Worthing & Adur Chamber

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News & updates 

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

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


  • 05 January 2022 8:39 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Free business startup course

    Smart Dog Education CIC - a female lead business startup company is running a free Business start up and early stage business growth programme in Jan and Feb 2022 with a £500 ‘best new business prize.’

    The course is 6 sessions in total, every week for 6 weeks, running at Field Place in Worthing Tuesdays 11 am – 2 pm starting Tuesday 11th Jan, which is sign up and information day.

    The course then starts in earnest on 18th Jan and the last session which is the 'Dragons Den and £500 prize celebration day' is February 22nd 2022.

    Entirely free, this course will be delivered by experts in funding and social enterprise and will cover all aspects of starting and running a business in the UK in an interactive and interesting way. We will pay travel for people from Brighton and Hove as well as locally in Worthing.

    Smart Dog will help participants ensure they get the legal structure, name, finances, marketing and customers. Run by expert business advisors, they will help you learn from other’s mistakes, and find you routes to local funding and marketplaces.

    20 places available – anyone of any age (over 18) can join, the only entry requirements are being unemployed, economically inactive or on benefits.

    Learning with others is sometimes the best and most motivational way to take in information.  

    No one can pretend that writing a business plan or learning how to do a cash flow is fun, but we can promise to make all aspects of business start up interesting, relevant and help you set achievable goals.

    You’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose!

    Please send your expression of interest to sophie@smartdogcic.com

  • 22 December 2021 11:07 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Vacancy at Heaton House Dementia Care Home 

    Heaton House Dementia Care Home in West Worthing

    Vacancy with full ensuite now available on first floor (lift)

    Please phone 01903-700251 or email care@heaton-house.net



  • 22 December 2021 9:05 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Farewell message from Tina Tilley, Chamber CEO

    It's time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and to also say a personal ‘goodbye’.

    It has been 16 years since I took up this role and at that time it was for 6 hours a week!

    It's been challenging but great fun. I know I will miss everyone and being part of the amazing business community but the time is right to enjoy more time with my family and my various hobbies are calling me.

    When Peter Bennett asked me to help develop the Chamber he felt I had "all the bounce necessary to be successful", thank you for your faith in me Peter. 

    There was no template to follow but as I had been in business myself I opted to try to provide what our members felt they needed so I asked for their suggestions. No surprise really that they mainly wanted a voice within the local business community, access to council and MPs, awareness of funding, communication and support from other local businesses.

    With that as my aim I launched into building membership, partners and generally shouting loudly that business needs to be listened to. We went from 40 to 400 members and gradually built our reputation to be something that I and hopefully our members are proud to be part of.

    I fondly remember all the fun events like wine tastings, barbecues, Christmas socials and more but also the difficult times when we struggled financially but always had encouragement and support from the President, Executive Committee and our members.

    On a more serious side we were involved in difficult conversations on local issues including: parking, the A27 and planning for windfarms etc. There is never a dull day at the Chamber.

    Over time the Chamber team grew along with the membership and we have some great successes to reflect on including the Better Business Show, Connect Magazine supporting the Business Awards, training programmes like Peer Mentoring, Wise up2s and the past Navigator program.

    We now have an amazing Chamber staff team in Tracie Davey and Lauren Martin-Grieveson. The last 18 months have been challenging, my role was the most suited to be furloughed to streamline finances and the girls have done a great job continuing the work of the Chamber with virtual events and support.

    Things are still volatile in these unusual times, and I have decided that it is a good time to hand over the reins to the safe hands of Tracie to continue the Chamber’s success story.

    What better time to retire than when I have been privileged to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award this November.

    Thank you for all your support over the years and I wish you all success for the future and hope 2022 is a better year for us all.

    Tina Tilley

    CEO, Worthing & Adur Chamber 


  • 14 December 2021 11:22 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Adur & Worthing Business Awards supports Love Your Hospital as its 2021 Charity Partner

    Guests who attended the prestigious the Adur & Worthing Business Awards on Friday 12th November were invited to enter a fundraising draw during the evening to support local charity, Love Your Hospital, the dedicated NHS charity for St Richard’s, Worthing, and Southlands Hospitals. These fundraising efforts will help to support the medical teams at St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands Hospitals who continue to provide outstanding care for local patients and their families across West Sussex and are committed to improving hospital facilities and supporting projects that fall outside of core NHS funding.

