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Island usiness



Isle of Wight Festival “It’s not a cheap hobby. It’s a huge gamble” John Giddings in The Interview

The Needles Landmark Attraction Storeroom2010 Into The Blue’s Gail Willows Start Me Up Over 50s Plus:

Chamber member news, events and benefits



If you’re looking to change direction or considering working for yourself, we can help. Our Business Start up course will get you off to a flying start. Check our website for more details.



IWChamber The Island’s Business Network



In this issue...

02 08


News Business news Events Chamber events

FOREWORD HELLO AND WELCOME AGAIN TO ISLAND BUSINESS. The summer is definitely upon us, with a late Easter definitely signifying the start of the tourism season. This issue has something of a tourism and events theme, including a look inside the Isle of Wight Festival, a flagship event and a huge piece of promotion for the Island and our destination brand. We also visit The Needles Landmark Attraction, another icon of Island tourism, and where the idea of a tourist “season” has been replaced by an all-year round offering of events. Also in this issue we hear from Visit Isle of Wight’s Simon Dabell, who gives us his view on what we might expect this year and how the sector continues to evolve.

Editor Tom Stroud

This month is yet another eventful one as we go to the polls once again! My own view is that in recent years we appear to be constantly bombarded with referendums and elections. Far from instilling confidence, all this serves to do is confuse people and leave us more unsure of the future. Businesses want clarity and stability so that they can plan ahead. Clearly there are differing points of view regarding Brexit, legitimacy and mandates but I think all businesses can agree that the economy has to be at the centre of the campaigning and electioneering. Have a great month!


Advertising Sales Tel. 01983 520777

10 14 16

The Interview John Giddings

Company Profile The Needles Landmark Attraction Notes to Self Gail Willows, Into The Blue

18 24

Feature Storeroom2010

Feature Start me up Over 50s

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA

Printing & Design Crossprint Ltd

Island Business Magazine – Published by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of Island Business magazine the publishers do not accept any liability or provide any guarantee that the information is accurate, complete or up to date. The publisher and its employees and contractors have used their best efforts in preparing these pages and this publication but make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information supplied. The views of contributors do not necessarily represent those of the IW Chamber of Commerce. The IW Chamber of Commerce and its employees and contractors shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the providing of the information offered here. Island Business magazine is printed by Crossprint, an ISO 9001 registered printer based on the Isle of Wight. Contains material sourced from responsibly managed forests, certified in accordance with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).


MAY 2017


Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce



Education theme for new High Sheriff Ben Rouse has been sworn in as the Island's new High Sheriff. Ben is a Chartered Financial Planner and managing director of Newport financial planners, Rouse Limited. He succeeds Robin Courage in the role. “Fundraising is fundamental to the role and I hope that Island businesses will support me in raising as much money as possible for the High Sheriffs' Trust,” Ben says. “The Trust provides small but vital grants to Island community groups, individuals, and charities that might otherwise miss out on mainstream funding. But helping people doesn't only involve fundraising, it's also about education and I intend to hold this as a focus of my year.” Ben plans to roll out an updated financial literacy presentation to Island sixth formers. He also intends to work with Island secondary schools on a community project known as Old School, bringing together senior citizens and adolescents under a mutually supportive programme. He is also collaborating with future High Sheriffs to bring businesses and schools together. “I want to offer young people further advancement towards employment opportunities by using the support and resources a school can provide together with a clear understanding of what the business community needs to see as qualifications. The key aims are to reinforce the fact that

there are jobs on the Island for young people with the right qualifications and the island itself offers a superb quality of life. Island businesses need to come together and tell young people through the schools what jobs are out there and what they need to study to get them.’

Website win for Bate Brand Bate Brand Communications with TR Register have been awarded 'Outstanding Website of the Year' at this year's National Car Club Awards. The annual prize-giving ceremony, held at Birmingham's NEC, saw 230 members of the classic motoring community gather to celebrate the success of classic car clubs across the UK and Ireland. Bate Brand have worked with TR Register, a club dedicated to enthusiasts of Triumph TR sports cars, for over 15 years. During this time, the Bate Brand team have redesigned the club's magazine, TR Action and in 2016 won

'Outstanding Magazine of the Year' at the National Car Club Awards. Judges at the ceremony were impressed by the design, innovation and functionality of the website, praising the concept as 'just brilliant.' Wayne Scott, Press Officer and Editor of TR Action, thanked Bate Brand for their dedication to the production of the website, saying “The team were tremendously passionate about ensuring our needs and requests were brought to life throughout the build.”

Customer care focus for Wightlink Wightlink has become a member of the Institute of Customer Service, reflecting the company’s ambition to deliver outstanding standards of customer care to everyone who crosses the Solent with the company. Customer Experience Lead Sara Howden says: “Every year we carry nearly five million people across the Solent. While the vast majority of our customers enjoy a pleasant journey, sometimes


things can go wrong. Working with the Institute of Customer Service over the next five years will help us to take a fresh look at what we already do well and what we can do better.” Operations Director Elwyn Dop adds: “Membership of the Institute demonstrates our commitment to continually improve our services and put the customer at the heart of everything we do.”



Another Queen's Award for Spinlock, with growth in exports and employment too Spinlock is celebrating the announcement of their second Queen's Award for Enterprise, this time for an innovative life jacket. The Cowes business designs and manufactures rope holding equipment and personal safety products for leisure and commercial water users. Spinlock have been selected as winners for their Deckvest lifejacket, a revolutionary product that has changed the landscape of the market for personal safety products used by those on the water. Spinlock's James Hall comments: "With no significant technical or aesthetic change in lifejackets for over thirty years, we decided

to develop the Deckvest - a completely new personal lifejacket that is attractive and comfortable to wear; a revolutionary move and step-change in lifejacket design." The development of the Deckvest and continuing year-on-year increase in demand for the product has had a very positive effect on the business, as CEO Chris Hill explains: "Due to the success and popularity of the Deckvest, Spinlock has been able to grow exports to 25 countries across the globe, add new market sectors and has seen a 20% increase in employment at our two sites in Cowes."

This is the second Queen's Award Spinlock has won, having been presented with the Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade in 2016 by the Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness enjoyed a guided tour of Spinlock's production facility and met with staff during his visit. Chris Hill adds: "The continued success of Spinlock reflects a truly dedicated and talented team. They are a passionate group of individuals who really understand the market; many of them are keen sailors and this unique insight helps them develop and design products that are truly innovative."

