Everyman Theatre Business Lunch
with David Owen
Chief Executive, GFirst
Tuesday 29 April, 12.15pm start
Two course meal with glass of wine
£15 members, £30 non-members
Come join Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce members at the next Everyman Business Lunch with featured speaker, David Owen, CEO of GFirst, Gloucestershire's LEP. This is a popular event which is always engaging and thought-provoking for the Cheltenham business community. For bookings, contact Pauline Harris (01242 252 626).
Most company websites and annual reports profess that employees are their most valuable asset. Yet, it was reported in September 2013 that Britain’s employee productivity was 19% below the average of other industrialised economies. Trying to reconcile these two positions is challenging and complex, to say the least. However, one important factor in addressing this gap is Occupational Health (OH), which is inherent to both an employee’s health and well-being and a company’s success. One of the UK’s leading OH physicians and Chamber member, Dr. Charlie Vivian, explains the fundamentals of OH and its importance in business life, and gives insight on his career choice and advice to others entering this growing field. Read more.
M5 JUNCTION 10, A POTENTIAL GATEWAY FOR BUSINESS?
by Jon Leamon, Deputy CEO, Cheltenham Chamber
Delegates from the Chamber attended a breakfast meeting organised by GFirst LEP at The Old Spot restaurant on 18th March to identify how the business community can make a case for improving the M5 Junction 10 (i.e. opening it up to 4 way traffic).
Their consultants from Atkins are now identifying how they can improve their evidence as they seek funding from government for this critical
project. It was clear from the discussions that evidence is already out there but we now need to draw this together to make a case.
The messages from the event are:
- Cheltenham offers a great opportunity to deliver growth, with strong business confidence and a vibrant local economy.
- There are serious problems on the road network around the town, including the A40 and Princess Elizabeth Way. This is adding costs to businesses and constraining their markets.
- There are also real challenges from the lack of quality business space in the town, which is constraining the ability of businesses to grow. Cheltenham has lost out to other areas that have been able to provide new floorspace.
- Businesses need good quality floorspace now. But this floorspace is not available, so growth plans of existing businesses are constrained, and the town is not an attractive option for new investors.
- Cheltenham is constrained to the east by the Cotswolds, the north by the Racecourse and the south/south west by planning policies to avoid Cheltenham merging with Gloucester. The only viable area that can accommodate large-scale growth is the north-west of the town, by Junction 10.
- Businesses believe that their growth plans should be reflected in the planning of future employment land and new infrastructure in Cheltenham. However, everyone recognises that we need to get this evidence on business growth plans so the case can be properly made.
They are now planning their next steps for making the case. As part of this, they will be seeing detailed evidence from the businesses on their growth plans, their need for quality premises and effective infrastructure to meet their access needs. We will be issuing this call for evidence shortly and in the meantime, we’ll be grateful if you can spread the word, so we can engage fully with business in Gloucestershire on this critical issue for the county.
Deputy Chief Executive
Back for the third year running, this weekend’s Cheltenham Design Festival 2014 brings together great names from the creative world to show how good design improves our lives. Under the banner of ‘Design Can…’ , leading figures from the creative world will take the stage of Cheltenham’s Parabola Arts Centre for two days of inspiring talks and workshops on 4 and 5 April.
The event aims to show how good design allows us to prosper. Saturday highlights include ‘Design for the Cosmos’ with Chris Bee of RAL Space who will showcase two ground-breaking space exploration projects that will change how we view the world around us. Successful Dragon’s Den candidate and Inventor-in-Residence at the Science Museum Mark Champkins will show how to conceive and launch a product while the design team at Jaguar Landrover discuss the transformation of this globally successful business.
Tickets cost £6 per event (£3 concessions) and can be booked through the Cheltenham Design Festival website or at Cheltenham Town Hall. A Day Pass allowing access to five events costs £20 (£10 concessions). Contact: Eleanor O'Kane, 07766 687 274.
Cheltenham Design Festival 2014
Davies Mayers Barnett Comments on the Chancellor's Budget Speech
Davies Mayers Barnett, the Cheltenham-based independent accountancy firm comments on the Budget speech.
