Island Business December 2021

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IW Chamber Awards 2022 open for entries WightFibre in the West Wight Levelling Up in East Cowes 4D Sports Christopher Scott IW Chamber’s AGM Wight Shipyard


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Island Business Magazine Published by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Editor Tom Stroud Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA Tel. 01983 520777 Designed & Printed by 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. Contains material sourced from responsibly managed forests, certified in accordance with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).


FOREWORD WELCOME TO OUR FINAL EDITION OF THE YEAR! In this issue of Island Business we’re taking a moment to reflect as well as look forward to the future. As we head towards the end of a year that has been difficult in many ways, we end 2021 with some sense of optimism. This year many businesses have seized on new opportunities; others have felt the confidence to do things that would have been unthinkable or even impossible last year. Now that the ability to network has returned, businesses are able to operate much more normally, and our news pages this month reflect a resurgence in activity. In this issue we mark four decades of MedTec Design; we also reflect investment in East Cowes, the presentation of a Queen’s

Award to Wight Shipyard and the next phase of WightFibre’s Gigabit Island project as they roll-out to the West Wight. You’ll also hear from Steven Holbrook, the CEO of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce as we close our year and get ready for 2022… a year in which we’ll be presenting the first IW Chamber Business Awards since late 2019. With new categories and a new season for the event, there’s a lot to look forward to. Enjoy your magazine and all the best to you and your business for 2022!





Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Please recycle this magazine







Property: A Unique Community Building Project


Levelling Up: A Bright New Future for East Cowes


Queens Award Presented to Wight Shipyard


IW Chamber Business Awards Return for 2022


WightFibre Crosses the River Yar


Medtec Design Services Hits the Big 40!


Kickstarting Careers for Young People


Isle of Wight Lottery Help 4D Sports to Grow


Chamber Membership Now Opens Even More Doors


IW Chamber AGM


Events & Training


New Members


IW Chamber President | John Allen CONTENTS


Wightlink goes greener with new ferry plans

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield with England’s first hybrid energy ferry Victoria of Wight

Wightlink is pledging to further reduce its carbon emissions significantly over the next decade. The ferry company already operates England’s first hybrid energy ship, Victoria of Wight. She entered service between Portsmouth and Fishbourne in 2018 and sails round-the-clock carrying passengers, cars and freight using a combination of conventional and battery power. Victoria of Wight’s carbon emissions are 20% lower than a dieselpowered ship. Now, Wightlink is drawing up specifications for its next new ferry on the route. Advances in sustainable technology mean it will be possible to commission a new ship that will use electric power from batteries to an even greater extent than at present by Victoria of Wight. Although there are still obstacles

to be overcome, Wightlink hopes that shore power can be used to charge batteries, enabling full electric operation to become a reality. It takes five years to draw up plans, seek tenders and build a new ferry for the busy Solent crossing. “Our aim is to operate England’s first all-electric ferry,” explains Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield. “We are working with our naval architects and technology companies to come up with the best solution to operate ferries with the lowest possible impact on the environment.” Since 2007, Wightlink has reduced its carbon footprint by 33%. Overall, the company has cut carbon emissions by 17% over the four years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Solent LEP supporting businesses to become Green The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is launching a new Sustainable Business Support Programme, looking at a range of ways to support local businesses not only to reduce their environmental impact, but also to save money. The Government-funded initiative is available for businesses in the Solent area and will provide tailored support from an expert sustainability advisor. SJ Hunt, Deputy Chair of the Solent

Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Chair of the Solent LEP’s Business Task Force says: “Our strategic goals for the region include supporting pioneering approaches to climate change adaptation and decarbonisation. This initiative offers advice on how businesses can combine compliance issues with energy efficient measures that conserve resources - helping them gain a competitive advantage, be better prepared to manage business risks, enhance access to capital and affordable insurance, and

grow their business and their reputation.” To support local businesses, the Solent LEP is also launching an online one stop shop - a Green & Sustainable Business Hub, where businesses can find a range of support, grants and relevant information. There are also links to the Government’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) Climate Commitment recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign.

Businesses urged to plant a tree for the Queen’s Jubilee Isle of Wight businesses are being encouraged to take part in the Queen’s Green Canopy, an initiative designed to mark the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. The Queen’s Green Canopy will create a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands in honour of The Queen’s service. The canopy will create a green legacy of its own, with every tree planted bringing benefits for people, wildlife and climate, now and for the future. Susie Sheldon, the Island’s Lord-Lieutenant, is asking Chamber members to “plant a tree for the jubilee”, with the emphasis on quality not quantity. The aim is to plant the right tree in the right place and at the right time. IFPL founder and newly appointed Deputy Lord-Lieutenant Geoff Underwood is getting behind the campaign by planting a Mulberry Tree. “Even though it is not an indigenous tree, we chose it because it’s a little different, and a really lovely tree that will look really nice in front of our building,” Geoff says. 2



Island Line re-opens with new trains and upgraded tracks Island Line users are seeing the benefits of a £26 million transformation of the railway’s trains, stations and infrastructure as part of South Western Railway’s Journey to Better. This project, which has been funded by the Department for Transport, Isle of Wight Council and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, has seen the retirement of the 1938 tube trains, which had served the Island since 1989.These trains have been replaced with the new Class 484 fleet, which are set to transform the customer experience, with upgraded interiors, wheelchair spaces and free WiFi.

IW Chamber Business Awards return for 2022

To complement the new trains, the Island’s rail infrastructure has been drastically improved, with upgraded tracks helping customers to enjoy a smoother ride and raised platforms set to improve accessibility.

Island businesses can once again enter for the Island’s most prestigious awards ceremony. The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Awards will be presented on Friday May 6th at Cowes Yacht Haven, sponsored by WightFibre.

“This investment totally transforms rail travel on the island, updating trains, stations for both resident and tourists,” said Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris. “With more punctual, comfortable and reliable services for both residents and tourists, this underlines our commitment to creating a railway that puts the priorities of passengers first, all part of our ambitious Plan for Rail.”

Entries open on December 1st for the awards, which will be presented for the first time since October 2019. The ceremony will feature some brand new categories, including the Entrepreneurship Award, along with the Made On The Isle of Wight Award which recognises homegrown success, as well as a Launched in 2021 Award which spotlights a newly launched product or brand. All entries must be received on-line by February 1st and the awards will reflect activity across the whole of 2021. The independent judging panel is drawn from experts based in the UK and abroad, ensuring impartiality and providing feedback for businesses that enter. Judging will begin in February and a shortlist will be published at the end of March when tickets will go on-sale.

Betapak goes electric Island business supplier Betapak is investing in a greener future. Working with Paul Thorley and the team at Vehicle Consulting Solent, Betapak has taken on its first electric vehicle in the shape of a new van, meaning customer deliveries will be kinder to the environment. “As a company we offer many eco-friendly, biodegradable & recyclable products for our customers,” Jon Carter, Betapak’s managing director explains. “We’re constantly evolving our environmental policy to deliver even more options for our customers. We’re thrilled to have taken the first step to transition from diesel vans to electric with this new addition to our fleet. We are now working on a program to fully transition from diesel to electric in the next three years.”

Mike Townsend (logistics Manager) Emma Pain (Sales Manager) Paul Thorley (Vehicle Consulting Solent) DECEMBER 2021

Paul Thorley from Vehicle Consulting adds: “It’s great to be able to supply a local business that delivers goods locally, who can now do so with zero tailpipe emissions. This Citroen e-Dispatch van is an easy to drive van that does the job it’s supposed to, but powered by battery rather than fuel, with the added benefit of zero tailpipe emissions and much lower running costs too.” NEWS


Wight BID extended for another five years

Aim for Net Zero with Solent LEP

Local businesses have voted to secure the future of Visit Isle of Wight by backing a second term of the Wight BID. Of the 1573 eligible business votes, 578 votes were cast, with a 36.8% turn-out. A majority of 323 YES votes beat 255 NO votes in the independent ballot, conducted by Civica Election Services on behalf of Isle of Wight Council.

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is launching a new Sustainable Business Support Programme, designed to help incorporate sustainability into your business strategy, and engage your workforce in its implementation.

“We are over the moon that businesses recognise and appreciate the work that Visit Isle of Wight has carried out on their behalf over the last 5 years,” says the organisation’s chair Ian Griffiths. “By working with local businesses, we have demonstrated that together we are stronger, and we look forward to developing closer ties with even more of the Island’s hard-working tourism-based firms. “This yes vote is confirmation that work of Visit Isle of Wight is valued, however we will not be resting on our laurels. We have been given a clear mandate to continue and we are already redoubling efforts to develop the work further, ensuring that the Island can continue to hold its place in the hearts and minds of potential visitors.”

It is essential for businesses to become more sustainable in order to grow and be competitive in the modern world. Business owners have an increasing awareness of how they can lower their carbon emissions, but many are not taking action, and relatively few are embedding sustainability into their business model. The programme will provide tailored support from a sustainability advisor who will work with you in building a Sustainability Action Plan for your business, including identifying key risk areas and mapping the actions required to overcome them. The support will be delivered virtually, on a one-toone basis. All small and medium sized business in the Solent region who are committed to lowering their carbon emissions are invited to start their Net Zero journey with the LEP.

Pop-up scheme for small businesses Pop-up businesses could make use of council-owned sites across the Island from Easter 2022. The council is looking to market some of its underused spaces or sites for small scale commercial/business opportunities on an annual basis. This would both generate income to reinvest in council services, support the local economy and encourage new business ventures. Cabinet lead for Regeneration, Business Development and Tourism, Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, said: “This scheme will showcase and support potential small business entrepreneurs we already have on the Island. It will also give small start-ups the opportunity to test the waters and see if outdoor-based business works for them. “The long-term aim would be to increase the number of projects across the Island to support small businesses, diversify local areas and engage local communities. It could cover a range of businesses from food concessions, fitness classes to outdoor pursuits or other ideas that would fit in with the location and really breathe new life into our towns, villages and open spaces, as well as strengthening our local economy.”







Grab a final copy of The Wight Book The Wight Book is set to become a collector’s item, with just a few copies left at time of writing. Published two years ago in a limited print run of 1000, the sumptuous large format hardback book supports Island charities, with proceeds going to WightAid. “The Wight Book celebrates our unique culture, history, our dazzling array of activities, our stunning environment, and our spirit for innovation,” says designer Brian Marriott. “While the Island is steeped in storied history, The Wight Book gives voice to the uncommon present-day place.

25 years at Roach Pittis for Sally

An island community of engaging people and limitless momentum, artfully revealed in the words of 22 leading figures who live and work here. Along with breathtaking images that are a testament to the Island’s perpetual vitality and natural allure, The Wight Book is an ideal Christmas gift. “The Wight Book has already donated many thousands to local charities, so it’s vital the last few books are SOLD by Christmas and local charities will get donations at the start of the New Year. Final copies are available at £50 for online purchases only, from”

Triple win for Vectis Radio

Sally Stone, Roach Pittis’ Financial Director is celebrating her quarter century with the legal firm. Sally is one of only two members of the team who have given over 20 years of service.

The Island’s community station Vectis Radio has been recognised with three trophies at the National Community Radio Awards. The non-profit Community Interest Company picked up two gold awards and one silver at the ceremony in Coventry.

“I joined in October 1996, fresh out of college, looking for a role that would challenge me,” Sally says. “I started off in a split role of administration and accounts, back when minimum wage had not been introduced. In November 2006 I took on the role of Accounts Manager and then in February 2010 I incorporated the Office Manager role into my already very busy position. When Roach Pittis incorporated in May 2019 I was offered the position of Finance Director, which was a real honour. I’m generally known to the staff as the woman with many hats! Accounts, Payroll, HR, Office, Plumber, IT go to, office idiot etc. You name it, I’ve probably got a hat! I won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Bring on the next 25 years, I’m ready for the challenge!” 6


The station won gold for Community Development Project of The Year, recognising their 4Ps Radio Training School. Station Manager Ian Mac said, “To get gold after gaining two bronze awards and a silver award in the previous three years was very emotional. To finally receive this award, on behalf of the youngsters involved, recognising the work we all do within our community, is off the chart. I am hoping this will generate more funds for the project.” Presenter Kelvin Currie received the gold award for Sage Person Of The Year and there was a Silver Innovation award for Short Breaks in Lockdown. Danielle Wharton from The Isle of Wight Council’s Children’s Services said: “This is fantastic news! It shows how hard you all worked through a really tough time to provide your activity remotely to ensure the young people had consistency in a time of such uncertainty.” THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT




New Gurnard office for Nancy and Paul The team at Vehicle Consulting Solent has grown, with new recruits and a new office in Gurnard. Nancy and Paul Thorley’s new location enables their team to have face-to-face consultations with both individuals and business owners, about any aspect of their vehicle or fleet requirements. The increased popularity and affordability of electric vehicles has seen Vehicle Consulting Solent grow with two new additions to the team. Yasmin, based locally in Cowes, will provide admin and sales support in the office. The business has also expanded into Portsmouth and Southampton, where Hanna heads up their operations as Business Development Manager. Nancy, MD, says “We are incredibly excited to have Hanna and Yasmin on board. They are already helping us with our growth and development, in addition to ensuring high standards of service for our clients. As the Island’s only independent specialist vehicle leasing and finance broker, with a strong focus on electric vehicles, Vehicle Consulting Solent can source any make and model of new car or van and provide finance options via our large panel of funders.”

Asa’s journey to technician at Esplanade

Go Taxi goes electric and relaunches App Go Taxi, the Island’s ride hailing app has launched a new category through which customers can now book an electric vehicle for their journeys over the festive period. Go Taxi has invested in four electric vehicles, marking a first step towards its commitment to zero-emission travel to anywhere on the Island. Co-Founder and Managing Director of Go Taxi, Kev Barton commented: “Our goal when we created our taxi booking app was to deliver a zero carbon, reliable and friendly service for all of our customers. Electric vehicles are the future – and will mean a smoother, more pleasant ride for our passengers as well as helping the island’s eco credentials.” The Go Taxi app allows users to see the nearest registered taxi and simply hail them from their smartphone, further features of the app include the facility to make bookings in advance, fare estimates, tracking of your trip and sharing your trip with friends and family.

Asa Hewison is now a fully qualified Volkswagen technician, five years after he joined Esplanade as a year 10 work placement student. Helping out on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings he was keen to learn about engines but was unsure about his career direction. His placement from the IOW Studio School in 2016 helped him to discover his passion for cars and once he had passed his GCSE’s Esplanade was pleased to offer him an apprenticeship based on dedication and enthusiasm.

The Go Taxi app is available for iOS and Android users. IW Chamber members can get 20% off their first trip, simply use Code IWCC when booking.

Asa’s apprenticeship at Esplanade saw him working, training, and learning 5 days a week on site with support from his colleagues. He also had the added benefit of taking home a modest salary. “Asa has worked hard to gain his certification and is now one of the youngest fully qualified Volkswagen technicians in the UK,” says Aftersales Manager, Matthew Williams. “He is a valued member of the team, and we hope he will continue to be so for many years to come.” Esplanade has been providing automotive sales and repair services on the Isle of Wight for 75 years and are now looking for their next apprentice technician! 8






Awards recognition for Yokogawa Marex

Software solutions company Yokogawa Marex is celebrating success at the recent South Coast Business Awards. The Cowes based business were nominated in the Service Excellence Award category. They didn’t win the category - edged out by the overall Business of the Year winner - but the Yokogawa team are proud of their achievement. Divisional Director Wayne Matthews said: “Staff have worked incredibly hard in supporting our global customers during these unprecedented times. Making it as

Business innovation showcased at seminar

finalists in the service excellence awards is a great achievement and testament to the great work being done by the team”. It was Yokogawa Marex’s first entry into the mainland awards which recognise business success across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. In the Service Excellence Award category, Yokogawa Marex were up against Silverlake Automotive Recycling, Chemotherapy Headwear and the winner The Mortgage Hut, who were also named overall business of the year.