Island Roads helps provide career pathways Apprenticeships are the way forward for Island Roads. So far the Highways PFI company has created ten apprenticeships, with more on the horizon. Young people are working across the range of disciplines required to upgrade and maintain the Island’s highways network. The company has recently supported two events designed to help young people into work, attending the National Apprenticeship Week event at Newport’s Lord Louis Library and also the Future Finders event organised by the Solent Local Economic Partnership at the IW College. Paul Herbert, Island Roads service director, said: “The Highways PFI is a long-term project and its delivery brings numerous opportunities to develop a range of careers. We have been delighted to support these two events and hope that among the talented and enthusiastic people we met there were some future employees who will play a role with us in improving and maintaining the Island’s road network.” Elainne Piper, Ringway Island Roads HR Business Partner, said, “It was great to see so many young people interested in a future in highways maintenance and its supporting roles. We look forward to welcoming a new crop of apprentices in 2017.” MAY 2017



Apprentice success at NFU Mutual Apprenticeships are definitely the way forward at NFU Mutual in Newport. Rebecca Burt has officially joined the full-time team after starting work as an apprentice in May last year. Senior agent John Heather is now looking to recruit a second apprentice for the office. “Rebecca joined us an Apprentice Customer Support Adviser, as well as studying a BTec Level 3 in Business Administration,” John says. “Rebecca would spend one day per week at the Isle of Wight College, as well as having a range of course work to complete with the support of her tutor. In addition to this she had to complete the CII accredited training provided by NFU Mutual in order to advise customers on our products and services. “The Apprenticeship was scheduled to take 18 months, but I am delighted to say the Rebecca was signed off by the College at the beginning of April 2017, and has accepted a full time position within my business. It is testament to her hard work that she has completed her course and training in such a quick time, and it was a simple decision to offer her a full time position; so much so that I will be looking to undertake the process again in July.”

New hubs help commuters to drive less, see more Island cycle commuters are being given a boost

(STTY) programme from the Department for

with new cycle hubs in Cowes and Newport. The

Transport, the Cycle Hubs should help increase

Cowes Cycle Hub is located adjacent to Red

the use of the Cowes to Newport cycle track

Funnel’s Red Jet terminal and is fully enclosed,

and provide an integrated sustainable transport

incorporating dual-level storage for 72 road

experience for cyclists. Both Cycle Hubs can be

or mountain bikes. For security, it has sensor

used free of charge although bikes left unused

controlled lighting and 24 hour CCTV and a

for extended periods will be removed.

universal repair stand. A similar Cycle Hub is being built in Newport near the Riverside Centre and will be officially unveiled at the Riverfest event on 13th May.

Murray Carter, Red Funnel customer services director said: “The new Cycle Hubs will

Photo: Red Funnel’s new Cowes Cycle Hub was officially opened on Monday 3 April by customer service director, Murray Carter and project manager Keith Wright.

provide modern, purpose built facilities for anyone cycling to or from work or using their

to explore Newport or Cowes (or travel to

Supported by the Isle of Wight Council through

bike for leisure purposes. Both Cycle Hubs

Southampton) and leave their bikes in a secure

its current Sustainable Travel Transition Year

are conveniently located for visitors who want


TV funding win for West Wight sport West Wight Sports & Community Centre has been named winner in the ITV Meridian People’s Project and has been awarded £42,180 for their Creating Opportunities in Our Kitchen project. “The money will enable us to provide training and work experience opportunities in our café,” says Clare Griffin, Centre Manager. “The project will focus on helping people with learning disabilities, mental and physical health issues, young people and those who need support in returning to work. Thank you to the amazing Isle of Wight community who got behind us. It has been an incredible two week campaign with so many people showing support for us. It’s has been a truly inspiring experience and another milestone in our unique history.”





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MAY 2017



Cybercrime hits big UK businesses One in five businesses have fallen victim to cyberattacks in the last year according to a new survey by the British Chambers of Commerce. New data shows that big businesses are far more likely than their smaller counterparts to be victims of attacks, with 42% of respondents employing more than 100 staff, compared to 18% of respondents with fewer than 99 employees. The BCC survey also finds that 21% of businesses believe the threat of cyber-crime is preventing their company from growing, with only a quarter of businesses having cyber security accreditations in place. On a local level Island businesses are being urged to contact Hampshire Constabulary’s newly

created Cyber Protect team for help and advice. The new unit focuses on supporting vulnerable groups including SMEs, other businesses and organisations, and preventing them from becoming victims of cyber-dependent crime. “It’s not complicated. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are many simple things you can do,” says Cyber Protect’s Lucy Dibdin. “Our message is that it is really important that all staff from the chief executive down are aware of the risks and vulnerabilities, and equally importantly, the simple practical things they can do to combat them.”

LEP fund drives investment in Solent area The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has opened a new £12.5m fund to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth in the area. The LEP is seeking employer-led capital proposals that address skills issues in the Solent area, which will be considered alongside key infrastructure projects unable to secure funding through the recent Solent Growth Deal. Applicants to the new fund will be able to apply for funding to cover up to 70% of the initial costs of a project which will unlock wider private sector investment in the area.

“This new fund is an exciting opportunity for the Solent LEP to unlock more than £68m of additional investment,” says Anne-Marie Mountifield, Solent LEP Chief Executive. “This could represent a truly transformational opportunity. However, our ability to do this will depend on us securing strong proposals from potential investment partners. We are really keen to see additional proposals come forward that focus on delivering the skilled workforce our businesses need to ensure the Solent economy can compete on an international stage in the years ahead.”

All the best to WightFibre’s Pete Pete Collinge, well known to many across the Island as WightFibre’s Sales Director is set to retire after a career in telecoms spanning over four decades. Pete hands over the role to Hayley Turner, who has worked closely with Pete for the past two years as Business Sales Exec. “Pete has made a tremendous contribution to WightFibre, delivering the phenomenal sales growth we have enjoyed over the last few years,” says John Irvine, WightFibre’s CEO. “His charm and wit will be missed by both ourselves and our customers. We wish Pete a long and happy


retirement. At WightFibre we also take great pride in recruiting only from the island so it is great to be able to promote Hayley from within for this role. ” Pete first worked for WightFibre in the 2000s and re-joined in 2013. Pete has played a major part in WightFibre’s recent success which has seen the company grow by over 40% in the last few years to see the company now serve nearly 6,000 homes and businesses across the Island through its own fibre optic cable network.



