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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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  • 19 June 2017 11:36 AM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)


    The public is today being urged to show support for Highdown Gardens as a “jewel in the crown” of Worthing’s cultural offer.

    Worthing Borough Council is embarking on a major bid to secure the future of the world-famous gardens by applying for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of more than £900,000.

    And today the council’s executive member for the environment Diane Guest urged the public to get behind the bid.

    She said: “Highdown is a very special place and we want to invest in it to safeguard the future. The more people we can get on board to support this bid the better our chances.”

    She made the call as the nationally important gardens, nestling high above the town, prepares for two special 50th anniversary landmarks.

    The gardens, on Highdown Hill are owned and run by the council which keeps them free for visitors and has launched Highdown50 to publicise the importance of the place in local and national history.

    The gardens are also of worldwide scientific importance and have been designated a National Plant Collection.

    July 10 this year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Frederick Stern the creator of the gardens, who lived in next door at Highdown Towers now a hotel and restaurant.

    And in February the following year in the 50th anniversary of the gardens being handed to the people of the town by Sir Frederick’s widow Lady Sybil. The Borough Council has cared for the gardens ever since.

    Today the council’s executive member for the environment Cllr Diane Guest praised the attraction and lauded its place in the life of the borough.

    She said:

    “I am always inspired whenever I go up there”

    ”There’s such a variety of fantastic plants, trees and other species from all around the world, all with a great story to tell and all of national importance.

    “I am extremely proud of our role in keeping these gardens in their splendid state and of course on this anniversary we acknowledge the vision and the passion of Sir Frederick and Lady Sybil in defying the odds to make this garden the jewel it is.”

    The gardens are a spectacular highlight of counter intuitive horticulture. Sir Frederick’s legacy was to prove that a whole range of plant species could still thrive in chalk downs. Just six inches of loam sits above the chalk face of Highdown Hill but many unique species now thrive there.

    A special tree planting and plaque unveiling will take place on July 10 to mark the anniversary of Sir Frederick’s death.

    Interim head gardener Gary Prescod said:

    “It’s a great job working up here. The gardens give so much pleasure to so many different people, old and young alike. I always get people coming up to me asking questions about the important species we have here.”

    The Heritage Lottery Bid if successful will help enhance the visitor experience at the gardens and help safeguard the nationally important collection of species.

    Plans might include making the gardens more accessible for the disabled, improving the plant propagation facilities and converting the on-site gardeners’ bungalow into a visitor centre. A public consultation might bring forward other ideas.

    A HLF bid last year was narrowly unsuccessful but the fund has encouraged the council to bid again on the strength of the project. This project will build on recent provision of interpretation trails and leaflets at Highdown Gardens, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and installed earlier this year.  

    Members of the public are being asked to answer a special questionnaire on the Highdown website which will be used in framing the bid. Deadline for views is August.

  • 19 June 2017 11:32 AM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Public urged to have their say on multi-million pound Shoreham development

    Plans to create a new multi-million pound office block on a Shoreham car park are taking another step forward - with the public being urged to have their say.

    The site in Ham Road was formerly used by council staff who worked at the now demolished Adur Civic Centre opposite.

    A design team is now preparing detailed proposals for the 0.3-hectare site, which will be used to provide workspace for  local businesses.

    Before a planning application for the redevelopment is submitted, members of the public are being encouraged to have their say on the scheme.

    A drop-in consultation event will take place on June 26 from 3pm to 8pm in the Shoreham Centre in Pond Road.

    An online consultation will then open on the council’s website and run for two weeks.

    Comments received will then be used to guide the design team before they submit a detailed planning application.

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

    I am delighted that the Council is progressing the redevelopment of this site to deliver new offices to support the expansion of local businesses.  

    “This public consultation exercise will give local residents and businesses an opportunity to comment on the proposals prior to any formal consultation when the planning application is formally submitted later in the year.”

    Staff vacated the civic centre in 2013. Since then, Adur District Council has considered a number of options for the site.

    Now, the council is driving forward development of the site, with the first phase of regeneration seeing the creation of an office block on the car park.

    It is anticipated a planning application will be submitted this summer with work potentially starting on site in the new year.

  • 16 June 2017 3:54 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    New President of Worthing & Adur Chamber Appointed

    Chris Coopey, Partner and Practice Director of MHA Carpenter Box, has been appointed as the new President of the Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce, succeeding Peter Bennett who has led the Chamber as President for the last 14 Years.

    Chris has had enjoyed a variety of careers, initially in design engineering, before moving on as a telecommunications engineer and during this time, he also served with a Royal Signals territorial unit for a number of years. In 1994 he qualified as a solicitor and later became Partner and Practice Director at Wynne Baxter Solicitors in Brighton. Chris embarked on his current role in 2005 at the Worthing-based firm of chartered accountants, tax and business advisers.

    Chris firmly believes that Worthing & Adur is an amazing place to undertake business and commerce. The area has an astonishing number of world leading companies who are often at the forefront of innovation and generate countless other opportunities which have seen the blossoming of a local supply chain providing opportunities for many. Perhaps a little more controversially, he believes that the area succeeds as a business destination despite the lack of government investment in infrastructure and that given its fair share it could do even better.

    Chris commented: “I’m honoured to have been elected as the new President and relish the job of representing the interests of Chamber members in the name of better business. My ambition for the Chamber is for it to really influence and drive the decisions that are central to the wellbeing of our local economy. I’ll try to do that in a collaborative style, taking into account the views of the Executive and by engagement with members and external bodies, both local and national.”

    Tina Tilley, Chief Executive Officer of the Worthing & Adur Chamber, added: “We are sure Chris will help the Chamber and its members to meet the challenges and take advantages of the opportunities that lie ahead. We have a wealth of volunteers in the Chamber Executive and membership ready to support him, and I am looking forward to us working together to make sure the voice of business is heard loud and clear on the many issues on which we should be engaging.”

  • 16 June 2017 3:30 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)
    Worthing High School - Oliver Production Programme Advertisement Opportunity

    We have an Oliver production that is coming up in July just before we break for the Summer Holidays. Worthing High School would like to offer you the opportunity to advertise in our show program.

    It is £50 for a full page (A5) as you may be aware we have Charitable status and the monies raised by these payments will help pay for essential equipment hire like microphones etc.

    Please let me know if you are interested.

    I will be sending out more requests for support at individual events for next year soon but I promise they will be brief. 

  • 16 June 2017 3:26 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Lottery funding for Growing Communities initiative

    An innovative project to create happier and healthier communities by involving people with their local open spaces has received nearly £660,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

    The Growing Communities programme will work with residents in the Northbrook area of Worthing and Eastbrook in Fishersgate and is the result of a partnership between Adur & Worthing Councils and The Conservation Volunteers charity (TCV).  

    Growing Communities aims to harness the ideas and energy of local people and support them in improving the places in which they live, and in doing so, enhance their own health and opportunities.

    It is among 1,903 projects across England sharing more than £50 million in National Lottery funding, announced today (June 13). More than £5 million of the funding goes to 201 projects in the South East.

    The Growing Communities project will focus on underused open spaces in the area, working with the local community to understand their needs and supporting them to transform the spaces for people to enjoy for years to come.

    Activities will be decided by the local communities themselves, but examples could include:

    ·        Setting up mini allotments

    ·        Courses and workshops on wildlife, trees and habitats

    ·        A Green Gym where volunteers get exercise by planting trees or creating ponds.

    Councillor Val Turner, Worthing’s Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted we have received this funding, which will help us to achieve our vision for greater community involvement in our parks and open spaces which, in turn, will have a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

    “We outline this ambition in Platforms for our Places, our three-year plan on how we aim to create prosperous, healthy, happy and connected communities.”

    Councillor David Simmons, Adur’s Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: "We believe strongly in empowering people to play an active role in our communities to help them and their local areas to thrive.

    “We’ve already been working with our communities in our parks and open spaces and I’m looking forward to building on our partnership with TCV.”

    Darren York, TCV’s Chief Executive, said: "TCV believes that there are significant and lasting benefits to be derived - for people's health, prospects, communities and environment - by connecting people with outdoor places and with each other.

    “After several years working in close partnership with local communities and Adur & Worthing Councils, this valuable support from the Big Lottery Fund will take our partnership to the next level. Growing Communities will provide a model for connecting people and outdoor places across the UK."

  • 16 June 2017 3:10 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Worthing Churches Homeless Project Shortlisted for Sainsbury’s Local Charity of the Year in Lyons Farm and Rustington

    Worthing Churches Homeless Projects are pleased to annouce that they have been shortlisted in Sainsbury’s Local Charity of the Year in Lyons Farm and Rustington

    You can vote here:

  • 16 June 2017 3:00 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Worthing Museum’s Summer Dress blossoming thanks to green-minded visitors

    Forget Paris, London or New York - eco-minded fashionistas have only one destination on their minds this summer, as Worthing displays a unique piece of horticulturally-themed haute couture.

    As the days get longer, the Summer Dress in the garden of the town’s Museum & Art Gallery in Chapel Road will gradually start to blossom - thanks to eco-minded members of the public who are creating colourful flowers from things they would throw away.

    The unique and completely ‘green’ dress features as part of the wider Worthing Museum and Art Gallery’s costume trail, which is a changing series of displays hosted in showcases at local businesses across the town.

    Councillor Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for customer services, said:

    “It’s wonderful to see such a creative way to use waste materials and put them to use in a new and exciting way.

    “The costume trail has been a big hit with thousands of people across the region as the museums and theatres team take the exhibits to the masses.

    “I’m delighted the spring dress is part of this and I can’t wait to see people’s imaginations blossom in the weeks to come.”

    As part of a bid to encourage people to get crafty with their waste, staff at the Worthing Borough Council venue are calling for people to let their imagination blossom and create flowers from things they would throw away. The colourful additions will then be attached to the dress before being put on display all summer.

    Among those already created are beautiful blooms created by cutting into empty used soft drink bottles. Other elaborate flowers have been made by stenciling and embroidering used plastic bags.

