About Corsham Chamber Of Commerce

Our objective is to promote and strengthen the business community in Corsham and the surrounding district, which includes Box, Lacock, Neston and Colerne and ensure a vibrant future for all businesses in our area.

Membership

Whatever your organisation size or business sector, there is always a reason to be a Corsham Chamber member whether it is to increase sales & profitability or get involved and increase your contacts. For as little as £90 per year, you can join the voice of your local business community.

Events

Corsham Chamber organises workshops, networking and special events regularly throughout the year, including the Corsham Means Business Show. All events are available at substantially discounted prices to members and many are also open to non-members.

Support

Raise local business issues, discuss challenges and receive business support via the Corsham Chamber. As a not for profit organisation which is part of Inspire by Wessex Chambers we help and represent businesses of every size, across every sector of the local economy.

Voice

Corsham Chamber exists to promote and encourage the business, commercial, industrial and retail interests of Corsham and the surrounding area. We keep our members at the heart of everything we do and are their voice in the wider Corsham community.

Corsham Chamber of Commerce – May Breakfast Meeting Hosted by Herman Miller

Corsham Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend our monthly Networking Breakfast Meeting hosted by Herman Miller on Wednesday, 8th of May 2019 from 7.30 to 10.00am at their 170,000 ft² facility in Melksham.

Keep up to date with everything to do with Corsham Chamber of Commerce and the Corsham Business Show. Join in the conversion and share with us your news via any of our social media channels.


The Corsham Business Show

Watch the video produced at the Corsham Business Show in 2016.

Following on from the success of the previous ‘Corsham Means Business’ Shows in 2015 and 2016, we are delighted to announce we are due to return on 21st March 2018.

About Corsham, Box, Lacock, Neston and Colerne

About Corsham Corsham is an historic market town and civil parish in north west Wiltshire, England. It is at the south western extreme of the Cotswolds, just off the A4 which was formerly the main turnpike road from London to Bristol, between Bath (7.5 miles / 12 kilometres) and Chippenham (4.5 miles / 7 kilometres). Find out more about Corsham, Box, Lacock and Colerne here...

Corsham Chamber Of Commerce Partnerships

Corsham Chamber works in partnership with local authorities, business groups and others, to build and maintain a regional business network and community.

Corsham Chamber Of Commerce News

The Corsham School Mentoring Project

In partnership with Adviza a charity that specialises in helping young people in schools we are offering a mentoring project called ‘Captain of My Ship’ to some of our students, here at The Corsham School.

The project relies upon the involvement of a small number of mentors who volunteer their time to support, encourage and give advice to the students about their experiences of the world of work and life.

The only requirements are that every mentor has to be in work (full, part or self-employment) and able to commit to attend school for 1 hour a week for 13 weeks.

Mentors can come from all types of occupational sector and any job role.

Once recruited, all mentors receive a free one day of training and receive a DBS check. Over 150 volunteers are already working on the project across the country and the results to date are impressive. Both mentors and young people have said that mentoring on Captain of My Ship has been life changing!

If you or anyone you know, or your company would be interested in supporting this exciting opportunity please contact Janchampney@adviza.org.uk quoting The Corsham School, who will then give you additional information and send out an application form.

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Corsham landmark transformed into digital innovation and business hub

The Mansion House in Corsham was officially opened on the 22nd of March following its transformation into a digital innovation and business hub.

 The newly named Corsham Digital Mansion will create jobs and opportunities for the local area as well as supporting digital and innovative companies from around the south west. 

 The project vision, led by Wiltshire Council, delivers on a number of the key objectives of the SWLEP’s Strategic Economic Plan including investing in our increasingly important digital economy and encouraging and supporting the area’s SMEs to invest and grow. 

 A modern extension sits alongside the 18th century refurbished Mansion House providing unique office space for digital start-up businesses.  There are 25 offices available which can be rented individually or grouped as well as co-working facilities for 20 people. The hub also has meeting rooms and conference facilities. Companies are already expressing interest in working in the unique surroundings with opportunities for networking and sharing the latest innovations and technology.

The SWLEP invested £2.5m in this digital project to breathe new life into the Corsham landmark, transforming it into the Corsham Digital Mansion. This investment is part of £169m of funding the SWLEP competitively bid for from the Government’s Local Growth Fund that is being invested into Swindon and Wiltshire’s economy by 2021.   

The Digital Mansion project includes:

  • Incubation space for businesses working within the digital and innovation sectors
  • Teaching space to provide related education courses
  • Facilities for businesses, institutions, academia and the public sector to come together to support development around the digital economy

Digital Mansion was officially opened today (22 March) by Paddy Bradley, Director of SWLEP and Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council. Baroness Scott said: 

“We are creating something really special here right in the heart of Wiltshire. “We want to attract the brightest and best minds to use this unique space and be supported in taking their ideas forward. At Wiltshire Council we don’t just talk about the economy we actively engage in creating the right space where great ideas can flourish.”

John Mortimer, Chairman of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: 

“Supporting the growth and strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium sized businesses is one of the investment priorities for the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership. I am delighted to see the completion of this project, the Corsham Digital Mansion will be a hub of collaboration and business growth in Corsham and will build on the town’s growing reputation for digital communication and technologies.”

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP said:
“This Government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.”

 “An investment of £2.5 million from the Local Growth Fund has enabled the redevelopment of Corsham Mansion House, bringing this historic site back into use for the 21st century as a centre for digital innovation which will create new jobs and opportunities to attract investment into the area.”

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Corsham has been picked out by the Sunday Times as one of the best places to live in the UK.

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Corsham Town Council

May Business Update

Second Consultation on the Corsham Neighbourhood Plan

There’s still time to have your say on the Neighbourhood Plan before Wiltshire Council passes it to an independent examiner ahead of a community referendum later this year. It’s also a chance to offer your support for the Plan. The consultation runs until 5pm on Friday, 25 May 2018, and the Neighbourhood Plan and all its associated documents can be viewed via Wiltshire Council’s consultation portal http://consult.wiltshire.gov.uk/portal. Paper copies are also available at Corsham Library, the Town Hall and Wiltshire Council’s offices at Monkton Park in Chippenham. You can comment via the portal, or download a form from the portal and email it to neighbourhoodplanning@wiltshire.gov.uk, or fill in a paper copy, which will be available at the three sites listed. For more information about the consultation, contact Spatial Planning at the email address above, or call 01225 713223. For more information on the Plan itself, contact the Town Hall on 01249 702130.

 Taste of Corsham

Taste of Corsham (www.corsham.gov.uk/visit), 16 June 2018, is a delicious experience, set in and around Corsham’s beautiful High Street, with something for everyone. Come and try, buy and enjoy the best local and regional food – from gin and cider to ice-cream, pickles and chocolate cake. Companies already signed up include Mr Pastry, Lacock Dairy, The Free Range Chef, the Wiltshire Liqueur Company and Scout & Sage Gin, plus there will be sampling tents, master classes and guest speakers, and the chance to eat your way around Corsham as the great local cafes, pubs and restaurants offer a free ‘Taste’ of what they do best.

Plus Taste of Corsham is teaming up with the Pound Arts Centre who will be bringing you music and entertainment on the Taste Stage, as part of the Blue Sky Festival (12-17 June, www.blueskyfestival.org.uk). There will also be street theatre, crafts, some delicious art to enjoy and lots more fun for all the family. It’s also the 350th Anniversary of Corsham’s Almshouses (www.corshamalmshouses.org.uk) so why not take a free tour around this historic building and enjoy even more activities in the grounds? And Bath Spa University are throwing open the doors of their campus at Corsham Court, as well, so you can  immerse yourself in the Arts and enjoy a sneak peek at all the creativity on display.