Your lottery is getting even bigger

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Lottery now welcomes players from the south coast The Isle of Wight Lottery is now the Hampshire

Lucky the cat and we’ll still be giving away more

great place for new ideas and can help not just

and Isle of Wight Lottery, reflecting the success

than 500 prizes every year. The lottery will still

itself but neighbouring areas too.

and growth of the only Isle of Wight lottery that

continue to fund Island good causes too, with

supports local jobs and employment. The Isle

Isle of Wight players supporting employment

Since relaunching the prize structure at the start

of Wight Lottery has been run by the Isle of

on the Isle of Wight. The difference is that

of the year we’ve never given away so many

Wight Chamber of Commerce since 2002 and

we’re now taking the success of the lottery to

prizes. It’s a very exciting time for the Hampshire

has created or sustained thousands of Island

the mainland and players in Southampton,

and Isle of Wight Lottery.”

jobs with interest free loans. We now welcome

Portsmouth and the south will be able to play

players from the south coast to join in the fun –


and it’s still only £1 a week to play.

There’s never been a better time to play the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Lottery – with a

“We were approached to extend the lottery into

£1,000 prize and ten £100 prizes given away

“It’s still the same lottery that you’ve always

Hampshire to help in the same way as we have

on Lucky Friday. Look out for the £10k Monster

known,” says the Chamber’s Chief Executive

the Isle of Wight. Money raised through the

Draw and our £5k mini-monsters too.

Kevin Smith. “The Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Island stays on the Island whilst money raised in

Lottery’s home is still on the Island and the

Hampshire will assist areas in Hampshire. This

For full details go to

prizes are still exactly the same. You’ll still see

clearly demonstrates that the Isle of Wight is a

VisitEngland win for Monkey Haven Monkey Haven has been named Small Visitor

had, we’ve been able to continually expand

Attraction of the Year at VisitEngland’s annual

and evolve and care for growing numbers

Awards for Excellence. The prestigious

of creatures in crisis, from monkeys who’ve

awards, now in their 28th year, celebrate those

been smuggled through customs to meerkats

businesses and individuals who continuously

who’ve been victims of the cruel pet trade.

raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.

Thank you to everyone who has made this

Monkey Haven founder Don Walser, who attended the ceremony with his daughter Kelly Wickes, said: “We are amazed and delighted! This award means so much to

MAY 2017

possible – our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, and every single person who’s visited us or supported us in any other way. This award is for you all.”

us. Six years ago, when we set up a primate

The awards ceremony, hosted by Sue Perkins,

rescue centre on the Isle of Wight, everyone

took place at the Hilton Waldorf in London

thought we were crackers. Now we’re the best

and welcomed 67 finalists selected from

small attraction in the country. We’re a small

almost 600 applications, the highest number

charity but thanks to the support that we’ve

ever received.



Events Chamber

Thursday 18 May 2017, 9.30am – 4.00pm

FREE One-Day Business Start Up Course IW Chamber Of Commerce, Mill Court Business Centre, Newport

Thursday 25 May 2017, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Evening event at The West Bay Club, Yarmouth Buffet dining and evening networking at The West Bay Club in Yarmouth. £7.50 per person

Friday 2 June 2017, 7.30am – 9.00am

Business Breakfast Haven Hall, Shanklin This month our networking breakfast is at Haven Hall, an exclusive private facility in Shanklin. A selection of breakfast food will be available served buffet style. £7.00 per person

Friday 16 June 2017, 6pm-8pm

Isle of Wight Feast Of Food The Garlic Farm, Newchurch IW Chamber members are invited to celebrate the launch of Jo Richardson’s new book “Feast Of Food and Drink” with a foodiethemed networking evening, including the chance to taste and sample Isle of Wight produce as well as buy signed copies of the book (see more on page 20). If you’re a food producer you are welcome to showcase your products with a free stand at this informal evening. Reserve your place via the Chamber website and if you’d like to book a stand please email

Tuesday 20 June 2017, 12pm to 2pm

Embedded Capital Allowances Explained IW Chamber, Mill Court Business Centre, Newport FREE This seminar hosted by Mark Gale of StartWrite shows how the recent finance act of 2012 influences the purchase of commercial property in today’s market. We explain how these changes have reinforced the benefits of the current owners and moved certain responsibilities away from your accountant to the conveyancing solicitor. For solicitors we will also discuss how to complete section 32 of the CPSE.

Thursday 22 June 2017, 9.30am – 4.00pm

FREE One-Day Business Start Up Course IW Chamber Of Commerce, Mill Court Business Centre, Newport

Friday 7 July 2017, 7.30am – 9.00am

Business Breakfast Royal London Yacht Club, Cowes

Monday 31 July 2017

Cowes Week Lunch Once again hosted by Solent Events in the VIP hospitality suite in Cowes Yacht Haven.

£6 for local produce buffet

Please Book! Please book your place using our on-line booking system. Please don’t come along to our breakfast events without a confirmed booking.




MAY 2017



TJohn heGiddings, Interview Isle of Wight Festival Next month the Isle of Wight Festival will return to Seaclose Park for the sixteenth time. Organiser John Giddings was interviewed by Island Business editor Tom Stroud at the recent Visit Isle of Wight Tourism Conference. What part does the Isle of Wight location play in the success of the event?

really dragged the Island into the twenty first century and enhanced the brand world-wide.

The Isle of Wight is a hidden treasure of England. People in London often still think it’s hard to get here and it’s actually the easiest place to get to. The Island is a holiday destination and it puts people in a unique frame of mind when they get here. It has a unique microclimate and with 74 days of the festival we’ve only had two or three really bad days of wet weather. Lots of people have memories of building sandcastles here as kids and I think the festival

I think the festival is a big promo for the Isle of Wight. The Island itself is a major selling point for the Isle of Wight Festival. There are a million and one things to do here, from Osborne House to Carisbrooke Castle. You can walk into Newport town in 10 minutes. We’re not in the middle of nowhere and the location of the event is part of its attraction. We should have people dressed as Charles the First or Queen Victoria walking through the crowd to talk about the Island’s heritage…




Who is the Isle of Wight Festival for? Do you have a demographic in mind? I grew up in the sixties and the golden age of rock and roll. You need a combo of music that appeals to 15 year olds and 50 year olds, with past present and future. Getting a band for the future is harder and it’s a bit of a gamble. I try and appeal to everyone. Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones will appeal to older people, Foo Fighters and Coldplay are what I call mid-range and Little Mix and Zara Larsson are for young people. You need an eclectic mix and entertaining experience.

