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

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  • 30 July 2019 11:10 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Up to £2,500 funding now available to support local businesses in Adur and Worthing

    Small businesses in Adur and Worthing are being invited to apply for up to £2,500 to grow and develop their companies.

    Adur & Worthing Councils, together with Adur & Worthing Business Partnership, has now launched its third round of grants to support local firms.

    The funding, of up to £2,500 for small and micro businesses, is matched by the business applying, providing project funding up to £5,000 in total.

    Dozens of firms have already taken advantage of the scheme, using the cash for new equipment, marketing support, training or even making improvements to their commercial business premises. 

    Among those successful in the past is Ross Cutting, of Worthing-based Jana Reinhardt Jewellery, who used the funding to buy a new welding machine.

    He said, “We found the application very straightforward and the grant people very supportive. The new machine has massively improved production times and given us the ability to take on a wider range of jobs in house.”

    Leila Conley, of The Print Fragrancing Company based in Lancing Business Park, was another successful applicant of funding, using the funding to upgrade its website and marketing activities.

    She said: “As a small team, we are constantly at the coalface, doing the work for our clients. The grant funding meant we could outsource what we were trying to do ourselves and we will soon be revealing a super new website, which is very exciting.

    “Our hope is that it will increase our appeal to our already global client base and help build our business for the future." 

    The Councils are also overseeing an Apprenticeship Grant, with businesses able to bid for a one-off grant of up to £1,500. This is designed to help cover the costs of taking on and training these new members of staff. 

    The funding is a result of an innovative partnership between district and borough Councils across West Sussex, aimed at helping to finance business growth and apprenticeship training across the County.

    Kevin Pearce, Director of Cedar Garage, is one of those to have used the funding to provide young people with an on-the-job training experience.

    He said, “We heard about the application process after we had been to a networking breakfast. I looked into it and found out a little more about it. The application was really easy as I just filled out an online form.

    “We didn’t have to wait long and we were successful with both our apprenticeship applicants. It really helped with the onboarding of the apprentices allowing us to budget for other costs that are involved with taken on apprentices.”

    Cllr Brian Boggis, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local communities which is why I am pleased we’ve teamed up with the Business Partnership to offer this funding once again.


    “These grants aim to encourage growth and expansion of the local economy, leading to new employment opportunities - which is why I urge local firms to get their bids in now.”

    Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration said,
    “As a Council we are dedicated to connecting our business community to opportunities to thrive.

    “It is fantastic to see the genuine, and evident difference this funding has made for local entrepreneurs who have used the grants to capitalise on their creativity, and further their business, while providing opportunities for apprentices. ” 


  • 25 July 2019 1:45 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Queens Award for Enterprise

    The Queen's Award for Enterprise is awarded annually and can bring significant benefits to your business.  A 2019 winner in West Sussex said:

    “We were honoured to receive The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade and then for Innovation in the following year. They have undoubtedly enhanced the reputation of our company.  Whoever we talk to - whether an investor or journalist for instance - the Awards have great credibility. Most importantly, however, the awards were a matter of great pride for our employees.  The presentation was a wonderful event and something that colleagues still talk about.  We’ll certainly be entering again in the future.”

    All the details on eligibility and how to apply can be found at:  https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise


  • 25 July 2019 10:04 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing Symphony Orchestra’s conductor recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

    Worthing Symphony Orchestra’s long-serving conductor and music director John Gibbons has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

    "I was quite overwhelmed to receive the news of the award - not in my wildest imagination had I ever thought that such an honour would be bestowed upon me,” John said.  "I have always taken my own path in the musical world and programmed music, often unfamiliar, that I passionately believe in.”

    "I have been honoured to lead WSO for the last 21 years - a period of much evolution, as we bring orchestral music to people of all ages in the West Sussex area.”

    John has conducted over forty acclaimed opera productions including an array of Italian operas at Opera Holland Park and has been principal conductor of West Sussex’s professional orchestra – Worthing Symphony Orchestra – for more than two decades.

    John has been key to WSO’s survival.  Few towns in the UK can boast a professional Orchestra of the calibre of WSO, attracting world class soloists to Worthing, and much of that is down to John and his tireless commitment. The forthcoming season which John describes as ‘the best yet’ features two of the incredible Kanneh-Mason siblings – Britain’s most famous musical family - pianist Isata on 8th September and cellist Sheku on 20th October. September 17th also sees the return of superstar violinist Nicola Benedetti.  The fact that WSO can attract soloists of such fame and distinction speaks for itself. John and WSO have earned much critical praise for their peerless performances in the acoustically stunning Assembly Hall, and have ensured that Worthing stays firmly on the classical music map.