    The draw raised an incredible £3,350 which will go towards vital equipment and resources. Steve Crump, Director of Charities at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust commented “We were incredibly honoured to be asked to be the charity partner for the Worthing & Adur Business Awards 2021. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and to those who won awards for innovation, passion, and impact. To see so many local businesses give so generously on the night was incredibly heart-warming and on behalf of the charity, Worthing Hospital and local patients and their families, we cannot thank you enough for your continued support.”

    James Stoner (Business Development Director at JSPC/Vice AWBA Chairman) and Nicky Dumbleton (CSR Coordinator at ETI Ltd/ AWBA Treasurer) recently visited the charity to present a cheque to John Price, Corporate and Community Fundraiser for Love Your Hospital. James said “It was great to support a charity that provides such outstanding care to so many local families. I would like to personally thank everyone who donated so generously on the night”.

  • 14 December 2021 11:15 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Plan for music, skating, tennis and markets to bring Teville Gate to life

    An 800-capacity music venue, indoor skate park and padel tennis courts could be among the attractions at a revamped Teville Gate, a report reveals.

    Courtyard small units for young local creative independent businesses and pop-up markets are also in the plan drawn up by the company that created the Level 1 leisure space at Grafton Multi-Storey car park.

    A report to Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) says the company, QED Sustainable Urban Developments Ltd, is the preferred bidder to develop the site after a tender process was conducted. 

    The revamp would be what is known as ‘meanwhile use’ for the next three years as the Council seeks to bring forward longer-term proposals to build much-needed new homes and retail on the site.

    On that front the report proposes a partnership with blue-chip development body London and Continental Railways Ltd (LCR) to bring to fruition the homes and retail plan.

    LCR is already working with Worthing Borough Council on developing the Union Place site and has invested more than £1m supporting the regeneration of the town since 2018. The company is wholly owned by the Department of Transport and has been involved in hugely successful regeneration schemes at Kings Cross and Stratford in London and Mayfield in Manchester.

    LCR will take a £1m stake in the site, bought by Worthing Borough Council for £7m this year in a bid to bring fresh impetus into regeneration efforts. This will secure it 14 per cent of the land and it will commit to matching the council with staff employed to secure development.

    Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Kevin Jenkins, said, ‘This is really good news regarding Teville Gate. We have brought in two incredibly successful partners in their fields to bring fresh impetus into our plans.

    ‘Anyone who has been to Level 1 at Grafton will know what QED are capable of and the Teville plans go further than that with an exciting mix of trade and leisure proposed. It really will being this area back to life

    ‘We already have a successful partnership with LCR over Union Place and the company’s track record speaks for itself. I’m more confident than ever that we will begin to see some long awaited progress at Teville Gate.’

    The report says that if the committee gives the go-ahead and planning permission is awarded the first of the ‘meanwhile uses’ could be open on the site in late Spring next year. QED is also planning a community garden for the site.

    In its pitch the company says the development would ‘restore a key route through to the town centre and bring additional facilities for businesses as well as unique leisure activities for the whole community to enjoy.’

    It says the borough has a gap in the market for a 600 to 800 capacity indoor music venue. It also says it plans two indoor padel tennis courts. Padel tennis, a mix of tennis and squash, is one of the fastest growing sports in Europe, it says. An indoor staffed skatepark  would cater for skaters and BMX riders it says.

    Before that happens new attractively-designed hoardings, bearing the Time For Worthing brand, are to be erected and the north/south walkway from the railway station through to the town, closed when the Council demolished the old multi-storey car park, will be redesigned with new lighting erected.

    In the longer term, subject to approval, the Council and LCR will begin drawing up plans for the long term development of the site including maximising the number of affordable homes to be built there and preparing a marketing plan to attract funding and a new house builder to the site.

    The Council and LCR have already unveiled plans for 170 homes, a hotel, and expanded cinema on the Union Place site.


  • 14 December 2021 11:03 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Warning - Baliff scam experienced on Lancing Business Park

    Fraudsters are known to have targeted a business on Lancing Business Park this month and without the business' quick action, the fraudster could have cost them thousands!

    The fraudster called the business pretending to be a court bailiff working for the High Court Enforcement Agency, acting on a CCJ against the business. The fraudster had done their research and asked for the MD by name, giving a plausible backstory.

    He stated that a verbal agreement had been given 18 months prior for Media works, which was cancelled by phone 48hours later. A claim was made to the court as no written cancellation had been received, no response had been received to correspondence and the business had failed to attend the court hearing.

    The fraudster then stated he was on his way and the bailiff would be at the site in the next 25 minutes to take action. The fraudster was clever to not demand money, but merely stated that he had done a credit check on the business and was surprised, as they didn't seem like the type of business to fail to pay a debt. He inferred that he thought this was likely just a misunderstanding and prompted the business to offer to pay the debt to avoid bailiff action. This is a particularly cruel scam considering the pressure businesses have experienced over the last 18 months. The fraudster is relying on businesses second guessing themselves and accepting that things could have been missed through the turmoil of lockdown and with staff working off-site.

    Please share this with your staff to protect your organisation from falling foul of this type of scam.



  • 14 December 2021 10:56 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Internationalisation Fund now open for businesses in England

    The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched its new Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses in England.

    Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity (subject to eligibility and availability).

    To secure a grant, you'll need to fund a proportion of your costs yourself. This varies according to where your business is based and will be either 40 or 50% of the total cost.

    The Fund is currently available throughout England except Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, which has its own similar scheme. Applications for businesses in London have now closed.

    The fund can be used to support areas including (but not exclusively limited to):

    • Market research
    • IP (intellectual property) advice
    • Translation services
    • International social media/SEO
    • Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
    • Independent market visits
    • Consultancy and other international commercial services
    Is your business eligible?
    • The company must be based in England
    • The company must be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) with up to 250 employees
    • No more than 25% of the business is owned by an enterprise which is not a SME
    • Annual turnover does not exceed €50 million or annual balance sheet does not exceed €43 million

    The fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

    Find out more here

     


  • 14 December 2021 10:51 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    The Quarterly Economic Survey - 2021 Quarter 4

    Since the COVID-19 crisis, the QES has consistently demonstrated the scale of impact on UK businesses. The survey has been essential in understanding the short and longer-terms impacts on businesses of different sectors and sizes.

    The QES carried out by the British Chambers (BCC) is the largest independent business survey in the UK and a significant economic indicator. We are asking all Sussex businesses to complete the survey. 

    QES findings are vital in the BCC’s and Sussex Chamber’s lobbying efforts because they are broken down to individual accredited chamber-level, making sure your voice is properly heard both nationally and locally on the issues that matter.
     
    The results of the QES are published in advance of official figures and other private surveys and it consistently mirrors trends in official data. The results help influence the Bank of England and central Government.
     
    We encourage you to take just a couple of minutes to complete this extremely important economic survey.

    All data is treated as strictly confidential and will not be passed on to a third party.

    Once you click the link, please make sure to select ‘South East: Sussex’ from the ‘Which Chamber’ section. 

    Click here to fill in the survey
  • 14 December 2021 10:46 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    New leader of Worthing Borough Council elected

    A new leader of Worthing Borough Council has been formally elected by councillors.

    The former deputy leader succeeds Councillor Daniel Humphreys, who stepped down from the role after six and a half years.

    Cllr Jenkins, who represents Gaisford ward and is leader of the Conservative group, said he was looking forward to building on the work of his predecessor.

    He added: “Worthing has made great strides in recent years and I look forward to working with colleagues across the chamber, together with our communities, to drive forward the regeneration of our town, whether that be the provision of much needed housing, new employment space or energising our town centre; as well as improving our open spaces and progressing our ambitious plans, utilising our green and blue spaces, to become a carbon neutral council by 2030 and a net zero town by 2045.”