It’s not a cheap hobby. It’s a huge gamble and you need people to support you in every which way possible to make it happen. John Giddings, Isle of Wight Festival

Will the festival always be here? The festival will happen for as long as people keep coming and as long as I can afford to keep running it. It costs me £10million to put it on. What nobody realises is that if you sell 50,000 tickets at £200 each, £2million goes to the VAT man before you start. People don’t understand how much groups or production costs. We pay a million pound on security

and police alone. It’s not a cheap hobby. It’s a huge gamble and you need people to support you in every which way possible to make it happen. If everybody helps then it will keep happening, but I can’t tell you it will still be here in 20 years time because it needs the support of the local community and people to buy tickets.

I was in a taxi in Ryde the other day and the driver told me that the festival was like four New Year’s Eve’s for him. I thought ‘well, I don’t get any of your money’. We supposedly bring £10million to the local economy and I think that’s fantastic. Two thirds of people camp on-site but a third will stay in hotels and B&Bs and that brings the community to life. We can do things on this island that we couldn’t do in central London. People will help us to make things happen easily.

What can you do to support businesses who have a quiet weekend when the festival is on? We’ll do as much as possible as long as it doesn’t cost me more money. We did those gigs at Osborne House and believe you me they didn’t make money. You get 8,000 people and it’s not enough money to pay for Tom Jones or Girls Aloud or Westlife to perfom there. We thought about running a bus trip around the Island to see the site of the original festival and I built a statue of Jimi Hendrix at Dimbola Lodge because I thought it would drag people to the West Wight as a tourist attraction. Someone needs to come up with the ideas to help the audience – I can’t do it all myself. I do understand the concept. Anything that’s good for the Island is good for us, and vice versa. I really, really love coming here and I own a place here. I appreciate everyone’s support. I love all the feedback. I’m not perfect. Everyone has good ideas, please tell me yours. MAY 2017



Leasing Commercial Property Negotiating a new commercial lease: getting advice on a considerable commitment By Rebecca Cardy, Roach Pittis Moving premises is often a positive, yet daunting, stepping stone for an expanding business and finding the right commercial premises can lay the foundations for a business’s future success. Leasing commercial property may afford a business reduced capital outlay when compared to purchasing, but without a complete understanding of the obligations and liabilities attached to taking a lease, businesses can often find themselves with unexpected costs and ongoing liabilities far beyond that which they first anticipated. Due to the diversity of modern business, every commercial lease should be specifically tailored to the needs of the business and this should be reflected by the terms negotiated between Landlord and Tenant. It is imperative that businesses seek early legal advice in order to maximise the opportunity to agree commercially favourable terms. How long will the lease be granted for? The period of time for which the lease is granted for (the “term”) can vary depending on the nature of the letting and requirements of both Landlord and Tenant. A Tenant should consider their business plan when agreeing the term of a lease and decide whether they need to retain flexibility by committing to a shorter lease term. What sums will the Tenant be required to pay under the lease?

Is the Tenant able to use the property as the business requires? A lease will limit the use of a property to a specified purpose and it will be for the Tenant to check that the use complies with any planning consent. A solicitor will be able to conduct searches of the Local Authority in order to establish what use the property has permission for. Will the Tenant benefit from security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954?

As well as the payment of annual rent, it is imperative to understand what other sums the Tenant will be obliged to pay during the lease and also when these payments will be due. Usually additional payments will include all utilities, rates and taxes connected to the property, as well as the cost of insuring the property.

Protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 allows a Tenant to stay in the property beyond the expiry of the lease, affording a Tenant long term security of their business premises. This protection can be complex and, when planning for the future, it is important that a business fully appreciates whether this protection applies and how it operates.

The business may also be required to pay a service charge to the Landlord to cover a share in the cost of maintaining the building or the estate of which the property forms a part. The Tenant should be clear on what is included in the service charge, the estimated levels of expenditure and also how your charge is calculated; perhaps the Landlord will be agreeable to “cap” the service charge at a maximum level that the business could afford to pay.

Will the Tenant have the option to end the lease early?

How far will the Tenant’s repairing obligations extend?

It can be helpful for a business to know that they have the option to end or “break” the lease before the end of the term. Landlords usually set strict preconditions to breaking the lease and the break clause should be drafted to allow a business maximum flexibility. Is the Tenant required to give the Landlord additional security, such as a personal guarantee or rent deposit?

Liability for repairs can quickly become onerous; a Tenant can often be obliged to put the property in a good condition, even if it is not to that standard when the lease is entered into. Additionally the property can often extend beyond the interior of a building and include items that are costly to repair, such as the roof and exterior.

Landlords often demand security for the performance of the Tenant’s obligations under the lease and will not proceed without some form of security in place. Whilst a rent deposit can tie up capital for long periods, the alternative, personal guarantees, puts a Director’s home and other personal assets at risk and therefore should not be taken lightly.

I would suggest that a business seeks to limit their repairing liability wherever possible and negotiate that the property does not need to be kept or returned to the Landlord in any better condition than when it was first acquired.

Rebecca Cardy studied Law at Kingston University and completed her legal training at the College of Law, Guildford. Rebecca joined Roach Pittis in January 2017 as a member of the Commercial Department, specialising in all aspects of Commercial Property.



Get down to business with the Isle of Wight Studio School With a unique curriculum designed to prepare 14-19 year olds for the 21st century, the Isle of Wight Studio School links closely with local industry and commerce to ensure students gain academic qualifications, learn key employability skills through real life experiences and have  Academicand GCSEs and A placements. relevant meaningful  Level 2 & 3 vocational pathways to suit

Anevery effective learner.route for apprenticeships, further education and university.

Tour and information eveningsThursday 4th May & Thursday 25th May 2017 Call today to book your place on a tour and information evening MAY 2017 Families welcome

What could you achieve?

01983 284299





LANDMARK ATTRACTION How an icon of Island tourism continues to invest and grow – as well as regenerating Sandham Grounds

Say “Isle of Wight” to many people and one of the first snapshots that will come to mind is of the three chalk stacks at the westernmost point of the Island. The Needles rocks aren’t just an iconic image – they’re also a hub for leisure activity and in 2017 they’re still a huge draw for visiting holidaymakers. It’s estimated that half of all the Island’s tourists each year will take a look, as part of a visit to the Needles Landmark Attraction. The park has its roots in its Victorian past but it is moving with the times, with investments of hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent years. “I think that with all of our investment in the last decade, the Needles as an attraction is national level and national quality. You can pick this attraction up now and put it anywhere in Europe and it will do well.” That’s the view of general manager Marino Zanti, who knows more about the park than most. He’s been working here for more than 25 years. The attraction has been owned by Heritage Great Britain since 1999, where it sits as part of a portfolio that also includes John O'Groats, Land's End, Lightwater Valley


and Snowdon Mountain Railway. The Needles pulls in around 430,000 visitors during the tourist season and in excess of half a million each year. “2016 was a very good year,” Marino says, “particularly considering what has been happening on the high street and with the changing value of the pound. Spends were very good here and we have continued to invest.” In 2015 the park opened a 4D cinema experience, a traditional fairground carousel and a shop showcasing Isle of

Wight produce. That £350,000 investment was followed last year by a further £100,000 spent in the sweet factory and the restaurant, which has been completely overhauled and renamed in tribute to Guglielmo Marconi’s pioneering radio work. The attraction plans to honour the Italian engineer’s achievement with a special event during the summer. That occasion will be just one part of a long list of reasons to visit the park, including the Magic In The Skies August fireworks which provide the biggest attendances of the year. “They are long, fantastic days,” Marino says, when almost 150 people will be working on site, many of whom will still be employed in January. “We’re extending the season longer than ever but I’m really trying to get rid of the whole idea of ‘the season’. By the time we finish the October half term we’re preparing for the Christmas grotto. We carry on and we still get coaches in January and February. The restaurant, the glass factory, the sweet factory and the retail outlets don’t shut. The only thing that doesn’t operate is the ice cream kiosk…” The numbers are big. Marino estimates that half of the Island’s tourists visit the park each year. It’s not just a visitor attraction either as one third of the annual audience will be Islanders. Like all attractions, the challenge for Marino’s THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


team is to continue to draw visitors back, year after year. “You have to invest to keep things fresh and we’re working 52 weeks a year. Quality and value for money are hugely important. Maintenance is a huge cost for this site and we invest in our staff and their training. We purchase their uniforms and pay for their bus passes. We have in house trainers providing full inductions to deliver top quality customer care. People definitely expect quality and the industry needs to raise its game. The people who shut up shop and go away to Tenerife for the winter and then expect to put their A-boards out end up complaining about why they don’t have visitors. They aren’t going to be here for much longer.”

Evolving the Island’s tourism offering is firmly on the agenda right now. The Heritage Great Britain team are also working together with Sandown Town Council, to take on and develop the Sandham Grounds site. “We’ll develop it as tastefully as we have the Needles,” Marino says. “It’s a 48 year lease so it is definitely a partnership with Sandown Town Council. It needs developing. That end of Sandown town has fallen miles behind Shanklin and Ryde. The Bandstand Restaurant has already set a standard and with the Wight City site being redeveloped we’ll see a big change in the area. “For Sandham Gardens our vision is to develop the area including the addition of beach huts from the Bandstand down to the lake, in keeping with the 1920s

and 30s feel. We want to zone the area and bring in pop-up shops and kiosks. Really nice adventure golf facilities will be key. We might bring in a few rides but it won’t be a theme park. We will be looking for partners, including bringing in quality brands. We’re going to offer the attraction to local businesses and entrepreneurs first and if they’re not interested then we can bring in other people with a clear conscience. We will continue to work closely with the council, the planning department and of course the public and local business community on further developing this project.” At The Needles Landmark Attraction it will be business as usual this year, building on their continual investment. “The park is Victorian and we’ll be sticking to that,” Marino says. “It’s a large site but the commercial aspect is relatively small. We’ve toned down our branding and our new green and white colours and logos are everywhere.” No longer simply the Needles Park or – whisper it – The Needles Pleasure Park – the site was rebranded last year and that new name is here to stay too. “I was always jealous of Land’s End Landmark Attraction’,” Marino laughs. “We’re an iconic landmark, we’ve got the battery, the rocks and the world famous coloured sands so that’s why we changed it to The Needles Landmark Attraction. It was my idea and we’re sticking to it.”

MAY 2017



NOTES TO SELF Gail Willows Into The Blue Gail Willows is MD of Cowes based marketing, PR and sport sponsorship agency Into The Blue. Gail has worked in PR and marketing since leaving university and joined Into The Blue in 2009, working with original founder and owner Jo Grindley. Today Gail heads up a team of 15 staff and has experience working with clients including Volvo, Land Rover BAR, Hugo Boss ATR, Spinlock and MHI Vestas.

so going for a sail after work, or taking the kids to the beach does force me to switch off a bit! At weekends I volunteer teaching kids to sail when I can. That is one of the most rewarding things I do, so it’s a good way to switch off. Plus it’s so loud from the kids having fun I can hardly think straight!

Is the Isle of Wight a different place to do business?

What was your first job?

Yes. I lived and worked on the mainland before so I know the many

I worked in Blacks outdoor in Guildford. As a team we were all

can walk to work and enjoy a better work-life balance, rather than

into rock climbing so it was awesome and I loved it even though

commuting two hours a day. The Island is also well connected for

I earned less than £3 per hour, which shows my age! I started working as soon as I was able to properly. Before that I used to

advantages of being here. The quality of life here is great so staff

our clients that are all over the UK.

wanted to earn my own money. When I was 17 I had saved up

If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?

enough money to go on a kayaking expedition to Canada and I

Don’t let your knock downs in life shape your future. Take those

do gardening and concreting driveways for cash-in-hand from neighbours. I’ve always been very independent, driven and

paid for it all myself. When I was at university I had three jobs to pay my way. I have never been a coaster.

moments, do everything you can to turn it around - prove people wrong if you have to.

What have you learned – about yourself and business? Running a business is exciting, every day is different – there is a huge amount of pressure and you can’t be the kind of person to take knock downs too easily. You need to be pretty robust. I often take the time to watch how others work in similar roles to me - the most successful leaders are those that appreciate their staff. My staff are Into the Blue, and our success is down to us as a team, not just me. I’ve also learnt that sometimes it is good to say no to an opportunity, if it doesn’t quite work for us.

Can you separate business and pleasure and switch off? I find it very hard to switch off - I’m not going to lie – it’s full on because I work in a client driven industry. If you want an easy life, don’t work in PR, marketing or events! But I do have a very capable team around me, so that makes life easier, and I think most bosses would say exactly the same. I live in a great place,




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STOREROOM2010 Storeroom2010 is a Cowes charity that provides skills-gap training and saves furniture from landfill. The team also picked up the Business In The Community trophy at the 2016 IW Chamber Awards. Tom Stroud pays them a visit “Storeroom2010 is all about second chances, for furniture and for people, by giving them additional education,” says Wendy Miller. The business itself has also had a second start, moving to become an independent charity seven years ago. The clue is in the title. Originally a project of the Real World Trust, Storeroom took on a new life when Wendy gave up her job to join her husband Nick to manage the new charity. Nick had already been working on the project since 2000. Today Storeroom is much more than just a furniture reuse charity. It also provides essential skills-gap education as well as volunteer opportunities, community placements and work experience to those seeking a route to employment. “The money we raise stays here on the Island, improving lives for Island people, investing in their future prospects,” Nick says. “The Isle of Wight suffers disproportionally with high unemployment and child poverty and our work enables disadvantaged families to affordably furnish their homes, improve their quality of life and keep their dignity.”

Storeroom is based at 1 Mariners Way in Cowes. It’s been here since 2013 and now employs 8 people, including two part time staff. The team also includes up to 20 volunteers who may offer anywhere between a couple of hours to three days each week. Every day is a busy day for the team, which begins with co-ordinating the van collections and deliveries. From 10am it’s all about selling furniture that might have gone to landfill, often to those in need. More than 50 different agencies refer people to the Storeroom, allowing them to receive additional discounts. “Our volunteers are a great mix of people,” Wendy says. “Most volunteers are people that are on benefits. Others won’t ever work again because they are retired or have a disability. The older volunteers help the younger ones and give them guidance and help them through difficulties in their everyday life. It’s like a family here.” That family grew in 2013 when educational coordinator Sue Wendes joined the team. Sue has 20 years of experience, specialising

in hard to reach and vulnerable clients. She negotiates training with employers and possible employment opportunities. Storeroom offers skills-gap training to unemployed people in areas that include construction, carpentry, plumbing, tiling and painting. The list will soon include brickwork and horticulture. Work based qualifications in Health and Safety, food hygiene and First Aid are also available. In 2016 Storeroom Education saw 221 learners aged over 18. “We help people to progress to the next step, whether that’s employment, or providing a social, community based environment where people can learn,” Sue explains. “We provide an environment that people are happy to come to. Most of my clients would struggle in mainstream education. It’s about the way we do it, as well as what we do.” Storeroom has been significantly funded by Solent Community Grant this year, as well as support from providers including Island Roads, Wight Aid and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Fund. “We do want to be able to sustain ourselves,” manager Nick Miller says. “We want to grow and develop and we have to pay our own




Storeroom 2010’s educational coordinator Sue Wendes (left), manager Nick Miller and administrator Wendy Miller

way. It’s a business, not just a way of helping people in need, and we’ve all become retailers now. Increasing our turnover helps us secure education for the long term.” Last year the team assisted with the re-use of 174,360 kilos of furniture. That’s the equivalent of shifting 5,588 average armchairs and the capacity of their sizable building every three months.

“When I left school I was really mixed up. I wanted to work but I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to do. There’s a lot of young people that need focus and to find something that they are good at and to work towards a goal. I’m really passionate about that because I was one of those kids myself.” It’s a time to celebrate but there’s still a lot

more to be done and that means more hard work, as Sue explains. “It can be quite draining. Our whole existence is based on people giving us permission to be here really. We are constantly fighting to make sure that the infrastructure is there to support other people. People don’t always see that initially but we love it and it’s a passion.”

“There’s a lot of furniture that has been saved from landfill and given a second life,” Wendy says. “It’s also helping people who can’t afford to buy new and who need something affordable, with low cost delivery, often the next day. It’s an invaluable service and nobody else offers the variety that we do." Earlier this year the team received another helping hand, from TV’s Fred Dinenage who agreed to be their patron after learning about Storeroom when he presented them with the Business In The Community Award at the Chamber’s Business Awards in December. The team are also looking forward to celebrating their seventh anniversary with an open day later this year. It’s validation for the team and for Nick it’s a very personal success. MAY 2017




Island author Jo Richardson’s new cookbook isn’t just a great gift – it’s also a celebration of the quality and diversity of local produce and the creativity of those who produce and sell it, and a way of promoting the whole ‘artisanal Island’ experience. “Having decamped from London to the Island 15 years ago, working as a freelance cookery editor-cum-writer, I became increasingly impressed by the wealth of ingredients right on my doorstep,” Jo explains, “many of them attracting Great Taste Awards and other accolades. And while leading Island brands such as The Garlic Farm, The Tomato Stall, Minghella and The Isle of Wight Cheese Co. were well established on the national food map, with Ben Brown’s asparagus famously gracing the top-most table in the land, there were many more premium Island products to enjoy across every category of food and drink imaginable. “Naturally, fab fish and crustaceans were to be had from the likes of Captain Stan’s and Ventnor Fishery Haven, but then I discovered the fisher folk with smokehouses, Phillips of Northwood/Cowes and J & B Fisheries of Freshwater, and John Day at Delysia Farm near St Helens busy smoking up not just fish but game and local cheese. Talking of dairy, I had forgotten what real cream tastes like until I sampled Briddlesford’s Guernsey ambrosia; similarly, Calbourne Classics full-flavoured yogurt was a revelation, as was The Green Barn’s mild and creamy soft goats’ cheese. “I began to appreciate other ways in which the Island’s favourable geology and climate in the hands of skilled producers, many drawing on a rich family heritage, resulted in top-notch grub: superior-tasting and textured grass-

