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Important announcements 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 enews and social media. Please submit to 

  • 06 April 2021 11:02 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Business Start Up and Growth Course, from 5th April - please join us! Free business start up course on line for Shoreham by Sea and area unemployed residents.

    Smart Dog Education CIC based in Steyning, is a social enterprise whose aim is to secure grant and government funding to help community projects.

    We have 20 places available on an entirely free business start up course. The course has 5 modules and you will have a fully formed business plan and cashflow forecaster by the end of it. Starts 5th April and runs for 3 months, 3 hours every second Monday. Access to expert business advisers, free resources and grant applications for start up funding. Anyone welcome, 18-100!

    £500 prize to the best business idea voted by our Dragons Den at the end of the course in June!!

    At the very least you'll make new friends and make the best use of this special time to explore your wildest business dream!

    Doesn't matter how big or how small, how fantastic or practical your idea is, we have heard them all and helped set up some AMAZING businesses like Bikeworks and Happy Computers.

    Email for info and to reserve your place. 100% free, funded by the European Social Fund.

  • 17 March 2021 9:24 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Fit Feb success for care home residents as they raise over £1,000 for charity

    Residents and staff at Valerie Manor Care Home in Upper Beeding have kickstarted 2021 in a positive way by taking part in St Barnabas House’s Fit Feb virtual challenge, completing an hour of physical or mental fitness every day in February. With the help of local health and fitness company, Head Active, Valerie Manor raised over £1,000 for St Barnabas by taking part in Fit Feb, bringing the care home’s fundraising total to more than £10,000 since they started supporting the hospice in May 2012.

    Lockdown has been an isolating time for the 23 care home residents at Valerie Manor, but Fit Feb saw everyone, aged 86 to 100, come together to take part in activities ranging from puzzles and group quizzes to seated exercises and target throwing. All whilst fundraising to support the hospice team who regularly visit residents to provide free expert care and support towards the end of life.

    Zoe Fry, Director at Valerie Manor, says, “Everyone has loved taking part in Fit Feb and raising money for St Barnabas House. Our residents have given so much to society during their lives, so having something to focus on and a chance to help their local hospice has been a huge boost to their mental wellbeing during this difficult time.

    Tony, 94, enjoyed taking part describing it as “a lot of fun” and thanking his carer, Joyce, for coordinating the Fit Feb activities: “I really enjoyed joining in and wearing the t-shirt. It was very nice and a jolly good idea for fundraising.” (photo of Tony included in WeTransfer link).

    To support Valerie Manor with their Fit Feb virtual challenge, local fitness company, Head Active, joined forces with the care home, generously providing free online fitness classes to staff and family members as well as encouraging its own members to take part and fundraise.

    “Together, we’ve raised over £1,000 for St Barnabas House by taking part in Fit Feb,” says Jordan Head, Director at Head Active.

    Many of our staff and Head Active members have friends and relatives who have been cared for by the hospice, so it’s been great to team up with Valerie Manor and help raise awareness and money for a cause close to all of our hearts. Like everyone at the care home, Head Active members also really benefitted from focusing on their mental and physical health during lockdown.”

    Jo Bacon, Corporate Fundraiser at St Barnabas House, says, “We are so grateful to Valerie Manor and Head Active who have worked together to take part in Fit Feb, raising over £1,000. This generous donation means that many more local people with incurable conditions will receive the care they need, whether this is at the hospice, in their own homes, or at care homes like Valerie Manor.”

    To support Valerie Manor’s fundraising, visit

  • 17 March 2021 9:19 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Hundreds back Hydrogen Sussex launch

    The quest to place Greater Brighton at the heart of the UK hydrogen revolution has begun with innovators, researchers, businesses and politicians of all parties uniting to back the bid.

    More than 200 people attended the virtual launch of Hydrogen Sussex last week as the drive for the UK to reach net zero carbon status by 2030 steps up a gear.

    The aim of the newly-formed group is to bring together those working in the field to ensure the City Region and wider area is well placed to support and stimulate the development of clean alternatives for some of the highest emitters that are also critical for the UK economy.

    The switch to planes, ships, lorries, and buses away from fossil fuels would not only reduce emissions and improve air quality, but create jobs, encourage innovation and support inward investment.

    Those present heard how the south east - and Greater Brighton in particular - was well placed to lead the UK effort, thanks to its high population density, proximity to London and Europe, and sunny, windy and coastal climate.

    The next stage for the group will be to promote two clear aims: support the production of hydrogen and promote the development and uptake of hydrogen vehicles. 

    Work on both is progressing at pace with plans including a new hydrogen plant at Shoreham Port and the world’s first commercially-led deployment of fuel cell buses in Crawley.

    Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council and Greater Brighton Economic Board’s lead on Green Growth, said:“I’m delighted to support the launch of Hydrogen Sussex, which is key towards the drive for zero carbon economy and placing Greater Brighton at the forefront of the hydrogen revolution.

    “Bringing together all the important partners, the new group will support this game-changing technology. There’s huge potential to assist our City Region’s journey to net zero, drastically improve air quality locally and provide substantial economic benefits to the City Region and the wider Sussex region as we recover from the pandemic.

    “This is the first step of many to develop our region as a UK leader in this field. There is much to do but this has launched us off the starting block.”

    Hydrogen Sussex grew out of the Greater Brighton Energy Plan which launched in 2020. 

    Its broad membership, led by the Greater Brighton, has world leading thinkers, engineers and enterprises, including local authorities, universities, a world leading engineering firm, airports, ports, buses, major consultancies, utilities companies, Coast to Capital LEP, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

    The work also backs the GB10, Greater Brighton’s 10 pledges on the environment, which includes commitments to promote clean fuel.

    Opening the meeting, Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, said: “Hydrogen is critical to the green industrial revolution and has potential to make an impact at a local national and global level. Given our location close to London and Europe, we are really well placed to be leading on this.

    “It will be a challenging task ahead but - as the development of a COVID vaccine has shown - with the right purpose and right people we can achieve what some people may think is impossible. I look forward to following the progress of Hydrogen Sussex.”

    Abigail Dombey, Chair of Hydrogen Sussex said: “We are compelled to move at an unprecedented pace to deliver the innovation, investment, regulation and the market environment that will enable the required step change towards net zero. 

    “Our vision is for Sussex to become a leading Hydrogen region in hydrogen production and the development and uptake of hydrogen vehicles. Hydrogen is not just an energy and emissions reduction opportunity; it could also have an important role in generating new economic opportunities in the region.”

    Hydrogen Sussex has already helped facilitate conversations and projects between members. 

    Brighton & Hove Buses and engineering and environmental consultancy Ricardo are now working together on a project to convert existing buses to hydrogen fuel cells. 

    The bus company is planning to introduce 54 hydrogen buses in Crawley with Metrobus; this would be a world first commercially led application in the bus industry and the largest deployment of fuel cell buses in Europe.

    Steve Dyke, Managing Director of Ricardo Automotive and Industrial said: “Ricardo is already working with a range of clients on hydrogen and fuel cell technology, providing clean efficient solutions which reduce carbon and noxious emissions across a wide range of sectors.”

    “We are investing £2.5million in a hydrogen development and test facility at our Shoreham Technical Centre in West Sussex. Our plan is to grow a globally recognised centre of excellence for hydrogen, defossilised fuels and electrified transport engineering in the south-east of the UK.  

    “It will be at the heart of a local hydrogen eco-system consisting of technology development, supply and use of hydrogen. Through Hydrogen Sussex, we want to bring together industrial partners, local universities, utility companies, transport operators, and policy makers and draw on their capabilities as part of a unique collaborative hub.”

    The bid to encourage the development of hydrogen comes as one the group’s members, Shoreham Port, announces it has begun work on an ambitious new partnership with H2evolution to create a green hydrogen hub.

    Pending planning, it could be operational by 2024 and generate 2,400 tonnes of hydrogen a year  - enough to power 300 buses and avoid 42,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

    Tom Willis, Chief Executive at Shoreham Port commented “Through the creation of our hydrogen hub, which will supply zero emission green hydrogen, Shoreham Port can form part of the solution to the region’s net-zero challenges. 

    “As a community organisation we would like to work with everyone to make this new stage of the Port’s growth a success. The new plant will be clean, quiet and create good quality jobs at the Port and within the wider community.”

  • 17 March 2021 9:08 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Sussex Virtual Business Expo

    Date: Wednesday 28th April 
    10am - 12pm. 2pm - 4pm
    £10 for both sessions 

    Bringing Sussex businesses together

    • Open networking 
    • Panel discussions 
    • Live Q&A's 
    • Exhibitors 
    • Giveaways 

    2 hours in the morning with a speaker and 2 hours in the afternoon with a speaker

    For more information contact or call him on 07885490266 

  • 17 March 2021 9:04 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing Theatres and Museum receive a grant of £1,834 from the Theatres Trust: Theatres Reopening Fund.