Cutting edge techniques at Courtyard Clinic

From left, Heather Moore, aesthetic nurse specialist, Tracey Collins, therapist, Dr Hayley Elsmore, aesthetic director, and Hayley Pressley, client co-ordinator.

State-of-the-art technology, bespoke treatment plans and unrivalled patient care are the focus of The Courtyard Aesthetic Clinic at St Cross Business Park. The newly opened business offers a list of innovative treatments - some of which are completely new to the Island. The clinic’s founder Dr Hayley Elsmore says “I had a dream to create something really special and different for the Isle of Wight. We have created a wonderful space and it has enabled me to bring some really cutting-edge techniques and new technologies to the Island and we’re hoping our clients will enjoy them as much as we do.” Award-winning beauty journalist and founder of The Tweakments Guide Alice HartDavis was the special guest at an open day to launch the new business. Hayley has invested more than £250,000 in the clinic and her ambition has always been to create a clinic of the highest quality and standards for the Island. She has taken on two employees with others on a consultancy basis. Hayley has also worked with a whole host of Island businesses throughout the project, including Acorn Interiors who fitted out the clinic and TML Creative interior designers. 10


Island businesses including IFPL, Diametric, JR Zone and PC Consultants were profiled at Dale Howarth’s recent innovation seminar. More than 100 delegates from 58 businesses gathered at the Lakeside Park Hotel & Spa for ‘There’s always more toothpaste in the tube’, presented by business mentor and CPD accredited speaker Dale Howarth. Jonathan Thornton, managing director of PC Consultants and Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce welcomed the delegates, who also heard from Joe Newnham, operations director at Diametric, who shared insights into how the manufacturing business adapted to the pandemic. The session was sponsored by businesses including BrightBulb Design, Hillbans Pest Control, Island Tea & Coffee, Isle of Wight Jobs, Lifeline, NFU Mutual, PC Consultants, Premier Motors, Red Squirrel Property Shop, Top Mops and WightFibre. Dale comments: “It was great to see so many from across the islands business community attend my event. The feedback from my talk and the event as a whole has been amazing, with many now seeing innovation in a new light and motivated by the examples of island businesses that have achieved so much and overcome challenges during what has been a difficult time for many.”


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Island businesses install defibrillators Bluebells Café at Briddlesford Farm has a newly installed Defibrillator, thanks to the support of customers and a significant donation from Paul Gibbs in memory of his late wife Jo. They were assisted by Steve Read from Isle of Wight Defibrillators. “Paul and Jo were frequent visitors and he was keen to have Jo remembered at Briddlesford,” says manager Jules Hobbs. “After such a tough year this was a wonderful way to round off the season. Paul has very much become a friend to our business and to have a bit of Jo with us is an honour. We hope to never need to use this lifesaving piece of equipment but knowing it is there is fantastic.”

Pictured left to right Paul Gibbs, Jules Hobbs and Steve Read (Isle of Wight Defibrillators)

PC Consultants have also installed a Defibrillator at their premises at Ryde’s Enterprise Court, supported by nearby businesses Hillbans Pest Control and Airtek. Jonathan Thornton said: “First Aid training brings home the importance of those first few minutes in an emergency and having close access to a Defibrillator could help save a life. Steve Read from the charity kindly facilitated the purchasing, installing and training. It was a quick and simple process. We’re proud that this is the 19th unit the charity has supplied on the Island and it’s something well worth considering for your business if you can.”

Mince Pie Marathon returns Businesses are once again being urged to support Island charity the Wight Brainy Bunch this Christmas. Brightbulb Design’s Mince Pie Marathon returns for a third year, having already raised £10,000 so far to support Island families affected by brain tumours. This year the campaign is supported by PC Consultants as the headline sponsor.

PC Consultants’ Jonathan Thornton and Hillbans Pest Control’s Sandra Knowles

Spence Willard sponsor Freshwater Independent Lifeboat

“I’m so excited to see the Mince Pie Marathon return” said Matt Jeffery, Brightbulb’s CEO. “Every year we have stories to tell from the event. Last year we delivered mince pies at the top of scaffolding for builders whilst residents and businesses alike donated pies to carers and the hospital to say thankyou for all the great work that had been done over the course of the year. Many businesses donated their pies to the food banks and Salvation Army so that the joy could be spread even further. We had great doorstep conversations with Island residents who found the whole concept a fun break from the Covid doom and gloom that engulfed us.” Island estate agents Spence Willard are backing Freshwater Independent Lifeboat. As specialists in coastal properties it’s a natural fit for the business, whose Freshwater branch will be making a donation for every property they sell. Emma Bradley, head of marketing at Spence Willard says “We are delighted to support a great local charity that enhances the lives of our community. To date we have donated £500 and hope that we will donate much more during the coming years of our sponsorship agreement. Freshwater Independent Lifeboat do a wonderful job and host many fundraising events, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for ways in which you can support them whilst enjoying a fun day out!” 12



Act now to receive up to £4,000 to take on an Apprentice


Island business are being urged to make the most of extended government support for Apprenticeships. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that a bonus payment of £3,000, for every Apprentice that a business hires, will continue to be funded by the government until the end of January. “We welcome the additional support for training and the business community,” says HTP Apprenticeship College’s Principal and Chief Executive Rachael Randall. “As the economy continues to recover from the shock of the pandemic, employers can continue to benefit from a real boost. We know that Apprentices are great for businesses,

but with the extension of the £3,000 cash incentive, it means that many employers could receive up to £4,000 if they take on a new Apprentice. “I would encourage business owners to seize the opportunity on offer. The extended incentive is a welcome boost but it’s unlikely to continue beyond January. With the ending of the furlough scheme and a shortage of labour in many sectors, taking on an Apprentice can provide strong solutions for businesses needing staffing support. Employers really should act now. The extension of the scheme also allows for employers to receive the

RAT-tled: The Gnarly Facts about Rats By Sandra Knowles, Hillbans Pest Control Rats around your property can have a devastating impact on personal wellbeing and cause damage to your business! Rats are often found in homes and businesses where they will look for food, water and shelter. They will live in wall cavities, roof spaces or under floorboards. In gardens, rats will burrow under sheds or grassy banks. RATS: THE FACTS


HTP’s Rachael Randall

Rats can fit in the tiniest holes and gaps as their bodies are long and flexible.

Their teeth never stop growing, so they will gnaw to keep their teeth healthy. They can chew through almost any substance.

They are strong swimmers – over a mile at one time.

Rats are social – they will groom each other, sleep together and play.

Rats breed incredibly quickly. A female rat can

grant if they have employed staff after April 1st this year, who then go on to an Apprenticeship. It means recently recruited existing employees can join the programme, as well as new starters. “There’s no doubt that Apprenticeships are now fully recognised as a powerful route to real careers, backed by real qualifications,” Rachael says. “Hiring an Apprentice is a brilliant way of solving recruitment problems. Apprenticeships are also a great way of investing in existing staff, bridging the skills gap by providing them with top notch training, where the government pays 95% of the cost.”

have babies every three weeks, with a litter containing around 6-10 pups. These pups become sexually mature within 3-4 months. • Rats carry diseases and have been responsible for many outbreaks. SIGNS THAT RATS ARE PRESENT: • Faeces – their droppings are dark and pellet-shaped, resembling large grains of rice. • Gnawing marks on electrical cables, woodwork, plastic, brick and lead pipes, along with foodstuff. • Smear marks - they can leave a greasy residue on walls they rub against. • You may hear rodents scratching, gnawing and moving about. HOW TO PREVENT RATS: • Search property for potential entry points and under sheds, around pipes, windows and basements and seal them with wire wool. • Avoid feeding the birds – or use bird tables or feeder baskets to catch falling food • Ensure that drains covers are in good working condition and unused pipes are sealed. • Cover household waste bins, ensure they are sealed properly and are intact. Though there are several DIY rodent treatments and traps, you may find you need help from professionals. Hillbans Pest Control are experienced in treating all levels of infestations. Contact our friendly staff on 01983 406 999 or see our website at



PROPERTY A unique community building project Gunville’s Ash Lane development delivers a wide range of homes, backed by IW Chamber

Christopher Scott

In 2019 work began on a development of more than 50 new units, built as an extension to Gunville’s Ash Lane. The project brought together stakeholders including Newport Town Council, Vectis Housing, the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce and Isle of Wight College. At the end of 2021, sales have been completed for the cluster of new properties, which delivers an innovative mix of builds designed to support the local construction sector. “Ash Lane is something quite unique,” says property specialist Christopher Scott. “It’s a highly innovative mix of plots and properties, sold to small builders and self builders as well as 14 new affordable housing units for Vectis Housing which have recently been handed over. The new homes are coming to fruition and this kind of project is the first with this kind of mix anywhere in the south of England as far as we’re aware. It’s a real community building exercise.”

from projects like this. Nationally the average age of a builder is 52 and that’s seriously bad. If we’re not replacing our builders, we won’t be able to build anything.” Ash Lane’s professional and technical team were all Island based, including Rainey Petrie Architecture, Mayer Brown, ARC Consulting, Phil Salmon Planning Services, Sharon Packer Consulting and Treecare. Now that the Gunville development has been fully sold, the success of Ash Lane will inform a further project in Ryde. “We’re now on our fourth project with our bank and they totally get it. A lot of financial institutions find lending to people want to build their own house difficult. The Ash Lane development definitely unlocked funding to build homes that people would otherwise have struggled to access. “I see Ash Lane as part of a wider campaign to promote building homes for the people of the Isle of Wight. We want to continue to work with our small builders and support them to be even more ambitious, taking on more plots and becoming bigger developers. I think the Chamber should be proud that all this began as one of their initiatives.”

Christopher Scott acted to sell the plots at Ash Lane, working in partnership with Hose Rhodes Dickson, builders and developers Stoneham Construction and land owners GJL Ltd. The project began in 2012, with the support of the IW Chamber board and the Investment & Planning Group within the Chamber. “We wanted to create an opportunity for self-build individuals and to help kickstart the building industry on the Island by encouraging small builders to become developers in their own right,” Christopher says. “I’m very proud of what we’ve managed to achieve by working together. Ash Lane has generated work and opportunity for the construction sector and we’ve seen a lot of growth for self-employed builders, who now have the confidence to repeat their success here, except next time they’ll take on four plots instead of one. “We’ve also worked with the Isle of Wight College to create Apprenticeship opportunities, so it has been a real tale of growth. The industry definitely needs help 14




BACK TO The FUTURE! IT’S TIME TO LOOK FORWARD AGAIN. BE READY FOR THE NEW ERA WITH AN HTP APPRENTICE IN YOUR TEAM. There’s a renewed sense of optimism and confidence in the air, and businesses are making fresh plans. The world has certainly changed, bringing new challenges and new opportunities. Ensure your team is ready to look forward and take full advantage of that change.

+u p to

£4,000 EM PL O Y ER B O N U S!

There’s never been a better time to introduce Apprenticeships into your business. Prepare for your future by developing your team with industry recognised training or by taking on a new member of staff. The Government pays at least 95% of the cost, with no hidden fees and no catches. What’s more, if you start now you’ll receive an employer bonus of up to £4,000*.

With 21 years’ experience of working with Island businesses, our friendly and supportive team are hand-picked for their passion and their motivation to help others achieve. Our experts will work with you to find the perfect person to join your team. We’ll help with writing the job description, we’ll advertise the vacancy and we’ll shortlist candidates for you to review... it’s all part of the service. Talk to HTP Apprenticeship College today to find out how we can help you change the future for your business.

Call us now on 01983 533926 and get Apprenticeships working for your business.


3873 Island Business full-page for Dec 2021(1).indd 1


*subject to eligibility criteria.


15/11/2021 10:17

LEVELLING UP JOBS, PROSPERITY AND A BETTER FUTURE FOR EAST COWES AND THE ISLAND East Cowes benefits from a £5.8 million government grant East Cowes Waterfront is to receive a boost of almost £6million, from the government’s Levelling Up fund. The funding package will support the creation of a new marine hub for the Island, protecting and growing jobs in the sector. The landmark Columbine building will benefit from improved facilities, a greater refit capacity for marine clients and the creation of a centre of excellence for the R&D, construction & servicing of the green energy boat sector. The funding will also support the renovation of the adjacent Victorian barracks for multi-purpose accommodation, to expand the marine skills training and education provided by UKSA. Improvements to the public realm at Albany Green will enhance the entrance to the historic East Cowes Esplanade.




Bob Seely MP talks to Tom Stroud “In the great scheme of things for government it’s not a huge amount of money. The six million pounds opens up a much bigger range of business for the shipyards in East Cowes, as well as the renovation of the Columbine building and the barracks. The refurb work is good for the town and its community and it will also drive employment in East Cowes, which then helps the businesses. “I raised the Island’s bid earlier this year in a parliamentary debate on the levelling up agenda and championed the bid in a series of meetings with ministers in Westminster. The Island was not in the first round of priority bids. I made it very clear that we needed this funding to invest in green shipbuilding and new jobs. We won the argument. “The Council and I worked together to secure these buildings. As soon as that wretched previous bad deal for the Island fell through, we made sure we got a better one, buying at a price we could afford. I absolutely kicked off with government and I said to various officials ‘this is going to be on your head if it falls through’. We secured the Columbine building for shipbuilding and Wight Shipyard and the companies associated with it will now be able to take on more ambitious projects. They’re going to be able to lift 240 tons of ship with a new crane, which is really important for building as well as refit. They can offer more services, employ more people and build up their business, which is really exciting, for the Island and for young people who want those jobs in shipbuilding. “The money and investment will happen quickly, because it has to. The crane should be in by next spring and the work on the Columbine building is on the same timescale so by next summer you’ll see big improvements. The more work we can get there, keeping the Medina waterfront as a site to employ people, especially in shipbuilding, is an important thing for us. “It’s a really good project for East Cowes, for businesses and it’s going to help prosperity. it’s not just for sandwich makers at lunch times but it’s going to be for restaurants and hospitality and bigger businesses. I really hope this is the start of a bright new future for East Cowes. I know we’ve got to sort out the Floating Bridge and I wish the council well in doing that. How do you solve a problem like the Floating Bridge? To be honest I don’t know because I think it’s an arbitration. I don’t yet understand if the problem is with the Floating Bridge or if the problem is, as some people suggest, with the breakwater which has changed tides and had a significant impact. I don’t know.”


Queens Award presented to

WIGHT SHIPYARD The East Cowes shipbuilder has been formally presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade, recognising export success and competing effectively on the international stage Shipbuilding on the Isle of Wight has received a profile-raising boost with the presentation to Wight Shipyard of the highly prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade. It’s a rare honour and Wight Shipyard joins a highly regarded list of Island businesses that have earned recognition for their success in the global marketplace. The ceremony took place at the thriving shipyard in East Cowes, presented by Mrs Susie Sheldon JP, Her Majesty’s LordLieutenant of the Isle of Wight. The trophy was received by Peter Morton, Chief Executive of Wight Shipyard. “We are delighted to accept this prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category on behalf of everyone at the yard who are very much part of the re-birth of the British shipbuilding industry. We set out to stem the tide of orders going to overseas yards and to capitalise on the local skills that we are fortunate to have on the Isle of Wight.” The award particularly recognised their outstanding short-term growth in the export market, an achievement which has made Wight Shipyard Co into Europe’s leading high-speed craft and aluminium ship builder. The business was set up in 2010 after the restoration of a classic gentleman’s motor cruiser for Sir Charles Dunstone, one of the country’s leading entrepreneurs and whose family office is the main backer of the yard.

