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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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  • 05 July 2019 10:22 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Upgrade to Southwick sports facilities approved

    Sports enthusiasts will soon be celebrating after plans to create new football and tennis facilities at Southwick Leisure Centre were approved.

    Adur District Council’s Planning Committee have approved a £287,500 proposal to transform the run-down disused courts at the back of the site in Old Barn Way.

    A recreational size 3G football pitch with floodlights will be created on half of the site and be available to community groups and individuals for hire. The eastern section will also receive a major upgrade, with new surface, lines, nets and fencing giving the courts a much-needed facelift.

    Councillors backed the proposal for the Council-owned facility at a meeting this week (July 1, 2019) with work on the outdoor space potentially starting this summer.

    Councillor Dave Simmons, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted to see this proposal to transform a run-down disused space into new community facilities get the go ahead.

    “This is a considerable investment in sporting facilities in the heart of our communities and I’m certain that when the new football pitches and tennis courts are complete, they will be well used by people of all ages.”

    A report to councillors outlined how the current courts have been disused for a number of years with weeds and broken fencing detracting from the rest of the Southwick Recreation Ground site.

    Plans for the new football pitch include 4.2 metre high rebound fences and an overhead net, along with eight metre high posts for floodlights.

    Acoustic fencing will reduce the impact of noise to neighbours while the facilities will only operate from 9am to 9pm on Mondays to Fridays and 9am to 8pm on weekends and public holidays.

    Councillor Carol Albury, Chairman of Adur District Council’s Planning Committee, said: “Good-quality recreation facilities are vital to support our communities which is why the committee were pleased to give their support to the proposal.

    “We understand the representations raised by neighbours which is why we have ensured conditions have been added to reduce the impact of noise while clearly outlining the operating times of the facility.” 


  • 02 July 2019 10:51 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing's Highdown Gardens wins crucial funding to preserve future and tell full amazing story of world-famous landmark

    Celebrations are underway today after Worthing's world-famous gardens at Highdown received a major financial boost to help preserve their future.

    The National Lottery has awarded the ‘jewel in the crown’ site more than £800,000 for a project which will help save the exotic rare plants that grow there and to enhance the visitor experience.

    The 8.5 acre gardens, internationally important because they are home to hundreds of rare plants and trees uniquely grown on chalk soil, are visited by tens of thousands of people every year.

    Worthing Borough Council has owned and maintained the gardens free-of-charge to visitors for more than 50 years since the death of their creator Sir Frederick Stern.

    Now the cash injection will enable garden experts to catalogue, preserve and propagate the hundreds of rare species that grow on the slopes on Highdown Hill.

    In addition the old garden bungalow on the site is to be remodelled and turned into a visitors’ centre, new walkways are to be created and the full astonishing story of the house and gardens to be told. A new wheelchair accessible sensory garden will also be created.

    Work on the project will start next year with a finish date in 2022. The gardens will remain open for all but a few months of this time.

    Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for the Environment, Cllr Edward Crouch, said, “I’m so pleased we have been successful in winning this much-needed funding for our jewel in the crown site. We have a proud history of maintaining the gardens and people will no doubt be delighted to know that we will be maintaining free-of-charge entry while extending its appeal to different members of our community.  

    “Critically, we shall be protecting the horticultural heritage for generations to come, just as Stern wished when he gifted the gardens to the people of Worthing back in 1968.”

    Sir Frederick moved to Highdown Towers, now a hotel and restaurant, in 1909 and began a project to expand and develop a garden using exotic plants brought back from places such as China and Bhutan by intrepid hunters.

    Highdown was designated a National Collection in 1989 to recognise that Sir Frederick had proved something most experts told him he could not; to grow plants on terrain with just a few inches of soil above chalk.

    Today, the main risk to the heritage at Highdown Gardens is horticultural: loss of plants due to age, the fragility of the chalk environment given climate change.

