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

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  • 19 August 2019 1:42 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Local community rallies round for Ropetackle

    Less than two weeks since the launch of its Ropetackle 2020 Patrons and Friends Appeal, donations have flooded in, to the tune of £10,000, which, with the addition of Gift Aid, has increased the fund to £12,500 – more than a third of the target.

    But the hugely popular arts centre is not out of the woods yet.

    “The response to the appeal has been truly amazing,” says Ropetackle Chairman, Martin Allen. “We know that Ropetackle is highly valued by the local community and our wider audiences, but to see this level of support so early on is truly gratifying. We are hugely grateful to all of those who have made a donation.

    “The target for Ropetackle 2020 is £30,000, however, so we do still have quite a way to go. We are also up against time. It is vital that we get close to our target by the middle of September to secure our position, and to provide us with the essential platform for the restructuring needed to ensure our longer-term future.”

    Ropetackle’s discussions with Adur Council are continuing. “We are optimistic that, with this level of community support, the Council will agree to contribute, thus providing a sound and enduring partnership between community and Council,” Martin says. “This will guarantee a long- term future for what is a vital asset both to the community and the local economy.”

    Fundraising Gig

    To boost the coffers further, Ropetackle regulars South Coast Soul Revue will be performing a fundraising gig on Friday 6th September. The night will open with the Lindsey Oliver Band, whose brilliant first album “you me us” is out now. Next up will be some original soul ‘n’ funk from the fantastic Frank Greene Band, featuring SCSR vocalists, Ruby and Danny, while the full band will close the show with 60 minutes of high-energy music. Tickets are £20 and available at or from the Box Office (01273 464440).

    All proceeds will go directly to Ropetackle.

    Band manager, Barclay Thompson says: “South Coast Soul Revue have been performing regularly at Ropetackle since we first played there on New Year’s Eve 2014. We love the venue, the audience and the wonderfully welcoming and hard-working staff and volunteers. This venue, with its varied offering, is a vital element in what makes Shoreham-by-Sea such a wonderful place to live and It is so important that community venues like these survive.

    “We not just happy, but proud to help its survival with this fundraiser.”

    If you would like to sign up to the Patrons and Friends Scheme, visit or call in at the Box Office to pick up a form.

  • 19 August 2019 1:37 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)



    A new community fundraising appeal has been launched by Ropetackle Arts Centre that trustees hope will save the much-loved live entertainment venue and cinema from closing – and international best-selling author, Peter James has been the first to sign up as a “Gold Patron.”

     “As with nearly all arts venues, Ropetackle cannot survive without subsidy. Our situation is now critical to extent that we are calling on our community to support us,” Ropetackle chairman, Martin Allen, says. “We are a charity, and without such support, we face the prospect of closure.”

    Best-selling crime author Peter James wasted no time in signing up to the scheme, launched today. He recalled his support when plans for establishing Ropetackle were first laid, saying: “What has been created here is ten times richer than the original vision. It is more than just an arts centre – it is a community hub.”

    With the title Ropetackle 2020, and a rolling target of £30,000 per year, the appeal invites contributions at different levels:

    • ·        Gold Patrons (£45 per month or £500 single annual payment) and Silver Patrons (£10 per month of £100 single payment)
    • ·        Friends (£2 per month or £20 single annual payment)
    • ·        Donors (£10 per year)

    Patrons will be entitled to reserve seating and both Patrons and Friends have the right to priority booking of certain tickets.

    With audiences of over 40,000 per year and with numerous community and other activities, in the 12 years since it opened, Ropetackle has been a remarkable success story, punching above its weight in the regional arts scene. In the past six months alone, top comedians Romesh Ranganathan, Jack Dee, Alan Carr, and Peter James have entertained audiences, along with some of the biggest names in jazz, rock, blues, folk, indie and world music.

    Having won several prestigious awards, Ropetackle’s latest accolade came this Spring, when it was voted Best Theatre and Arts Venue in Sussex.*

    However, as Martin Allen adds: “Success comes at a price: there is the ongoing cost of running a live entertainment venue, and the complexity of its operation means we need more paid staff to support our wonderful team of volunteers.