Following the successful completion of that project, discussions began with the owners of Red Funnel about the construction of the new Red Jet fleet of fast catamarans servicing the Isle of Wight. Red Jet 6 and 7 were ordered and built and the two craft continue to be serviced at the yard. Orders quickly followed for two Thames Clippers, with the yard proving its capabilities in high-tech aluminium construction. The biggest success so far has been in competing effectively internationally with overseas yards. Exports to date include two 450 passenger ferries for Mexico, a 40-metre vessel for Austria and four vessels for Malta. Half of Wight Shipyard’s revenue has come from export over the last five years. Wight Shipyard has recently signed an order for two more high speed ferries and two 24 metre aluminium explorer vessels, alongside building and delivering a hybrid wind farm support vessel capable of significant speed advantages and considerable fuel savings. “We have the strongest pipeline of work since inception, and things look set to go from strength to strength,” Peter Morton says. “What I am particularly proud about is the team that we have assembled and our commitment to apprenticeships across all trades in the shipbuilding industry means that we have a bright future operating at the cutting edge of aluminium construction and carbon reduction. The skills we are fostering mean that we can compete on the international stage as well as domestically and we very much hope that this award will propel our case for building the new Border Force vessels.” The Wight Shipyard Co. has a firm commitment to utilising island suppliers wherever possible, supporting in excess of 100 local companies of varying sizes. The shipbuilder is one of 205 organisations nationally that have been recognised in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.




IW Chamber Business Awards return for 2022 Sponsored by WightFibre The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2022 will be presented at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday 6th May. Entries open on 1st December for the Island’s most prestigious awards ceremony, sponsored by WightFibre. The awards are being presented for the first time since 2019. “We’re thrilled to be once again looking forward to the biggest night of the year for the business community,” says IW Chamber Chief Executive Steven Holbrook. “It’s a real opportunity to bring people together to celebrate success, in what has been an unprecedented and difficult time for us all. In the last year businesses have evolved, shown resilience and overcome all sorts of challenges as a result of the pandemic. We’ll be recognising those outstanding achievements at our awards ceremony on the 6th May.” The IW Chamber’s Business Awards are judged by impartial experts, drawn from across the UK and the world. Businesses will be assessed objectively and judged wholly on their submission. Any Island based business can enter; they don’t need to be members of the Isle of Wight Chamber. Entries will reflect activity and success in the 2021 calendar year. “I would recommend that every Island business enters for an IW Chamber Business Award,” says Steven Holbrook. “The process makes a business look at themselves from a distance – to analyse the things they do well, which can often highlight areas for potential growth too. Their awards entry will spotlight the things they are particularly proud of, as well as considering the wider perspective, which is good for planning, structure and development. The process in itself has real value - it’s definitely not just about winning on the night. Winning is the cherry on the cake for a select few but everyone who engages in the process will get plenty out of it, including individual feedback from the expert judging panel. To be shortlisted for these hugely prestigious awards is a huge achievement.” This year’s category list includes a new Entrepreneurship Award, along with the Made On The Isle of Wight Award which recognises homegrown success, as well as a Launched in 2021 Award which spotlights a newly launched product or brand. The event hasn’t been held since October 2019 because of the pandemic. Bringing the ceremony back in 2022 presented an opportunity to reposition the awards night as a precursor to the summer, rather than at the end of the year. 18



“For the first time we’ll be holding the awards in the spring, with warm weather and much more daylight,” says Steven Holbrook. “Traditionally the event has been held in December or November, on quite a chilly evening! 2022 will be something of a transitional year, as we move away from the pandemic and start to do some new things on the night. We’re really laying the foundations for a new type of Chamber Awards night. It’s an exciting and very fresh take on our signature event, which is now firmly established in the early part of the year.”

“WightFibre is proud to be the overall sponsor of the 2022 IW Chamber Business Awards - this prestigious night does so much to celebrate the success of the IW Chamber and the Island’s business community. WightFibre are thrilled to be part of it”. John Irvine, WightFibre’s CEO

The categories in full:

Start Up Business of the Year

Sponsored by PC Consultants

Manufacturing and Export Business of the Year

Entrepreneurship Award

Sponsored by GKN

Sponsored by Liz Earle

Customer Service Award Sponsored by Hovertravel

Business in the Community Award

Sponsored by WightFibre

Workplace Health and Well-being Award Sponsored by BCM

Entries will open from WEDNESDAY 1ST DECEMBER and all entries must be submitted on-line by close of play on TUESDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2022. Judging will then take place and a shortlist will be published at the end of March. Enter online at:

Training and Development Award

Made on the Isle of Wight Award Sponsored by Red Funnel

Launched in 2021 Award Sponsored by IFPL

Growth Business of the Year Sponsored by WRS Systems

Micro Business of the Year Sponsored by Gurit

Small Business of the Year Sponsored by Wightlink

Sponsored by Hillbans Pest Control ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Environment and Sustainability Award

Sponsored by NFU Mutual

Technology and Innovation Award

Sponsored by Lifeline Alarms

Hospitality and Tourism Business of the Year

Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight


Also presented on the night:

IW Chamber Member of the Year

IW Chamber President’s Award

IW Chamber Business of the Year



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WightFibre crosses the River Yar: West Wight set for full-fibre broadband in 2022 New fibre optic cable across the River Yar will provide a second cable to Freshwater and Totland for resilience and reliability.

The WightFibre full-fibre Gigabit Island rollout continues at pace with full-fibre broadband service now available to over 30,000 homes and businesses on the Island. The latest milestone saw WightFibre lay a new fibre optic cable across the River Yar. This cable is part of a fibre optic ring around West Wight connecting Yarmouth, Freshwater, Totland and Brightstone to WightFibre’s new network. Following successful completion of the work to cross the river, work is due to commence in Freshwater and Yarmouth in the coming months. Laying this fibre, although only a short distance, has been a major undertaking. Care for the environment and the local natural habitats were a primary concern. Various permissions were required from private landowners, the Isle of Wight Council, the Maritime Management Organisation and Crown Estates. This included a public consultation period earlier this year. Close liaison with Natural England has ensured that work is being done outside of breeding and nesting times for wildlife and any


potential environmental impact mitigated. Yarmouth Harbour Commission provided invaluable advice and assistance.

2022 over 90% of homes in West Wight will be able to receive WightFibre fullfibre broadband”.

A number of environmental reports were required including a ‘Habitats Regulation Assessment’, a ‘Water Framework Directive Assessment’, and a ‘Flood Risk Assessment’. These were carried out by Island based environmental specialists ‘Eagle Eye Environmental Solutions’. The work was carried out by WightFibre and RS Divers, assisted by Verevo Nexus Fibre Solutions.

The deployment of a fibre optic ring around West Wight makes for a very resilient network design. A ring architecture means if the cable is broken by, for example, roadworks by other utilities, the network will continue to operate as a connection can still be made by going the other way around the ring. At fibre optic light speed the extra distance makes no difference to speed or performance of the broadband connection.

“WightFibre has made great progress in building the UK’s first Gigabit Island on the Isle of Wight, having already made full-fibre broadband available to over 30,000 premises,” says WightFibre’s Chief Executive Officer, John Irvine. “West Wight is often an after-thought in major infrastructure projects, but from the outset WightFibre have always planned to include West Wight in our rollout. “This short cable under the River Yar is a major component of our rollout so that we have two routes to West Wight. This will ensure we can provide the most reliable service possible. By the end of

The WightFibre Gigabit Island Project will see full-fibre broadband deployed to around 75,000 homes and business across the Island by 2023. The scale of this significant civil engineering project is reflected in figures that show how 500 Kilometers of trenches will be dug, containing 5 million meters of duct and 750 million meters of fibre-optic cable as this full-fibre, ultrafast and future-proof broadband network continues to roll out across the Island, including areas not previously served by WightFibre.





Not many businesses get to celebrate their fortieth birthday. When the business is based in the fast moving tech sector, it’s an even rarer achievement. MedTec Design Services was founded in 1981 and in this anniversary year, the team are marking their big occasion.

“MedTec has been providing engineering and design solutions for the Isle of Wight, South Coast, and in fact companies around the world,” explains co-director Daniel Carley. “For forty years MedTec has embraced changes in Technology and IT. The name MedTec derives from the proximity of the office to the River Medina and the technical nature of the service provided, hence MedTec.”