    (Panel)

    The National Lottery Heritage Fund award of more than £800,000 to the Council will allow the Council’s Highdown staff to :

    • Undertake a propagation programme to save the endangered National Plant Collection (threatened by climate change, disease, visitor behaviour);
    • Convert the old gardener’s bungalow into a visitor engagement centre where previously hidden stories about the Sterns, the gardens, their visitors and the plants can be told;
    • Partner with the West Sussex Records Office to digitise and make freely available the important archive of Stern’s life work;
    • Improve access with accessible pathways, extended opening hours and a wheelchair-accessible Sensory Garden;
    • Develop new activities and resources to encourage a love and respect for this fragile environment;
    • Partner with local schools, colleges, community groups and mental health charities to support volunteering, social and well-being activities in the gardens.

    With this £800,000 second round award following A first round award of £96,500 to help with development costs, the Heritage Fund has now invested more than £900,000 of Lottery players’ money in Highdown Gardens


  • 02 July 2019 10:41 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Prince’s Trust Transform Gardens for Disabled Veterans 

    A group of young volunteers from the Prince’s Trust have helped to transform some of the gardens at Worthing-based charity, Care for Veterans, which provides care and rehabilitation to physically disabled ex-service personnel. 
     
    The Team Programme, run by the Prince’s Trust, is a 12-week course for young people aged between 16-25, who are looking for new opportunities or fresh challenges. The programme is free of charge and enables participants to develop communication, leadership and teamwork skills through projects in the community. 
     
    The group of eight students, based at Northbrook MET in Worthing, raised money to buy plants, which they have since planted in the newly transformed gardens at the charity’s facility. The group have worked tirelessly for five days and have created an area of peace and tranquillity for Care for Veterans’ residents and their families to enjoy. 
     
    Sara Hedvicak, Deputy Team Leader at Northbrook MET, said: “The current team have been fantastic. They’ve worked extremely hard and I’ve received great feedback about them; they’ve all been so enthusiastic. The transformation of Care for Veterans’ gardens is incredible; I feel very proud.” 
     
    Elizabeth Baxter, Head of Fundraising & Marketing at Care for Veterans said, “We cannot thank the Prince’s Trust volunteers enough for what they have done for our veterans.  The area they have created was once overgrown and unusable and through all their hard work they have transformed it into an attractive, peaceful area where our veterans and their families can sit and enjoy the summer days. They are a great example of what hard work, commitment and imagination can do.”


  • 02 July 2019 10:33 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Gemini Print buys foundry press from administrators 

    Everyone at Gemini Print has been delighted to welcome new Foundry Press colleagues and clients since Managing Director, Steve Cropper and the Directors completed buying the Horsham based firm from administrators FRP Advisory.

    The administrators said that the 21-staff Foundry Press “had suffered cashflow pressures following a period of challenging trading conditions”.Gemini Print Group ( Brighton, Shoreham by Sea, Bristol, London and Durham), bought Foundry’s business and assets from the administrators via a pre-pack sale, with all of Foundry’s staff TUPE’d over to Gemini Print. Foundry’s previous owners, Bruce Phillips and Alan Houliston, are still within the business.

    steve-cropper-pic

    Steve said “We were trying to do a deal to purchase the company [before it went into administration] but time ran out for Foundry.
    They carried on running when they went into administration, and even though we didn’t know whether Gemini Print was going to be successful in the pre-pack purchase, we funded the company during that situation of uncertainty. They are a commercial jobbing printer with a very good client base and good staff that will complement the Gemini Print team.”

    When the negotiations were in progress, Bruce and Alan prioritised making sure that all of the staff had a position within Gemini Print going forwards, regardless of whether they would be based in Horsham, or moved to Shoreham. People will be relocated to Gemini Print’s Shoreham base during the next few months, so the move can be completed before the license obtained from the administrators on Foundry’s current leased premises comes to an end.

    The administrators commented: “This deal delivers the best result for all stakeholders, and most importantly saves jobs in Sussex, as well as ensuring continuity of service for customers. We wish the team at Gemini Print all the success for the future.”

    Foundry Press clients have commented that they are pleased that Gemini Print is the company that has taken over as they recognise the track record of consistent investment in leading-edge technology and skills, the breadth of services for all aspects of communication and promotion, plus the multi-award winning focus on friendly and efficient service, quality manufacturing and environmental management standards.

