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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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  • 07 January 2021 11:31 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Fundraising Boost for Sussex Charities through Local Charitable Foundation

    Charities across Sussex have received a boost to their income, thanks to the work of a local charitable foundation founded by chartered accountants MHA Carpenter Box.

    Many charities and voluntary organisations have faced fundraising challenges in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the support provided by the Sussex-based firm, which has offices in Worthing, Brighton, Gatwick and Chichester, is particularly welcome at this time.

    Among the charities to receive a share of £10,000 raised this year through the foundation are the West Sussex Mediation Services, Sussex Community Foundation Crisis Fund, Turning Tides, Crawley Open House, Circus Starr’s Winter Tour, Care for Veterans and the Down Syndrome Development Trust. The foundation has also continued its support for Lizzie Williams, a Worthing-based wheelchair athlete.

    Robin Evans, Partner and Head of Charities, Not-for-Profit & Academies at MHA Carpenter Box, commented: “Many charities have been struggling throughout the pandemic, so we are delighted to be able to continue with our support for local groups that first started when we launched the foundation 11 years ago.

    “These are difficult times for everyone, so we are very proud of the way that our people have rallied round to help local grassroots organisations meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of society. In total, the foundation has now raised £230,000 for local good causes since it was formed.”

    MHA Carpenter Box was one of the first businesses in Sussex to set up a charitable arm with a focus on supporting smaller local organisations that often find it difficult to raise funds. The foundation is run by staff and partner trustees, who together decide on donations and grants.

    www.carpenterbox.com


  • 07 January 2021 9:49 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Save Worthing Theatres and Museum! 

    Worthing Theatres and Museum have launched a Crowdfunder campaign called Save Worthing Theatres and Museum to help them raise funds towards the imposing funding gap they are facing this year. 

    The support so far has been amazing, and they have reached over £7.5k of their £10k target at this point. They just need one final push to keep that momentum going to get them to their target for 15th January. 

    If you are in a position to donate this would mean a great deal to Worthing Theatres and Museum, all donations can be made here www.crowdfunder.co.uk/wtm . There are also a selection of rewards you can also choose from; backstage tours, memberships, exclusive archaeology walks and many more!


  • 21 December 2020 12:53 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Coast to Capital Growth Hub – Brexit Transition Newsletter

    December 2020

    Check what actions you need to take

    The UK has left the EU. As we transition, your business needs to prepare for the changes that will affect the way you trade. The transition period ends on Thursday 31 December 2020

    This newsletter covers some of the actions you need to take and where to find support, including on the gov.uk/transition website. For example:

    • the way you can move goods across the border with the EU;
    • how you provide services in EU markets;
    • the immigration status of your workforce.

    Prepare for changes to importing and exporting

    If you are importing or exporting, you will need to take a number of actions to prepare:

    Sector-specific letters

    Letters from the Business Secretary detailed below, provide tailored advice on what key actions your business must take. These include links which will direct you to government resources, where you can view the online transition checker, sector specific webinars and access further guidance.

    Trading with Northern Ireland

    The Northern Ireland Protocol comes into effect on Friday 1 January 2021 and entails new administrative processes for traders, notably new digital import declaration requirements, and digital safety and security information, for goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

    The UK Government has established a new, free service, the Trader Support Service (TSS) which will provide an end-to-end service to guide traders through all import processes and can also be used to complete digital declarations, at no additional cost.

    Recruitment from January 2021

    Starting Friday 1 January 2021, free movement will end and the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system. The new system will introduce job, salary and language requirements that will impact your ability to hire from the EU. The Home Office podcast for businesses explains the new immigration system. Likewise, for more details on:

    • Recruiting workers from outside the UK visit here
    • Recruiting EU citizens who already live in the UK visit here

    Providing services to EU markets

    UK businesses and professionals will be treated by the EU as originating from a ‘third country’ from January 2021. This means that there will be different rules that you need to comply with. The precise rules will depend on which Member State and what sector or sectors you operate in.

    To find out more search ‘selling services to the EU’ on the gov.uk website and for information on Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein visit here

    VAT and overseas goods sold online and directly to customers

    Additional guidance has been issued to help you understand your VAT responsibilities and what you may have to pay if goods are sold overseas:

    Events

    We have listed a few business support events below that focus on Brexit Transition advice and guidance. To see our complete list of events please visit the Growth Hub events page.

  • 10 December 2020 2:04 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Councils step up to fund festive displays to boost town centres

    Adur & Worthing Councils are providing a seasonal boost to traders by ensuring spectacular Christmas trees bring cheer to town centres.

    Despite the COVID pandemic, the Councils have stepped up to source and provide five evergreens to give its high streets a much-needed festive lift.