    “Ropetackle is a real hub for the community. As well as offering a rich cultural experience, we work with schools, disadvantaged groups and a number of partners to inspire everyone and help reduce loneliness.  Our café is very popular, and we attract tourists to the area, with our audiences contributing upward of £1m a year to the local economy. I hope the scheme will encourage people to sign up with a view to supporting us year-on-year so that we can sustain this wonderful Centre and keep it running long into the future.”

    Those interested in joining the scheme can do so online at or in person at the Box Office.

    Sussex’s best soul and funk band, the South Coast Soul Revue, will be performing a fundraising gig in aid of Ropetackle 2020 on Friday 6th September at the venue. The band will be supported by two other soul acts and the fun kicks off at 8pm. Everyone is welcome. Tickets just £20.

  • 19 August 2019 1:32 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Sussex experts gather to discuss plans to reduce carbon emissions

    Experts throughout Sussex have begun the vital and urgent work of drawing up plans to remove hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere as part of  the battle to prevent climate disaster.

    Sustainability Officers from all local authorities across the county have met to co-ordinate efforts to bring their council’s own carbon emissions down but also encourage residents and businesses to do the same.

    Many of the councils have already declared a climate emergency in their areas, a rallying call to become carbon neutral. Adur and Worthing Councils want to achieve this by 2030. They have already reduced carbon emissions by 30% between 2012 and 2019. Emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from industry and the production of energy help create the greenhouse effect which is warming the planet .

    In their 2018 report UN experts warned the world has 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 gathering of experts, usually Sustainability Officers charged with drawing up plans for carbon neutral programmes met at Worthing Town Hall. 

    Francesca Illife, Adur and Worthing Councils’ Sustainability Manager, said: "It was a really productive meeting. Obviously all the authorities are already getting on with their own efforts but we all know we have to work together for maximum effect.

    "All councils across Sussex are in no doubt that human activity is largely responsible for climate change so it is human activity that has to change. We have to play our part."

    The meeting recognised that there was now political and public support for the battle and was enthused that with the current spotlight on this agenda those in attendance could really make a difference. Officers agreed to work at speed in defining what emissions were to be cut and how they were to be measured. Another meeting is scheduled shortly at which progress will be reported.

    Alongside Adur & Worthing Councils officers from, East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove, Crawley, Mid Sussex, Arun, Horsham, Hastings, Wealden, Lewes & Eastbourne attended as did East Hampshire & Havant from across the county border.

    Adur & Worthing Councils have declared climate emergency and committed to work towards being carbon neutral council by 2030. It has set up a Chief executives Climate Emergency Board and committed to more £700K to deliver carbon reduction projects across the council's estate. All projects will pay for themselves in a short timeframe.

    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.

  • 16 August 2019 9:20 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Link to Hope Downslink Cycle Challenge

    What? – Downslink Cycle challenge from Shoreham to Guildford (West Sussex) – and for those hardened cyclists  – back again.  Finish in Guildford having completed an amazing 37 miles (60km) or for the super challenge back to Shoreham a total of 74 miles (120km).

    Where? – Shoreham by the Ropetackle and ends at Shalford Park in Guildford or back again at Shoreham-by-Sea. Also it is a fairly flat off road path with great views of the Low Weald countryside although there are some short hills to get up.

    When? – Saturday 7th September 2019 starting at:-

    8am  start – If you are signed up for the 120km we need to leave early in order to complete the challenge and return at a reasonable time.  

    9am start – If you have signed up for the 60km challenge.  You will be finishing at Shalford Park where your bike and yourselves will be returned back to Shoreham.

    Regardless of which one you choose the two groups will meet up at some point and celebrate the achievement together.  There will be a formal finish line for both groups at the end either at Shalford Park for the 60km group or back in Shoreham for the 120km group.

    We will be transporting participants and their cycles back from Guildford to Shoreham.

    Who? – Everyone who is fit and able enough to do the route they have  chosen – 37 miles (60km) or 74 miles (120m).  Very important that cycles must be a mountain bike, hybrid  or similar.

    Why?– To raise money for  educational projects in Eastern Europe. As a result 100% of monies raised will go to projects in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and the Ukraine and many lives will be changed

    What next? Register now for £20 to reserve your place (this is non returnable). Cyclists then aim to raise a minimum sponsorship of £150 one way and £250 for two ways.  

    Register now to join in or  contact us on 01903 529333 or  A full pack of information will be sent you after you have registered.  Finally the challenge includes full support, breakdown help, professional lead and back cyclists, all refreshments, goody bag and a medal on completion of the challenge.  Full support will also be given to help you with your fundraising.

    Please note: If you are struggling with the start times or you are coming from far away, we have a number of lovely supporters in Worthing who would like to offer you hospitality and a bed for the night before the challenge.  They will even feed you breakfast.  Please do contact us if you would like more details.

  • 15 August 2019 1:47 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Freedom Works Wins 2019 Coworking Space Members’ Choice Awards for Sussex Coworking Space

    Sussex based, Freedom Works, has today been recognised and awarded as a winner from industry recognised co-worker specialist, CoWorker Inc. The internationally recognised awards are in their second year, and Freedom Works received the Coworker Members’ Choice Awards (CMCAs) for their Co Working space in Worthing.

    The business set up just over 3 years ago, has four spaces throughout Sussex, including; Chichester, Hove and Crawley as well as their founding space in Worthing. The CMCA award winners were determined based on feedback from thousands of coworking space members and users worldwide, and Freedom Works were recognised by a large number of the 1,300 Sussex based businesses that use their spaces.

    “We are extremely proud to be recognised as a winner of the CoWorker Members’ Choice Awards (CMCAs). Our members are at the very heart of what we do so it’s incredible to have been nominated and voted for by them!”, beams Jon Trigg, Founder and Managing Director of Freedom Works.

    “Our aim is to provide Coworking spaces that build communities of like minded businesses who will benefit from working in a shared environment. Worthing was our first space that we opened in September 2016 and we have opened 3 further spaces in Hove, Chichester and Gatwick, all with the same aim” Trigg goes onto to explain.

    In a little under 3 years Freedom Works have doubled numbers of members each year with some of their founding members still using their spaces. The benefits the members see are; flexibility, as there are no long contract lengths for desk or office space, a plug and work environment (which includes free WIFI and refreshments). But, most importantly a key benefit is the community element, where members works alongside and with each other in what is encouraged to be a collaborative environment.

    Launched in 2018, the Coworker Members’ Choice Awards are the only global coworking industry awards to recognize the top coworking spaces in each town and city. “Coworker is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2019 CMCAs in celebration of the best-loved coworking spaces around the world,” said Sam Marks, CEO of Coworker. “By turning the spotlight on spaces that are working hard to create a dynamic community for their members, we are excited to give coworking spaces – both large and small – the ability to showcase their unique offerings and features.”

    Last year, 345 coworking spaces received recognition based on a grand total of over 56,000 votes. The “Best Coworking Space” award is given to only one coworking space in each city. Spaces were ranked this year by a combined, weighted score of:

    · Percentage of a space’s members/users who participate in the survey

    · Total score from the survey’s results

    · Number of reviews on

    · Average review rating on

    For a full list of this year’s winners, visit or 

    “Our goal is to have several Freedom Works spaces across Sussex and the South East over the next few years, allowing local talent to stay and grow at home,'' further explains Trigg. “And recognition from our members via this award is the real barometer of the success of Freedom Works. I’m very proud of the team and our community, concludes Trigg.

  • 15 August 2019 1:37 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Naval charity donates £50,000 to disabled veterans

    Worthing-based charity, Care for Veterans, has been awarded a grant of £50,000 from The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and Greenwich Hospital. 
    The grant is towards the costs of delivering a tailored rehabilitation programme to disabled Royal Navy and Royal Marines Veterans and their dependants. The rehab services included in the grant are occupational therapy, speech therapy, social and recreational activities, neuropsychology, chaplaincy and mini-ambulance service. 
    This grant will help Care for Veterans residents like Peter Hines, who is ex-Royal Navy. Peter first came to Care for Veterans in November 2017 for a two-week respite stay. Following multiple falls at home, he and his wife knew that living in the family home was no longer an option. He became a permanent resident in early 2018. 
    Come rain or shine, Peter can be found outside, tending plants and chatting with fellow gardeners. With the support of the physiotherapy team at Care for Veterans, Peter is as active as his disabilities permit. He says: “They’re very good here; the staff are lovely, they’re compassionate. I can’t fault the staff at all. My wife is very happy that I’m being looked after here.” 
    Trusts and Foundations Officer, Kim Bowen-Wood, said: “We are extremely grateful to RNRMC for their very generous donation. It is a wonderful example of their commitment to supporting Naval veterans and their immediate families for life. On behalf of our residents, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued support. This donation means we can continue to provide our vital care services to our veterans.”

