Weston College Business Services

Archive for: July 2011

Chamber’s new president outlines future plans

Weston and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce’s new president adressed members and visitors at a recent meeting.

More than 20 people attended the meeting at the Royal Hotel to see Gail Parsons, who is Managing Director of Vanguard Surveillance and Security, outline her vision for the chamber.

Gail’s plans include continuing to represent member’s interests by working closely with North Somerset Council as well as increasing networking opportunities amongst businesses in the town.

Gail comments: “We have already been successful in supporting North Somerset Council’s bid for superfast broadband and are currently gathering support among our members for the Weston Package, which is a bid for funding towards transport improvements to reduce congestion and upgrade transport links.”

“I also want to continue to organise events relevant to our businesses, the aim of which is to ensure members are kept up-to-date with current trends and provide opportunities for them to question the experts. I will continue to promote Weston Chamber members in an attempt to create business opportunities by raising our profile even further, and being on the frontline ready for new developments and growth within Weston.”

Andrew Scott, who is on Weston and District Chamber’s Executive Committee felt strong business relationships were built upon at the meeting: “It was great to see our members enjoying themselves and having discussions with other businesses, many of which continued after the meeting finished.”

Business Improvement District

Traders in Weston town centre are being asked to come forward and have their say on improving business conditions.

Weston’s Town Centre Partnership has come up with an initiative known as The Business Improvement District (BID) which is a collective way for businesses to improve their trading environment through planning, influencing local decision makers and paying for additional services.

These services could include:

  • Additional policing or wardens
  • Improved collective marketing and events
  • Improved street cleaning and litter collection
  • Specialist business advice and preferred supplier schemes
  • Night time economy promotion and safety initiatives

Weston businesses can download a questionnaire from the BID website which will enable them to list in order of priority what they see as the most important components for a successful business environment. The results from the survey will then be put together to form a business plan which will shape the Business Improvement District’s thinking for the next five years.

All businesses within the Business Improvement District area will then be asked to vote on the plan and, if successful, the plan will then be implemented. In order to win the vote, the BID will need to have achieved majority of “yes” votes and these also need to represent a majority of the rateable businesses who vote.

If the vote outcome is positive, the team will be legally bound to deliver the BID business plan, which will be paid for by all the businesses within the BID area. The amount businesses will have to pay will be based on their rateable value, with every business having to make an equal percentage contribution to the scheme.

The vote on the scheme will take place in February/March 2012 and, if successful, the additional services will start being delivered in May 2012.

Please see below a map of the Business Improvement District area.

The Weston BID team is asking all businesses within the BID area to support the scheme and to share their views by filling out the questionnaire.

You can find out more information and download the questionnaire on the Weston BID website at http://www.wsmtcp.co.uk/weston-bid.htm

You can also follow them on Twitter @WestonBID for the latest updates or visit the Weston BID Facebook page.

Royal seal of approval for Weston

Her Royal Highness Princess Anne visited Weston this week to officially re-open the Grand Pier three years after it was destroyed by fire.

Princess Anne last visited the town back in 2008 where she saw the fire ravaged pier first-hand and met with the owners and those involved in plans to rebuild the landmark. Since her last visit the pier and surrounding public space has undergone a transformation.

Crowds of people waving Union Jack flags lined the streets as the Queen’s daughter unveiled a plaque to commemorate the official reopening of the pier.

The Echo understands that Princess Anne also opened the public space situated near the pier that will now be known as the Princess Royal Square. The Royal guest learnt how work had first begun on the square in 2010 and cost around £3.9 million.

The princess also viewed the new tourist information centre and met local residents.

A visit of such magnitude can only be good news for business in the town and the Echo believes local traders will have been given a boost from this Royal seal of approval.

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Opportunity for networking at next Weston Chamber meeting

The Chamber of Trade and Commerce logoThe future of the county’s economy will be on the agenda at the next meeting of the Weston and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce on Tuesday July 19.

The meeting, which will be held at the Royal Hotel in Weston is open to both members and non-members. The chamber’s new president Gail Parsons will be speaking at the gathering, outlining how she sees the association developing in the coming years.

There will also be an open forum where Weston Chamber members will be able to introduce themselves and share business news. The forum will also provide an opportunity for networking and discussing issues related to the local economy.

The chamber’s membership has risen to 91 within the last year and comprises of businesses, shops, organisations and individuals trading in Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding area.

The meeting is at 6.45pm for a 7pm start.

You can find out more about the event by visiting the chamber’s website at www.westonchamber.co.uk

RNLI event list

Saturday 30th July

  • Flag day, Weston High Street
  • Karaoke by Nova Radio, Italian Gardens
  • Street dance by Rane Fitness, Weston High Street
  • Eggheads quiz challenge with Daphne Fowler, Italian Gardens

Sunday 31st July

  • Made in Weston craft stalls, Italian Gardens
  • Jazz band

Monday 1st August

  • 10am – Bubble blowing record, on the Grand Pier

Tuesday 2nd August

  • Learn circus skills, Italian Gardens

Wednesday 3rd August

  • Kids’ day – Mad Hatters Tea Party, Italian Gardens
  • Reflexology, Italian Gardens
  • Paint your own Pottery, Italian Gardens

Friday 5th August

  • Face Your Fear, Italian Gardens
  • Sea Safety Caravan, Italian Gardens

Saturday 6th August

  • 10am – Raft Race, Marine Lake

Sunday 7th August

  • RNLI Open Day, Anchor Head
  • Stalls, displays, reflexology, sea safety, at Anchor Head
  • Demonstrations of lifeboats, police and coastguard, at Anchor
  • The Big Swim, Anchor Head

Thursday 11th August

  • Lions’ Charity Dinner and race night, Beach lawns

every day from Saturday to Friday, the following events will be taking place in
the Italian Gardens:

  • Local treasure hunt
  • Massive handprint painting
  • Egghead quiz
  • RNLI souvenir stall
  • Have your photo taken and made into a fridge magnet
  • Book sale
  • Name the Teddy

Will you be coming?

Weston businesses pledge support for RNLI Lifeboat Week

Weston Lifeboat WeekA host of local businesses have pledged their support to Weston RNLI’s first ever fund-raising event – Lifeboat Week.  The theme is ‘go mad for the RNLI’ and it will run from July 30 to August 7 in order to celebrate the work of the charity and raise funds to keep the service in operation.

All money raised during the week will go to the RNLI’s Weston crew and businesses that have already signed up for the event have agreed to put up posters or flags in their window and have a collection box to raise funds.

Organisers are urging more businesses to come forward and get involved in the week-long charity event by helping in any way they can, such as coming up with a fun way to raise funds for the RNLI.

The RNLI have access to the Italian Gardens for the week and two Weston firms have already agreed to put on a circus skills workshop and karaoke session.

According to members at Weston RNLI it’s vital that they raise funds to keep the station going because the operation is entirely supported by voluntary donations. The crew work without pay, and all the money raised during Lifeboat Week will help keep the local Weston station and crew above water.

As well as businesses pulling together to raise money for the RNLI, there is also a full programme of events for the public to enjoy – a full listing of events can be found here.

If you would like your business to promote Lifeboat Week, please give Weston RNLI a call on 01934 824587 or email rnli@amiconf.demon.co.uk and to find out specific details about events log onto http://www.facebook.com/pages/Weston-Lifeboat-Week-RNLI/137264399679798

Business update from Terry Gilbert – July 2011

It’s always great to hear good feedback from visitors to the town who heap praise on the new-look Pier and surrounding promenade. Next in line for praise is surely going to be Dr Fox’s restaurant on Knightstone Island and it’s not difficult to see why – the view is outstanding.

As you can see, I like to talk up this town because we are very lucky compared to other regions in the UK.

Of course, nowhere will fully avoid the effects of recession and undoubtedly some of us need to tighten our belts more than others but Weston and the surrounding area must remain positive about its future. Very large sums of money have been committed to the district, bringing contractors and skilled labour to the area – Hinckley Point for example with a demand for 7,000 staff.

And the numbers of new enterprises starting up in the region is above average, which along with our survival, signals we are bucking the trend.

And success is contagious. So don’t forget you live in a town which has the motto “forever forward,” a simple phrase that will put mind over matter and help you feel positive and project results that will benefit your business and life.

But if you are struggling through the recession don’t hesitate to call into our office and share your problem – maybe we can halve them.

So to my final thought – it’s very likely that, personally, you will not be able to affect the balance of payments, the exchange rate, the UK or European economy, so stop thinking about it and prove to one and all that your business can show the way out by leading the recovery.

Terry Gilbert – North Somerset Business Enterprise Agency

Quote of the week:

“Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out,”

T4 on the beach gives businesses in Weston a boost

T4 on the beach gives businesses in Weston a boostWeston businesses were given a boost as around 50,000 people descended upon the town for T4 on the beach.

A host of famous names that included Cher Lloyd, Sugababes, The Wanted and Tinchy Stryder attended the annual mega-event, that was held in the town for the seventh year running.

Because of the show, Weston traders experienced  a superb day of business as hundreds of visitors took to the bars and restaurants.

Tarentella in St James Street were one of the businesses to benefit from the event and Restaurant Owner Franco Rinaldi said he was delighted to be counting extra profits: “T4 has a major impact on businesses, especially hotels and restaurants. We also find that because of the show we manage to get repeat trade throughout the rest of the year.”

“It really puts the town on the map and raises its profile. There was a real buzz in the air over the weekend and all of us involved in business put on a good show to ensure visitors come back to the town.”

A previous report into the economic impact T4 has on Weston found that it generated £3m for the local economy and produced the equivalent of 16 full-time jobs over the weekend.

Because of fine weather, an even better set-list  and extended television coverage, it is possible that T4 2011 will give Weston-super-Mare an even bigger financial boost.