    The lifesize summer dress has been created by local artist and museum education officer Anna Twinam-Cauchi.

    Anna has used PVC-coated garden fencing and garden windbreak to create the crinoline frame for the dress.

    Anna had previously created a winter dress as part of the costume trail from evergreen foliage and is known for creating artworks from recycled materials and found objects.

    Anna said:

    The Summer Dress has been a great opportunity to create a collaborative artwork outside in the museum garden. We are inviting all ages to be inspired by the idea and to participate in creating something beautiful.”

    Flowers for the dress can be donated via the museum front desk for addition to the garden-based work of art.

    The Summer Dress will be on display until Autumn 2017.

  • 16 June 2017 2:52 PM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Sustainable Business Network June Update 

    Event Report: Sustainable Travel, 13th June

    Fantastic turnout for our Sustainable Travel Event. 50 delegates converged on Burgess Hill by train, bus, bike and electric car to learn more about sustainable travel. The event included great presentations from our speakers and great exhibits from local organisations. 

    Read the full event report.

    Energy Efficiency Grants

    Apply for grants of up to £1,000 to cover 40% of the cost of an energy efficiency project, such as LED lighting, insulation or heating controls. Small and medium size businesses in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove) are eligible.

    How to apply

    Free Smart Office Guide

    Check out this excellent Smart Office Guide produced by the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network. The guide has been created with experts from the companies in their network and provides the latest at-a-glance best practice in sustainable workplace management. 

    Download here

  • 13 June 2017 9:20 AM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)
    Free 1-1 Advice for Businesses in Sussex

    The Business Navigator Service in partnership with Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce invite businesses to attend a free 1-1 business advisory clinic. 

    Upcoming Clinic Dates: 27 June, 18 July & 19 September

    Availability: 12pm -7pm

    Where: Sphere Business Centre, Northbrook College, Broadwater Road, Worthing, BN14 8HJ

    For each one hour advisory session, you will have theopportunity to discuss your growth aspirations with Ryan Davies, Business Navigator. You’ll have the opportunity to focus on a topic of your choice ranging from sales & marketing, access to finance or reaching new customers and new markets.  

    Outcomes from these sessions can range from acquiring business premises, applying for funding, taking on more staff, increasing turnover. The meeting will result in a few simple actions that make a significant difference to your business.

    To book your FREE one hour 1-1 appointment with Ryan please email:

    *Follow up sessions are available upon request

    About us: The Business Navigator is a government funded business support service that is free for businesses to use. The service can help you grow your business, overcome any barriers to growth and give you impartial access to professional services by linking you to the relevant support.

    To find out more visit or call 0800 977 4146.

  • 12 June 2017 9:25 AM | Amelia Tomlinson (Administrator)

    Generating more income for your School

    One of the hot topics highlighted in the general election has been the issue of school funding.

    According to many in the profession, funding has become so critical that almost 3,000 head teachers across 14 counties in the UK wrote to parents outlining the current financial difficulties that all schools are now facing so that they could raise the issue with prospective parliamentary candidates.

    Indeed, it would seem the issue is undeniably significant, with £3bn having been withdrawn from the schools’ budget in England at a time when pupil numbers are increasing dramatically; in real terms funding per pupil is being reduced by almost 8%. Schools are also finding it very difficult to recruit teachers in specialist subjects such as Maths, English, Science and Computer Science, as many teachers are leaving the profession as a result of working under too much pressure. According to the Independent newspaper, 10,000 teachers left between 2010 and 2015.

    To help schools at this difficult time, Sussex-based chartered accountants, tax and business advisers, MHA Carpenter Box, has produced a list of ‘5 Ways to Generate More Income for your Academy’ which is relevant to all schools. The list covers Grant Funding through the Education and Skills Funding Agency, internal fundraising ideas involving the school’s families and friends and stakeholders in the school, and fundraising events such as quiz nights, pet shows or even a murder mystery evening.

    MHA Carpenter Box also encourages schools to forge better links with their local business community, allowing them to highlight a range of careers experiences. Schools could also benefit financially by identifying sponsorship opportunities for local businesses, such as sports playing kits, school achievement prizes or a themed activity week in school.

    Last but not least, schools can benefit from crowdfunding which has become an increasingly prominent source of alternative funding in the commercial world. There are many crowdfunding platforms that are worth investigating such as Kickstarter, Crowdfunder and GoFundMe.

    Robin Evans, Departmental Director, Assurance & Advisory Group at MHA Carpenter Box, commented: “We already support schools and academies in a number of ways to increase their income and many of the ideas above do not only create the opportunity to raise funds, but also give pupils a chance to apply their numeracy and literacy skills when getting involved in campaigns! We’re happy to help so get in touch if you want to talk any initiatives through.”

    Further details can be found at the following link:

    To help academy business managers and finance trustees to meet their regulatory compliance obligations and prepare for upcoming challenges, MHA Carpenter Box will be holding a free seminar at their offices in Worthing on 7 July 2017. For full details and to register for the event, please refer to the following link:   

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Tel: 01903 203484


Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce is the trading name of Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd.
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