    Cllr Jenkins succeeds Cllr Humphreys, who will continue to represent Offington but said he was unable to devote the necessary time to the role after securing a new role outside of the chamber.

    In resigning his position, Cllr Humphreys thanked councillor colleagues and officers for their support and challenge during his time as leader, adding: “It has been a fantastic honour leading the council in the town I love and I look back with real pride at the progress made during my tenure. Six and half years is more than enough though and it is time to pass the baton on.”

    Councillor Edward Crouch was elected the new deputy leader of the Council.

    In his announcements, Cllr Jenkins called on the members in the council chamber, of all political parties, to come to future meetings reminding them that they are there to represent their residents, and to do so in a calm and respectful manner. 

    He also asked officers to accelerate the creation of a Community Cohesion committee consisting of councillors and community representatives from across the whole of Worthing. 

    Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Jenkins said “In the early 2000s, in my role with Sussex Police, I led on the creation of the first Independent Advisory Group for Worthing. This was a groundbreaking initiative locally at that time and now as a Council we need to ensure we have the mechanisms in place to not only listen to all of our residents, but also to ‘hear’ what they are saying about our town, their personal and collective concerns and how as a council we can support them and grow a deeper sense of community across the borough.” 

    The current make-up of the council is 18 Conservatives, 15 Labour and three Liberal Democrats with one vacant seat.


  • 14 December 2021 10:37 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Karim Mohamed of Mayo Wynne Baxter explains how to avoid a professional negligence claim

    While risk management has undoubtedly improved, there are still times when professional advice goes wrong.    As a professional negligence solicitor, I’ve spent 30 years helping clients with negligence claims against all kinds of professionals – including solicitors, accountants, architects and surveyors. Many share patterns and with the 20:20 vision offered by hindsight, all could have been avoided.

    This is cold comfort to those facing expensive litigation, but for everyone else there’s good news. There are warning signs to look for and general rules that offer protection.

    So, to make sure you never have to meet someone like me in court, here are my tips to avoiding professional negligence claims.

    1.  Clarify what you will do

    I often hear the phrase “...the client must have known what we were doing”. It’s easy to lose in translation the exact particulars of what you’re prepared to do for a client. Not least because all of us can be guilty of using jargon on occasion. Spell out what you are going to do in plain English. Clarify what you need the client to do too. This is simple stuff, but causes all sorts of confusion when neglected.

    One example came up in a case involving a successful fashion boutique. The shop’s accountant got a letter from the landlord giving notice of termination but not denying a further lease. There were strict time limits, or the lease would be lost. The accountant simply told his client: “I’ll deal with the lease.” What the accountant meant, and later tried to prove, was that he would acknowledge receipt of the notice, then leave it to his client to instruct solicitors. But that isn’t the way the client understood it.

    The time limit expired and the by-now homeless retailer claimed more than £300,000. The case eventually settled but the whole sorry shambles could have been avoided with clarification on either side.

    Never make assumptions and check your client hasn’t made any. Guard against ‘mission creep’. Are you doing more, less, or indeed something different from what you were originally instructed to do? Confirm the client’s brief in simple, direct language at the start and remind yourself of it regularly.

    2. Watch your emails

    The sheer volume of email makes keeping a check on it feel like an impossible task. Yet it’s frighteningly true that grounds for negligence can come at the click of a mouse. A few things can help.

    •   Decide whether junior staff should be allowed to send emails unsupervised in the organisation’s name.

    •   Check whether the informality of email has led to vital information being left out.

    •   Have a clear policy on when to use email and when to go the whole hog and send a letter.

    •   Advisers rarely send out letters without checking that they are correctly addressed, free of errors and complete with the enclosures. Yet it happens much more often in email correspondence. Read through each email just as you would a letter; printing out if necessary.

    •   File emails in a proper systematic way.

    3. Keep communicating

    Misunderstandings are the most common factor in professional negligence claims. The best guard against this is regular communication in plain English.

