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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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  • 12 August 2019 12:25 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Funding for apprenticeship training available to local organisations

    West Sussex County Council opens the second round of the Apprenticeship Funding application process from 1August 2019

    From 1 August local businesses are able to apply for funding to train apprentices. The funding is available from West Sussex County Council as part of the Government’s Apprenticeships Levy Programme.

    As a large levy payer West Sussex County Council has been able to utilise the fund to develop staff within its organisation.  From April 2019 25% of the apprenticeship funding has been available to support external small to medium organisations across West Sussex.  Due to the success of the first funding round a second round has been launched.

    Businesses based in West Sussex are invited to apply to fund apprenticeship training.  This is part of the solution to tackle skills shortages across a range of business sectors. This includes those in the science, technology, engineering, creative digital industries and social care organisations. 

    Applications will be accepted from small to medium employers seeking funding for up to four apprenticeships per organisation. Applications are made online via the West Sussex County Council Have Your Say Platform at and closes on 31st of October 2019.

    Applications are welcomed from:

    • ·        Businesses based in West Sussex serving West Sussex residents.
    • ·        Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in West Sussex serving West Sussex residents.

    County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “We are thrilled that we can now share some of our apprenticeship funding with other organisations across the county. Apprenticeship training is a fantastic way for employers across West Sussex to train and upskill staff that they currently employ or new staff joining them.”

    One local business, Global Technologies Racing Ltd based near Arundel, has recently been awarded the apprenticeship funding, which will financially support four apprenticeship composite technicians. 

    Managing Director, Mark Bullen said, “For GTR, this funding will go a long way in supporting us in sustaining our workforce and maintaining high level engineering within our company. Development sits at the heart of our ability to grow as an organisation, the funding will future proof our position as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) leader in West Sussex.”

    The deadline for applications is 31 October 2019.  For more information and guidance on completing the application email

  • 06 August 2019 11:18 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Extension to popular Shoreham Beach boardwalk on track

    Plans to extend the popular Shoreham Beach boardwalk and make more of the coast accessible to all have moved a step closer.

    Adur District Council installed the first section of the walkway in 2011 to allow those with limited mobility and pushchairs a chance to explore the town’s environmentally-protected shoreline.

    The third phase of the boardwalk, from The Burrells roundabout to Shoreham Fort, opened last year and extended the route to more than a mile in length.

    Now, the Council is working on phase four - with £100,000 plans afoot to lay a new stretch along the existing established shingle footpath from Ferry Road towards Beach Green.

    Councillor David Simmons, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “Since the first section was installed in 2011, the Shoreham Beach boardwalk has become a real attraction for locals and visitors, ensuring that this unique stretch of coastline is accessible to all.

    “I’m delighted we can now move forward with phase four of the scheme, which will open up more of this public beach to people in wheelchairs, with pushchairs and of limited mobility.”

    Councillor Emma Evans, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “Shoreham Beach is an extremely special place with a unique habitat and amazing natural vistas.

    “By using modern materials sympathetic to the area's conservation status, the boardwalk not only allows more people to access this special stretch of shoreline but also ensures the protected vegetation is not damaged by people trampling over it.” 

    The extension, which runs on land owned by the Council, will follow the existing path on the shingle to link the current walkway at Ferry Road to Beach Green.

    Work will take place under permitted development rights which means planning permission is not needed.

    Letters informing residents of nearby properties of the proposed route were issued last week.

    A tender for companies to carry out the work will soon be issued with teams starting construction in the autumn.

    The boardwalk scheme has had the support of a range of partners including West Sussex County Council, Environment Agency, Shoreham Port, Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association and the Friends of Shoreham Beach.

  • 06 August 2019 11:14 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Future bright for Focus as new council-funded office block opens in Shoreham

    A new £9.5 million office block which has secured hundreds of jobs locally while providing Adur taxpayers with an income has officially opened.

    Growing communications company The Focus Group are the proud new tenants of the contemporary-looking four-storey development on the former Civic Centre car park in Ham Road.