    WSO began life as a quintet of musicians playing at the end of Worthing Pier in 1926, and has survived many existential threats over the decades, not least in the area of funding. For many years a Municipal Orchestra, more recently WSO has become a registered charity in its own right, and is constantly looking for ways to raise funding.  Putting on a professional concert season is an expensive business that ticket sales alone don’t cover. In 2016 WSO celebrated its 90th Season and is now looking forward to the Orchestra’s centenary in 2026. The fact that the Orchestra and indeed the town, can even contemplate doing so, is largely down to John Gibbons.

    John is a great believer in musical education and for the past three seasons WSO has put on a free daytime concert for local schoolchildren at the Assembly Hall, in association with West Sussex Music and with the generosity of private benefactors and local sponsors.  Over 1,000 children have attended each of these events and are given a unique opportunity to engage with a fully professional orchestra made up of some of the finest musicians in the country.  John makes an excellent host and informal compere for the event, and the musical choices are carefully selected to be accessible to young ears.  The next schools concert will be held in late January 2020 and anyone wishing to get involved in funding or sponsorship, please get it touch!

    John’s career reflects his belief in working with musicians over a sustained period of time, a process exemplified by his work with WSO - whose concerts typify his provocative and stimulating programming. He has successfully introduced many rarities from around the world in programmes balanced with popular classics that are attractive to the ordinary concert goer.

    John is a passionate advocate of British music and has performed many neglected British works including William Alwyn's Third Symphony with the BBC Concert Orchestra, a complete cycle of the Malcolm Arnold symphonies with Ealing Symphony Orchestra, Edmund Rubbra's Fourth Symphony with Worthing Symphony Orchestra and Doreen Carwithen's Piano Concerto, with pianist Anthony Hewitt, at both Worthing and the Ulverston International Festival.

    John has conducted most of the major UK orchestras, most recently the RPO at the Malcolm Arnold Festival in Northampton and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Snape Maltings for the William Alwyn Festival and the centenary showing of ‘The Battle of the Somme’ at the Royal Festival Hall.

    International work includes opera productions in the USA, Singapore, South Africa and Italy and concerts across Europe including the Romanian premiere of Walton’s First Symphony with the Georges Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Recordings include WSO’s debut CD – issued in 2019 to critical acclaim – featuring two Mozart Piano Concertos recorded live in the Assembly Hall with legendary Turkish pianist Idil Biret. He has also recorded Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, Finale completed by Nors Josephson, with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra for the Danacord Lable, the string concertos of Arthur Benjamin with the RSNO for the Dutton Epoch Label and a disc of William Wordsworth with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra for Toccata Classics – this recording, made in January 2018, features Symphonies 4 & 8, the Divertimento in D and the Variations on a Scottish theme.

    To find out more about John Gibbons and WSO please contact admin@worthingsymp


  • 23 July 2019 9:18 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Further Prestigious Award Recognition for MHA Carpenter Box

    In recent months, Sussex-based chartered accountancy firm MHA Carpenter Box has reached the finals of the Tolley’s Taxation Awards and has also been shortlisted in four categories of the Accounting Excellence Awards. Now they have been shortlisted for two more awards in the British Accountancy Awards, one of the most prestigious accolades in the accounting industry.

    The annual awards celebrate excellence in accounting and finance. MHA Carpenter Box has been shortlisted in the Mid-Tier Innovation of the Year category. This award seeks to recognise a mid-tier firm taking an innovative approach to the provision of client services.

    MHA Carpenter Box are acknowledged as cloud experts. Their continual development of cloud-based services aimed at adding value to clients’ businesses has seen them at the forefront of this technological advance for a number of years. The firm has invested in a cloud team and has even recruited a secondee from Australia, where cloud development remains ahead of the UK.

    The firm offers clients a systems review to help them implement the most appropriate software solutions. In addition, the firm continues to improve its own secure client Portal and has even developed its own software to smooth the path for clients needing to comply with the new Making Tax Digital regulations.

    Nathan Keeley, Partner and Head of Cloud Accounting at the firm, has also been nominated in the Partner of the Year category of the awards, for his work in leading the firm’s innovative approach to cloud based and digital solutions.

    Nathan is devoted to cloud technology, and, with the support of his Partners, has focused his career to improving the tools available both to clients and the industry.

    MHA Carpenter Box Partner and Practice Director, Chris Coopey, commented: “We are thrilled with this latest announcement. It is particularly rewarding to be recognised by our peers in the industry particularly when what we are doing is centred on increasing the value we give to our clients.”

    MHA Carpenter Box will now have to wait until 25 September when the final awards will be announced at a glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House in London.  

    www.carpenterbox.com


  • 23 July 2019 8:43 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    WOW Officially Launches With Free Rides For Local Heroes  

    The WOW, the largest observation wheel on the south coast, has welcomed Worthing’s unsung heroes and community champions for free rides as it officially opened on Friday July 19, 2019

    Representatives from charities large and small were nominated to attend the launch event at the eye-catching attraction, called the Worthing Observation Wheel, on the promenade.

    They were welcomed by dignitaries before taking a ride in one of the WOW's 36 pods, which reach heights of 46-metres offering unparalleled views of the South Downs, town and beyond. The heroes were then treated to an afternoon tea in the Pavilion Cafe on Worthing Pier.

    Among those charity service users, carers, volunteers or extra special staff members who go above and beyond was Ann Solcombe, who’s been a listening volunteer at Worthing Samaritans for seven and a half years.

    She said: “We found it a great privilege to be here. We’ve been in Worthing for 50 years and to be part of Worthing’s heritage and a new beginning for the wheel. It’s exciting, we love being one of the local heroes chosen.” 

    Another to attend was Luci Oxenbridge, Assistant Division Commissioner at

    Girlguiding Highdown Division in Worthing, which looks after 450 young members.

    Just before she took a ride on the WOW, she said, “I feel really honoured. I’m overwhelmed with what we’ve got here today. I’m really looking forward to going on the wheel in a moment! I love having my feet off the ground, I love things like roller coasters so this should be really great!”

    The WOW is privately operated and owned by de Koning Leisure, who have run similar enterprises in locations across the UK and Europe. The invites to the unsung heroes was sent out by Worthing Borough Council which has supported the venture, providing the land and working on joint promotions via its tourism arm Discover Worthing.

    Cllr Dan Humphries, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said “These people deserve to be celebrated. We’ve had a fantastic time welcoming over a hundred local heroes, people who’ve done brilliant voluntary work and organising work in the local community to the launch of the WOW. This seemed like the perfect time, when we’ve got this large, standout feature that the town's talking about, to say thank you to those people, and invite them to be some of the first to have a go on the Worthing Observation Wheel.”

    “The wheel looks great, people are talking about it, this is going to be one of a number of things we’re doing to bring people into the town centre in Worthing, give them a reason to come here, spend a bit of time here, spend a bit of money here, do a bit of socialising, support some local businesses, and keep the town centre really thriving.”


  • 19 July 2019 10:43 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Further Prestigious Award Recognition for MHA Carpenter Box

    In recent months, Sussex-based chartered accountancy firm MHA Carpenter Box has reached the finals of the Tolley’s Taxation Awards and has also been shortlisted in four categories of the Accounting Excellence Awards. Now they have been shortlisted for two more awards in the British Accountancy Awards, one of the most prestigious accolades in the accounting industry.

    The annual awards celebrate excellence in accounting and finance. MHA Carpenter Box has been shortlisted in the Mid-Tier Innovation of the Year category. This award seeks to recognise a mid-tier firm taking an innovative approach to the provision of client services.

    MHA Carpenter Box are acknowledged as cloud experts. Their continual development of cloud-based services aimed at adding value to clients’ businesses has seen them at the forefront of this technological advance for a number of years. The firm has invested in a cloud team and has even recruited a secondee from Australia, where cloud development remains ahead of the UK.

    The firm offers clients a systems review to help them implement the most appropriate software solutions. In addition, the firm continues to improve its own secure client Portal and has even developed its own software to smooth the path for clients needing to comply with the new Making Tax Digital regulations.

    Nathan Keeley, Partner and Head of Cloud Accounting at the firm, has also been nominated in the Partner of the Year category of the awards, for his work in leading the firm’s innovative approach to cloud based and digital solutions.

    Nathan is devoted to cloud technology, and, with the support of his Partners, has focused his career to improving the tools available both to clients and the industry.

    MHA Carpenter Box Partner and Practice Director, Chris Coopey, commented: “We are thrilled with this latest announcement. It is particularly rewarding to be recognised by our peers in the industry particularly when what we are doing is centred on increasing the value we give to our clients.”

    MHA Carpenter Box will now have to wait until 25 September when the final awards will be announced at a glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House in London.  

    www.carpenterbox.com


  • 17 July 2019 12:11 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    MHA Carpenter Box Coming Home to Brighton…after 95 Years!

    Leading Sussex-based chartered accountants MHA Carpenter Box is going back to the future, re-establishing an office in Brighton which originally saw the partnership come together in 1923/24.

    That was the year that Robert Carpenter, who practised from Midland Bank Chambers in Brighton, went into partnership with Harold Box to form Carpenter Box and Co. Fast forward 95 years and the firm they created is back in the city, focused on providing Brighton’s growth sectors, including creative and media, construction and real estate, with advisory, investment and tax expertise.

    The new office, in Ship Street, will be led by Creative and New Media expert Sam Uwins, MHA Carpenter Box’s youngest-ever partner.

    He said: “Brighton and Hove is such a dynamic city, full of entrepreneurs and exciting businesses with huge potential – and we are delighted to be coming ‘home’ to support them. We already work with many companies and individuals in the city but having an office here will make it easier to help them meet today’s challenges and grab tomorrow’s opportunities, and to grow our customer base through our sector expertise.”

    This latest development reflects the rapid growth of MHA Carpenter Box over recent years, which has seen the opening of a highly successful Gatwick office in addition to its Worthing base – and a rise in headcount to 16 partners and 170 staff.

    The Brighton office was officially opened at a special reception attended by around 100 people including clients and leading business figures from Brighton and Hove.

    Our picture shows members of the MHA Carpenter Box team at the Brighton office opening event.

    www.carpenterbox.com


  • 17 July 2019 9:52 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Kreston Reeves raises a massive £10,000 for charity

    Staff at accountants, business and financial advisers Kreston Reeves have walked for 27 hours straight, held cake sales, quizzes and office raffles, and have dressed down to raise a phenomenal £10,000 for charities across Sussex, Kent and London over the past 12 months.

    Over the course of the firm’s financial year, staff across its nine offices choose local charities to focus fund raising activities.  Charities this year to have benefited from the firm’s fundraising activities included Friends for Mental Health East Kent, Caring Hands, The Garden Gate Project, Macmillan Cancer Care, Chestnut Tree House, St Catherine’s Hospice, Kent Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance, St Luke’s Community Centre, Harvey’s Gang and Turning Tides.   

    The firm’s Christmas RAG (Raise and Give) week raised over £2,000 alone. Other activities included a Wear It Pink day, Blue and White day, various wellbeing events and its annual pedometer challenge where staff walked the equivalent of 1.3 times around the world.

    James Peach, Partner and Head of the Corporate Social Responsibility committee at Kreston Reeves said: “Colleagues from across the firm are committed to supporting their chosen charities and are finding increasingly creative ways of doing so.  This year the firm has raised an astonishing £10,000 and everyone should be enormously proud of their efforts and this achievement.

    “And we do more than just raise money for charities: we are committed to being socially responsible employers, good neighbours and supporting charities, not for profit organisations and schools through the insights and expertise we can offer.  Our staff also act as school governors to a large number of academy schools and are trustees to a wide range of charities. Many other staff regularly give up their time to help out in the community as much as they can.”

    To learn more about Kreston Reeve’s charitable activities visit https://www.krestonreeves.com/corporate-social-responsibility


  • 11 July 2019 11:49 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Climate Emergency Declared By Adur & Worthing Councils 

    A climate change emergency has been declared by Adur &Worthing Councils, which aims to see the authorities become carbon neutral by 2030. 

    In their 2018 report UN experts warned we have just 12 years to act to limit catastrophic runaway climate change which will expose millions to flooding, heatwaves, poverty, drought, food shortages, biodiversity loss and the collapse of economies. 

    The term climate emergency has been adopted by Parliament and Local Authorities across the UK, including Adur and Worthing Council, in response to the urgent need to prioritise carbon reduction, to avoid the devastating consequences on inaction on climate. 

    Adur & Worthing Councils have already made good progress on reducing carbon emissions by 30% between 2012 and 2019. 

    Now, in the face of stark warnings from scientists about the global crisis affecting our planet, the Councils have upped their game, bringing forward their carbon neutral target from 2050 to 2030. The Councils’ are now embarking on a programme of work over the coming decade to reduce carbon emissions and transition to clean transport for all council services and operations, improve energy efficiency of council buildings, and install renewable energy.

    Adur & Worthing’s Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) have made the climate emergency declaration, to act as a catalyst for the Councils to become carbon neutral earlier than originally planned.

    Councillor Neil Parkin, leader of Adur District Council said, “The Council is committed to showing leadership on the climate agenda setting the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 turns an abstract goal into a reality.

    “We invite all our partners and residents to join us in local action which is ambitious, but achievable, and will help protect our local community for future generations.”

    Councillor Daniel Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council said, “The Council is dedicated to making a difference, we are willing to take action and promise to play our part at a local level.

    “While clearly we can’t do this on our own, the more organisations who join in with this declaration the more powerful the action will be.

    “We have built a strong foundation from which we can reduce our carbon emissions, and look to provide future energy security, affordability and resilience.”

    Adur & Worthing Councils becoming carbon neutral would virtually eliminate carbon emissions from council energy use and transport. It will involve improvements in energy efficiency and increasing renewable energy on council buildings and land, while moving towards using more electric vehicles. There is over £700,00 allocated by Adur & Worthing Councils to deliver energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements within the 2019/20 capital programme.

    Strong commitments have also been made by the  Councils under their environmental programme, called  Sustainable AW,  to reduce carbon emissions. LED lighting upgrades have so far saved 98 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, while solar panels have saved 32 tonnes.

    The drive for greater change is already underway, the go ahead has been given to purchase two, new, ultra low emission, electric waste and street cleansing vehicles as party of a rolling programme which will see the electrification of the fleet over the coming years. These will be the first vehicles within the Councils’ fleet to become electric; providing air quality benefits, and financial and carbon emissions savings. 

    Meanwhile, a plan to lower carbon is in production to identify a pathway to achieve the 2030 target; actions needed; and a monitoring programme. A staff travel action plan is being implemented to support greater active travel by walking and cycling for business travel and commuting; while preparations are being made to increase the provision of electric vehicle charge points across Adur and Worthing.


  • 11 July 2019 11:44 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    We're on the cusp of something exciting, says outgoing Greater Brighton Chairman

    Greater Brighton had spent the last year growing stronger and more influential and is on the cusp of ‘something exciting’, says the outgoing chief of the body that has brought in more than £160m of investment to the region.

    Cllr Garry Wall said he believed the region was finally winning hearts and minds of residents who live in the region, which stretches from Gatwick in the north to Brighton in the south and from Worthing in the west to Newhaven in the east.

    ‘The last 12 months has been one of real change for Greater Brighton; a year where there has been visible signs of what working together can deliver for our residents and also a year which has seen the Region grow in size, stature and confidence,’ he said.

    Cllr Wall, the former leader of Mid Sussex District Council, stood down ahead of the annual meeting of the Greater Brighton Economic Board on Tuesday ahead of the election of a new chairman.

    ‘When I first joined the board four years ago, I’m not sure anyone was truly clear on what a City Region was, never mind how it would work,’ he said, ‘But what we did know - and still know today - is that the economy of our region knows no boundaries. 

    ‘It is only by working together and presenting one united voice that we can draw in the funding and support needed to help our communities thrive.’

    Set up under government legislation to devolve power to the regions Greater Brighton must compete for investment to create jobs and homes from other powerful regions across England. 

    Since inception in 2014 Greater Brighton has helped create, or set in chain plans for, 24,000 jobs, build 18,000 homes and unlocked £2bn in private sector investment as well as securing at least £160m of direct investment that has helped fund projects such as the Adur Tidal Walls and the Advanced Engineering Centre at the University of Brighton.

    Cllr Wall said there were clear signs that the identity of Greater Brighton was starting to form in the minds of those living in the region and, as importantly, on a national level where investment decision where made.

    But he warned it was not all plain sailing. ‘We continue to have major challenges around issues like transport and skills  and the government’s attention was firmly fixed on other urban areas outside the south east.’

    The population of Greater Brighton was now a million with Crawley District Council and Gatwick Airport bringing ‘new ideas and energy to the table’. Plans to add Arun District Council to the region with towns such as Arundel, Bognor and Littlehampton would add to the impetus. Important work was also under way on projects to help conserve energy and water across the region, he said.

    ‘For me personally I leave the role as Chairman of Greater Brighton knowing that the City Region is on the cusp of something exciting’ he said,  ‘But this potential can only be reached if we continue to work together to ensure continued prosperity for our residents and businesses. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this fantastic City Region.’

    The Region is a collaboration of six local authorities, the districts of Mid Sussex, Adur, and Lewes, the boroughs of Worthing and Crawley and the city council of Brighton and Hove, with the chairman of the Greater Brighton Economic Board being taken by leaders of each on an annual basis.

    In addition education providers the Universities of Sussex and Brighton and the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College are on the board as are several business partnerships and other bodies including Gatwick Airport and the South Downs National Park Authority.



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