    Once you’ve sent out your brief, how often do you get in touch?

    •   Consider a maximum time response when replying to correspondence and perhaps a ‘service level agreement’ on timing of responses.

    •    If anything adverse happens in a case tell the client as soon as possible and explain the options to remedy the problem.

    •   If you request something from a client make a diary note so you can chase it up if it’s not forthcoming.

    •   Agree a timetable upfront and make sure the client understands when each stage of the work will be competed. Talk to them if deadlines have to be pushed back and explain why.

    •   Talk openly with your client and address issues before they have time to fester.

    “Misunderstandings are the most common factor in professional negligence claims”

    4. The F word

    Hands up who gets excited about filing? Me neither; but there are few costlier mistakes than incomplete records.

    A client of mine learnt this the hard way when buying a nursing home. She thought she was buying outright, but the seller wanted to retain an interest. Unfortunately, her lawyer went on holiday just before the deal was finalised, leaving the file in a mess. The stand-in lawyer thought the seller’s interest was all agreed so confirmed it. The client knew nothing about this until well after completion.

    The client took a negligence claim to court over whether or not she had been told of the seller’s interest and the judge decided in her favour. More than a decade of litigation later, the solicitor eventually had to pay hundreds of thousands for the claim, as well as the legal fees.

    5. Who’s minding the shop?

    As the last example suggests, holidays and illnesses can lead to vital information falling through the gaps. When an absence is planned, hand cases to a member of staff capable of pushing the matter forward and give them all the information they need. Sometimes you can’t prepare for sudden illnesses, but up-to-date filing makes it much easier for colleagues to pick up where you left off.

    •   Make a simple checklist at the front of the file of what steps are being taken and what stage has been reached.

    •   Keep a note of what needs doing and when.

    •   Have regular file audits

    6. Understand your client

    Understanding your client’s point of view and how they lik to communicate can help build a strong relationship and avoid misunderstandings. Unfortunately, trust can take weeks to win and seconds to lose, but the stronger an overall relationship is, the easier it is to weather difficulties.

    7. The right people for the job

    Make sure the people assigned to a client have the experience and qualifications to deliver the right advice. If a junior member of staff is assigned a weighty task supervision is crucial. To take another example, a claim against someone who had driven a lorry into a property came unstuck through an adviser’s lack of experience. It all seemed straightforward at first, with the main point being damages. But an issue came up about the extent of building repairs needed, followed by liaison with experts and technical documents.

    The case had been delegated to a junior lawyer ill-equipped for the task who ended up in daily rows with the barrister while experts started to communicate directly with the client. Other experts avoided the case and the parties started drafting their own witness statements.

    All of which chaos ended with the lawyers facing a hefty bill for negligence.

    8. Whose interest is it anyway?

    Confusion over whose interest you represent is another common trap. When a case involves many parties it can be far from simple. An architect instrumental in creating the famous biomes of the Eden project was involved in a case that hinged on this point. His lawyers set up a charitable trust without explaining that this might defeat any expectations of personal benefit. It turned out the law firm was advising on both the interests of the proposed project and the personal positions of the two co-founders. This created a conflict of interest serious enough to support a negligence claim. Damages of close to £2m were awarded.

    9. Saying no

    Sometimes I hear about a claim that went wrong from the moment a client signed up. Despite the pressures to attract clients and rack up billable hours, there are times when a case costs more than it’s worth.

    It may be a situation outside of your experience, the fact that your best advisers are already overloaded with work, or just a niggling doubt about whether you can work with someone.

    Whatever the reason, if you’re unsure you can deliver, sometimes it’s better to say no.

    10. Put it in writing

    Some of my colleagues complain they can’t read my handwritten notes so I tend to type them up myself, as it’s the only way to make sure there’s a clear written record of verbal advice given to clients. If, like me, your handwriting makes the average doctor’s look like elegant calligraphy, typed notes can be the last piece in the jigsaw to avoid negligence claims.

    Karim Mohamed is a professional negligence solicitor at Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP. He can be contacted on 0800 87 94 101