Monday, 14 March 2011

The Insider

Plans for fountain at Folkestone Harbour

The Folkestone Harbour Company has submitted a planning application to Shepway District Council to install a large water feature in the harbour square that borders Chummy’s Seafood stall and the harbour edge.

The new feature forms part of a general improvement programme that is taking place at Folkestone Harbour , including the construction of two new restaurants, all of which is designed to make the area more attractive to local people and visitors.

For further press information and for images as J-Peg files please contact Peter Bettley on 01303 245838

Dover Marina Hotel and Spa set to open

Kent ’s newest upmarket hotel, the 81-bedroom Best Western Dover Marina Hotel & Spa in a stunning beach-front location overlooking Dover Harbour is opening on 24 March.

Several million pounds has been invested in the iconic Kent hotel once favoured by royalty and celebrities. The elegant property is a centrepiece of the regeneration of the Dover waterfront, and has been fitted out by one of the UK ’s top interior designers.

The hotel’s facilities will include:


81 refurbished and individually styled en-suite bedrooms

Three conference, function and meetings rooms

Stylish restaurant and bar

Free WiFi internet access throughout the hotel

Well-equipped fitness and spa centre (opening soon)

Seafront coffee shop and ice cream parlour (opening soon).

For more information, details of special offers or to book, call 01304 203633, email or visit

Congratulations to Realia

Chamber members and full service marketing agency Realia has recently been awarded status on the Recommended Agency Register (RAR). RAR conducts research amongst customers of marketing services agencies, asking them to confidentially score the agency across a range of criteria. Of the seven criteria measured, Realia was rated significantly better than other recommended agencies in six areas – client service, creativity, effectiveness, professionalism, strategic thinking and value for money...

For further information on Realia and their services please contact Paul Williamson at 01303 298388/298389 or email

Three must attend events in March

Channel Chamber has organised three exciting events this month – all with a very different flavour and offering members and East Kent businesses real value for money networking opportunities.

Open evening jointly hosted with the FSB

On Tuesday 15th March we are getting together with FSB members for an Open Evening at the Burlington Hotel, Folkestone. With guest speaker, Dorothy Thom this informal event offers members from both organisations to make plenty of valuable new contacts.

Wine tasting with the Chamber at the Grand

This promises to be a memorable event for anyone keen on French wines. Chamber member, Grainger Fine Wines are selecting some of their favourite red and white wines for you to enjoy and Simon Grainger will be giving the low-down on the grape varieties and independent winemakers involved. Make a note in your diaty – Wednesday 23rd March, 6pm – 8pm at the Grand, Folkestone.

Speed Networking at the award winning Ambrette

Can you manage a 2 course evening buffet – a glass of wine AND the opportunity to meet fellow business owners/managers and directors ? Hosted by the fantastic Ambrette Restaurant in Margate on Wednesday 30th March, this evening of speed networking is likely to attract businesses across Thanet and beyond so early booking is strongly recommended.

To book each of these three events please telephone Tracy Reynolds on 01303 27002 or visit our website:

Save money with Independent Insurance Services our new sponsor!

Independent Insurance Services have been serving the local community since 1991. We have always been customer focused by providing a professional yet friendly service when dealing with insurance solutions for our customers. We are also able to offer assistance with Health & Safety and Risk Management issues.

We have always worked on the principle of treating our customers the way that we expect to be treated ourselves. We pride ourselves on our service standards which have been demonstrated by winning various awards over the years, including the Channel Chamber Business Commitment to the Community Award. The company is registered to both British Standards Institute (BSI) 9001 Quality and 14001 Environmental standards.

Independent are committed to continuous staff training and we ensure that all products are delivered with the utmost professional standards from our dedicated team.

We can quote for various types of insurance, whether commercial or personal, and have access to special schemes with many insurers. We search the market by using the latest technology to ensure we remain competitive at all times and that our policies offer the best scope of cover to meet our customer’s need and requirements. We assist our clients throughout the whole process of arranging a policy and, in the unfortunate event of a claim occurring, provide help and guidance from notification through to settlement.

We would welcome the opportunity to quote and even if your insurances are not due for renewal yet, please contact us on 01303 221188 for a free insurance review.

The Insider

Unhappy with your Broadband?

If you currently feel that your business in Shepway or home receives insufficient broadband speeds and that this hampers you or your businesses ability to work to its maximum potential then Shepway District Council would like to hear from you. To air your views please complete the questionnaire below, it takes no more then 2 minutes to complete. perspective - residential properties Public meetings to discuss Shepway’s rural broadband strategy are also being held shortly

* Lyminge village hall from 7-9pm on the 9th March

* St Marys Bay village hall from 6-8pm on the 10th March

Goodbye Robert

Robert Boutwood, Director of Fundraising Projects for the Aspinall Foundation has left after an amazing 32 years at the Wildlife Park . He will be sadly missed by Channel Chamber and many of our members who met him at as regular supporter of our networking events in Shepway.

We wish him every success for the future and hope that our paths cross in the future.

National Apprenticeship Awards

Channel Chamber is encouraging local apprentices and their employers in East Kent to enter the 2011 National Apprenticeship Awards. This is a unique opportunity for them, to receive regional and national recognition for all their hard work and achievements through Apprenticeships.

This year the Apprenticeship Awards will be working with City and Guilds to honour England ’s best Apprenticeship employers. All employers who enter the Awards will be eligible and those judged to be the very best of the best will be recognised and published as a Top 100 Apprenticeship employer.

Visit now to find out more and enter on-line. Closing date: 25 March 2011

Business Continuity Seminar and Workshop

The Kent Resilience Forum is holding a free business continuity seminar and workshop on 16 March 2011 at the East Malling Conference Centre. The event aims to promote resilience and preparedness in Kent and Medway, particularly focusing on situations where businesses can not open as usual, and the impact this has on them and the local community.

This event is open to both private and public sector organisations and coincides with the national Business Continuity Awareness Week from 21 to 25 March.

British Chambers of Commerce - Trade Survey responses

Many thanks to all Channel Chamber members who responded to this recent trade survey. A magnificent 22% of our membership took part and a total of 8,001 completed surveys were received nationally - clearly a great platform from which to build an International Trade Finance lobbying platform.

The national results will be released by the BCC shortly and details will be circulated to our membership.

Good Trader Scheme

Did you know that Kent Trading Standards runs a dood trader scheme called ‘Buy with Confidence (BWC)’ ?

All scheme members are thoroughly checked and approved before they are allowed to join. Consumers can search online or call Consumer Direct and ask for a printed list of traders. A video clip can also be seen on the website providing tips on how to fid a good terdesman. For more information please visit: