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Meeting Shorts

The first meeting of the year was attended by 20 new members all keen to network and discover more from one of the largest and most progressive business club's in the East Midlands.

New members had the opportunity to introduce themselves. They varied from purveyors of Fish & Chips to Social Media Gurus.  As always they were made very welcome by club chairman Amy Codd

Busy 2015
2015 had been a busy year and the club’s Action Group led by James Fountain reported good progress on many fronts including rail, where improvements to the Castle Line had seen growth of circa 12%,  well ahead of expectations set out in the business case prepared by club along with other key stakeholders.

Parity Sought on Rail Investment
However investment in the train services per capita remains very low in the East Midlands (see opposite) compared to other parts of the country and the club is working hard with East Midlands Councils and MP’s to ensure that our voice is heard and that the imbalance can be corrected.

Top Level Backing for Road Improvements
Transportation had been a reoccurring theme during 2015 and the Action Group continued to lobby hard for action to reduce traffic congestion in the town. It is now understood that the need for further dualling of the A46 around Newark is acknowledged as a key priority for the town by the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Devolution of Power
Devolution is also a key agenda issue for the Action Group and the club are considering the business implications in terms of investment in areas such as housing, job creation and transportation under a proposal that is branded North Midlands. A paper will be presented at the next Action group meeting on Monday 25 January 6pm at the Aura Conference Centre.

Newark  working to become a Dementia Friendly Town
A welcome addition to this months meeting was a presentation by Lucy Fountain from CVS on Dementia, and how business members can become Dementia Friends and help work towards establishing Newark as a Dementia Friendly Town. 

Currently over half a million people suffer from Dementia and for many the idea of living well and having a good quality of life is still a distant dream. However volunteers in Newark as with other areas of the UK are recognising the need to act and change in order to better support people with Dementia.

Becoming a dementia-friendly employer is about creating an environment in which:
• everyone is aware of and understands dementia

• people with dementia and their carers feel able to seek help and support

• policies are in place that will support the needs and rights of people with dementia

• people with dementia feel included, have choice and control over their lives

• people with dementia are able to continue – as far as possible – to contribute their skills and experience to the organisation.

For more information in particular to find how you can make your environment more Dementia friendly please contact the Dementia Information Officer at Newark & Sherwood CVS on 01636 679539

Business Card Draw

Founded in 2012, ACCEPT Management’s inception has consolidated the experience that its directors, Tom Wright and Harriet Robson, have developed in their combined 15+ years in the entertainment and events industry.

Tom’s focus is on production, whilst Harriet’s is on artists. Between them they have a strong logistics background and a desire always to prioritise their clients’ ambitions for their event, regardless of its size or budget.

They pride themselves on offering a complete service, from developing an initial brief through to on site delivery.

They work closely with their clients to give them the benefit of experience, knowledge and contacts and are committed to having open and honest relationships with clients and suppliers alike

Locally, they brought Britain’s Got Talent winners, Collabro, to Southwell Racecourse last summer to celebrate Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance’s 21st birthday.

On a nationwide basis, they have recently been shortlisted, alongside local production suppliers OneBigStar, as Best Festival Production Team at the 2016 Festival Supplier Awards for their work at the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse in 2015.


Chairman – Amy Codd
Vice Chair – Simon Shaw
Secretary – Linda Clark
Treasurer – Malcolm Ellison
Education – Des Clarke
Action Group - James Fountain
Retail Group - Elaine Ellison

LHG set for Newark Festival

Liz Hobbs Group (LHG) is the UK’s leading producer of ‘music with sport’ events as well as one of the country’s premier producers and promoters of a range of outdoor and indoor music concerts and tours. Starting over 20 years ago it is now the market leader in its field and has recently moved to state of the art premises on the Newark Industrial Estate.

As part of Newark Festival, LHG have brought many exciting names to the town including Madness, The Human League and Boyzone. This year, Saturday June 18th is no different as Tony Hadley, ABC, Midge Ure and Bananarama take to the stage on Riverside Park.

On Friday 17
th June LHG will deliver the UK’s best tribute bands of Bon Jovi, Arctic Monkeys, Killers and The Foo Fighters. The Sunday of the Festival will once again be a free family fun day provided by Newark Town Council who work with LHG to deliver a range of exciting and varied entertainment for all the family including local bands, artists, and other talent on stage alongside CBBC’s Horrible Histories.

Once again Newark Festival promises to be a great weekend for everyone as it continues to grow into a legacy the town and people of Newark can be proud of.

For tickets and further information on Newark Festival visit or for more information on LHG please visit

Retailers plan events for 2016

Totally Locally Newark and the Retail Group have been plans to boost trade in 2016.   A provisional plan of events ihas been identified together  with an update to the popular TL Retail App (which offers discounts on a range of goods and services from Newark businessess) and a rerun of the very successfull Fiver Fest.

The group are looking for volunteers to help run events and to make suggestions for the 2016 calander and the next Retail Group meeting is being held on  Wednesday 20th January 2016 at the Castle Barge at 5.30pm

Bob's Transport update

Some good news to report. The initial growth of passenger journeys from the enhanced train service between Newark, Nottingham and Lincoln introduced in May has been assessed as 12% - well ahead of the requirements specified in the business plan.  Our assessment of the route's potential has been proved correct and  It confirms that 5 years of campaigning for enhancements was fully justified.

There was even more good news following a meeting on 12th January with East Midlands Councils, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire County Councils and Travel Watch East Midlands. Andrew Pritchard from EMC advised that at a recent meeting with the Department for Transport they had welcomed a more active involvement with  stakeholders in developing the prospectus for the next franchising of rail services in the region, due to be completed by April 2018. It is also clear that we are not alone in looking to the Government to deliver the major enhancements to our train services that they have agreed for the North and West of England.

Members may be aware that the Business Club produced a draft specification for train services in the D2N2 and Lincolnshire areas to inform our meeting with EMC. In view of the uncertainty over devolution in the East Midlands, a second draft has been produced to cover the whole of the existing region. Members may be interested that the all-inclusive proposals do not include any additional benefits for Newark and that there may be dis-benefits as it will clearly be more difficult to agree a detailed plan with more Local Authorities involved.

The meeting with EMC agreed that:

  • The all-inclusive draft prospectus prepared by Newark Business Club is a good starting point,
  • Andrew Pritchard will prepare a paper for the next meeting of the EMC Executive on 18th March setting out the issues and seeking their support to develop a prospectus for rail services in the region,
  • The prospectus must be ambitious and look for major service enhancements (the draft does just that),
  • The prospectus must be complimentary, and to a different time frame, to the East Midlands Connect project that is due to be completed by April 2017. For those not familiar with that project, it is effectively a high-level plan for transport across the East Midlands and includes other modes of transport in addition to rail,
  • Further work would be done to improve the draft prospectus with a final document available for consultation no later than 29th February,
  • A workshop for stakeholders would be held as soon after the 18th March meeting of the EMC executive as possible. The objective of the workshop is to give all stakeholders the opportunity to state their views and make sure that the prospectus is as inclusive as possible,
  • It is necessary to get the region's MPs to buy into the prospectus so that businesses, local authorities and politicians in the East Midlands can present a unified case to the Government. We need to discuss with Robert Jenrick how that can best be done,
  • The prospectus must  be with the Government no later than 30th June.
In spite of this, the recent Direct Award to East Midlands Trains to run the franchise until April 2018 announced by the Government in October, will not provide even a single extra train on Monday to Friday services or even one extra vehicle to address overcrowding on some of the region's trains. The only enhancement to our train service is the Saturday service between Newark, Nottingham and Lincoln that is to be introduced in 2016. Whilst that is very welcome, it does not alter the fact that the contrast with the enhanced train service frequencies agreed by the Government in the North and West of England is stark .
The Club wrote to Robert Jenrick on 7th October last setting out our concerns. We received a message from Robert on 4th November advising us that he had asked the Rail Minister, Claire Perry, to meet us; it does not appear to be very high on her priorities as we still have no date for a meeting.
Our requests for improvements to our rail services up to April 2018 are:
  • Additional rolling stock to address over crowding on key services – this is likely to require no more than six additional vehicles,
  • Improvements to the Sunday service between Nottingham, Newark Castle and Lincoln. At present the first arrival in Nottingham from Lincoln and Newark is not until 16.09; the first arrival in Lincoln from Nottingham is not until 17.31. An enhanced service could almost certainly be provided without any additional rolling stock,
  • Restoration of the two trains an hour service between Nottingham, Newark Castle and Lincoln by extending the Matlock to Newark Castle trains through to Lincoln – this is likely to require just one 2-car unit,
  • An improvement to the abysmal service between Lincoln and London by providing an hourly service between Lincoln and Newark Northgate and improving the connections into/out of East Coast services at Newark. Again this is likely to require just one two-car unit.
Given that the Government announced in December that they are going to provide 500 brand new vehicles together with 2000 extra trains a week across the north, members may well consider that our requests are very modest indeed.


Next Meeting

Friday 5th February 7am

Everyday Champions Centre

Newark Business Club meets at the Everyday Champions Conference Centre at 7am. Entry fee £5.00 including coffee. Come early to secure a good seat

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