Taste of Corsham, sponsored by Queen Square Wealth Management, runs from 10am-4pm and there’s free parking in town all day too so why not come and ‘Taste’ all that Corsham has to offer?

To find out more contact Corsham Town Council on 01249 702130 or email towncouncil@corsham.gov.uk

Corsham Walking Festival

It’s time to get your walking boots on and step out into the glorious countryside and footpaths that surround Corsham. This year’s Walking Festival (www.corshamwalkingfestival.org.uk) takes place from 8-10 June, features 27 themed walks allowing you do to everything from Climbing Up on Solsbury Hill to getting a taste of Nordic Walking, as well as walks for all the family including a Children’s Treasure Hunt. Booking is open now via the website or in person at The Pound. Five walks are already sold out, so book soon.

Strategic Plan

The Town Council is currently working on its new Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, with five major themes, including the continuation of the ‘Open for Business’ theme from the current Plan and the new ‘Where Everybody has the Opportunity to Thrive’. There are also likely to be changes within the Town Council after next week’s Annual Council Meeting, when committee chairmen and representatives to outside bodies, including the Chamber of Commerce, are chosen and elected. More details next time.

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May Business in Focus

This month we are in discussion with our newest member The Business Exchange South West. Thank you to Director Anita Jaynes for taking the time to answer some questions.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

I worked for a local business publication that went into liquidation. I didn’t get paid on pay day and thought what next? I knew there was a gap in the market for a modern take on a local business magazine model and set to work. 

We offer joined up marketing campaigns for our clients and our products are accessible in print and online, as well as supported by a strong social media offering. Like many other publishers we have diversified and offer networking opportunities as well as bespoke awards. We recently hosted The Techies – Tech Awards for Swindon & Wiltshire,here in Corsham at Hartham Park.

What was your mission at the outset?

We are called The Business Exchange because from the beginning I wanted to have a reciprocal relationship with readers and advertisers. I think many publishers have lost their way and it’s not about what the client or reader wants or needs. We’ve built our proposition around what people want and I believe that’s the key to our success. 

How many employees?

Our model is slightly different. We don’t have an office or a huge team. We’re a modern media business. We have a team of highly experienced freelance staff. Some may say, doesn’t that attribute to a gig economy? But I would say, not at all. Most creative minds like diversity and all of our team work for a real mixture of media outlets. Some of our writers’ work for BBC TV programmes as producers when they’re not writing for us and others work for publications as diverse as France Today. All of our team have become advocates for our brand and that’s something I’m really proud of. They all enjoy working for The Business Exchange and adding their unique voice.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?

We offer print and online advertising via our magazines The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire (bi-monthly) and The Business Exchange Bath & Somerset (quarterly) and their supporting websites: www.tbeswindonandwilts.co.ukand www.tbebathandsomerset.co.uk

We also offer featured stories or adverts in our monthly e-newsletter. We have a strong database of over 10,000 regional contacts who receive our local news. 

As previously mentioned, we also host networking events. Our next Business Exchange Big Breakfast is at Cumberwell Park, Bradford on Avon on Wednesday 25thJune. To find out more and to book tickets visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-business-exchanges-big-breakfast-tickets-59880476116

How do you advertise your business?

Each issue we print 5,000 magazines. In Bath & Somerset we deliver to over 2,500 outlets and in Swindon & Wiltshire we deliver to 2,800+ outlets. Our publications can be found in head offices, business centres, professional services firms and places that business people frequent. In Corsham you can pick up a copy at Guyers House, Hartham Park or the Methuen Arms. We’ve worked hard to ensure our product is visible in all the right places for our clients and this in turn works for us too.

How do you advertise your product/service?

We are highly visible in the local community. I am a judge in the South West Business & Community Awards and this year judged the Chippenham Business Awards. This gets The Business Exchange aligned with all the right things. We are media partner for the Bath Business Expo, Bristol South West Expo and Swindon South West Expo. And we are also the Bath Half Marathon’s dedicated business media partner. In the past we have provided Corsham Means Business with media support too. 