    It forms part of the #WinterWelcomeAW campaign, which is being run by the Councils to encourage people to get out and support the local economy now national lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

    Festive trees have already popped up in Southwick Square and East Street in Shoreham. They will be accompanied by a series of lights adorning the main parades in both areas, which are funded by Adur District Council.

    The Shoreham tree is sponsored by Fitzhugh Gates Solicitors, who pitched in to help spread festive cheer in the town centre.

    Cllr Brian Boggis, the Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “We know it's been a challenging year for everyone but we wanted to keep up the Christmas cheer to support our valued businesses through the festive period.”

    This week three further trees have been popping up in Worthing. 

    The fir in South Street Square has been sponsored by Empire Construction and will be officially switched on later this week. 

    Christmas trees have also appeared outside Worthing Town Hall and in Montague Place emblazoned with Time for Worthing banners as part of the town brand launched earlier this year.

    Along with Christmas lights, which have been paid for by local businesses and stretch from Brighton Road to Heene Road, the town is aglow with seasonal spirit.

    Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “By funding these trees, we hope to bring some well-needed festive cheer to Worthing town centre after a difficult year for all. I would like to thank Empire Construction for helping us make the South Street Square display possible.”

    All the trees will be sourced sustainably from Balcombe Estate Sawmill near Haywards Heath.

    The news comes as part of the Councils’ wider efforts to give businesses a festive boost by working with Worthing Town Centre Initiative and other traders’ groups.

    That includes distributing £3 million of Government-funded financial support to businesses in the area affected by the second coronavirus lockdown.


  • 10 December 2020 1:56 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Councils give major boost to solar power as green drive continues 

    Plans to install solar energy panels across buildings owned by Adur & Worthing Councils could help to reduce the authorities carbon emissions by a third, according to a report.

    Rooftop, solar carports and the establishment of a local solar farm form part of the programme of action aimed at helping the Councils become carbon neutral by 2030. The Councils are also investigating the purchase of a large scale solar farm outside their boundaries to contribute to the carbon neutral drive.

    A report, backed by the Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee, says that introducing more solar panels is an important first step towards the carbon neutral target as electricity demand rises with the introduction of new heating systems and electric vehicles.

    The news comes as the Councils launches the latest SustainableAW magazine later this week detailing it’s latest initiatives to help tackle the climate crisis. The Councils declared a climate emergency last year.

    The latest edition edition includes the work of the Climate Assembly, a meeting of citizens who are reporting back to Councils with proposals for more climate change fighting action, support for the establishment of a kelp forest off the Sussex coast to capture carbon and the work being done by environmental groups to rewild green spaces.

    Adur District Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Cllr Emma Evans, said, ‘I hope residents are now assured that our commitment to an environmental programme that plays our part in fighting climate change is serious and tangible.

    ‘The target of using solar energy to reduce our carbon emissions by a third is certainly ambitious but we are determined to make real progress on this.’ 

    Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital  and Environmental Services, Cllr Edward Crouch, said, ‘I hope residents will take a few minutes to flick through SustainableAW because it shows the work that very many people, organisations and volunteers as well as ourselves, are undertaking to protect our natural environment and help the fight against climate change.’

    The solar energy plan has identified several phase 1 rooftop solar panels at locations including Worthing Town Hall, Goring Recreation Ground, Worthing Assembly Hall, Commerce Way, Eastbrook Manor Community Centre, and Adur Homes’ properties at Manor Court and Shadwell Court.

    The first car port scheme, roofs with solar panels placed above car parks, is set to be the Pond Road car park in Shoreham with energy generated powering the Shoreham Centre.

    The report identifies a former landfill site north of Brooklands Park as a possible solar energy farm and says officers will continue to identify possibilities for investment in larger farms outside of the area which can contribute to offsetting, counteracting, Councils carbon emissions.

    An initial investment of £2.2m is required but, says the report, each scheme will eventually contribute savings to Councils’ energy budget.

  • 10 December 2020 1:50 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Praise for hard-working waste collection crews as recycling rates increase

    Recycling levels in Adur and Worthing continue to rise as the Councils’ waste collection crews keep working tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Despite COVID restrictions causing disruption to many sectors, refuse and recycling workers have been out every work day to ensure that not a round is missed. 

    Overall they collected more than 43,000 tonnes of waste and recycling between April and October 2020 - the equivalent of 8,600 lorry loads.

    Even with COVID-19 restrictions forcing residents to stay at home for long periods of time, refuse decreased by more than 600 tonnes compared to the same period in 2019 while recycling and garden waste both rose by 2,300 and 1,200 tonnes respectively.

    That means that official recycling levels for that time stand at 43% (Adur - 41.4%, Worthing - 44.5%), a record for the area over a six month period and eight percentage points higher than before the change to alternate weekly collections.

    Cllr Emma Evans, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, said: “These figures are fantastic and they could only be achieved thanks to the dedication of our workforce and the commitment of residents. 

    “Householders have really met the challenge of reducing waste and recycling what they can in these unprecedented times. We now must keep going to try and push this figure towards the 50% mark.”

    Cllr Edward Crouch, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services, said: “I want to wholeheartedly thank our hard-working waste crews for continuing to carry out reliable refuse and recycling collections under such extraordinary circumstances.

    “With so many residents having to stay at home for much of this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, I know people across Adur and Worthing are more grateful than ever before for the vital services our refuse workers provide.”

    Adur & Worthing Councils moved to alternate weekly waste and recycling collections in September 2019 following the lead of 75% of other UK councils who have shown it can reduce waste and increase recycling.

    The most common items which some residents are not recycling, but could, include: plastic bottles, tubs and trays (including black plastic), cardboard, paper and glass bottles and jars.

    Householders are also asked to crush down the waste in their bins so that larger objects, such as cardboard boxes, can fit into the blue lid bins.

    The Councils said large cardboard boxes would be taken if left by the side of the bins but only if they are flattened and not damp after being left out in the rain.


  • 10 December 2020 1:40 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Greater Brighton Chairman welcomes world's first solar-powered train scheme

    The chairman of the Greater Brighton City Region today welcomed investment in the world’s first solar energy plant for powering railways.

    Riding Sunbeams, the world-leading solar rail pioneer, has been awarded £2,527,500 from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership as part of the government's new Getting Building Fund.

    The funds will be used to build and connect the world's first renewable solar energy plant directly powering the railways in East Sussex.

    The project that will be financed by the grant is located in Berwick, north of the Eastbourne to London via Lewes mainline railway which will be powered by the energy it generates.

    With the funds now secured, the solar farm is expected to be supplying power to the local railway network by March 2022. After completion, Cuckmere Community Solar will launch an investment offer so that the project can be owned by local community members and rail commuters who use the network.

    Today chairman of the Greater Brighton City Region, Cllr Daniel Humphreys, said he was delighted that the solar plan had now received backing. Greater Brighton has just launched its environmental programme, GB10, which makes 10 pledges on action to help tackling climate change and includes commitments to solar power energy. The Riding Sunbeams project was one of those backed by Greater Brighton under the programme.

    Cllr Humphreys said, ‘People talk about innovation quite a lot but this is truly that. The world’s first directly solar-powered trains will be running through our Region thanks to this fantastic scheme. I want to congratulate Riding Sunbeams, Network Rail and their partners for bringing this successful scheme to fruition.’

    Ollie Pendered, Executive Director of Riding Sunbeams, said, ‘Our vision is to power trains with commercially priced and unsubsidised renewable energy with a positive social impact. It’s a fantastic opportunity to show the UK rail sector that commercial innovation can help power us all to the Zero Carbon future we need.’

    The solar farm was granted planning consent in 2017, but like many community energy projects up and down the country it has been struggling to find a business model that works, given that solar energy has not been economic without subsidy. The connection to the rail track therefore provides an important route to market for the project, ensuring its future viability and a replicable business model that subsequent groups can benefit from.

    In order to qualify for the government grant, Riding Sunbeams had to demonstrate that building the connection would provide key local and national benefits including annual carbon projected savings of over 820 tonnes per year and social and financial benefits for the local community arising from community ownership.

    Network Rail is the single biggest user of electricity in the UK. The success of this project will enable them to procure green electricity at scale and a competitive price, while also creating social value for the communities they serve through better use of their assets.

    For more information on the solar-powered train project see here: https://www.ridingsunbeams.org/

    For information on the GB10 see here: https://greaterbrighton.com/gb10/


  • 10 December 2020 1:20 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Post-lockdown boost for traders as safe towns measures reviewed

    A range of temporary measures introduced in town centres across Adur and Worthing over the summer will be removed as part of wider work to support the economy post-lockdown.

    Adur & Worthing Councils shut a small number of streets and suspended some parking bays in key shopping areas in June to ensure visitors had confidence they would have plenty of space for social distancing.

    With compliance high and COVID rates in both areas are relatively low, the Councils have reviewed all the measures and agreed to lift more than half in the coming days.

    The aim is to aid economic recovery in the area while supporting the wider #WinterWelcomeAW campaign, which encourages people to get outdoors, support local businesses and stay safe now lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

    In Lancing, parking restrictions in North Road will be removed. Meanwhile in Shoreham the northern section of East Street will be reopened to traffic and parking suspensions in High Street and Brunswick Road will be lifted. The road traffic diversion in St Mary’s Road will also be removed.

    In Worthing, the kerbside parking restriction in Portland Road will be lifted but the southern end of the road will remain closed to traffic.

    Montague Place and Montague Street West will remain temporarily closed to vehicles to allow neighbouring hospitality businesses the chance to use the area for outdoor tables and chairs. There remains no charge for this license.