The East Cowes based design specialists are celebrating four decades of success

MedTec currently has 6 full-time members of staff, as well as a reliable supply of both Island and mainland UK based contractors to call upon when needed. Today the business is based in the RNLI Building on Clarence Road in East Cowes but the company was previously located on Samuel White’s Estate in Cowes. Back in 1981, MedTec was formed by original directors John Durrell and Peter Hodgson. Peter retired in 2013 and John gained a new business partner in Joe Kitney. In January 2017 John and Joe also retired, passing on the role of directors to three experienced employees, Daniel Carley, Andrew Durrell and Chris Hooper. With new directors came a new office and the team are keen to bring a fresh approach to MedTec, whilst ensuring the original company values remain. “We took the opportunity to take a new approach to how MedTec worked,” Dan explains. “We ventured into new engineering fields, predominantly renewables and implemented new strategies, which within the first year of the new leadership team allowed growth in terms of both financial return and headcount. “Our vision is to be the go-to design company boosting an exceptional reputation for engineering design, providing an outstanding, reliable, and professional service at any stage of the design process.” MedTec’s aim is to assist their clients with engineering solutions, to allow them to better manage their resources, save time, money and meet set deadlines on projects. They achieve this by providing qualified staff that have valuable experience in all sectors of engineering and have been trained on numerous software packages. MedTec has always sought to keep pace with technology and has made the transition from drawing board to computer, and 2D draughting to 3D modelling. MedTec now also offers a broader range of services utilising new technologies such as 3D printing, 3D Visualisation and Animation which complement their engineering design. The experienced design community have worked on numerous engineering and design projects across multiple sectors, from Designer Pianos to limb prosthetics, using the latest technologies and state-of-the-art software packages, supporting clients at all stages of the design process by offering turnkey solutions from concept to creation. “We can assist by defining problems, planning solutions, creating 3D models, testing, summarising, redesigning, marketing, and fabricating,” Dan says. “Our team pride themselves in offering a second-to-none service and the amount of repeat business we receive is testament to this. MedTec are proud of the level of customer service and attention we provide and will not close a project until the




client is completely satisfied, employing the ethos that we are only as good as our reputation!”

“Offering a full turnkey package has been extremely popular with our clients as it eliminates the need for an extended supply chain and allows for a sound understanding of the project in its entirety.” Dan Carley, MedTec Design Services


MedTec offer their services to many clients locally, as well as in the UK and internationally; be it for large corporate companies such as BAE or the RNLI, to sole traders with bespoke projects, inventors, and innovators. No client or project is too big or too small. The team has high standards and MedTec has been awarded ISO9001 certification and recognition from local authorities for quality in business. MedTec was also recognised at the 2019 IW Chamber Business Awards, with a nomination in the Manufacturing Business of The Year category. “Just being nominated along with IFPL and MHI Vestas was an achievement for us,” Dan says. “We’ve been IW Chamber members for 36 years, almost as long as we’ve been in business, and in recent years we’ve used the Chamber to help us connect with other businesses and raise our profile on the Island.” As 2021 comes to an end, MedTec Design Services is celebrating being nominated for the SME National Business Awards. The team are shortlisted in the Family Business of The Year category, which will be presented at Wembley Stadium in December. “We’re really looking forward to the future,” Dan says. “We’re investing in hiring graduates and taking on internships and placement students, with the aim of developing the skill set of a younger generation to support our design community, and with any luck continuing to provide engineering solutions for the next 40 years!”







Kickstarting careers for young people:

Nosy introduce ABC and G! “As a business, we were growing and looking to expand even further,” explains Nosy’s Matt Greg. “The Kickstart scheme allowed us to do just that with minimum risk involved. We submitted a video to the scheme that introduced the Nosy team and gave a brief taste of our working culture. It also highlighted some of the styles and examples of work that we produce in order so that prospective candidates knew what we were like and what we deliver. Using the Isle of Wight Chamber as our agent we were able to offer several vacancies to prospective candidates and out of the twenty people we interviewed Alex and Georgina really stood out.”

Island marketing specialists Nosy have grown their team thanks to the Kickstart scheme, in partnership with the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce. Alex BenbowCarter (ABC) and Georgina Selway (G) are Nosy’s newest recruits, initially placed via the government funded programme.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit. It helps employers by guaranteeing minimum wage payments for 25 hours a week for 6 months. The scheme effectively kick starts careers for young people by providing employers with security and the scope to develop new roles.

Know your ABC: Alex’s story Alex struggled to find work after university. His job was delayed by the pandemic and when lockdown hit, Alex didn’t qualify for furlough. He applied for Kickstarter and spoke to a work coach who shared his details with prospective employers. “The creative industry is difficult to get into at the best of times,” Alex says. “Nosy gave me the opportunity to work in digital and creative marketing, media, and video production, something that I really enjoy and have been studying and working towards for years. I find this incredibly rewarding. Added to that my skillset and experiences have soared. In the past seven or eight months, I have progressed incredibly. What I deliver now is the most professional work I’ve ever done and that’s been recognised by Matt and Nosy. I’m now employed by them, working in an industry that I love within a group and culture of like-minded, creative people.”

How G found Nosy: Georgina’s story Georgina graduated from university just before the pandemic hit. She lost her job as a barista and couldn’t find work in the design field. She applied for jobs but was turned down due to her lack of experience. She joined the Kickstart programme and joined the Nosy team.

Alex Benbow-Career

“The Kickstart scheme has been invaluable. It’s helped me to gain employment during difficult times in a field that I absolutely love. At Uni I’d only worked in a studio environment. I found myself surrounded by a whole team of designers, videographers, photographers, digital marketeers, developers, creatives, and account managers - this was proper working life! I’ve developed so much in such a short space of time. As well as my design work I’ve been responsible for certain projects, met with clients, and certainly become more robust and confident which has, in turn, resulted in me being taken on full time at Nosy.” Nosy is one of many Island businesses to have benefitted from Kickstarter, recruiting new staff with the support of government funding and the support of IW Chamber, who acted as the Kickstart Gateway.

Georgina Selway


“The Isle of Wight chamber has been highly proactive in its promotion of this scheme for local businesses,” Matt says. “Over the past six months, ABC and G have impacted the company in a hugely positive way, heading their own client projects and delivering outstanding work. Both have been offered and accepted positions at Nosy after completing the Kickstart scheme. I honestly can’t imagine Nosy without these two young people.” FEATURE




Mark Rooney runs 4D Sports, a community multi-activity sports club on Newport Quay, a short stroll from Jubilee Stores. He offers the only indoor roller disco skating arena on the Island, as well as Laser Tag, Close Quarter Combat simulations and Airsoft Combat. Mark has come a long way since 2018, when he received a £28,000 start up loan from the Isle of Wight Lottery.

“I wanted to get young people away from the Playstation and into real situations, having fun,” Mark says. “I wanted to run a community driven leisure centre, based around four dynamic sports, which is where the name 4D came from. I’d had experience of running community sports and I wanted to scale that and move into premises rather than hiring halls.”

Right: How it started…. Business mentor Fiona Grist, Mark Rooney, IW Chamber CEO Steven Holbrook and the IW Lottery’s Sharon Whiten visit the site in 2018 Below: Now with added rollerdisco! Mark’s new business is a hit, thanks to a £28,000 start-up loan from the Isle of Wight Lottery