To what do you attribute your success?

Listening to our clients and readers and building an offering built around them. My business satisfaction isn’t driven by money, it’s customer satisfaction. I love nothing more than connecting people and building marketing campaigns that achieve results. We will celebrate six years in business this September and the majority of our clients have worked with us from day one. 

Do you use the services of a professional accountant or solicitor?

We work with our client AMS Accountancyin Swindon. They became one of The Business Exchange’s first customers and we decided to give back and work with them too. Every penny we spend we like to keep within our region. It’s all about keeping it local. Why go outside of the area when we have such great companies on our doorstep?

When we’ve needed legal assistance in the past, we’ve worked with another Business Exchange client, Thrings.

What made you choose your current location?

I grew up down the road in Bathford and when searching for a new home looked at Corsham. It’s a great location for the patch I cover. It’s easy to jump on the motorway to visit clients in Swindon and it’s equally easy to get into Bath and the surrounding towns and villages. I work in an office at home. Since moving to Corsham just under a year ago, I’ve got really good at closing the door on work in the evenings. However, I do start work really early! I can often be found online at 5am and walking my dog, Prince, the Rough Collie across the Corsham fields by 9am. 

What kind of Corporation is your business?

We are a Limited Company.

Do you work locally or nationally?

Locally. We currently don’t have an ambition to change this. In a few years’ time, we may look at franchising. 

Does your company help the community where it is located?

Yes, we have Positive Business pages – space for local charities to share their current campaigns and local companies to talk about their fundraising activities or commitment to corporate social responsibility. If you have something to share email press@tbesw.co.uk

Have you ever turned down a client?

Yes, we are not right for everyone! We are a bespoke business-to-business magazine. We once had a lady who wanted to market her bouncy castle business with us. Some may have taken the money, but I would see that as fleecing someone! A product/ service like that needs to be promoted in a community magazine or similar. It’s all about honesty. A client isn’t going to return if they don’t see a return on investment or has been ill advised…We’re in it for the long haul, not quick wins.  

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Make use of the Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub and find out about free government funding available for start-ups. There are also subsidised workshops around finance, marketing and creating a business plan. Visit it online here: https://growthhub.swlep.co.uk  

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Dorothy House chief returns to Bath to complete ‘One Man & His Dog’ 180-mile walking tour

Corsham Chamber of Commerce are huge supporters of Wiltshire-based Dorothy House Hospice Care and are continually focusing on the importance of providing them with opportunities to gain maximum exposure and fundraising opportunities.

The Corsham Business Show held in March 2018 was a prime example of this support and acted as a platform upon which they could connect with local businesses; raising not only their profile, but by donating a percentage of the show’s income to the charity, more than £1,000 was raised for Dorothy House Hospice Care.

With the need to continually raise funds and awareness of the work of the hospice among the local community, Dorothy House Chief Executive, John Davies recently embarked on a ‘One Man and His Dog’ 180 mile walking challenge; which over 17 days has so far raised more than £5,000. Fundraising continues until Friday 16th November 2019.  To donate, visit the One Man & His Dog page on www.localgiving.org or www.dorothyhouse.org.uk

 

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inVenue Community Hub Survey

inVenue is an initiative to help local organisations generate income from the use of their space. It aims to give arts, cultural, sports, municipal and heritage venues the tools to attract businesses and individuals to meet and celebrate with them, strengthening the local community at the same time.

Corsham has many beautiful spaces where businesses can meet, work, play… and grow. Please help us understand what your needs are. Please follow the link below to participate in the survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GD6Y5HV

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Corsham Olympian seeks local business backing to take her to Tokyo 2020 Games

Corsham Olympian seeks local business backing to take her to Tokyo 2020 Games

After winning two Golds in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Corsham-based Olympic swimmer Stephanie Millward MBE expected to gain sponsors and funding support to take her to the Tokyo Games in 2020.