    The Safe Towns measures will continue to be regularly reviewed by council officers to ensure a balance of supporting the local economy while promoting COVID safe measures.

    Cllr Brian Boggis, Adur District Counci’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The measures in Shoreham and Lancing were only ever temporary and designed to give visitors confidence they could maintain social distancing when using their local high street.

    “With rates low and compliance extremely high, we feel now is the time to lift them - particularly as traders spoke of the importance of short-stay parking bays close to their shops. 

    “But this is no time for complacency when it comes to public health. We continue to urge residents and visitors to observe social distancing measures and follow mask-wearing rules so we can keep the virus under control.”

    Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Our town centre businesses, like a number of sectors out there, have been hit hard by COVID which is why we are doing all we can to make it easier and safer for people to visit them now national restrictions have been lifted. 

    “I would like to thank the public for the high level of compliance we have seen in Worthing. This partial lifting of restrictions will allow visitors to maintain social distancing in busier areas while improving direct access to traders in Portland Road.

    “I also want to remind businesses that if they need and support or advice on reopening after COVID, we have expert teams on hand to help.”

    Business requiring further information can visit www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-advice.

  • 10 December 2020 1:08 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Hospice launches Pet Festive competition

    St Barnabas House is helping to spread some well-needed festive cheer with the launch of its ‘Pet Festive’ photography competition.

    Pet owners across West Sussex are being invited to send in photos of their trusty lockdown companions getting into the festive spirit, with the winner receiving a portrait of their pet, worth £250, by local artist Sara Abbott.

    Wendy Bardsley, Head of Fundraising at St Barnabas House, says, “You can pose your pet, dress them up, dress them down, or just as they are. However you decide to get involved, Pet Festive is the purrrfect way to raise money for your local hospice whilst celebrating our pets who have been there for us during this challenging time, offering unconditional love, loyalty, and laughter.”

    The photos will be judged by patients at the hospice, where pets are welcome and are often seen sharing precious moments with their owners during their stay.

    Local chef and MasterChef Champion, Kenny Tutt, has already got involved, submitting a festive photo of his dachshund, Ralph. “Last year was our first Christmas with Ralph as we brought him home as a puppy mid-December,” says Kenny. “He may be small but he’s a big part of our family and the girls love him! St Barnabas is so important to our local community and I like to help them whenever I can. Getting involved with ‘Pet Festive’ is a really fun and easy way to support this great cause, and the suggested donation of £5 will contribute towards a freshly cooked Christmas dinner for a patient staying at the hospice.”

    The last time the competition ran in 2018, patients from the St Barnabas Day Hospice selected Bazil the horse as their worthy winner.

    Bazil’s owner, Natasha Cockell from Lancing, says: “I took part in the Pet Festive competition as I always dress my horse up every year to cheer up my son, Atlas, who is five years old. He loves it! Bazil is a good sport and is happy to be festive as long as he gets plenty of carrots after! St Barnabas is such a great charity and my mum and I always support when we can.”

    If your pet loves to pose in front of the camera, visit www.stbh.org.uk/pet-festive to register and submit your favourite festive photo. There is a suggested donation of £5 which will contribute towards a freshly cooked Christmas dinner for a patient staying at the hospice.

  • 10 December 2020 1:06 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    MHA Carpenter Box Partner Wins Practice Pioneer of the Year

    Nathan Keeley, Head of Cloud Accounting at Sussex-based MHA Carpenter Box, has been named Practice Pioneer of the Year at the national Accounting Excellence Awards ceremony held virtually due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

    The national awards recognise and celebrate brilliance across the British accounting profession, highlighting the achievements of individuals and firms.

    Nathan joined MHA Carpenter Box in 2001, became a Partner in 2010 and has driven innovation within the practice through the adoption of new and existing technologies.

    Nathan is one of the country’s leading cloud experts and has strong relationships with the main vendors. He has significantly enhanced the firm’s overall reputation, attracting additional clients as well as new specialist digital team members. He has also developed the cloud team’s capabilities to undertake system reviews and software training for clients, adding value to their businesses.

    The judges were impressed by the fact that Nathan doesn’t only drive change within a large organisation, but his work also genuinely influences the profession due to his extensive network, and opportunities to advise software providers.

    Nathan commented: This is huge recognition for both myself and the firm and evidences the hard work that has been put in over the last few years. It would not have been possible without the support of the firm and the great team we have here at MHA Carpenter Box, so thanks and congratulations should really go to all of them. Using this as an endorsement, we will continue to strive to improve the firm to become the best that it can be and consequently benefit all of our staff and clients alike.”

    www.carpenterbox.com 



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VAT No: 275 6477 60
Registered Office: Sphere Business Centre, Broadwater Road, Worthing,
West Sussex BN14 8HJ
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