins have stabilised for a large section of the equity market. While cyclical sectors are likely to see some further pain from a slowing economy, their impact on the portfolios is limited at this stage.

    Bonds, despite some near-term pain, offer outstanding return potential and we are looking to take advantage of this by increasing allocations to active corporate and high yield bond managers.

    We are also allocating to more active managers, where mandates allow, in Asia and Japan. The Bank of Japan has not tightened monetary policy and post-pandemic inflation could allow the domestic economy to shake off two decades of deflationary malaise. The change in domestic growth and inflation could be a watershed moment for Japanese equities and we would like exposure to businesses most likely to benefit.


    The pause in monetary tightening improves the odds of a soft landing in the US and allows monetary policy in other parts of the world to be loosened in the coming months. This creates a favourable backdrop for bonds and may allow equity markets, particularly those on depressed multiples, to recover in the coming year. As always, we are mindful of the challenges higher rates present and will adjust based on incoming data.

    Parry Leggett Dip PFS EFA

  • 07 November 2023 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    15 New Trainees embark on a ‘Platinum’ career path with Carpenter Box

    Sussex and South East accountancy firm, Carpenter Box, has recruited 15 new trainees onto its premium training programme.

    Every year, the firm supports school and college leavers, as well as career changers, on a structured pathway towards either the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) or ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) qualification, mixing professional study with on-the-job experience.

    Carpenter Box Managing Partner, Alan Edwards, who started his own career as a trainee at the firm, commented: “Training the next generation of accountants, tax and business advisers is a responsibility we take very seriously, and for many years we have invested heavily in emerging talent.

    “Our training provision has earned ‘Approved Employer’ and ‘Platinum’ status, underlining our commitment to give our apprentices the best possible start to their careers.”

    Most of the current intake have joined the Assurance & Advisory team, with some joining the Business Services Group and StarBox, which provides new media companies and digital platform content creators with expert finance and tax advice.  

    Included in the latest cohort is Johnny Lancaster, who swapped a sales role to embark on a new accountancy career. He said: “I’ve always been a detail person and enjoy numbers, data, problem solving and fundamentally understanding the way different businesses operate.  Therefore, Audit felt like a really good fit and an exciting opportunity to use some of my existing skills.

    “As a forward-thinking, growing company, Carpenter Box really appealed, and the team has been supportive, welcoming and happy to share their knowledge.”

    Hai Phan joined the firm from university where his degree allowed him nine exemptions from the 14 papers that make up the ACCA qualification. He commented: “The mix of studying and working was difficult at the beginning given that there was a mountain of knowledge that I had to process. However, as the months progressed, I have now eased into the process and I’m enjoying the mix of studying and working.

    “I feel comfortable in the office environment - the support I have received from my colleagues has been phenomenal and has also enabled me to assist newer trainees.”

    Carpenter Box, celebrating its centenary this year, earned ‘Approved Employer’ and ‘Platinum’ status for the quality of its continual professional support, which includes progress monitoring, evaluation and staff development.

    Photo (l-r):  Johnny Lancaster, Niamh McLaughlin, Hai Phan, Charlie Smile, James Tuohy, Jack Woods & Jose Puno.

  • 02 November 2023 9:49 AM | Anonymous

    Benefits of instructing a Solicitor based in UK to deal with your Spanish legal requirements - by Carmen Calvo

    When a UK resident requires Spanish law assistance, whether that’s regarding buying a Spanish property, dealing with Spanish probate, Spanish wills or Spanish powers of attorneys, or a matter relating to a business in Spain, using a Abogado based in Spain may seem like the obvious choice to make.

    However, having spoken to many clients who have initially opted for this option, on many occasions, this may result in several issues you may have not anticipated. Issues that can be avoided by choosing a UK based Spanish lawyer.

    There are a number of reasons why using a Spanish lawyer based in the UK is beneficial.

    UK based Solicitors specialised in Spanish law can provide a seamless transition between the UK and Spanish legal systems.

    Using a dual qualified Solicitor means your Solicitor can clearly explain how the Spanish legal system differs to the UK one and therefore can advise on the best way forward with regards to your matter bearing in mind the different legal systems.

    A Spanish based lawyer in Spain may not understand all the consequences with regards to your UK interests. For example, I have seen many cases in which the Spanish will invalidated the UK will when this was not the intention.

    You will always benefit from someone to explain to you your case using easily understandable UK legal jargon. They will also be able to explain the differences between jurisdictions. In Spain, the stages in your case can greatly differ to what you would generally expect in the UK, so providing you an explanation of the equivalent could give you some piece of mind and enable you to understand the process more clearly.

    Your solicitor is on hand as and when you need them

    Unfortunately, the UK climate doesn’t warrant the need for us to take an afternoon siesta, so you won’t need to worry about your Solicitor being unavailable for the best part of the afternoon. As well as that, there’s no time difference to get in the way of you speaking with your Solicitor. Therefore, your UK based Solicitor will be available during normal UK hours – and at the end of a non-premium telephone phone number!

    It saves money

    Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using a UK based Spanish lawyer is the money saving (along with the time saving!). Using a Solicitor specialised in Spanish law that has an in depth understanding of both English and Spanish jurisdictions for example, they, like myself may speak both languages. This saves huge expense and the inconvenience of paying for a translator in cases in which translation are merely needed to review the documentation first to obtain initial advice.

    Lost in translation seems to also be a problem on occasions when dealing with some Spanish based lawyers. This together with the culture clash, may bring lots of problems in the case and it may end up taking much longer or having to change legal advisers which can increase the costs incurred.

    You will also need to be careful with people in Spain saying they are Spanish lawyers, when in fact they do not have any legal background whatsoever and they are not registered in any Spanish Law Bars. It is always important to verify that your legal adviser is a qualified professional. As a consequence, I have assisted clients who came into difficulties due to have been advised by individuals with no legal knowledge, whose only interest was to finalise the translation to obtain a commission.

    Client service

    I can’t speak for every UK based Spanish lawyer, but the service provided by myself is second to none. We take the time to get to know our clients and understand their legal needs and will always advise them on the best way forward under their circumstances. We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of the law, our experience, our professionalism and support we provide our clients from the outset.  I have been instructed in many cases to liaise between the Client and their Spanish based legal adviser due to the lack of professionalism or lack of response. Unfortunately, not every professional in Spain has the good client service approach we provide in the UK.

    In summary, instructing a UK based Solicitor to deal with your Spanish legal requirements can save you money, time, and stress in the long, and offer extensive knowledge, support and exceptional client service.

    If you would like to discuss any Spanish law issues you may have, please feel free to contact me on or call me on 07980 596 406.

  • 01 November 2023 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    Carmen Calvo shares Top Tips for Buying in Spain

    Despite the general concerns of the latest events, Spain is still one of the most popular destination for British people to buy properties. It is also one of the best countries to invest, as not only is a great and friendly country (I may be biased here) with a great deal of sun, but currently there are still great opportunities for buyers. It is the time to negotiate a good deal for your holiday home and start your Spanish adventure.

    However, make sure you are aware of the pitfalls when entering the Spanish market and do not hesitate to contact me to assist you from the outset.

    A few top tips may be helpful once you have decided to start investing in a property in Spain. These are below:

    1. Location, location, location

    It is important that you pinpoint the purpose of your purchase, so that you can establish what type of property will be better for you.

    If you are thinking about renting the property out, you may prefer to be closer to the town centre or the coast and not in a rural location, as rural areas may only attract tourists in the peak season unless you are providing some alternative specific service (i.e. yoga retreat, etc).

    You may also want to consider the saleability of the property in the future. A property which can appeal to both Spanish and foreign residents may be quicker to sell. You should also take into account the facilities provided in the area as these may attract a wide range of potential buyers.

    1. Instruct a Spanish qualified legal adviser from the outset

    Always instruct a Spanish lawyer from the beginning. You can instruct your lawyer even before you find your dream home as they will be ready to answer any queries you may have once you find the right property.

    It is important that your legal adviser is fluent in both Spanish and English language. As a bilingual dual qualified lawyer, I can explain to you the steps within the Spanish purchase  with an equivalent in the English conveyancing, as you may be more familiar with them. I also have the benefit of being regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, therefore giving you extra ,which you are unlikely to obtain if you instruct lawyers based in Spain.

    However, regardless as to the lawyer you instruct, I would strongly recommend they are independent from the seller or estate agent, to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

    As I mentioned before, your lawyer will be able to assist you from the outset, advising you on any documentation which you may be asked to sign, review any sums you may be asked to pay and do the necessary checks and searches.

    1. Check the overall cost of your purchase

    Your legal adviser will be able to give you an estimate of the costs you are likely to incur in the transaction. This will assist you in understanding the costs and expenses of purchasing a Spanish property to make sure you have the funds available.

    The costs you are likely to incur may vary depending on whether the property is a resale property or a new development. You will also need to pay taxes for the purchase (an equivalent to the stamp duty), as well as paying third party expenses such as the Notary Public fees and Land Registry, among others.

    There may be extra costs during and after the purchase process, such as a surveyor fee, bankers’ cheques commissions, property insurance and ongoing tax liability in Spain. You will also need to bear in mind that, merely for owning a Spanish property, you will need to submit annual non-resident tax returns in Spain and pay the appropriate taxes.  

    1. Be aware of Estate Agencies

    Please be aware of the role of the Estate Agents. Although they will try to appear helpful, they have a contract with the seller to sell the property and a commission is (at least in the majority of the cases) paid by the seller, in the same way as in the UK. Therefore, on occasions they may try to close the deal not always in your own interest.

    My recommendation would be never to pay any deposit money without making sure there is a contract in place. That contract should have been checked by your legal adviser first to make sure it protects you. And definitely never agree to pay any money just to make an offer. Any payment of a deposit should be made once the purchase price has been accepted by the seller.

    Unfortunately, there are many estate agents who are still taking advantage due to buyers’ lack of knowledge of the Spanish system. They may try to pressurise you to make unnecessary payments or close a deal without you having made the appropriate checks.

    1. Currency / Mortgage

    Because the transaction is most likely going to be carried out in Euros, it is recommended that you have a Spanish account. When sending funds to Spain , you should check your options to try to obtain a good exchange rate. Transfer via a currency exchange company may save you commission charges, as well as giving you a better exchange rate.

    If you need a mortgage, there are specialised international mortgage brokers in the UK, who may be able to assist with choosing the best deal for you. It is important that you understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage agreement in full before going ahead, and your lender must explain the documentation you need to sign.

    1. The impact of Brexit - Spanish VISAS

    Unfortunately, unless you become a Spanish resident, British nationals are only able to stay in Spain for 90 days within a total period of 180 days without a VISA. There are many requirements to obtain a VISA in Spain but if you are thinking about becoming a resident, it will be worth checking if you can obtain one.

    Whatever you do, you should do your homework beforehand to make sure you are totally happy to invest in a foreign country and, over all, you must enjoy the process.

    I will be happy to assist you and make the process enjoyable from start to finish.

    If you have any queries in relation to your Spanish adventure, please do not hesitate to contact Carmen Calvo on 07980 506 406.


  • 01 November 2023 1:27 PM | Anonymous

    CBFA recognised for services to vulnerable individuals

    Sussex-based Carpenter Box Financial Advisers (CBFA) has been recognised nationally for the service it provides to vulnerable people.

    The firm was among a handful of businesses acknowledged in the Company of the Year category of the 2023 Just Group ‘Vulnerable Customer Awards’, which mark the work of the financial services industry in supporting vulnerable clients.

    “Vulnerability comes in many forms, whether it’s the result of dementia and mental health problems, physical disability, illness, older age and frailty, or challenges around literacy, numeracy, financial capability or digital skills,” said Roy Thompson, Partner, Head of Financial Services at CBFA. “It’s essential that vulnerability does not become a barrier to appropriate financial advice for individuals and their support networks.”

    CBFA, which was highly commended at the awards, offers specialist advice through a highly qualified team of advisers, which includes Senior Financial Planning Manager Gill Lynes, who is a member of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) and acts as the organisation’s Regional Coordinator. Gill arranges and hosts the Society’s quarterly conference, which provides educational and legislative updates to those providing advice locally.

    “This accolade reflects the hard work of the team in developing a comprehensive vulnerable customer policy,” said Roy. “This underpins our staff training and our business practices so that we are better able to recognise vulnerabilities among our clients and reflect these in the services we provide.

    “Perhaps surprisingly, this can also include young digital entrepreneurs who accumulate wealth but can be vulnerable to poor financial decision-making.”

    Photo l-r : Roy Thompson, Head of Financial Services at Carpenter Box Financial Advisers, Lucy Halliday, Paraplanner at CBFA, Gill Lynes, Senior Financial Planning Manager at CBFA and Sally Whitehead, Paraplanner at the firm.

  • 01 November 2023 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    Transport Research and Innovation Grants Open for 2023

    The Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) supports future leaders in transport innovation by awarding funding for the development of new technology. The programme also provides a collaborative space for innovators to work with the Department for Transport (DfT) on realising shared goals.

    For TRIG 2023, DfT will offer innovators grants of up to £45,000 across five separate challenge areas, in addition to an Open Call challenge to undertake early stage feasibility studies.

    • Challenge 1: Open Call
    • Challenge 2: Local Transport Decarbonisation
    • Challenge 3: Airport Decarbonisation
    • Challenge 4: Future of Freight
    • Challenge 5: Connectivity, AI and Digital Twins
    • Challenge 6: Maritime Decarbonisation

    TRIG is open to SMEs, large businesses, universities, and research and technology organisations based in the UK. The funder will consider proposals from consortia. However, the lead applicant who will receive the funding must be identified.

    The deadline for applications is 27 November 2023.

    For full eligibility and to apply click here 

  • 01 November 2023 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    New Grants to Decarbonise the UK’s Creative Industries

    The Creative Catalyst Challenge Fund is a grant fund of up to £250,000, available to enable creative talent to apply their capacity for innovation to tackle a specific challenge within the industry.

