Chamber News
 September 2013

Growing Business in Cheltenham

Business Centre Launch

Thursday 19th September  

11am to 12.30pm
The Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the opening of its Business Centre, available free for members and at a reasonable cost for non-members of the business community (see fee chart below).

The Business Centre is conveniently located at the Chamber offices in the heart of Cheltenham. It’s most ideal for those who need a temporary work area and access to a computer while in town. For businesses lacking office space for group meetings, a conference room is available which comfortably sits eight people and has a flat screen for presentations and video conferencing via Skype or other applications. The centre also offers free wifi and a wireless printer capable of scanning, colour photocopying and printing.
Commenting on the Business Centre, Michael Ratcliffe, Chamber CEO said: “We’re very pleased to provide the Business Centre which we think will be a great help to the business community in Cheltenham, particularly for small and medium-sized companies and organisations.
"There’s been a lot happening with the Chamber over the summer. In June we partnered with the University of Gloucestershire and opened the new Enterprise Hub next door for business start-ups, and now we’re opening the Business Centre for Chamber members and non-members, so there’s quite a buzz about the place. We would like to encourage everyone to take advantage of these great facilities."
Chamber members will have access to free use of workstation for drop-in visits, work desks and a meeting area. The Business Centre will officially open at 9 am on 19 September with the launch event beginning at 11 am. It will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on weekends. For reservations or more information, call the Cheltenham Chamber office on 01242 252626. Read more.
(photos: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)

Business Centre Fees
Facility/Equipment Member Non Member
Work desk Free £1 per hour
Meeting area (non private) Free £1 per hour
Computer Free £2 per hour
Wifi Connectivity Free Free
10p per page b/w
20p per page colour
10p per page b/w
20p per page colour
Conference Room, including use of TV and white board
Max capacity: 8 people
£5 every two hours £10 every two hours

Member Profile: Diane Pitts
Branch Manager, Handelsbanken


As Branch Manager of Handelsbanken’s Cheltenham office, Diane Pitts and her team strive to know customers by name, exemplifying Handelsbanken’s customer relationship philosophy which has won plaudits around the region.
Rated by Bloomberg as Europe’s strongest bank, Handelsbanken continues to excel in these turbulent economic times. It’s one of the world’s most profitable banks, built on a corporate ethos of customer focus, exemplified by its top ranking for customer satisfaction in the UK the past four years.
Founded in 1871, Handelsbanken is one of Sweden's leading banks with over 700 branches in 22 countries, and more than 10,000 employees. Handelsbanken commenced operations in Great Britain in 1982 and manages a decentralised network of over 160 branches across the country. Lauded for its personalised and bespoke banking services to both corporate and individual customers, Handelsbanken has been noted by Business Secretary Vince Cable as a bank that effectively works with organisations, especially SMEs, in providing access to capital.
We caught up with Diane to ask her about her career and Handelbanken’s winning approach to banking. Read more.

Chamber Fights for Full-time A&E at Cheltenham General Hospital
Update by Kevin Daws 

Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce has taken a lead in setting up a broad based coalition to work for the re-instatement of a fully functioning and 24 hour A&E at Cheltenham General Hospital. The Steering Group, named Re@ch, has agreed the following overriding objective: 

"To get a fully functioning, fully staffed A&E Department operating 24/7 re-established at Cheltenham General Hospital, which serves a population of at least 200,000 in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury Borough and the North Cotswolds, at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Re@ch will be working with local communities across Cheltenham either to help set up local action groups or to work with them where they exist.
Did you know that if Gloucester Royal Hospital is over capacity and cannot accept a new admission, the ambulance will be diverted to Bristol? We ask Chamber members to let us know what you think about diversion of emergency ambulances between 8.00 pm and 8.00 am from Cheltenham General Hospital to Gloucester Royal Hospital. 
If you are interested in getting involved with Re@ch and help the Chamber to get a fully functioning A&E Department operating 24/7 at Cheltenham General Hospital, please let us know by contacting chamber member Maralyn Reynolds at more.

Cheltenham Transport Plan Update
Pedestrianisation of Boots Corner
by Kevin Daws
The Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce met with officers of Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council on 28 August to discuss a number of concerns expressed about the possible consequences of the pedestrianisation of Boots Corner.
Chamber Transport Executive, Roger Marchant of Marchant Coaches, commented: ‘While we agree in principle with the proposals we want to ensure that we do not just move the bottleneck at Boots Corner to somewhere else in the town centre. The proposal for two way traffic and other measures to reduce the amount of traffic in Cheltenham must address potential problems elsewhere, including St Georges Place, Rodney Road and Winchcombe Street.”
“The Chamber does support the Cheltenham Transport Plan, in principle, subject to the concerns raised by our members being addressed as fully as possible," commented Michael Ratcliffe, Chief Executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce “We all agree that the current situation is unacceptable and that continuing with the status quo is not an option, we need to get Cheltenham moving again – this can only be good for local businesses, local residents and visitors to Cheltenham."

The Chamber will continue its active involvement on this and other transport issues and keep members informed. (See Echo article).

Job Centre Plus: Work Experience Effective for Employers and Young People

Jobcentre Plus are continually working to engage with employers to develop opportunities for young people to help them get into employment. One of the ways in which this is done is to set up work experience opportunities, which has helped many of our customers. If you want to know more please contact Catriona Murray at or call on 01242 845065. For an example of our work, read more.

Dear Chamber Member,

The following anonymous survey will take two minutes to complete. It is used by the Bank of England and HM Treasury to assess UK business conditions:
Economic Survey.

At a vital point in the UK's economic recovery, the views of the UK business community are crucial for policy makers to be informed. The results will be published by the BCC on 8 October. If you have any questions please contact Tom Nolan. Thanks very much for your time.

Kind Regards,

British Chambers of Commerce
Free Publicity for Your Company
Do you want some free publicity? If you're a fully-paid Chamber member and have a newsworthy story about a product launch, a significant customer acquisition or something special happening in your business, we can help you promote your news through the Chamber communications (e.g. newsletter, Twitter, Facebook). Just let us know! Take advantage of this key benefit of membership to build awareness of your company at no cost!. Send your submissions to the Chamber office today. (photo: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)

Keep up to date on business in Cheltenham via Twitter (@CheltChamber), Facebook and
Chamber website.

Upcoming Events

Networking Event
BMW & MINI Cotswold Group
with Prize Draw

  Win a BMW or Mini for the weekend
Wednesday 25 September, 5.30pm - 8pm
Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham, GL51 9SG
Come and join us at BMW & Mini Cotswold Group and meet with fellow Chamber members as well as Chamber executives over a buffet and a glass of wine/soft drink. The evening also offers the opportunity to find out about the Cotswold Group's dealership expansion plans for a new showroom here in Cheltenham.  We will also be bringing you up to date with the Chamber's latest benefit for members, our new Business Centre.
This event is open for both members and non members of the chamber, so please feel free to publicise this event to other employees within your organisation and to customers.
Chamber members and their guests: £5.00, non-members: £10.00. All attendees will have the chance to drive a BMW or Mini for the weekend.  Just place your business card in a draw and the winner (drawn on the night) will be given the keys. To reserve your place, please contact Pauline Harris (01242 583 442).

Meet the Chamber Networking Event
Thursday 10 October, 6pm

The Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce a unique networking event for members and their guests hosted by one of Cheltenham premier venues, Manor by the Lake, who are sponsoring the evening. This special event enables members, when accompanied by a non-member business colleague, to attend free of charge with their guests. Members may also bring additional non-members, but please let us know all your guests details when registering. Tickets are available for £5 per person.
Combining classic elegance with modern comforts, Manor by the Lake is an exceptionally stylish, picture-perfect venue which provides an enchanting and engaging setting for any occasion. The Chamber would like to thank Manor by Lake for their continued support and hosting this not-to-be missed event. To register, please contact Pauline Harris, 01242 252 626 or For information about Manor by the Lake, read more. (map).
We look forward to seeing you on 10th October!

All Golds Business Breakfast

Featuring David Oxley, CBE
President of the Rugby Football League
Rugby, Education and Business, The Triangle for Success?
University of Gloucestershire
13 September, 7.45 am

RSVP: Mike Simmonds
T: 01242 714423
(Read more)

Transforming Your Business to 
Maximise Exit Value
with Bluebox Corporate Finance Group
Tuesday 24 September, 9am - 12.30pm

RSVP by: Tuesday 10th September

Essential IP & IT Issues
Thursday 10th October, 7.30am - 10.00am

RSVP by: Thursday 26th September

Venue for each seminar: 
Ellenborough House, Wellington Street, Cheltenham
RSVP: Francesca Mathews
(Read more)


Employment Law ‘On the Go’
Breakfast Seminars

7.30 am - 9 am

Tues 17 September 2013
Employment law changes in 2013

Tues 12 November 2013
What employers need to know about tribunal claims

Thurs 23 January 2014
Strategies for creating a lean workforce

Tues 18 March 2014
Top 5 employment law issues for non-profit organisations

Thurs 15 May 2014
Top 5 employment law issues for professional practices

Venue: Willans’ office at 34 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, GL50 1RH
£15 per seminar (incl VAT). Receive a special rate of £30 if you book three seminars.
tel.: 01242 514000.

Charity Auction
There will be a charity auction in aid of St Vincents and St Georges Associationorganised by Santander Bank, Cheltenham. The Chamber kindly asks members to donate items, or a voucher, for the auction. Funds raised will go towards raised flower beds, a wheelchair pathway and a sensory garden. Each auction lot will be individually listed in a catalogue and the donor clearly identified for advertisement.
Sacred Hearts Church Hall
Charlton Kings, Cheltenham

Light supper provided: Bar available.
Tickets: £10 each
Available from Santander Bank, Cheltenham or
Maralyn Reynolds, 01242 238429 or

New Members

Contact: Anne Thompson and Will Lewis

The Best of Cheltenham is the ultimate local business guide; our mission is to take the stress out of finding great, recommended local businesses – we assess them, so that you don't have to! Then we promote them through a variety of marketing streams.

Sandford Park Clinic

Dr Joel Inkpen

Dr. Joel Inkpen, chiropractor at the Sandford Park Clinic,  understands the vital relationship between your spine, nervous system and total health and wellness. The clinic helps find the answers to your comfort, freedom, mobility and balance – all of which lead to a more relaxed daily life. (Contact)

The Tony Solomon Consultancy

Contact: Tony Solomon

As a former marketing executive at Zurich Insurance, Tony Solomon provides marketing consultancy in the financial services sector and presentation coaching in Cheltenham and the UK.

Members Offers

25% Off Enrolment Fee
Is Your Fitness at the Level You Want?
Fitness4Less Cheltenham offers “Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce” members a chance to get fit for less. Join on no-contract membership at £15.99 per month and claim 25% off the standard enrolment fee! Use voucher code CHELT25CO at step 3 of the online joining process. This voucher code is valid for the first 25 joiners only, so grab yourself a bargain, via The team is looking forward to welcoming you.

Email more.

Advertising and Sponsorship
Members can secure advertising space at advantageous rates and participate in sponsorship deals which will be available on the upcoming new Chamber website and other areas. Make a smart move by including the Chamber in your marketing plans for 2013! Contact the Chamber office (01242 252 626) for details.

Copyright © 2013 Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.
Please note: deadline for submissions is the 24th of each month.

Edited by Dan Harris