Tim Davies, Senior Partner said: "This is a reasonable Budget given the background against which it was set. The Chancellor had to tread a line between continuing to encourage growth and investment, encouraging working families, whilst not being seen to be profligate in advance of the General Election".
Continuing, Davies said: “I particularly welcome the increase to Research & Development tax allowances and the increase in the investment allowance for businesses. Both these measures will encourage businesses to innovate and invest for the future.” Read more.
Cobalt's 50th Anniversary
13 June 2014, Pittville Pump Room
You may have seen the launch of Cobalt’s 50th Anniversary Appeal in the local media. This is now well underway and help to raise £500,000 for pioneering cancer and dementia diagnosis and research for local people. Paula Baldwin (below right) is organising the Golden Hanna-versary Ball, so named after Cobalt founder Dr Fred Hanna, on Friday June 13th at Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham.
Fundraising opportunities include:
- Booking a company table (10 people, £650)
- Corporate sponsorship programmes
- Donating a prize for the ball raffle
If these options are of interest, please get in touch with Paula Baldwin or Sam Watson, Head of Fundraising at Cobalt, or phone 01242 535908. For tickets, read more.
Top Residential Property Lawyer Rejoins Willans
Cheltenham law firm Willans LLP is delighted to welcome back highly-regarded solicitor, Robert Draper. Having gained valuable experience in the Cotswolds, Robert is returning to Willans as a key member of the firm’s expanding residential property team. Robert previously worked at Willans for some six years before spending time with Cotswold firm Kendall & Davies. In addition to handling all aspects of residential property work, Robert also acts for property developers in relation to both land acquisition and plot sales, as well as for clients with rural property, in which he has a particular interest. Read more.
A Cost Effective Way to Resolve Family Disputes
Family disputes are costly on your pocket and your emotions. So, if there is a way of reducing these costs and for any children to see their parents working together, rather than being at war with each other, this has to be good for the family in general. Mediation is the governments desired way forward and will be reinforced by the introduction of the Child and Family Bill, due for implementation on the 22 April 2014.
John Sherahilo is a Resolution accredited Mediator at Quality Solicitors Thomson Bancks, trained to help resolve disputes over all issues faced by separating couples, or specific issues such as arrangements for any children. Read more.
Pitman Training Cheltenham has been developing its business while giving back to the community. Some of their initiatives include:
To find out more about these and other programmes, contact Kevin Daws or Kath Daws (right) at Pitman Training Cheltenham, 01242 228080. Read more.
The Chamber Calendar:
Busy in March, More in April!
(photos: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)
In addition to the many meetings and initiatives in which the Chamber is regularly involved, we provide useful training as well as entertaining and engaging events. Below are some pictures from events which took place in March, including our seminar series, 'Meet the Chamber' evening at The Ellenborough Park Hotel, and a networking dinner at The Spice Lodge.
The Chamber would like to thank Clare Thayers and Geraldine McCullough for their excellent seminars, which were well received. We would also like to thank John Hanna, Managing Director of Ellenborough Park, and Mohammed Rahman, Proprietor of the Spice Lodge, for their warm hospitality, fine cuisine and continued support. For further information, see our events and seminar pages.
Chamber Seminar Series
Clare Thayers Geraldine McCullough
Meet the Chamber at Ellenborough Park
John Hanna, Mayor Wendy Flynn, Wendy Lavender Sophie Phillips
CEO Michael Ratcliffe, JoAnne Fairchild,
Deputy CEO Jon Leamon
Keith Rog, Sharon & Ken Sheather, Sean Lannon, Polly Gilder
Networking at The Spice Lodge
Michael Chittenden, Les Bonney John Search, Mike Sutton
Michael Chittenden, Gemma Schofield and Jon Leamon
Advertising and Sponsorship
Members can secure advertising space at advantageous rates and participate in sponsorship deals which will be available on the Chamber website and other areas. Make a smart move by including the Chamber in your marketing plans during 2014! Contact the Chamber office (01242 252 626) for details
Keep up to date on business in Cheltenham via Twitter (@CheltChamber), Facebook and