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Chamber News & Blog

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

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  • 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.


  • 11 July 2019 11:33 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Breakthrough in major Worthing regeneration scheme

    Major plans to create much-needed employment space on a key strategic site in Worthing have taken a big step forward after nearly £5 million of funding was officially unlocked.

    Discussions around regenerating the former landfill at Decoy Farm in the east of the town have been ongoing for decades with the cost of bringing the complex site back into use creating a barrier to development.

    That was until Worthing Borough Council successfully applied for £4.84 million from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership via the Local Growth Fund. 

    The funding will support the complex environmental works needed to bring the seven hectare site into use so that light industrial units for new and existing businesses can be created.

    Councillors this week approved the funding to be released and gave the green light for a widespread search for an experienced developer to get underway.

    Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The potential opportunity for economic growth on Decoy Farm has never been disputed. But key constraints - not least the need to remediate the land - has always made bringing this site into practical use extremely difficult.

    “The government funding has changed this, giving us the opportunity to unlock the site and making it an attractive proposition for developers. I look forward to seeing what expressions of interest we receive from companies moving forward.”

    A report presented to Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) this week noted that Decoy Farm was formerly a landfill area, with clear evidence of existing contamination and flooding problems. 

    This, along with poor accessibility and its location above an underground aquifer, ensured the site has remained undeveloped with “significant investment needed to realise its full potential”.

    The report noted the funding from LEP would support the unlocking of the site with the grant announcement leading to high interest from experienced developers across the region.

    Senior Councillors agreed to push on with a search for a partner, underlining the ambition that the land be used for light industrial units to meet the high demand from local businesses.

    As part of any agreement, any sale of the land would be dependent on successful planning approval - which would include works for remediation of the site - being obtained.


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

    Sussex Based Freedom Works to Bolster Board with Appointment of Rosemary French OBE, Former Head of Gatwick Diamond Initiative

    Sussex based co-working and flexible office business, Freedom Works, have added the departing Head of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative (GDI), Rosemary French OBE, to their board as part of their expansion plans to take coworking and flexible offices to regional towns in and around the South East.

    Rosemary, who has been at the forefront of the GDI for the past decade in promoting economic partnerships to drive economic growth within the Sussex and Surrey region, will be joining the Freedom Works board on the 1st August 2019. A veteran campaigner for local investment and local business, Rosemary was Sussex Business Woman of the Year in 2017 and was awarded an OBE in 2014 for her commitment to women in business.

    Alongside her management of the GDI, Rosemary is President of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, a Non Executive Director of Enterprise First as well as a Governor at Orbital Group of Colleges ( Further Education and Higher Education Colleges in Croydon and Redhill). In short, an established and well recognised figurehead within the Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire business communities.

    “We’re extremely pleased and honoured to have someone of Rosemary’s calibre joining the board”, explains Jon Trigg, Founder and Managing Director of Freedom Works. “The idea behind the business and our whole ethos is about creating community work spaces in regional areas to enable local businesses to work together, collaborate and grow - keeping business local”, adds Trigg. “Rosemary’s passion in retaining businesses and skillset in local areas is for all to see, from her days as the MD of Business Link, to the proactive and effective work she has undertaken with the Gatwick Diamond Initiative”, adds Trigg.

    Having rolled out 4 spaces across Sussex in a little over 2 ½ years, Freedom Works are now in the process of raising investment monies to take their successful model further afield. They are in discussions with local authorities and other private and public landlords about building site 5 and 6 over the next 6-9 months, with an objective of opening up 15 - 20 coworking and flexible office spaces over the next 3-5 years, in towns where there is little or no coworking and flexible office space.


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

    Kreston Reeves lead on sale of market-leading bespoke pump manufacturer

    Accountants, business and financial advisers Kreston Reeves has advised Norris Holdings Limited on the sale of subsidiary Flotronic Pumps Limited to an unnamed buyer.

    Flotronic Pumps Limited, established in 1981, is the market-leader for bespoke air-operated pumps.  Its pumps are used across the food, adhesives and hazardous, pharmaceutical, petrochemical sectors worldwide and feature its unique ‘one nut’ design that allows for rapid disassembly, cleaning and maintenance.

    The Sussex-based business has been owned by the Norris family since its inception.  The sale will enable the business to grow and develop whilst protecting its heritage.

    The Kreston Reeves team was led by Corporate Finance Partner Simon Jordan and Executive Will Molony.

    Simon Jordan said: Flotronic Pumps is a world class business and it has been our pleasure in helping the shareholders realise their investment and find a new home that fits with the cultures and values of the business.  The sale will enable the company to be taken to the next level of success.”

    Rod Partlett, Director of Norris Holdings Limited said: “I was really impressed with the quality and insight from Kreston Reeves; it made a positive impact on making sure the transaction progressed, ensuring the deal got over the line.”

    Law firm Adams and Remers also advised Flotronic Pumps Limited.

     


  • 05 July 2019 10:26 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Warnes Projects pilots recycling initiative and raises £2,058 for St Barnabas House

    Warnes Projects, successful commercial interior fit-out and refurbishment specialists, is piloting a new recycling initiative which reduces the negative impact of construction waste on the environment. The project is minimising landfill through effectively recycling and repurposing materials from work sites, with profits supporting local hospice, St Barnabas House.

    Formed in 2005, Warnes Projects has a head office in Ford, Sussex, as well an office in Bromley.

    Steve Hobbs, Founder and Company Director, said: “St Barnabas House give amazing care to local people which I learnt first-hand last year when they cared for my Father. I really wanted to give something back, hence this initiative. It started as a way to recycle and raise some funds for St Barnabas House, but has to my surprise, been hugely popular with our clients, subcontractors and our staff, who have all really embraced the initiative.”

    Image caption: Steve Hobbs (left) and the team at Warnes Projects

    Steve went on to say: “Recycling is of course very important, so we wanted to demonstrate corporate social responsibility through our Environment Policy and with our on-site recycling scheme we can produce a report for each of our clients at the end of their project, which shows how much landfill they have saved. And even better, the recycled materials, instead of going to landfill become a charitable donation. It really is a win win.”  

    Wendy Bardsley, St Barnabas House Fundraising Manager, said: “This is a really exciting project that Steve has come up with. He looked creatively at how his company could support St Barnabas House, but has gone beyond that remit by creating a recycling scheme which benefits us all. Steve is so enthusiastic, with a strong community spirit and I know he is hoping that other companies will be inspired to come up with their own schemes.”

    Steve is so passionate about the pilot that he is happy to discuss it with anyone who might be interested to learn more, either by phone on 01243 558570 or email on info@warnesprojects.co.uk.

    To find out more about St Barnabas House and the many ways your business can support the hospice, visit www.stbh.org.uk/corporate-support.



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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
© 2018 Worthing & Adur Chamber


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