    Adur District Council - which owns the building - has worked closely with the firm on the scheme, agreeing a long-term lease with the company which has allowed it to relocate from Southwick and have space to expand its workforce from 250 to 450 workers.

    After a tour of the newly-christened Focus House site, councillors said they were impressed with the quality of the construction and the six-figure investment from their new tenants in transforming the inside of the building.

    Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “I’m delighted to see this new building open, which looks great from the outside and even better on the inside.

    “In this current climate, it is extremely rare for local authorities to design and build offices to meet the local need for high quality employment space. But this deal shows that we are prepared to think creatively about how we can use our assets to get the best possible return for local residents.

    “I want to thank Focus for its great commitment to Adur, investing a substantial sum to relocate within the area which will provide local people with employment. I wish them all the best in their ambitious proposals to grow and look forward to our new tenants going from strength to strength.”

    The Focus House development has brought back into use the car park site which was largely vacant since the Civic Centre closed in 2013.

    Work started on site a year ago with construction teams from Willmott Dixon creating a striking brick and bronze cladded building on time and on budget.

    Inside, the open plan office has a contemporary feel, with top-of-the-range internet connections, games area and roof terrace just some of the perks for workers.

    The project, which has been supported by £1.8 million of funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, was completed by April.

    Focus said the move will ensure the retention of 250 jobs in the area while allowing it to continue to grow - with hopes of a further 150 to 200 posts created in the first 18 months of occupation.

    Ralph Gilbert, of Focus Group, said: “I want to thank everyone at Adur District Council for their support with this project.

    “It’s a really exciting time for our growing company and, even just a few weeks into our tenancy at our new home, we are already starting to reap the benefits.

    “We have said all along that we wanted to make this building one of the best offices in the region so that we can attract the best staff while showcasing some of the groundbreaking technology which we advocate and install for firms across the UK.

    “I think after their visit, councillors can see that we were serious about the promise.”

    With the office block now open, focus for the Council is now on the main Civic Centre site with councillors agreeing to pursue a proposal from Hyde Homes to create 171 apartments above high-quality office space for local small and medium businesses at a town hall meeting last month.

  • 06 August 2019 11:09 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    New Worthing car park open for business

    Commuters and visitors now have a new place to park their cars in Worthing after the creation of new spaces next to the train station.

    The Teville Gate site has been closed to motorists for 18 months after contractors began demolition work on the run-down 1970s complex.

    Since then, the private owners of the major site have submitted detailed proposals to regenerate this prime brownfield land between the station and town centre

    With a decision on plans still pending, Worthing Borough Council has taken steps to create a temporary car park on a section of the plot.

    The new 66-space facility, which is on the footprint of the former Council-operate multi-storey, is now open - giving commuters and workers a safe and secure option to leave the vehicles when visiting the town.

    The opening of the car park in Railway Approach also means that the underpass linking the station with Morrisons has been revamped and re-opened, allowing pedestrians easier access under the Broadwater Bridge.

    Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “This car park is by no means a permanent measure but it does mean that part of this site is still being used while the major application for the wider Teville Gate site progresses through the planning process.

    “It provides motorists a safe and secure place to leave their vehicles while alleviating congestion on roads around the station. It also offers shoppers and workers an incentive to walk and stride.

    “This is part of our wider transport plans for the town, ensuring there are sufficient parking spaces for those that need their car to travel while making it easier to use more sustainable means, such as public transport, cycling and walking.”

    The new car park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with tariffs starting from £1.30 an hour. Day tickets cost £7.60 while season tickets are available for regular users.

    The car park will remain in place while a major application for the privately-owned Teville Gate site submitted by site owners Mosaic is dealt with by planners.

    Separate proposals to create a new office block on the site of Teville Gate House which neighbours the site have been approved. Demolition work is nearly complete with the new building becoming a regional hub for HMRC by 2021.

