Monday, 28 June 2010

The Insider

Our New Chamber President - Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe

I’m sure all Channel Chamber members and readers of this Insider bulletin will welcome the news that Damian Collins has been appointed as Channel Chamber President at a short lunchtime ceremony on Friday.

For the past 26 years this post has been held by Michael Howard and his recent retirement brought to a close a key period in the history of our Chamber. Now, as the official BCC Accredited Chamber for East Kent we have members of all sizes and in all sectors located in Shepway, Dover and Thanet districts. The Chamber serves these members by providing practical advice, networking facilities, education, funding and business support.

Damian has also agreed to hold a regular business clinic from September onwards – the first of its kind in the UK ! This will be held at the Chamber Offices in Folkestone on the first Friday of every month. As part of his commitment to support local businesses, and with the help of Channel Chamber he intends to invite businesses to meet him on a one-to-one basis and discuss any issues they may have.

New Member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee

Laura Sandys MP for South Thanet and Sandwich tells us that she has been elected onto the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee last week. She has been involved with many aspects of energy policy not least promoting Thanet’s role in the renewable sector which is a key development opportunity for Kent .

If Chamber members have any local issues they want to raise with her such as the flooding problems relating to Sandwich please telephone 07936 340184 or email:

Demise of SEEDA

As you will have seen from last weeks Emergency Budget (section 1.89) Regional Development Agencies will be replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships. While there are differing views on this subject, Chambers of Commerce across the south east region will be seizing the opportunity to help define a vision for their areas and will ensure that business is at the heart of future LEPs. This will be critical as different areas bid for investment from a new Regional Growth Fund, which is due to be detailed along with the Government’s policy on LEPs in a White Paper this summer.

Community Ministry Coordinator Role

St Saviour’s Community Centre in Folkestone is seeking to fill a full-time position to lead on a new initiative, aimed at increasing employment and making life better for residents in East Folkestone . Working with local job seekers and in partnership with Job Centre Plus and Channel Chamber, a community cafe and a range of other activities.

Full details and application pack are available from:David Grimwood, tel : 07960 369681 or by email to Application deadline is 5.00 p.m. on 23rd July. Interview date: 2nd August.

Special Deals for Senior Citizens

Port Lympne: The Aspinall Wild Animal Experience, is inviting senior citizens to enjoy its mansion & gardens with an exclusive special offer for June & July. Come and enjoy wildlife, horticulture, history and art for half the standard price!

For just £7.50 senior citizens will get admission to the park and tea and cake. For more information about this offer and the park please visit: and visit the events page

Calling all Creative Businesses

The Media Tree Team in Maidstone is conducting a survey across the Creative Industries in Kent and has asked for support from relevant Chamber members and readers of our Insider Bulletin. Please take 5 minutes to fill out their questionnaire, which seeks your views on Media Tree.

Every completed response that includes contact details will be entered into a FREE prize draw to win two bottles of Biddenden sparkling wine. The deadline for responses is Friday 2 July.

Visit the survey here:

A date for your diary!

The Ramada Hotel, Dover are asking for Chamber members to support their Annual Charity Ball, which is scheduled to be held on Friday 24th September 2010 in the “Grand Marquee”.

The profit from this event will be going towards raising money for “Beyond The Moon”. This charity offers children suffering from a life-threatening disease and their families, the opportunity to spend valuable quality time together and enjoy a memorable, cost-free and carefree vacation in a child-friendly environment far from hospitals and daily treatment. Last year they raised just over £8,000 and are now aiming to raise £21,500, which would enable them to nominate Six local families.

For more information on Beyond The Moon please go to

FREE BT Business Growth Club

This interactive business growth workshop will help you to drive new business, identify efficiencies and control your costs, through the effective use of IT & Communications.

Our partners at BT Business have many years experience of this and have been working with many local chambers across the UK, with 95% of all members attending events stating that it was a worthwhile use of their time.

We know, that for many, the integration of today's technologies is often seen as a mystic art. We hope to wipe away those myths, leaving you with a fresh clear understanding of new ideas that can help you to get the best out of your IT & Communication systems

Taking place on 7th July 10:30am - 1:30pm at the Courtstairs Country Club, Pegwell Road, Ramsgate CT11 OJE

This event is Free of Charge and spaces are limited, Lunch and refreshments included. To avoid dissapointment contact Tracy Reynolds on 01303 270022 or email

Welcome to New Chamber Members

We welcome our most recent members, for further details follow the link below

Jagger Creative Communication LLP
Folkestone Harbour Company Ltd
Folkestone Invicta F.C. Club

The Insider

Further Lydd Airport Delays

The Government Office for the South East (GOSE) have postponed their decision on whether to allow the £25 million development of the airport until 30 June. This is a frustrating further delay following Shepway councillors approval of the plans at a seven-hour long meeting on 3 March. Since then GOSE has been considering whether to allow the plans or to call them in for a public inquiry.

Kevin's Blog
Following our successful ‘Business Leaders’ Breakfast at the Burlington Hotel last month sponsored by Kent County Council, Chamber members will be interested in the link below to the Head of Regeneration - Kevin Lynes’ Blog.

May we remind Chamber members that all three Accredited Chambers in Kent are key members of the Backing Kent Business initiative and we are looking forward to driving an effective business support agenda for the year ahead which will feature a number of new and exciting initiatives.

New Online Business Directory for Wind Energy

Within the next few days a new interactive online business directory for offshore wind will be launched. will make it simpler for developers and operators to search and source their supply chain requirements and simple for Kent businesses who can supply those requirements to register. Search by category or company for services covering the project development, equipment design and manufacture, construction and operation.

If you are a business wanting to register for FREE or a company looking to procure a service – you’ll find it online at

Promoting Kent Apprenticeships

Kent County Council have recently transformed a bus to help sell the benefits of the Govt’s Apprenticeship scheme and Channel Chamber is hoping to book this for a day at their Offices in Folkestone and Ramsgate this summer.

Local companies will be most welcome to learn more about taking on a young person and the Apprenticeship scheme. For more details contact;

Ashford Business2Business Exhibition 2010

Kent Invicta Chamber is holding their 24th annual Business to Business Exhibition tomorrow - Tuesday 22nd June at the Ashford International Hotel and all Channel Chamber members are very welcome to attend.
This year there will again be an extremely diverse range of businesses, offering a vast variety of products and services. I am sure that you will personally find a visit of interest, on both a business and personal level.

When was the last time you went into a Job Centre?

Businesses and organizations who currently work with the local community in Folkestone are being invited to a tour and information session at Folkestone Job Centre Plus on Friday 25 June. The tour is being held between 10.00am and 11.30am and is designed to give everyone an insight into all the services currently being offered to local unemployed people.

If you are interested in attending please contact Jenny Burrows at or tel 01303 853331

Folkestone Seafront Exhibition

Large numbers of residents have already attended the series of presentations at the Quarterhouse in Tontine Street to hear all about the new approach for the development of Folkestone Seafront.

If you have missed these don’t despair ! There is a final presentation at the Quarterhouse scheduled for Saturday 26 June at 11am when you will also have an opportunity to visit the exhibition and contribute with ideas for the proposed public spaces.

Full details of these proposals are also provided at

Meet the Chamber President

We are delighted to inform you that Damian Collins, the new MP for Folkestone and Hythe has accepted our invitation to become the President of the Channel Chamber of Commerce. This follows Michael Howard's reign as our Chamber President for the past 26 years.

To celebrate the occasion an informal buffet lunch is being held here at the Chamber's meeting rooms at the Shepway Business Centre starting at 12:30 on Friday 25th June when prominent local business leaders will have an opportunity to meet Damien and ask him about his plans to support our business community.

Due to space limitations bookings for this event are being taken on a first-come-first-served basis and there are only ten spaces left, so I would urge you to let me know if you can join us as soon as possible. Please contact or call 01303 270022