Securing his building was key and the interest free loan from the Isle of Wight Lottery meant that Mark had the confidence to tackle a huge challenge, converting an unloved warehouse that had been abandoned for more than 15 years. “We put in a new roof and gutters, which had been removed, exposing the building to the elements. The whole first floor was missing and unsafe to stand on. The material and labour costs were huge, but we managed to get the building and the business ready to open in just 11 months. We opened on two floors, with a laser tag arena and a rifle range. It was a major achievement.” In August 2019 Mark’s new venue hosted a shooting competition which brought 200 international guests to the Island. 4D Sports tentatively opened its doors to customers for the first time a month later. In less than a year however, Mark’s hopes would be dashed as the pandemic hit and lockdown conditions made it impossible to operate. “I thought it was all over,” Mark says. “I had come so far but I thought I would have to do something else with the building. During the first pandemic I saw the resurgence in skating. We were running out of money but I didn’t want to give up. We diversified and the rifle range became a rollerskating rink.” Since 2018 Mark has been guided by business mentors at the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce through the Over 50s Start Me Up programme. Business advisor Fiona Grist helped him to shape his ideas and encouraged him to apply for the Isle of Wight Lottery loan which would prove crucial in getting his dreams off the ground. “I learnt so much from my mentors. Fiona was an invaluable guide. It took me 6 months to build up to getting my first loan and that process gave me the time and space to reflect on the job in hand. The Chamber’s CEO Steven Holbrook asked me to stress-test the business, which was new to me. Nobody knew it was going to be stress tested to 100% by the pandemic!” “The Lottery’s Sharon Whiten has been a huge support with all things financial. The Lottery loan gave me funding at a time when borrowing wasn’t easy and it’s interest free too. The loan has given me an amazing opportunity. Even during the pandemic, when times were tough, I knew that I was going to keep repaying my debt, because the money is now going to help somebody else. I am very proud of what I’ve achieved, regenerating the building and a new community spirit here. It’s life affirming. At 54 I’m making a difference.” The Isle of Wight Lottery creates and sustains Isle of Wight jobs, helping businesses to grow and develop. The lottery has loaned almost £1million to Island businesses since 2001, nurturing start-ups and supporting hundreds of jobs. Would your business benefit from an interest free loan? Find out more at





Element Housing:

A New Team on the Block Element Housing joined the Chamber when it was set up in 2020, knowing what the benefits of being part of the Chamber family are. Element Housing, with their office at East Quay, Wootton, was set up in August 2019 by founding directors Rodney Langer-Paget and Christopher Scott, and was then joined by Tom Punter in March 2020, at the start of the lockdown. This period brought in its challenges with construction working, availability of materials and estate agents closed down at the start. The Development of 33 units at Binstead has reflected what has happened during this period of construction continuing through a strong accent on team work, which Element continues to uphold, with the emerging result there has been a very strong demand for residential units within the 1st Phase of 14 units. The first phase is now complete. The vision behind the Company is to combine the talents of the founding directors into providing developments that are different from others in terms of location, house style, and the green and eco agenda. Rodney Langer-Paget was brought up on the Island and has wide experience within estate agency work in London, Home Counties and the Island. His responsibilities are dealing with the sale and legal processes, as well as purchasing

Over the last 18 months during Covid, the first phase of a prestigious development has been built out, fronting on to Ryde Golf Course in Binstead, which is being carried out by Element Housing, working in partnership with W H Brading & Son Ltd (Builders) and Crown Park, aided by Spence Willard of Bembridge as the selling agent.

and assisting in the planning process. Tom Punter joined the Company from Stoneham Construction where he had previously been a project manager, senior surveyor and estimator. Tom is from the Island and brings 22 years of extensive experience to the team in his role as Construction Director, responsible for bringing the right housing and costings in on time. Christopher Scott has been on the Island since 1984 and has been involved in many iconic developments across the Island. He has worked with the Chamber in getting the building campaign started some years ago, and the unique development at Ash Lane for self-build and small builders. Christopher has worked as a chartered surveyor, development consultant and as a developer. Element Housing hope to complete Phase 2 by Spring 2023, which encompasses detached family homes, affordable discounted housing for the elderly and key workers offering one, two and three bedroom accommodation. They have also signed options on the Island which will emerge over the coming years. These will be located in Ryde, Newport and West Wight. This would look to have around 250 units built in the next 5 years which will contribute well for

providing housing for different sections of the Island’s community. Element Housing’s relationship with W H Brading & Son Ltd and Crown Park is seen as a progressive way of working, with each company taking a pro-active role in the development from the very start. This ensures a seamless program of development encouraging apprenticeships, respecting and emerging health and safety standards of working in a way to be as Green as possible, taking into account the change of Building Regulations which will come into place in June 2023. Their mission statement is to recycle waste and contribute to the provision of new trees in their developments, and around the world. W H Brading & Son Ltd, based in Cowes, are providing a vital role in providing the right houses in the right location to the right construction standards. They proactively look at recycling and the encouragement of apprenticeships. It is hoped that there will be 4 apprentices working on Phase 2 over the coming 12 months. Element Housing remain very positive about the future having progressed through Covid in a positive way. The Company hopes to provide and promote good quality and well-designed developments that are unique, working with W H Brading & Son Ltd.

The team with Tom Punter, Rodney Langer-Paget, Christopher Scott, Teena and Alan Hibberd, Roger Hibberd and Josh Appell.




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CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP NOW OPENS EVEN MORE DOORS FOR OUR MEMBERS THROUGH A WIDER COLLABORATION WITH THE WIDER NETWORK Steven Holbrook, IW Chamber Chief Executive As we reach the end of 2021, how do things look for the business community?

lockdowns and we’ll be keeping the parts that worked well. Hybrid working and virtual meetings are so much more efficient in many ways, particularly in continuing to provide access to Bob Seely.

I think there’s a lot of optimism, tempered by an understandable uncertainty. We’re all taking one step at a time and the situation continues to evolve. Businesses are wanting to invest, without overly committing themselves in the event that things change again. We probably won’t go back to a full lockdown but there’s still a possibility that we might. We’re going to act as if we won’t, but businesses will still be limiting risk by ordering smaller stocks and limiting their capital expenditure. It’s a balance. A lot of businesses enjoyed a very good summer trade, followed by a good autumn, so they have been bringing in cash, which has fed the optimism.

We brought back our events slowly and in-line with guidance. We held a very successful Cowes Week Barbeque and then in September our Business Expo really felt like a corner had been turned. The feedback was nothing but positive, without a single voice of discontent. That was great and it showed people were appreciative of the effort we put in, in a difficult time. Everyone was so pleased to be back together, interacting, networking and making the human contact that business thrives on. On the Island a lot of these networks start off as business associations but they really become very close friendship groups. People do business with people that they like. A lot of that core business comes through the networks and the support which Chamber members provide each other.

How did the Chamber come back from the pandemic? 2021 has been a huge year for the Chamber. The Chamber worked hard with Bob Seely MP, the British Chambers of Commerce and the whole chamber network in terms of getting Island business concerns over to government and onto minister’s desks. The Chamber was the voice for Island business when they weren’t getting grants.

What are you looking forward to in 2022? I’m looking forward to getting back to normal as much as we can, but also being able to add in the things we’ve learned. We’re enjoying greater collaboration with the BCC and other Chambers, whether that’s through a geographical connection or shared interests. Chamber membership now opens even more doors for our members through a wider collaboration with the wider network. I’m also looking forward to bringing back the Chamber Awards in May and an even bigger Expo in September. At the end of 2019 we had ambitious plans for new initiatives which we were unable to launch because of the pandemic. We have lots of great projects that are currently on ice, waiting for a time when we can launch them properly, creating new fun opportunities as well as adding real value to membership. I’m very hopeful that 2022 is the year we can get moving again.

Without the Chamber network it would have been a very lonely and difficult place for a lot of businesses. People supported each other, which was really great to see. The things we did for the business community made a big difference and the Chamber team who were on the ground every day did an incredible job. We had to act very differently during the DECEMBER 2021




AGM 2021

The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting was held on Friday 8th October at the New Holmwood Hotel. The meeting was chaired by John Allen, President of the Isle of Wight Chamber. The Chamber’s Chief Executive Steven Holbrook reflected on a year that has been challenging for the business community, but which has seen the Chamber represent the voices of a wide range of sectors, at a national level, making Chamber membership even more powerful for Island businesses. The AGM formally approved changes to the Chamber Board. John Irvine of WightFibre was elected unopposed to serve a second 3-year term of office in the category General Business. Tracy Osborn of Quarr Abbey was elected to the board in the category of Tourism, Leisure & Retail. Rob Holgate of AJ Wells was elected unopposed to serve a second 3-year term of office in the category Manufacturing. Karen Lucas from Vikoma and Rob Stewart from Aluminium Marine both stood down from the board after completing their second 3-year term of office. Helen Farrant of Liz Earle Beauty company was elected to the board in the category Manufacturing. Sarah Chatwin of ERMC was elected to the board in the category Professional and Business Services.



