By Lisa Harrison – LJH Copywriting
The scent from Newark’s sugar beet factory lingered in the air on an autumnal start to the first Friday of October 2019. There’s no doubt that we’re well and truly coming towards the end of the year now. Our members arrived in high spirits, looking forward to a jam-packed agenda full of positive updates and astounding achievements.
One of the unique features of our club is its Action Group which campaigns for a better business environment. To kick the meeting off was chairman, James Fountain, who updated us on some of the improvements we’re seeing in and around the town. From the work to transform the derelict Robin Hood Hotel, to confirmed funding for dualling the A46 Newark bypass, we’re noticing a lot of change bringing major strategic and economic benefits both locally and nationally.
Great news right from the off, followed by two elves and Santa, what more could you want from a Friday morning!
Bounding on to the stage came meeting sponsors, Elf Emma from Holdens of Newark and Elf Rachel from the Children’s Bereavement Centre, to talk to us about Newark’s Newest Santa’s Grotto. Santa will be returning to Holdens of Newark at the end of November until Monday 23 December. All proceeds raised from the grotto will go to Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance and the Children’s Bereavement Centre, in memory of Daniel Harris.
This will be the event’s third year and with help from local businesses, it’s going from strength to strength. Last year, they raised over £6,500 and Santa gave over 500 children a Christmas gift. This year, they’re aiming to raise at least £10,000.
This really is a fantastic initiative for our community and encourages more people to stay and shop locally.
How can you get involved?
Continuing with the Christmas theme, the elves welcomed Santa on stage who put our festive knowledge to the test and also carried out the monthly business card prize draw. The winning newcomer, who wins an advert in the Newark Advertiser, was Liz Hobbs Group, while the winning established member was Made By Mee.
Business owner Marie Elizabeth Edwards says “I offer a real, rustic and traditional signwriting service. I can hand paint anything from shop front signage to menus to business logos. If you want your business to stand out from the crowd, then Made By Mee is for you.” Marie has also just started a 3D printing service, creating bespoke point of sale items such as business card holders. She will also be launching a range of personalised gifts, just in time for Christmas. Please follow Made By Mee on Facebook – www.facebook.com/Madebymeeeee or for more information visit www.madebymee.com
We welcomed David Horne, Managing Director of LNER, and he talked us through some of the infrastructure improvements they’ve been making to the East Coast Mainline train service.
LNER is one of the most iconic British rail brands, reborn after 70 years in June 2018, David said that whilst the brand has a huge legacy, the business is “very much about the present day.”
At the start of October, the company introduced brand new Azuma trains with Japanese bullet train technology to the network. Great news for us as these modern-day trains are designed to be more resilient.
During a sweltering August Bank Holiday weekend, alongside Network Rail, they completed a substantial amount of work along the East Coast Mainline including at London Kings Cross. You may have noticed some disruption during this time as a significant piece of work in installing a new track crossing, north of Newark North Gate station took place.
It was also music to commuters’ ears as David discussed plans to increase the service between Lincoln and London. From December, there’ll be trains departing every two hours, which means additional weekend services too.
Looking ahead to 2020, to support Kings Cross as a growing hub for business, LNER will be completing platform renewals over a period of two weeks. Stevenage and Peterborough will also be receiving infrastructure renewals too.
The key takeaway from David’s update was how important it is for LNER to belong to the regions it serves. Whether through providing employment opportunities or partnering with regional food producers, their commitment to promote and work alongside local communities is stronger than ever.
Did you know, LNER provide a business service for rail travel? You can find out more here – www.lner.co.uk/business/4business/
Maria Ward, Stakeholder Manager from D2N2, updated us on the Building Better Opportunities programme. The scheme works to promote social inclusion, challenge long-term unemployment and empower socially excluded people through projects that are National Lottery and EU funded.
Businesses today are struggling with recruitment, the skills shortage and the reducing talent pool, highlighting the need for them to think differently about recruitment.
Focussing on the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire region, D2N2 are running a series of Recruiting Talent events as part of the BBO programme. They will provide businesses with the advice they need to recruit more inclusively and diversely. The aim of these events is to bring businesses together to connect with those looking to get back into long term employment.
The next event in Newark will take place on Monday 27 January, at Castle House.
If you’re interested in finding out more about BBO and the Recruiting Talent events, please visit – https://bbo-d2n2.org.uk
Starting on Saturday 5 October until Saturday 12 October, Newark is taking part in the national event, Fiver Fest. More than 50 towns across the UK are embracing the opportunity to promote their independent businesses by offering their community lots of £5 special offers.
Jill Brown from Totally Locally ran through her own personal shopping list, making sure that she highlighted just some of the discounts she’s looking to take advantage of in Newark.
Jill encouraged everyone to “get into town and shop”, because spending money in independent businesses helps their survival and keeps our vibrant town thriving.
With over 25,000 Fiver Fest leaflets distributed to local homes and a competition to win £200 worth of Totally Locally vouchers to spend in local businesses, let’s hope that our community gets behind such a great event.
Rachel Wilson and Kat Wright, Newark Dragon Boat Festival 2019 hosts, gave us an update on the success of this year’s event.
On Sunday 15 September, 26 teams raced their way up the River Trent to the rhythm of beating drums and hundreds of spectators flocked to watch them do it.
Another fabulous community event that raised over £28,000 through sponsorship and vendor sales, for Beaumond House and the Children’s Bereavement Centre.
Rachel exclaimed the two charities were “overwhelmed” with the event’s success and went on to reveal that the Dragon Boat team who raised the most money, are in fact members of Newark Business Club (NBC). Carrie’s Babes raised over £1700!
The date’s already been confirmed for 2020. Add Sunday 20 September to your diaries if you’d like to give Carrie’s Babes a run for their money, next year.
Last month we asked club members to vote in a secret ballot for our second Charity of the Quarter. The charities appealing for our support were the Children’s Bereavement Centre, Newark Emmaus Trust and Newark Breast Cancer Support Group.
Whilst all three charities do incredible work in our local community, there could only be one beneficiary over the next three months.
Simon Gabbitas took to the stage and with a drum roll from the crowd, revealed that the second Charity of the Quarter as chosen by Newark Business Club members is…the Children’s Bereavement Centre.
The Children’s Bereavement Centre in Newark supports children and young people facing the trauma of losing someone they love and has supported over 780 families and children in the last year alone. Find out more at www.childrensbereavementcentre.co.uk.
At the end of the second quarter, the charity will be presented with £250 from club members but with a very generous donation from Newark Roundtable, they’ll receive an additional £250.
The Charity of the Quarter will be renewed in January 2020. If you’d like to nominate a local charity to take part, then please email email@example.com.
And just like that, the meeting was over. The next one will be at Newark’s Everyday Champions Centre at 7am on Friday 1st November.
We hope to see you there!