  • 30 July 2019 11:45 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Project Manager vacancy at SLN 

    Location: Brighton - Hollingbury
    Salary: £30,395 to £34,189 pro rata
    Fixed Term End Date: 30/09/2020
    Closing Date: Sunday 11 August 2019
    Interview Date: Wednesday 21 August 2019

    We have a fantastic opportunity for a dynamic person to join our team and project manage a brand new project which supports young people across Sussex to make informed choices about their futures. The role will be responsible for setting up and keeping on track a project which delivers a suite of tailored personal guidance (whether on making career choices, continuing in education or other support interventions). The programme, the SLN Personal Guidance Fund, is being co-delivered with Elev8Careers, a careers and education company, and the role will work across both the SLN and Elev8Careers to ensure the necessary training and resources are provided to schools, as well as contributing to the innovative and creative aspects of this new provision.

    We are looking for someone to join our team who has a proven track record of delivering innovative projects, who is personable and who can work with a number of different stakeholders, including educational practitioners, young people and funders. This post is part time for 24 hours per week and flexible hours can be agreed.

    If this sounds like you then we would love to hear from you! If you want to know more about the role and see the full job description and person specification or for an informal chat about this opportunity please email Sarah Williams

    Further details can also be found through the University of Brighton's vacancy page

  • 30 July 2019 11:38 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    METALL Skills Masterclass makes progress

    At the latest METALL Masterclass meeting delegates looked at the complex skills issue facing many manufacturing, engineering and tech businesses in the Coastal West Sussex area. The event took place at the Worthing College conference centre in conjunction with the Coastal West Sussex partnership and was facilitated by Richard Freeman of ‘always possible’ consultancy.

    One in five UK jobs is based in engineering and manufacturing, and in the South East, the annual sector Gross Value Added is over £307.4 million, making the importance of the sector obvious. Less apparent is that within this fairly small coastal area, there are some extremely innovative and advanced businesses all of whom have skills needs. This session looked at ways in which we can meet the present and future needs for both highly skilled engineers as well as for technicians, who keep the wheels of industry turning.

    The masterclass followed on from a major Manufacturing Engineering Technology Alliance (METALL) meeting at the new Engineering and Digital Technology Park at the University of Chichester. Delegates attending the masterclass were looking to identify some practical ways in which the sector could drive engagement between secondary schools, Further Education (FE) colleges, Higher Education (the universities), students, potential career changers and business.

    In the interesting and productive session, many ideas were mooted and a framework for engagement was formulated. The need for rapidly changing skillsets requires a revolution in education and training, but Coastal West Sussex is in a good place to lead the way.

    This is an opportunity for key stakeholder groups to embrace change and develop training that is more relevant to today’s workplaces, focusing on skills that are required to achieve business objectives while ensuring high level, transferable skills for staff.

    On-demand training, apprenticeships, T-levels, and digital degrees will all have a part to play in the changing landscape. There is a need to look at the whole educational pipeline from primary school to continued workplace development, as well as career changers.

    One idea that the masterclass suggested was based on a strategy to help influence the influencers: in other words, the teachers and the parents, many of whom do not have an up-to-date idea of what the sector has to offer in careers terms.

    The concept would be to adapt the very successful ‘Big Bang’ programme which looks at showing students what careers lead from studying the STEM subjects (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths). This ‘adult’ version of Big Bang would see an event aimed specifically at teachers and the parents of the students and preferably at a point before the student decides which A-level subjects to study.

    Delegates hoped that this would help to address the skills shortage which often comes as a consequence of students not understanding their choices. There is a particular need to encourage many more female students to carry on with STEM based A-levels because the dropout rate at the moment is phenomenally high. This is one explanation as to why only 8% of engineers are female.

    Many more practical suggestions came from this Masterclass event and we look forward to seeing some real progress as the Coastal West Sussex partnership formulates its skills strategy in the coming months.

  • 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:

  • 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.

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Registered Office: Sphere Business Centre, Broadwater Road, Worthing,
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