Steve Porter was appointed for a further year as Chairman of the Chamber Board. John Allen announced Jonathan Thornton of PC Consultants as Vice President of the Chamber. The AGM also recognised long-standing members, with a Gold award presented to Island Hire Centre marking 35 years in membership. MedTec Design Services were also presented with their Gold award, representing 35 years of membership in 2020. Host venue the New Holmwood Hotel was presented with a Silver award to mark 20 years of membership. Bronze member certificates, marking 10 years of membership, were presented to D&S Carpets and Vic’s Stores (Londis).


35 years of Chamber membership for Martin Sturgess and the Island Hire Centre


Steve Porter, Chairman Steve Porter Transport Group Steven Holbrook, Chief Executive Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Daniel Carley from Medtec Design Services receives the Gold Award

John Allen, President Ventnor Self Catering Jonathan Thornton, Vice President PC Consultants Geoff Underwood, Past President IFPL Sarah Chatwin, Board Member ERMC

Julian Thomas from the New Holmwood Hotel receives the Silver Award

Alison Colley, Board Member Real Employment Law Advice Fran Collins, Board Member Red Funnel Helen Farrant, Board Member Liz Earle Beauty Company Keith Greenfield, Board Member Wightlink Ltd

Charles and Linda Brading from Vics Stores receive the Bronze Award

Rob Holgate, Board Member AJ Wells John Irvine, Board Member WightFibre Sandra Knowles, Board Member Hillbans Pest Control Mark Lee, Board Member Lifeline Alarm Systems Ltd

Ten years of membership for Stuart Dall from D&S Carpets

Tracy Osborn, Board Member Quarr Abbey Christopher Scott, Board Member Christopher Scott







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Island since 1861


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EVENTS & TRAINING Emergency First Aid at Work Course

Business Start Up Course

Delivered by Good Skills Training YMCA, Winchester House, Shanklin Wednesday 12th January 2022, 9am–5pm

Thursday 20th January 2022 IW Chamber Offices, Mill Court, Newport

£65 + VAT per person This one-day course is designed to give delegates the knowledge, skills and confidence to help those that have become unconscious, and those with minor injuries. The Emergency First Aid at Work Course also looks at the responsibilities of the Emergency First Aider. On successfully completing this course, attendees will be confident, safe, prompt and effective emergency first aider. You will be emailed a certificate after the course.

£5 per person admin fee. This course is available for non-members. We offer new businesses the opportunity to take their ideas from paper into practice. We offer a business seminar aimed at people who are starting a business. Get the tools you need to take your idea from the drawing board to the real world. This course is designed for those with a business idea through to those who have been in business for six months.

Fire Marshal Course. Delivered by Good Skills Training

Business Breakfast at Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club Friday 14th January 2022, 7.30am-9.30am

YMCA, Winchester House, Shanklin Thursday 3rd February 2022, 9am–12:30pm

£15 per person for Chamber Members and their guests.

£60 + VAT per person

Start the new year with a hot breakfast and the opportunity to network with other members.

This Fire Marshal Course, delivered by Good Skills Training is a half day course designed specifically for those who have been designated with the responsibilities of Fire Marshal or Fire Warden. The course will look at the legal responsibilities of both the company and the individual. By the end of this course learners will understand what their duties as a fire marshal are.

IW Chamber Meeting with Bob Seely MP Friday 21st January 2022, 12pm-1pm. Online

Business Breakfast at Seaview Hotel

Join us for our next members session with Bob Seely MP. This will be an interactive session allowing attendees to give feedback of your recent business experiences and what your business/industry needs moving forward. Spaces will be limited to ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak.

Friday 4th February 2022, 7.30am-9.30am

Hovertravel Showcase & Experience

Tea & Toast Networking

Thursday 27th January 2022, 9.30am-2pm Hovertravel, Ryde Hampshire and Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce are pleased to collaborate for this event with Hovertravel to showcase the brand-new facilities at Ryde, as well as offering networking, guest speakers and a unique Hovercraft trip experience.

£15 per person for Chamber Members and their guests. Join us for a delicious hot breakfast and the opportunity to network with other members.

at Caffe Isola, Newport Wednesday 16th February 2022, 7.30am-9am FREE for IW Chamber Members Meet members for informal networking in a great location. It’s free for IW Chamber Members to attend, with hot drinks and toast for everyone.

Book your place now!

Go to or Email DECEMBER 2021



Join the


Being a member of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce is a great business decision! Membership starts at less than £3 a week and entitles you to a huge range of business support, exclusive events and member discounts.

IW Chamber members have access to these four essential services:

ChamberHealth & Safety ChamberHR ChamberTax ChamberLegal

These services give you unlimited access to no less than five business advice lines and a website which features over 750 free downloadable template documents. Not only that but you are protected by £1,000,000 of legal expenses insurance which includes employment cover and tax enquiry cover.

All these services are included in your membership fee.

Don’t delay…join today!





The Antiquary

J&B Wholesale

The Beach Café

Ryde Town Council

Scott & Browns Hotel Ltd t/a Burlington Hotel

Seaview Art Gallery

Corefix Ltd

Sea View Yacht Club Ltd

Golden Hill Media

Umbrella Hub

Nicola Briggs Facebook: The Antiquary 07514 096455

Tracy & Martin Mowlam 01983 754257

Ajit Singh Pier Street, Sandown 01983 719505

Allan Bridges 01983 811105

Sarah Brown 01983 403702

Kieron Blamey 01983 884666

Imogen Brade 01983 613268

Ian Hornblow and Colin Smith 07710420900

Isle of Wight Construction Training Group Michelle Scott 01983300222

Linda Groves 01983 810480 / 07966 968 050 01983 810480

The Wellington Hotel 01983 856600

Want to join the Chamber? Call the team on 01983 520777 or online DECEMBER 2021



Reflection, reinvention and hopes for a proper Christmas as we close 2021


2021 has been something of a year. The year started with the news we could hardly have hoped for, scientists had developed and gained approval for not one but two vaccines for Covid-19, less than a year after identifying the virus. Better still they were much more effective than expected, which was lucky because the emerging alpha variant was far more virulent than the initial virus.

The year started with the news we could hardly have hoped for, scientists had developed and gained approval for not one but two vaccines for Covid-19, less than a year after identifying the virus. Better still they were much more effective than expected, which was lucky because the emerging alpha variant was far more virulent than the initial virus. Nevertheless the first half of the year was spent in various stages of lockdown as we waited while the most vulnerable got their two doses. Many people, me included, found this period harder than the first lockdown, as this time we knew what to expect and it dragged on. However we emerged in stages through till July. It was good that hospitality was able to get going again and most people could return to their work. However the last year and a bit had allowed people to reflect on where they were going and, not surprisingly, some decided that a bit of personal reinvention was in order, this quite quickly showed in imbalances in the workforce and widespread supply chain difficulties. It was another staycation summer and the number of tourists on the Island soared, providing a welcome boost to many businesses. It put strains on the hospitality sector who were short of staff so we probably didn’t benefit as well as we could, but still a very good summer. The increased popularity of the Isle of Wight for holidays, so far, is continuing. Certainly my November bookings were a long way better than normal and I’m already filling up for 2022, where I’d normally not start to get volume of bookings till between Christmas and New Year. It is crucial that Visit Isle of Wight work hard to make this become the annual norm, and it is good to see that the DBID, their main source of funding, has been renewed. Across the year we have become more conscious that climate change is no longer a concern for the future, it is already a reality on the Island. We will have to change the way we do things to cope with more extreme weather events. COP26 in Glasgow has been timely, and although it didn’t go as far as hoped, it did demonstrate the commitment of most nations to accelerate their response. After such a tough year we need to take stock and celebrate our business successes and I am pleased that our Business Awards are back next year with an evening which promises to be bigger and better than ever. The ceremony may not be till May, but now is the time to enter so we can truly celebrate the best of Island business. Finally, it looks like we will have a proper Christmas this year. It is a time for family, a time to relax and a time to put our cares aside for a few days. May I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas.




START 2022


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