    Steve said It was good to hear someone sum things up as: “Big enough to have the right skills and services, but still the right size to care about even the smallest customer.”


  • 02 July 2019 10:12 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Turning Tides have a big fundraiser coming up on July 6th!

    It brings together the best of the towns musicians, young performers and volunteers to give the town a wonderful community day of live music and fundraising.

    With around 40 bands all performing for free it’s a huge busking event and showcase of the local musicians, raising money and awareness for Turning Tides.

    Turning Tides are in still in need of some helpers for shake a tin for a hour on the high street – if you can spare an hour to do so, sign-up here - https://doodle.com/poll/ui8usuuedwu474v8 you could also share this with your friends and family!

    Alternatively you can get some friends together and visit! There’s something for everyone from 10am to 11pm across 9 venues, even our very own John Holmstrom, Laura Bennett, Neil Mitchell and clients are performing so come and show them some support!

    You could also man a door at a venue splitting the job with a friend, probably the most rewarding night out you’ll ever have!


  • 01 July 2019 4:20 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    CCG announces opening of Haywards Heath College in September 2020 and appointment of Principal

    The Chichester College Group (CCG) is delighted to confirm that it will be opening Haywards Heath College (Harlands Road campus) in September 2020.

    The college will deliver post-16 education for the learners of Mid Sussex with a varied and quality offer covering A Levels, BTECs and apprenticeships.

    This commitment is supported by the appointment of a principal for the college - Paul Riley.

    Paul is the current principal of Worthing College, which joined CCG in April 2019. He will take on responsibilities as principal at both Worthing and Haywards Heath campuses and will be supported by a dedicated team at the college.

    Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of CCG, said: “We are pleased to confirm Paul’s appointment as principal at Haywards Heath College. He has a wealth of experience working in Further Education.

    “We are very much looking forward to opening the new college in 2020. Paul and I have already started visiting local schools and meeting with year 10 students to discuss the high quality educational opportunities that will be available to them at the college.”

    Paul added: “I am excited to be taking charge at Haywards Heath College.

    “We are committed to creating a local college which will give young people access to the highest quality teaching and support as they continue their education.

    “We will be offering a diverse curriculum, which will include A-level and vocational courses as well as professional courses.

    “The existing site facilities are fantastic and we look forward to sharing them with the local community and welcoming students to their new college next year.”

    CCG has been working closely with Mid Sussex District Council, West Sussex County Council and other local stakeholders to ensure the college meets local needs.

    Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council, said: “I know that local residents will be delighted to have Haywards Heath College opening in September 2020, providing post-16 students with the opportunity of studying at a local college once again.

    “The District Council has worked hard with stakeholders, and with the support of Sir Nicholas Soames MP, to persuade the Government that opening new college provision in Haywards Heath is essential to meet the needs of the area, and we will continue to actively support Chichester College Group as they work towards the college’s opening.”

    A number of open days for the new college will be taking place in the autumn, with dates to be announced in the coming weeks.


  • 01 July 2019 4:16 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Get Paid, Get Trained, Get Qualified with Worthing’s Apprenticeship Fair

    If you are looking for fresh opportunities, Worthing’s Apprenticeship Fair on July 2nd is a great place to start.

    For those taking their first steps into the world of work, there will be exciting jobs and careers on offer.  Apprenticeships are open to all ages, so the event is also a great opportunity for those looking into retraining or pursuing a new career. 

    Organisations and companies with international, national and local profiles, along with apprenticeship providers, will be on hand to discuss your options.

    Careers advisors will be standing by to explain the various apprenticeship possibilities and demonstrate possible career progressions. The event is open to those entertaining the idea of an apprenticeship and companies considering offering one.

    Workplace apprenticeships are on offer through local colleges, universities and private training providers.

    Health and social care, manufacturing, IT and leisure sectors will be represented at the Fair in addition to the Armed Forces.

    Organised by West Sussex County Council and Adur & Worthing Business Partnership, the occasion is hosted by Worthing College.

    Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said:

    “This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is thinking of taking the apprenticeship route, either an employee or an employer. We fully support all efforts to build on local opportunities in our community.”

    Councillor Brian Boggis, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said:

    “Apprenticeships are an increasingly valuable option for all types of employer and employee and the Fair is an excellent opportunity to see what is on offer in our community.”


  • 01 July 2019 4:06 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Major new office block for Worthing approved

    A major new town centre office block which will become home to hundreds of workers has been given the go ahead by Worthing Borough Council.

    The multi-million pound proposal for Teville Gate House, which is situated opposite Worthing Station in Railway Approach, received unanimous approval by the Council’s Planning Committee this week (June 26, 2019).

    Councillors heard how the new five-storey building would be leased to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), becoming one of its specialist regional hubs and a base for more than 800 jobs.

    The new contemporary development will replace an outdated L-shaped office block built in the 1970s which has been vacant for years before demolition work started last month.

    Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “I’m delighted these plans for a major investment in our town centre have been given unanimous backing by the planning committee.

    “The proposal brings major benefits, transforming a prominent vacant site into high-quality space for hundreds of workers. This will boost local business and supports our ongoing work to improve the vitality of Worthing.

    “This development will also contribute towards plans to redesign and improve Railway Approach in line with our wider public realm ambitions, creating a more welcoming approach for visitors who arrive in our town by train.”

    The proposed five storey building will provide 8,550 square metres of high-quality office space with parking and cycle spaces - more than double the floorspace of the former building.

    A report presented to the planning committee said the 1970s block had “clearly become dated in its appearance” with the lack of tenants indicating that refurbishment was economically unviable.

    It added the proposal would help to redefine Railway Approach and lead the eye along the pedestrian route from the station towards the town centre. 

    Developers Teville Gate House Ltd confirmed an agreement to occupy the site had already been signed with HMRC, who would look to relocate staff from its current base in Durrington by 2021.

    Councillor Paul High, Chairman of Worthing Borough Council’s Planning Committee, said: “The committee unanimously agreed that this proposal allows a major employer to construct premises of regional importance while retaining a significant number of jobs in the town.

    “As with any development this size, there were some queries around parking. But the excellent location directly next to the main station, creation of a detailed travel plan and investment in infrastructure will mean that workers will be encouraged to use sustainable methods.

    “We look forward to seeing the development progress in the coming months.”

    A separate proposal for the main Teville Gate site has been submitted to the Council by its private owners. The application is due to be considered by the planning committee later this year.


  • 01 July 2019 10:01 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Make the West Sussex Climate Pledge

    The West Sussex Climate Pledge asks all residents to make small changes to their lives so as a county we can make a difference against climate change.

    The key areas of the pledge are:

    • Make low carbon journeys
    • Save water and energy
    • Pass on plastic
    • Shop local
    • Fight against food waste

    With over 850,000 people living in West Sussex we can all work together to make a change.

    Find out more and make your pledge by:

    If you would like to get more involved in the Climate Pledge, or have any questions please contact WSClimatePledge@westsussex.gov.uk .


  • 01 July 2019 9:49 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Kreston Reeves shortlisted as ‘National Firm of the Year’

    Accountants, business and financial advisers Kreston Reeves has been shortlisted in the ‘National Firm of the Year’ category at the prestigious British Accountancy Awards 2019.

    The tough category is awarded to firms with a turnover exceeding £25m that can demonstrate how they have added significant value to its clients and across all service areas. 

    Kreston Reeves has been shortlisted for its strategic planning, profitability and growth, professionalism and their value and investment in people and their community. 

    The accolade follows the firm being shortlisted, at the end of May, for three separate awards in the annual Accounting Excellence Awards 2019 - ‘Large Firm of the Year’ award, ‘Client Service’ award and the ‘Investing in People’ award.

    Andrew Griggs, Senior Partner at Kreston Reeves said: “We at Kreston Reeves pride ourselves on ‘Knowing our clients’, ‘Knowing each other’, ‘Knowing our expertise’, ‘Knowing our communities’ and ‘Knowing and using technology’ and we have been working hard to build our foundations for the firm’s future development.

    “To have been shortlisted for four separate awards across two award programmes in one month is a terrific achievement for us.  Everyone across the firm should be enormously proud of their achievements and we look forward to the awards ceremony later this year.”



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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
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