Changes to the committee

At our recent committee meeting on 8th October Scott Green of All Cut Up stood down as a Committee member. The Committee thanked Scott for his valuable service, particularly his contribution to the car parking consultation, in which he was very active.

A new member of the executive committee was elected, Andrew Wheeler, Board Director of Goodman Nash.

New President and Officers

A very warm welcome to our new President, Bob Gilmore, who was elected at our AGM last night. Bob, from Fox in the House, takes over from Richard Jaggs of Resolution Design, who has now completed his second 2 year posting as President. Over the past 2 years Richard and the Committee introduced the successful new local membership and launched the new website, as well as re-starting the events, email newsletters and business representation. Richard will be staying on as a member of the Executive Committee.

Welcome also to Carol Watkinson, who was elected as Treasurer. Carol, from Fluid Network Systems, takes over from Simon Williams of Next Gen Leadership, who has done an excellent job in keeping the Chamber’s finances in order of the past 2 years.

In changes to the Executive Committee, leaving us are Kevin Stone of Number 59, Chris Hood of Beehive Antiques and Roy Webster of White Horse Design & Build, staying on are Rose Webster of Spirit Fashion and Scott Green of All Cut Up.

The Chamber thanks Richard, Simon and outgoing members of the Committee for their hard work and notable contributions to the re-launch of the Devizes Chamber.

Parking consultation

The Devizes Chamber of Commerce is part of a working group, led by the Devizes Town Council, to review and feedback on Wiltshire Council’s new County-wide parking order.

The order is designed to increase revenue generation for the County Council and proposes significant parking price increases, as well as the removal of the free 1/2 parking in the Market Place. After several meetings the working group has agreed on the main recommendations to discuss with Councillor Phillip Whitehead, Chairman of the Area Traffic Group, these include:

  • proposed significant increases to season ticket prices are limited to no more than 12%
  • that all Devizes parking charges are rationalised to a single tariff
  • the length of stay at the south end of Station Road is increased to all day for ticket purchasing
  • that the maximum stay is increased from 3 to 4 hours in all short stay car parks
  • that the amendment to allow charging in the Market Place is removed from the order until a full impact assessment can be undertaken
  • a reduction in the length of time visitors can stay in free on-street town centre parking
  • that any reference to evening parking charges be removed
  • that Sunday and Bank Holiday parking charges be removed

The Chamber also recommended that levels of enforcement in the town be increased, particularly in relation to on-street parking.

A new Devizes Parkway train station?

At our recent networking event at Devizes library and Hub Cllr Simon Jacobs brought us up to date with the very long standing project to bring a train station to Lydeway, on the London line between Pewsey and Westbury. Prospects of this happening have improved recently with the planned investment in bi-mode trains, meaning the significant expense of electrification of the line is now not neccessary.

There are still significant hurdles, but if the plan is approved building could start in 2022.

Associated articles:
Transwilts

 

Car parking increases

Wiltshire Council look set to increase car parking charges across towns in the County, with Devizes seeing some of the largest rises. Businesses are concerned that the County Council have not given sufficient consideration to the likely impact on the local economy and the Chamber of Commerce is making representations on their behalf.

Proposed increases in car parking charges – download here
Proposed charges in currently free car parks – download here
Proposed season ticket prices – download here

The following letter has been sent from Devizes Chamber President, Richard Jaggs, to key local decision makers and influencers:

I’m writing to voice the concerns of local businesses about the planned increases to parking charges, including the removal of the 1/2 hour free parking in the Market Place.

One of the aims of the Wiltshire Council’s Car parking strategy is ‘to support and help improve the vitality, viability and resilience of Wiltshire’s economy and market towns’, however, the proposals will increase costs across the board for local workers, shoppers and visitors.

Businesses are naturally concerned. There appears to be a lack of consideration on behalf of Wiltshire Council towards the local economy. The consultation process was very low key, with many businesses being unaware of it, plus no form of commercial impact assessment has been made that I am aware of.

To help ensure the Council gives proper consideration to the local economy businesses in the town would greatly appreciate any representations you can make on their behalf.

 

Parking charges consultation now live

Local businesses are being asked to have their say on the options to review car parking charges in Wiltshire, with a consultation now underway.

Plans include a general increase in parking charges as well as removing the free 1/2 parking in the Market Place and charging 70p for 1 hour and £1.40 for 2 hours.

The consultation is available on our portal and will run until midnight on 23 November.

New Growth Hub for Swindon & Wiltshire launched

The Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) held it’s annual conference today at The Alexandra House Hotel in Wroughton. SWLEP is one of 38 LEPs in England tasked and funded by Central Government to trigger growth in the local economy through strategic investment (£518m).

SWLEP annual conference

One of their priority activities is to empower local businesses with information and support via a single digital ‘growth hub’, where businesses can communicate, gain and share knowledge, find out about funding and other business opportinities. The SWLEP growth hub was officially launched today and all businesses in Wiltshire are encouraged to register and make the most of the opportunies available.

SWLEP growth hub brings together information and assistance from key business support organisations in the area; Inspire by Wessex Chambers, Business West, SWLEP, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council, UK Trade & Investment and teh Regional Growth Fund.

Register today!

Devizes Public Space Protection Order

Work has commenced to develop a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for the town. This will help tackle some issues of anti-social behaviour. Whilst the order can be quite flexible in terms of what can be included, there has be evidence that there is a problem before an issue can be listed.

The  PSPO can help tackle issues such as:

> Controlling access over public land

> The consumption of alcohol

> Dogs roaming freely and/or fouling

> Storage of household items or waste

> Aggressive behaviours linked to begging, street peddling or busking

Have evidence?

A representative from the Devizes Chamber of Commerce will be attending the PSPO meetings on behalf of businesses in the town. So if you have details of any issues or problems that you’d like to be taken into consideration then please let us know.

Business News – Information to help your business | Issue #23 June 2017

Reproduced from email delivered by Wiltshire Council and Enterprise Wiltshire

Welcome to the latest edition of Wiltshire Council’s Business News, bringing you up to date information to help your business with economic, employment, development and green initiatives, as well as providing details of business news and forthcoming events

News for Business

The Swindon & Wiltshire Enterprise Adviser Network is continuing to increase business engagement in education, and support young people in our local communities – read about a fantastic example from South Wilts Grammar School. To find out more about joining the network

Gain a competitive business edge with the Building Bridges programme for employers:
– Is your workplace finding it hard to recruit and retain staff?
– As an employer, are you interested in Corporate Social Responsibility?
– Would you like to offer potentially life changing opportunities to willing individuals we are helping to overcome challenges and barriers to work?
– Our dedicated Employer Engagement and In-Work Support team are here to support you

The Building Bridges programme is here to support you:
The Building Bridges programme is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. The programme aims to help people facing challenges and barriers to move into work by injecting £3.9m into supporting individuals in Swindon and Wiltshire. As part of this we are seeking to support employers in Swindon and Wiltshire by matching them with individuals who can add value to their workforce and providing support to both the employer and employee. Learn more

The Swindon and Wiltshire SME Growth Programme is a new project linking small and start-up businesses with Business Growth Advisors who work with you providing bespoke training, mentoring and support to help your business grow. See more information about the “free” impartial business support and advice available, and the associated grant programme

The General Data Protection Regulation will come into force in 2018, replacing the existing Data Protection Act – find out what it means for your business and how you should prepare for this change

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub, a business support service funded by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), is giving local businesses an opportunity to enhance the Growth Hub service by providing their views. The survey takes approximately 3 minutes to complete. Find out more

Driving productivity: Productivity has been described as one of the most significant challenges of our time. Why are UK businesses trailing behind their counterparts in Europe and the US? And what are firms in the South West doing to improve? Read more

Is your business eligible for free business support? The Swindon and Wiltshire SME Growth Programme links small and start-up businesses with Business Growth Advisors providing bespoke training, mentoring and support to help businesses grow. To see more information about this free impartial business support and advice, and the associated grant programme

Understanding the Great Repeal Bill: The Great Repeal Bill White Paper sets out the government’s proposals for ensuring a functioning statute book once the UK has left the European Union. Read the guidance for businesses to help you prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU. As the UK leaves the European Union, find out about the government’s Plan for Britain. The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) welcomes your comments and contributions in order to better prepare the ground for the UK’s exit from the European Union. Have your say by emailing the team at: repeal-bill@dexeu.gov.uk or to subscribe to the DExEU Business Bulletin to receive updates as the UK prepares to leave the EU

Funding

Rural Businesses grants:
– SWLEP’s Rural Growth Programme offers grants from £35-200k to smaller rural businesses for tourism accommodation and infrastructure, and business innovation. Food and drink processing grants up to £250k are available in urban and Rural areas. For full details
– LEADER Programme rural business grants from £5 to 100k are available to support a micro or small enterprise, increase farming or forestry productivity, help with farm diversification, rural tourism, rural service provision, and culture and heritage activities – for details of LEADER and other business support

For the latest news about future and current funding opportunities from Innovate UK, visit their website