  • 15 August 2019 11:59 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Calling all Adur & Worthing businesses! 

    Closing date for entries - Friday 6th September! 

    Is your company a star performer, a fantastic employer, a renowned manufacturer or committed to social responsibility?  There’s still time to enter the 2019 Adur & Worthing Business Awards, with a chance to shine the spotlight on your firm’s hard work and achievements. 

    With the closing date for entries just under 5 weeks away, we really want to make these awards bigger and better than ever before and would love to see more entries/nominations in the following categories:

    • Building & Construction
    • Retail
    • Business Personality
    • Green Business
    • Lifetime Achievement
    • Large Business
    • Manufacturing & Engineering
    • Training & Development
    • Young Achiever
    If you know of any individuals, businesses or groups that deserve recognition in any of the above (or other) categories, please visit the AWBA website by following the link below to nominate or submit an entry! Entry is free and open to all Adur & Worthing based businesses.  For more information and to view the categories and criteria, please visit

    Time to celebrate! 

    This year’s glamourous awards evening will be held on Friday 1st November at the Pavilion, Worthing and ticket sales will open on September 27th following the official shortlist announcement. These will be sold on a first come, first served basis and will sell out very quickly so we advise you to book early to avoid disappointment! 

    Let's get social! 

    The Adur & Worthing Business Awards have become the feature business event across the area showcasing a thriving and successful business community and we are delighted to receive such fantastic support once again.  

    Our social media partner Molokini Marketing will be working to promote the event so please follow The Adur & Worthing Business Awards on social media and keep up to date with news, announcements and key dates.  We are also using the hashtag #AWBAwards so please join the conversation and like and share content on our social media pages

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

    Funding for apprenticeship training available to local organisations

    West Sussex County Council opens the second round of the Apprenticeship Funding application process from 1August 2019

    From 1 August local businesses are able to apply for funding to train apprentices. The funding is available from West Sussex County Council as part of the Government’s Apprenticeships Levy Programme.

    As a large levy payer West Sussex County Council has been able to utilise the fund to develop staff within its organisation.  From April 2019 25% of the apprenticeship funding has been available to support external small to medium organisations across West Sussex.  Due to the success of the first funding round a second round has been launched.

    Businesses based in West Sussex are invited to apply to fund apprenticeship training.  This is part of the solution to tackle skills shortages across a range of business sectors. This includes those in the science, technology, engineering, creative digital industries and social care organisations. 

    Applications will be accepted from small to medium employers seeking funding for up to four apprenticeships per organisation. Applications are made online via the West Sussex County Council Have Your Say Platform at and closes on 31st of October 2019.

    Applications are welcomed from:

    • ·        Businesses based in West Sussex serving West Sussex residents.
    • ·        Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in West Sussex serving West Sussex residents.

    County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “We are thrilled that we can now share some of our apprenticeship funding with other organisations across the county. Apprenticeship training is a fantastic way for employers across West Sussex to train and upskill staff that they currently employ or new staff joining them.”

    One local business, Global Technologies Racing Ltd based near Arundel, has recently been awarded the apprenticeship funding, which will financially support four apprenticeship composite technicians. 

    Managing Director, Mark Bullen said, “For GTR, this funding will go a long way in supporting us in sustaining our workforce and maintaining high level engineering within our company. Development sits at the heart of our ability to grow as an organisation, the funding will future proof our position as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) leader in West Sussex.”

    The deadline for applications is 31 October 2019.  For more information and guidance on completing the application email

  • 06 August 2019 11:18 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Extension to popular Shoreham Beach boardwalk on track

    Plans to extend the popular Shoreham Beach boardwalk and make more of the coast accessible to all have moved a step closer.

    Adur District Council installed the first section of the walkway in 2011 to allow those with limited mobility and pushchairs a chance to explore the town’s environmentally-protected shoreline.

    The third phase of the boardwalk, from The Burrells roundabout to Shoreham Fort, opened last year and extended the route to more than a mile in length.

    Now, the Council is working on phase four - with £100,000 plans afoot to lay a new stretch along the existing established shingle footpath from Ferry Road towards Beach Green.

    Councillor David Simmons, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “Since the first section was installed in 2011, the Shoreham Beach boardwalk has become a real attraction for locals and visitors, ensuring that this unique stretch of coastline is accessible to all.

    “I’m delighted we can now move forward with phase four of the scheme, which will open up more of this public beach to people in wheelchairs, with pushchairs and of limited mobility.”

    Councillor Emma Evans, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “Shoreham Beach is an extremely special place with a unique habitat and amazing natural vistas.

    “By using modern materials sympathetic to the area's conservation status, the boardwalk not only allows more people to access this special stretch of shoreline but also ensures the protected vegetation is not damaged by people trampling over it.” 

    The extension, which runs on land owned by the Council, will follow the existing path on the shingle to link the current walkway at Ferry Road to Beach Green.

    Work will take place under permitted development rights which means planning permission is not needed.

    Letters informing residents of nearby properties of the proposed route were issued last week.

    A tender for companies to carry out the work will soon be issued with teams starting construction in the autumn.

    The boardwalk scheme has had the support of a range of partners including West Sussex County Council, Environment Agency, Shoreham Port, Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association and the Friends of Shoreham Beach.

  • 06 August 2019 11:14 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Future bright for Focus as new council-funded office block opens in Shoreham

    A new £9.5 million office block which has secured hundreds of jobs locally while providing Adur taxpayers with an income has officially opened.

    Growing communications company The Focus Group are the proud new tenants of the contemporary-looking four-storey development on the former Civic Centre car park in Ham Road.

    Adur District Council - which owns the building - has worked closely with the firm on the scheme, agreeing a long-term lease with the company which has allowed it to relocate from Southwick and have space to expand its workforce from 250 to 450 workers.

    After a tour of the newly-christened Focus House site, councillors said they were impressed with the quality of the construction and the six-figure investment from their new tenants in transforming the inside of the building.

    Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “I’m delighted to see this new building open, which looks great from the outside and even better on the inside.

    “In this current climate, it is extremely rare for local authorities to design and build offices to meet the local need for high quality employment space. But this deal shows that we are prepared to think creatively about how we can use our assets to get the best possible return for local residents.

    “I want to thank Focus for its great commitment to Adur, investing a substantial sum to relocate within the area which will provide local people with employment. I wish them all the best in their ambitious proposals to grow and look forward to our new tenants going from strength to strength.”

    The Focus House development has brought back into use the car park site which was largely vacant since the Civic Centre closed in 2013.

    Work started on site a year ago with construction teams from Willmott Dixon creating a striking brick and bronze cladded building on time and on budget.

    Inside, the open plan office has a contemporary feel, with top-of-the-range internet connections, games area and roof terrace just some of the perks for workers.

    The project, which has been supported by £1.8 million of funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, was completed by April.

    Focus said the move will ensure the retention of 250 jobs in the area while allowing it to continue to grow - with hopes of a further 150 to 200 posts created in the first 18 months of occupation.

    Ralph Gilbert, of Focus Group, said: “I want to thank everyone at Adur District Council for their support with this project.

    “It’s a really exciting time for our growing company and, even just a few weeks into our tenancy at our new home, we are already starting to reap the benefits.

    “We have said all along that we wanted to make this building one of the best offices in the region so that we can attract the best staff while showcasing some of the groundbreaking technology which we advocate and install for firms across the UK.

    “I think after their visit, councillors can see that we were serious about the promise.”

    With the office block now open, focus for the Council is now on the main Civic Centre site with councillors agreeing to pursue a proposal from Hyde Homes to create 171 apartments above high-quality office space for local small and medium businesses at a town hall meeting last month.

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Registered Office: Sphere Business Centre, Broadwater Road, Worthing,
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