But being the best isn’t good enough.  Stephanie’s medal classification (S9) and age (38) means British Swimming no longer considers her a medal contender for Tokyo 2020 and has since cut her £1,000 pm National Lottery Award.

However, the gold medallist refuses to give up her successful sporting career and with training for the Olympic circuit a full-time job, Millward, like many other UK Olympians are stretched financially thin.

For the past 18 months, the MS sufferer has been working 8 hour shifts at her local petrol station in Box Wiltshire and giving swimming lessons and coaching sessions to make ends meet.

Now, a rigorous, full time training schedule ahead of Tokyo 2020 leaves little time for paid work and as preparation for the British Trials in April 2019 and the World Championships in July, Stephanie is seeking sponsorship deals from local businesses in the final push to become a Paralympic Champion again.

As supporters of the Corsham Chamber of Commerce, we would very much welcome your backing to help Stephanie succeed with her sporting excellence.  For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Nigel Laughton nigel@nigellaughton.com

President of the Corsham Chamber of Commerce and MD of Corsham-based SMARTech energy, Stuart Pearce presents Stephanie with a cheque for £500.

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Young Entrepreneurs Swindon Network Launch – The Purpose of Networks

Thursday 31 January sees the launch of the Young Entrepreneurs Swindon Network but what is the purpose of business network groups?

A business network, also known as a business club, is a membership group in which business people share knowledge, experience and contacts. Some are narrowly focused on members generating business leads for one another. Others offer a broader exchange of knowledge and support, and may also provide services such as mentoring, member-to-member discounts, office space and online promotion of members’ businesses. The launch of the Young Entrepreneurs Swindon Network should see the purpose of this network being defined as well as its legal status and if you are a young entrepreneur or know of one in the area we hope to see them there.

Networks are usually operated via regular networking meetings, which may be formal or informal, and have a website with event listings, news and often a members’ discussion forum. Breakfast business meetings are increasingly common, as are speed networking events. Many networks rotate their meetings between breakfast, lunchtime and evening in order to encourage attendance.

Business networks or clubs typically generate their income via membership subscriptions. Fees vary greatly, from around £50 to around £500 per year. Some make additional charges for events or for services such as training. Many raise money from corporate sponsorship and from advertising on their websites. Some may charge for, and make a profit from, catering. For example, some business breakfast clubs charge an additional £10 per meeting to cover refreshments.

For many people, the ultimate purpose of networking is to generate new business by finding potential new business partners and obtaining word-of-mouth referrals, recommendations and introductions. However, networking can also help to:

  • Share or learn about new ideas.
  • Find out what competitors are up to.
  • Gather general or specific industry information.
  • Get help with problems from people with appropriate knowledge and experience.
  • Keep up to date with new industry developments, regulations and policies.
  • Form relationships with potential partners.

There are a number of common traits among business people who are effective networkers:

  • They treat everyone equally and with respect.
  • They are good listeners.
  • They demonstrate empathy.
  • They are friendly and approachable.
  • They are interested in other people.

In addition to good listening and verbal communication skills, it is important to be able to react appropriately to different kinds of situations and emotional moods. These skills can all be developed with practice.

Networking is often the start of forming new business relationships and alliances. This can take a number of months, so it is important to have a plan for when and how to follow up with new contacts to nurture and develop the relationship.

However you approach business network here’s three tips all attendees:

  • Always follow up conversations or introductions later and never promise something that can’t be delivered.
  • When collecting business cards, have a plan for maintaining contact with people in order to encourage further meetings or invitations to events.
  • Networking is reciprocal so it is as much about giving and sharing contacts and referrals as receiving them
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AA announces new Rosette Award winners – The Methuen Arms

Congratulations to Head Chef Leigh Evans and his talented team at the Methuen Arms for recently being awarded awarded three AA Rosettes, placing the local restaurant amongst the top restaurants in the country.

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