Learning and Development

Developing workforce opportunities on our doorstep: With the current geo-political uncertainty in the world, the number of EU citizens working in the UK saw its largest drop in 5 years by 50,000 in the last quarter of 2016 (source ONS). Therefore, now more than ever, we need to build even more robust local talent pipelines and develop employees within the workplace to a higher level in a bid to fill skill gaps. The benefits of this type of up-skilling, particularly in the workplace, are many, including cost savings and increased productivity. Contact Higher Futures to find out how

Support for Wiltshire’s SMEs continues into 2017 with access to free training for business owners and their staff to directly assist scaling up for growth, including leadership development supporting businesses in getting to the next level. To find out how to access these and many other business benefits please contact: team@inspirebiz.co.uk and 01225 355553.  For details on Elevate and Elite Peer to Peer Growth networks

Events

South West 42 under 42 Business Awards 2017 will take place on Thursday 6 July 2017 at The Bristol Hotel. For further information

Advanced Engineering UK – The UK’s largest annual advanced engineering trade show and conference takes place at Birmingham’s National on the 01/02 November 2017

The Enterprise Network’s Enterprise Centres in Salisbury, Ludgershall, Royal Wootton Bassett and Trowbridge will host a series of business knowledge events in the coming months including Starting a Business, Marketing Made Easy and Advanced Business Strategy workshops. Visit the website to see the full calendar and book

Innovate UK supports events that bring together innovators, successful entrepreneurs and investors, offering advice and highlighting the type of support and funding currently available. Find out more and register for upcoming events

The Digital, Innovation and Technology Conference on 20 September 2017 will focus on the transformational impact that digital, innovation and technology is having on the consumer, on businesses, on high streets, towns and city centres. To register for this event or go to the website

Inspire Events – Join us for our popular Breakfasts, Drop-Ins, Lunches and Seminars – Networking and bringing businesses together. Sound good? Visit the website to see all events

SWLEP organised its first Growth Hub event of the year in March 2017 which was well attended by close to 100 delegates from Swindon and Wiltshire’s micro, small and medium businesses. Read More

Workspace

If your registered business address is also your home address you might like to consider taking a Virtual Office post box at one of five Enterprise Centres located in Salisbury, Trowbridge, Tisbury, Royal Wootton Bassett or Ludgershall. Secure a more business-like address (and use our facilities for client meetings and ad hoc working too if you like)

Are you looking for flexible, affordable work or meeting space in Wiltshire? The Enterprise Network (TEN) offers a range of ad hoc working and meeting space in Enterprise Centres across the county. If you need a hot desk, a post box address, an affordable office (desks from £50 p/w) or a location for your team meeting, training programme or workshop – TEN can help

Tisbury’s new Nadder Centre: Comprising start-up work space at the in-house Enterprise Centre the centre offers flexible office and meeting space with the added benefit of fantastic facilities including a gym and childcare all on one site. For information contact: Rachel Finlay 01722 567345 or email rachel.finlay@wiltshire.gov.uk

Other Business News

Rural firms urged to get their entries in for this year’s Rural Business Awards by the deadline of 30 June 2017
GripIt founder reveals exciting plans as company continues to grow rapidly
Good Energy to raise £10m with second bond
Businesses open up in Trowbridge’s new Cradle Bridge development
Rubber specialists are bouncing after significant profit growth

The Enterprise Wiltshire website hosts other news stories

Items You May Have Missed In Previous Issues

Primary Authority consultation to help all UK businesses grow – From 1 October 2017 all UK businesses, pre start-ups included, will have access to assured regulatory advice through Primary Authority

Employment hits highest rate of 74.6% since records began – Official figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that there are over 300,000 more people in work compared to the same time last year, and the number of women in work has risen to a record rate of 70.0%

There have been significant changes to Universal Credit, which brings together a range of current benefits and tax credits, to increase the financial benefits of work and provide businesses with a more flexible workforce, in particular ending the 16 hours per week rule. A range of detailed guides are available that explain how Universal Credit now works for employers, including:
– a graphic summary of How Universal Credit can help your business
Universal Credit: how it helps your employees and workers – this information can help you answer any questions your employees and workers may have about Universal Credit
– A guide to Universal Credit for HR and payroll staff – explains the changes and benefits Universal Credit brings for recruiters, HR managers and payroll staff
Frequently asked questions from employers – compiled from questions asked by national employers and SMEs

The Enterprise Network (TEN) range of events, seminars, workshops and master classes on all aspects of starting, growing and developing your business, has never been greater – and the good news is that many of these events are subsidised or free to attend. Invest some time working ‘on’ your business for a few hours rather than ‘in’ your business. Discover more about what’s available in the TEN event calendar and on the Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub website