As always a lot of work has been going on in the background to promote and fight for the Business Community in the Town and surrounding Villages of SN11.
The interaction has taken many successful forms and guises as well as both medium and long term strategies to help get positive results. The challenge has always been time to attend meetings and lobby whilst still running a business. There has been a massive amount of hours freely given, and a thank you to all who have contributed.
2014 was about building the right relationships, whilst aiming at effectiveness.
The following are key situations in which we have been involved and on which we are working.
Ian Powell from Elm Workspace has been fighting the cause for our Industrial Hub. At present there has been interaction with Wiltshire Council and support from the Town Council in trying to achieve improvements to the estate. The Porte Marsh Working Group was set up to ensure that the cause was actively promoted.
At present new signage is expected soon, probably in the New Year. These will be colour coded to help specify areas of the estate. In turn a colour coded interactive map has been produced and appears on www.calnewiltshire.com.
The next working group meetings have taken place in November with the intention on agreeing an action plan and take further steps to improve the estate.
A final note: A better Broadband service, i.e. fibre, is expected around Spring of 2015 when the laying of the line moves closer to Calne. We will see.
Lunches and Breakfasts.
Attendances at Lunches have been up and down depending it seems on venue and fare provided. The breakfasts throughout the year have been pretty well attended with the last one in early November attracting 25 local business people. Feedback from quite a number said they built new relationships and future business opportunities.
The Town Council have been very astute in getting grant funding to find ways of promoting the town. The ‘Our Place Project’ has had endless meetings and consultations in trying to get the right action plan together. At present this has enabled there to be an amazing asset register of the Town and surrounding Villages.
The Chamber has worked alongside other community groups who all have put an amazing amount of work in to get to this point. The findings I think are very exciting and will all be rolled out in a much clearer way hopefully before year end. The next step is to ensure that the area is put firmly on the Tourist Map.
The intention was to get a working relationship to benefit both Chambers this year and Jessica Pillow and others have interacted with Wessex so that there is more clarity.
Wessex admittedly benefits the larger businesses and captures a market the Local Chambers can’t. Linking up with them to help with business events is probably a wise thing to do.
However, they can’t fight local causes or focus on them. The Calne Chamber is far more effective in that and gets results. It is not on the Wessex radar or of interest to them.
Now available on-line.
This facility has been a joint venture between the Chamber and Town Team. It has been produced by EcoPow and Robin Robson and means that any event can be organised and booked on-line with a bespoke form for each event. Forms produced already are for the Weekly Markets, Food Festival, Chamber Membership, Calne Website.
With the expected promotions and events of next year it gives the Chamber another string to its bow and all businesses, charities, organisations have an easy way to raise income from bookings.
The intention is to run more Business Fairs and larger Business Drop Ins next year. On the 19th there was a large Drop-In at Elm Workspace run by Wessex and Elm.
The Business Fair alongside the Duck Race was a great success and the intention is to hold another in 2015. Chilvestor, Pillow May, Clever Tin Man and Goughs did a great job.
In conjunction with the Town Team the focus will be to create a market/festival atmosphere further up the town to enhance the event. Bookings can be easily done online.
The Town Team- Calne Springs CIC- calnewiltshire.com
(Created by the Portas Bid and now in the second year of existence. Directors must include Calne Chamber Reps)
This was created to give a link from business to person and to raise money to promote the area. Directors have been involved in helping the Calne Bike Meet.
The second round of reinvestment from businesses is now in flow. This second round of investment will be used now mainly for promotion of events. The Team has been involved in working groups such as Tourism and the Neighbourhood Plan. They have also been involved in Calne Markets to create more footfall to the town. With tourism in mind the website and Town team are in line to be the delivery vehicle.
Two new Directors are joining with marketing expertise one of whom runs a successful magazine business, locally. This will enable us to produce a quarterly magazine to promote the Town and Villages.
The Chamber fights the cause while Calne Springs helps promotion of the businesses locally in a way most couldn’t afford to do.
The following are now available for use;
Big Bright Red Gazebos (Can accommodate 8 Tables)
Small hire cost or free for good causes.
Website- Now Paid For.
Cheaper to advertise per annum i.e.
Basic Entry- £60 or just £5 per month
Standard Entry- £120 or just £10 per month
Platinum Entry- £240 or just £20 per month
There is the ability for Banner Promotion, Free advertising for non-business people to sell things and of course the Porte Marsh Map.
The profile of calnewiltshire.com has been greatly raised on Google. All local businesses should be represented on it.
All things are set for an exciting 2015.