    Worthing Theatres and Museum has received a grant of £1,834 to aid in preparations for reopening all venues later this year. WTM have done everything possible with the resources available to ensure audiences still have access to arts and creativity during a time when it is needed more than ever. This funding will further support the WTM staff team in working safely on and off site to create and curate work for their in-person and digital audiences; and allow the organisation to purchase additional equipment to ensure the safety and confidence of their audiences as the venues reopen.

    Last autumn Worthing Theatres and Museum successfully trialled the gradual reopening of all its venues. Including the reopening of Worthing Museum, a fantastic season of stand-up comedy, stunning Screen Arts line-up and a magical family Christmas show. Additional measures and safety procedures already introduced include socially distanced seating; PPE for all staff; ensuring hand sanitiser is available throughout their venues; clear signage displaying Covid-19 safety messaging; using electronic ticketing in place of paper tickets; one way systems and exits; and offering audiences the opportunity order refreshments through an app and that refreshments are delivered directly to their seats.

    The support from the Theatres Reopening Fund, administered by the Theatres Trust, will allow WTM to further prepare for a full reopening funding additional equipment to keep our team and audiences safe and connected. Including Perspex screens to allow staff to work safely within the venues, an additional fogger and the necessary antibacterial spray solution that ensures we are able to reopen multiple venues, have multiple performances at a time and continue our rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures and LED screens used to display essential safety information and Covid-19 messaging in a variety of formats so that audiences can see and understand messaging.

    CEO Amanda O’Reilly says ‘We are looking forward to reopening and welcoming our community back into the venues as soon as we are able to do so. The support of the Theatres Trust will aid in preparations for reopening, facilitating additional measures that will help ensure the safety of our audiences and the WTM team.’ 

    As a charitable organisation WTM rely on the support of audiences and the community to develop our programme on stage and screen, in our museum, and within the community. If you would like to find out more about supporting WTM, you can at

    The Theatres Reopening Fund is administered by the Theatres Trust with the aim of supporting theatres with reopening following several months of closure. Helping cover costs such as building improvements and purchasing equipment that will support the theatre to be able to open viably and safely.

    Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan comments, ‘While not all theatres are able to open right now, Theatres Trust is pleased to be able to help more theatres to prepare for a time when they can welcome audiences back into their buildings, safe in the knowledge they are providing Covid-safe spaces for people to enjoy the live entertainment that has been so missed in 2020.’ 

    For more information on how you can support WTM and the safety measures in place for reopening visit

  • 17 March 2021 8:37 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Free rapid lateral flow coronavirus tests for your employees

    Workplace testing: Register interest by 31 March to access regular free workplace testing: All businesses regardless of size are now able to register to order free workplace testing kits for their employees who are unable to work from home. As around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms, regular testing will be vital to support the gradual easing of restrictions. Businesses can register here for tests – all businesses, including those that are currently closed, need to register by 31 March 2021.

  • 16 March 2021 9:24 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Apply for a grant to help small and medium-sized businesses new to importing or exporting

    The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover.

    What you’ll be able to use the grant for

    You can use the grant for training on:

    • how to complete customs declarations
    • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
    • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin

    It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

    Who will be able to apply

    Your business must:

    • be established in the UK
    • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status
    • not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations
    • have no more than 500 employees
    • have no more than £100 million turnover
    • import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or moves goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    Your business must also either:

    • complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods
    • use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain)

    How to apply

    PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

    Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.

    Apply online through PwC.

  • 11 March 2021 2:24 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    STEP-UP Programme - the final opportunity for SMEs to sign up 

    Applications to Step-Up are currently scheduled to close at the end of April 2021. However, places are filling up fast, so please apply soon if you would like to take part.

    Step-Up is a new internship and training programme for SMEs in the C2C Local Enterprise Partnership region, where you can access talented graduates to help sustain and grow your business through fully-funded graduate internships.

    By joining Step-Up you will benefit from expert-led masterclasses, the opportunity to build relationships with the universities of Brighton and Sussex, and recruit a fully-funded graduate intern for six weeks in summer 2021 - all at no cost to you.

    Our offer to you …

    • Access to join up to four free online SME masterclasses, which can be attended by any staff member. (Additionally, there will be two recorded sessions we will send you to watch in your own time.)
    • Access to 300 of the brightest, self-motivated final-year students, who will have completed an SME-focused employability skills training programme.
    • Following the masterclass series, you can recruit a fully-funded graduate intern for six weeks in summer 2021.

    We have recently updated our SME offer to ensure the Step-Up programme is easily accessible, flexible, and time-efficient for your business.

    Please visit or email the Step-Up team at more information. Alternatively, you can attend one of our webinars to find out more.