fed lamb and beef, such as that of Cheverton and Mottistone Manor farms; free-range pork, poultry and eggs from Brownrigg; sweetcorn and speciality veg from A E Brown Farms, Living Larder and Quarr Abbey; luscious cherries and apricots from Godshill Orchards; wine and cider from Rosemary and Adgestone Vineyards and Godshill Cider Company. Yet another seam yielded further treasures, including Wild Island’s marinades and PINK’S pestos; The Island Bakers breads and CFO Foods’ shortbread; Tipsy Wight’s flavoured vodka and three breweries’ worth of craft beer. “I suddenly saw a way of bringing the threads of this amazing story of creative enterprise together – in a book of recipes showcasing Island produce across the range; my own brand of crowd-pleasing-with-a-twist cooking, hedonist and yet healthy, for self-catering visitors and locals alike. At the same time, I was eager to capture the quintessential landscape and lifestyle of the Island – the qualities that as an outsider I had fallen for. So I hatched the idea of presenting a series of scenarios – informal eating events staged at atmospheric Island locations through the course of a year. I also wanted to emphasize the fact that there was much fun to be had sourcing the products through the variety of retail experiences on offer, from farm shops and markets to veg box schemes and quirky wayside vendors – hence the inclusion of a comprehensive directory of producers, retailers and foodie events like the County Show and the Garlic Festival. “This ambitious plan required an accomplished, and fearless, local photographer – Ben Wood to the rescue. Then it needed weaving together poetically on the page – enter Style of Wight and its design flair. And finally there was the matter of orchestrating the printing, distribution and marketing of the book. Fortunate, then, to be married to a professional publisher, who has created Foreland Books for this purpose. “And so, having begun our journey in the tea garden at Quarr under a mellowing autumn sun in 2015 with our harvest supper, the vision has become reality, but not without the supporting cast of friends, retailers and producers. Which seems to me reflects how the Island works at its best, with its strong underlying structure of interconnections and spirit of mutual cooperation.” The Isle of Wight Feast of Food is available at and all good booksellers and other retail outlets Islandwide, plus Island foodie events.




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Working together for the Visitor Economy By Visit Isle of Wight’s Chairman Simon Dabell

With April showers remarkably absent from the Easter holidays, and with school holidays staggered across the whole month, tourism across the UK has been buoyant. The Island has also seen a welcome lift in visitor numbers and continues to outperform many of its mainland counterparts.

This means that every September, tourism businesses contribute an annual fee to a marketing fund which Visit Isle of Wight uses to maximise mainland awareness of the Island as a holiday destination. This annual income also helps to leverage extra funds from other marketing partners.

The principle of a scheme where everyone involved in tourism on the Isle of Wight would contribute an annual investment based on the size of their business, to help fund quality marketing campaigns to keep the Island as a popular holiday destination, has been discussed on a number of occasions for many years. In 2015, the idea of a Business Improvement District was considered and after lengthy consultation, was successfully introduced in September 2016 for a five year term.

The WIGHTBID’s first year campaigns have included:The ISLE OF LIGHT (launched in September), focusing on the last light of summer, longer warmer evenings, illuminations, fireworks, candlelit dining, indoor attractions and outdoor pursuits. Social media, radio, press and digital advertising were used to attract couples and families to the Island for the October to early November period. I LOVE WIGHT (launched last December) portrayed the Island as a romantic getaway before Easter, focusing on February and March and highlighting romantic places to stay, intimate dining, luxury breaks & the fresh outdoors. Press trips, press advertising, social media & digital advertising were all used to attract couples for early season breaks. RETURN TO ADVENTURE ISLAND (launched in March) is the major spring and summer campaign, aimed at families & friends, positioning the


Island as a place of many adventures, and highlighting quality time together. Outdoor posters, including billboards in London and Birmingham, print, press & editorial, radio, bloggers, digital advertising and of course social media are all being used to attract holiday visitors between Easter and the summer school holidays. WELLNESS BREAKS (launched this month) will focus on encouraging people to visit the Island to feel better in mind, body and spirit. It includes Isle Walk 2017, yoga retreats, spa breaks, spiritual escapes, cultural courses, therapies, healthy eating, physical activities (including IW Festival of Running) and relaxing breaks. Gardens will also be included in the lead up to the Wight in Bloom competition. Marketing will include digital, press trips, packages, competitions, social media, editorial features and advertising. FESTIVAL OF THE SEA, now in its third year, will highlight maritime attractions, food and drink, live entertainment as well as focus on the major sailing events such as the Round the Island Race. Work is well under way on other campaigns which will be working hard for the Island as we enter Year two of the WIGHTBID. These include ISLE OF WIGHT LITERARY HEROES,




go to, our industry

The Visit Isle of Wight board meets


gateway, and click on the marketing tab

four or five times a year, usually in the

OF LIGHT 2017.

at the top of the page.

Guildhall in Newport. Meetings last

All this work is developed and

Visit Isle of Wight is also working hard

considered by the enthusiastic expertise

to support all EVENTS & FESTIVALS

of levy payers who have joined the BID marketing panel and kindly provide their time to make sure the Campaigns work for the Island’s visitor economy.

between 2 and 3 hours. We welcome applications from across the tourism and hospitality industry. You just need to be

but wants to give extra attention to

a WIGHTBID levy payer & sign up as a

promoting those key ‘shoulder-period’

Company Member, to stand for election

events which have the potential to

to one of the 12 available board seats.

attract larger numbers of off-Island

Board directors do not receive any

Although more than 93% of all

visitors during the coming years. The

remuneration for being board members.

WIGHTBID levy payers have paid their

BID Events panel has now been formed

2016/17 levy, only half have actually

and welcomes the help and advice from

taken up the free page on the official

people with event organising expertise.

If you think you have the relevant experience to offer (deadline 26th May 2017), then please contact Simon

tourist board website so far. If you haven’t created your free page yet

Nominations are now open for

Dabell, Chair of Visit Isle of Wight LTD

there’s still time to make sure you’re on

WIGHTBID levy payers to consider

to discuss your nomination and the role

this top ranking website (visited by more

standing as directors of Visit Isle of

of the Board. Contact

than 2.4million people a year) in time for

Wight Ltd and help to steer the future or telephone

spring bank holiday. To set up your page

strategy for the Island’s visitor economy.

Simon Dabell on 07760 614959

Project8:Layout 1

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START ME UP OVER 50S How 50 plus Islanders are learning to be their own boss The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce is supporting older people on the Island by providing help and advice on starting a business or being self-employed. Since 2015 The Chamber has been hosting monthly workshops and providing ongoing mentoring as part of the Age Friendly Island campaign, an exciting partnership funded by the National Lottery through the BIG Lottery Fund, making the Island a great place to grow old, while tackling social isolation. The Chamber’s Over 50s business mentors are engaging with people aged over 50 who are looking to go into business and be their own boss. Business advisors Fiona Grist and Lynda Draper are often helping older people who have been made redundant or who are at the early stages of retirement. More than 100 people have now attended the Start Me Up one-day business course as part of the programme and 36 new businesses have been created so far. “The majority of our clients have never been self-employed before and they’ve now reached that age where they want to do something for themselves, that they enjoy doing,” Fiona says. “Our job is to take a good idea and help people to sell it, whether it’s a service or product, and


make a bit of money out of it. Our conversations are often about how we turn a hobby into a business.” Fiona and Lynda provide one to one mentoring, often meeting clients at home. The mentors provide practical help as well as friendly support. “We help with all of the legal things, like information about insurance and registering with HMRC, but it’s also about being able to provide a bit of a nudge, encouraging our clients to plan ahead before we have our next meeting. We are there to listen to new ideas and to hopefully provide a bit of reassurance too.”