    In this case, it is intended to be used for the research and development of an idea, product, system or process that reduces waste within the Creative Industries, decarbonises and/or reduces impact on our climate.

    We may choose to make one award of £250,000 or a number of smaller awards up to the £250,000 total, depending on applications.

    Your proposal must:

    • be from the creative industries and support the creative industries
    • demonstrate clear benefits for the UK creative industry and the wider UK
    • focus on a clear opportunity and the proposed innovation which addresses it
    • Have a total grant funding request of no more than £250,000*
    • Start by 01st April 2024
    • Last between 6 and 12 months
    • Carry out all of its project work in the UK
    • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
    Who is it for?
    • TV & Broadcasting 
    • Film
    • Gaming
    • Music & Sound
    • Design (Fashion, Interiors, Furniture, Product, Jewellery etc)
    • Advertising & Marketing
    • Crafts
    • Visual Arts
    • Dance, Theatre & Performance
    • Architecture
    • Publishing
    • AR, VR & Immersive
    • Createch
    Any questions? Contact us
    ***Applications are now open***

    Your project must:

    *Project budgets can exceed £250,000 but any additional funding must be clearly identified and in place*


    Applications are invited from UK Registered Ltd Companies/SMEs working in any subsector of the Creative Industries.

    This may include: 

    Proposals need to be for new projects – we can’t fund projects that are already in progress.

    We are looking for high potential businesses in the creative sector. Ideally you have been registered and trading for 2+ years and/or you have demonstrable traction and experience within the creative sector

    You must provide a robust delivery plan and finance model and demonstrate how this grant will positively impact not only our climate but also the growth and sustainability of your business.


    Deadline for Applications is Monday 27th November 2023 12pm.

    Full Guidelines can be found here

  • 01 November 2023 11:19 AM | Anonymous

    Join the Festive Fun and fundraise for Guild Care!

    All money raised during Festive Fun will go towards our aim to reduce social isolation and stigma, in adults, adults living with dementia and adults and children living with learning disabilities.

    We have ideas, activities, social media posts and much more! – visit our website for more information

    Open our festive fun pack here and for additional activities for children click here

  • 01 November 2023 11:13 AM | Anonymous

    Worthing Borough Council - Public Consultation: Worthing Conservation Area Reviews

    Worthing Borough Council has undertaken a review of Goring Hall Conservation Area and Steyne Gardens Conservation Area. With regards to Goring Hall, the Council is consulting on a draft conservation area character appraisal. For Steyne Gardens, the Council is consulting on proposed revisions to the boundaries of this conservation area, and a draft conservation area character appraisal. In addition, a new conservation area is proposed to be designated at Marine Gardens.

    The consultation period runs from 19 October 2023 – 30 November 2023. More details, including how to respond, can be found by following the link below: 

    Alternatively, copies of the documents and response forms can be found at Worthing Town Hall, Worthing Library and Goring Library during office opening hours. 

  • 01 November 2023 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    Sussex manufacturers look to AI for productivity gains

    Around one in four local manufacturers expect to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) in the next 12 months to improve business operations and productivity.

    At the same time, there is strong support across the sector to achieve net zero, with many actively pursuing measures to reduce their environmental impact.

    These headlines were revealed at the latest meeting of METALL (Manufacturing Engineering Technology Alliance), a forum for manufacturing, engineering and technology businesses hosted by leading Sussex and South East accountancy firm, Carpenter Box.

    Tony Summers, Partner and Head of Manufacturing and Engineering at Carpenter Box commented: “It’s good to see the Sussex manufacturing sector successfully addressing many of the challenges it currently faces. Recovery from Covid was stronger than expected and there is growing interest in how AI adoption could positively impact productivity.

    “Net Zero, of course, is a key focus for the sector and many businesses have already taken significant steps towards making their operations more environmentally friendly. These include electrifying their fleet of vehicles, insulating their buildings, adjusting their heating and cooling systems and installing their own renewable electricity or heating.”

    Also at the METALL event, Marcus Wright, Senior Economist, NatWest Group provided the forum with an overview of the UK economy and the key trends emerging for the manufacturing sector.

    The sharp rise in the cost of finance has led to a significant decline in the desire of businesses to stockpile goods,” said Marcus. “Of those manufacturing firms planning to adopt AI, the most common reason is to improve business operations, however, the largest reported obstacles are lack of expertise and upfront costs.”

    He added that with inflation expected to fall to 3% by the end of 2024 and interest rates at or approaching their peak, trading conditions for manufacturers are expected to improve.

     METALL is sponsored by sector specialists Carpenter Box, DMH Stallard and NatWest.

    (Photo (l-r): David Greenough, NatWest, Tony Summers, Carpenter Box, Marcus Wright, NatWest and Debbie Venn, DMH Stallard)

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