    The STEP-UP Programme is co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. Grant Reference: 04S18P02524

  • 10 March 2021 11:11 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    West Sussex COVID-19 - Roadmap out of lockdown

    The infection rates in West Sussex continue to drop. View our data dashboard here.

    At the same time, more than half a million COVID-19 vaccinations have already been given to protect people across Sussex in the most vulnerable groups.

    We’re now reviewing the government’s lockdown exit plan and the implications this has on our services.

    Dr Tony Hill, West Sussex County Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, said: “As more and more people receive their vaccinations, each one takes us a step nearer to coming out of lockdown.

    “I’m pleased to see the cases in West Sussex fall, but COVID-19 is still present in our community and numbers will rise again if we don’t stick to the rules.

    “We must continue to keep West Sussex safe by following the current guidelines, washing our hands regularly, wearing face masks whenever necessary and keeping a social distance from those outside of our households.”

    Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults & Health and Chair of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “The pandemic has been a difficult time, especially for those who have lost loved ones, battled coronavirus themselves or who have suffered hardship.

    “The lockdown exit plan, along with the ongoing vaccination programme, hopefully offers some optimism for the coming months.

    “However, it is still vital that we all play our part by following the rules to make sure everyone’s efforts to get us back to normal have not been in vain.”

    Visit the Government’s website for details on the roadmap out of lockdown
  • 10 March 2021 11:02 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Gatwick publishes 2020 annual results, with renewed optimism for international travel to return in Summer 2021 whilst maintaining its financial resilience

    • The year 2020 was heavily impacted by significant global drop in passenger and air traffic numbers due to COVID-19
    • Swift action was taken to reduce operational costs and capital expenditure as well as to secure additional liquidity whilst the airport continues to remain open throughout the pandemic
    • Renewed optimism as a result of the UK Government’s COVID-19 response road map – in anticipation of international travel starting again in May 2021
    • Focus remains on safety and wellbeing of passengers and staff

    Despite an encouraging start to 2020 passenger numbers at Gatwick fell 78% in the year ended 31 December, 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. The airport remained open throughout the pandemic, however all revenue streams were impacted and the collapse in passenger demand led to a £465.5m loss for the twelve-month period and negative EBITDA at -£25.1m.

    Decisive and swift action was taken to protect the financial strength of the business.  A strategic reduction in capital expenditure resulted in the deferral of over £380m from the investment originally planned in 2020 and 2021. Operating costs were reduced by over £140m in 2020 through a variety of actions including restructuring and reducing staffing levels by over 40%, renegotiating contracts and consolidating all air traffic and passengers into one terminal. 

    To improve liquidity, in April 2020 Gatwick secured a £300m loan with a consortium of banks and the company has drawn £250m under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility. The group has been granted a waiver to address breaches in Financial Covenants at 31 December, 2020.  As of December 2020 Gatwick had available liquidity of £573m to meet its operating cashflows, planned investment levels and interest payments for 2021.

    A priority continues to be protecting the health and wellbeing of employees and passengers with new staff COVID-19 testing measures being implemented alongside one of the UK’s first airport NHS testing sites in 2020 and walk-in and drive-through private testing facilities also being made available at Gatwick for staff and the public.

    Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said:

    “It will come as no surprise that, like any other international airport, the negative impact of COVID-19 resulted in a financial loss for the business last year which sadly also saw us need to reduce our workforce by over 40%.   I would like to thank all our staff, including those that have left us, for all their hard work and determination throughout these difficult times.

    “Despite the immediate challenges I remain optimistic that Gatwick will recover and retain its position as one of Europe’s leading international gateways and an economic driver for the UK’s south east region.  Due to our swift actions the business remains resilient and robust with our focus on ensuring we are best placed to take advantage of a return to international travel this summer.

    “We are heartened by the UK Government’s COVID-19 response plan and look forward to working with the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a framework that can facilitate greater international travel as soon as possible.  This will require the UK Government working with other Governments, to ease the current crippling travel restrictions and ensure a consistent, reciprocal approach for all travellers in time for this summer.  Restoring passenger confidence and offering COVID-19 safe air travel while minimizing the need for cost prohibitive testing and disruptive quarantine measures is vital.  Before air travel recovery begins, and in order for the industry to continue to protect as many jobs as possible, we also need the UK Government to provide further support by extending the furlough scheme for a few more months and providing business rate relief, as airports in Scotland have been afforded,  for the current financial year.”

Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce is the trading name of Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd.
Company registered in England & Wales. Company number: 00345261.  
VAT No: 275 6477 60
Registered Office:
Sphere Business Centre, Broadwater Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 8HJ

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