That reassurance is often crucial when it comes to helping a fledgling business idea. Restoring confidence or fighting self-doubt can be a big part of the journey to being your own boss. “Some of our clients have been through bullying or stress at work and might have retired early or taken redundancy, partly because of their experience. Starting again, and having the confidence to leave all of that behind, is very fulfilling. We watch our clients grow, from hesitancy to enjoying the process. Everyone moves at their own speed too.” Clients receive mentoring for up to three years.



There are regular monthly get-togethers too, where new relationships are formed. It’s a chance to swap notes and in some cases find a bit of work too. “We’ve mentored a bookkeeper, a web designer and a bike repair business, and they have all found customers within the programme. Our clients are forming their own friendship groups too. A couple of our clients claim to be recluses but they always attend the networking events which is brilliant. There’s a network of like-minded people now, who can share experiences as well as provide services to each other.”

Start Me Up: Top Tips From Lynda And Fiona Start with the Start Up Course It’s an essential primer for the next step. The workshop provides help and advice on marketing, market research, customer care, banking, tax, National Insurance, cash flow forecasts, business names, legal status and business insurance. Bookkeeping and tax returns can be a big worry for newly self-employed people so we’re putting on a whole day session covering bookkeeping and tax returns in June.

Have a great idea but be flexible Most people already have a great idea, because it’s based on something that they are good at and that they know about. We can help you to research and hone that idea. Be prepared to be adaptable though and respond to demand. You have to be able to sell your

MAY 2017

product, so it needs to be something that other people love as much as you do.

It can be hard work Like anything in life, the more effort you put in the more you will get out of it. The best businesses will spend lots of time getting themselves noticed and making the most of networking opportunities, as well as running the business.

Don’t be afraid Don’t be frightened of making a mistake. There is plenty of help available, particularly regarding things like bookkeeping, so don’t let that put you off. Be confident about asking for money too. Clients often say that they wonder whether they are good enough at what they do and feel uncomfortable about charging for their work. You have to value your worth and the skills that you have.





The IW Chamber’s Mini MBA: Learn more… The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce is offering you the chance to study for a Mini MBA qualification. Become a more effective and skilled professional in a much reduced timeframe, with modules covering people, performance, marketing, strategy and finance.

The Mini MBA runs over five full days, spread over a time period of up to six months. The programme is designed to work around you and your business. The programme is flexible to fit in with your own busy schedule. Each course module is held within the board and meeting rooms of leading Island based businesses, giving students a real-world perspective and learning environment. Students will not only receive a Mini MBA Graduation Certificate from the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce but importantly an industry recognised CPD Certification. To find out more, visit

This groundbreaking course from The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce sets out to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of fundamental management skills, through accelerated learning and a structured curriculum led by practical insights blended with conceptual managerial frameworks. Delivered by recognised experts in their field, this Mini MBA allows you to take away an enviable skillset that could otherwise take years to develop and is supported throughout by mentor support, workbooks and approved reading material.

MEMBER BENEFIT: Westfield Health IW Chamber members can get employee health cover from just £6.89 per month with Westfield Health The exclusive Chamber Primary Health Plan provides health cover that really works hard for you and your employees . It offers a valuable, low-cost employee benefit helping you to keep your workforce happy and healthy at work. When purchased alongside Westfield’s hospital treatment insurance, the plan provides a more comprehensive cover at a fraction of the cost of Private Medical Insurance. The plan can also be purchased as a standalone product.

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TALKING BUSINESS By Isle of Wight Chamber Chief Executive Kevin Smith

Two new Chamber schemes to help assist with your business growth and future aspirations This year is certainly proving to be interesting with another general election once around the corner. Once again the population of the UK is being asked to make important choices regarding the future of this country. Whatever the outcome of the vote, the country and the business community more than ever needs an element of stability and reassurance from our next government. This helps to build confidence within the business community to invest and employ more people. During these turbulent times the Isle of Wight Chamber continues to focus on business growth and to encourage and increase the amount of high value high skilled jobs that exist here on the Isle of Wight. To encourage this process the IW Chamber is launching two new schemes for the benefit of Chamber member businesses. The first is a new voluntary mentorship scheme whereby successful business men and women volunteer their valuable time to mentor other existing Island businesses who are in Chamber membership. I liken this to an extended business networking activity but with the participation of a business person who has extensive knowledge of running and managing a successful business, who is willing to volunteer their time to support existing and growing Island companies. Chamber

members looking to take advantage of the scheme will have access to a range of very experienced businessmen and women. We already have over 12 people prepared to give their time to support the scheme. The launch of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business mentor scheme will start, we anticipate, from the end of this month, with more information to follow. The second new initiative is an Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Angel Scheme; designed once again, exclusively for Isle of Wight Chamber members to access. This will be for Island companies who have been trading for over two years and who are interested in sourcing private equity finance, from a panel of business angels. Business proposals will be submitted online to the investment panel who will have the opportunity to review the business proposals and to decide whether they are interested in investing their own money into the growth and development of a wide range of Island companies.

and development which will have a positive impact on the growth and development of the Isle of Wight economy. The calibre of business mentors putting themselves forward to participate in both initiatives is very impressive indeed and I very much look forward to working with and supporting these inspiring business volunteers. So if you are one of our members looking for a bit of light touch business support, look out for the launch of the business mentor and business angel schemes which will help assist with your business growth and future aspirations.

Both of these two new initiatives, from the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, are free for Chamber members to access and to benefit from. The intention from the Chamber’s perspective is to encourage business growth


Island Business is the only dedicated business magazine for the Isle of Wight. With 30,000 readers it’s the voice of Island business. With more features and contributors the magazine continues to grow and with its high net worth readership it reaches the business decision makers on the Island. Keep up to date with what is happening on the Isle of Wight and the businesses that are based here. Advertising in Island Business is a cost effective way of raising your company profile, delivering your sales message and branding to a high value readership. There are discounts available for series bookings and if you are an IW Chamber member it delivers even more value for money. Find out more about our upcoming features, advertising, sponsorship opportunities and how we can raise your profile by calling 01983 554501.



MAY 2017


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