Island Business May / June 2024

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IW Chamber Awards:

All the nominees

BCC DG Shevaun Haviland visits the Island

Liz Earle

LCM Systems

Go For Growth

Connected Wight

Business in a Biosphere

Expo 2024 Preview

MAY | JUNE 2024

Island Business Magazine


Jane Hadlow

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Unit S1, Branstone Business Park, Stockmans Close, Branstone, Isle of Wight. PO36 0EQ

Telephone: 01983 520777

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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.

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This month we’re bigger than ever, with more features and more Island businesses appearing within these pages.

If you check out our centre pages alone, you’ll find the names of more than 40 brilliant Island businesses, who are all nominated for this year’s IW Chamber Awards, which will be presented next month. Congratulations to all of our nominees. In this edition we also revisit Datum Electronics, current title holders of Business Of The Year. They reflect on a huge night for them in 2023 and another very strong year.

Our big interview this month breaks the mould. Shevaun Haviland is not an Island business person; she is however one of the most influential people in the UK economy,


and as the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce she provided a fascinating insight into the importance of the wider Chamber network, talking to members at our recent forum.

Elsewhere you’ll read more about the Go For Growth programme, Liz Earle, the Business Biosphere, Connected Wight and LCM Systems. We also look ahead to the Chamber’s Expo in July.

Definitely plenty to read, and that’s enough from me for now. Enjoy your magazine!.

isleofwightchamber @iwchamber
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Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce
TOM STROUD EDITOR TOM.STROUD@IWCHAMBER.CO.UK News BCC Director General’s Visit Go For Growth Datum Electronics IW Chamber Awards 2024 Expo is Back Business in a Biosphere Isle of Wight Lottery 02 10 14 16 21 26 28 30 28 BUSINESS IN A BIOSPHERE 16 DATUM ELECTRONICS To bring the Island business community together. Helping organisations of all sizes achieve more than they could alone. 32 35 37 38 40 44 Mission Zero Red Funnel Business Startup Courses Networking at Liz Earle Events New Members IW Chamber President CONTENTS MAY | JUNE 2024 1

2023 Green Impact Awards winners presented

The 2023 Green Impact Awards have been presented by the Isle of Wight Council, with a dozen Island businesses recognised for their commitment to sustainability. The ceremony held at Building 41 shone a spotlight on the remarkable strides made by businesses and individuals across the Island in fostering positive environmental change.

For the past year, Isle of Wight businesses have actively participated in the Green Impact program, a collaborative initiative offered by Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK). This program empowers organisations, universities, colleges, community institutions, and students’ unions nationwide to create more sustainable work environments.

This year, 12 Island businesses stood out for their commitment to sustainability, earning recognition across four award categories: platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. Their impactful efforts spanned various aspects of their work environments, including energy efficiency, waste reduction, biodiversity, and ethical procurement. Special awards were bestowed upon individuals and teams who demonstrated exceptional enthusiasm or carried out innovative actions.

“Witnessing the rich diversity of businesses at the awards and learning about their sustainability efforts was a privilege,” said Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, Cabinet member for economy, regeneration, culture and leisure. “Regardless of their size, any business can utilise the free tools provided by Green Impact to enhance their sustainability practices. It’s a straightforward and rewarding process. Remember, every small action we take contributes to a significant impact across the entire island. We encourage other local businesses to join the scheme and sign up for this initiative in 2024.”

The awards ceremony is one of the most widely anticipated events in the Green Impact calendar and celebrated the amazing efforts made by many individuals to green the Isle of Wight.

The Island businesses that achieved recognition are:


• Building 41

• Sandham Office Services

• Gurit (UK) Ltd

• Mitchell Evans LLP


• OnTheWight


• WightFibre

• NOSY Creative Agency

• Isle of Wight Council - County Hall & 46 Sea Street

• Visit Isle of Wight

• Wildheart Animal Sanctuary


• Vikoma International

• Nettlecombe Farm

If your organisation is interested in participating in the 2024 Green Impact Programme, you can register for free by visiting the Green Impact website. As part of your registration, you’ll also gain access to additional support to assist you on your own green journey.


IW Chamber Business Awards nominations revealed

More than 40 Island businesses will be celebrating their nomination for the Isle of Wight’s most prestigious awards. The IW Chamber Business Awards 2024, sponsored by WightFibre, will be presented at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday May 10th.

This year’s shortlist once again represents the best in Island business, with nominees of all sizes and sectors. “As always these awards are hugely competitive and hard fought,” says the Chamber’s Chief Executive Steven Holbrook. “The calibre of our nominees is fantastic. The feedback from the judges shows the high quality of the shortlist, covering a wide variety of industries, from well-established names to new businesses. It’s great to see new participants too, with some established names taking part for the first time. Massive congratulations to all of our nominees.”

The winners will be handed their statues by Shirley Robertson. The double Olympic gold medal winning sailor has been an Island resident for more than 20 years, and is a highly experienced international TV presenter and event host.

For the full list of nominations see page 11

IW Chamber’s Expo returns for 2024

Wednesday 10th July is set for the biggest day of the year for business networking on the Island. Ryde School is the venue once again for IW Chamber’s annual Expo event, sponsored by WightFibre.

Businesses of all sizes and sectors will be showcasing their products and services at the event, with exhibitor stands on sale now. Expo 2024 builds on the success of last year’s event, which saw Expo move to Ryde School for the first time. Expo is free to attend on the day and is a must for all Island business people. You don’t have to be a Chamber member.

For full details on Expo visit and see our feature on page 28.

Small business confidence highest since 2021

Moore UK’s Owner Managed Business Pulse Survey shows UK small businesses are shrugging off high interest rate anxiety to report the highest levels of confidence in their outlook since 2021’s lockdowns. 80% of those surveyed say they feel confident of meeting their profit targets for 2024 – with more than nine out of ten (91%) believing their profitability will increase.

“Small businesses clearly see light at the end of the interest rate tunnel,” says Sue Lucas, chair of Moore South. “Business owners are confident that 2024 is going to see a better economic landscape than 2023 and their businesses will see increased profits as a result. While optimism has risen, businesses haven’t lost sight of the challenges they face. They clearly believe profits

are going to improve, but that is only going to be achieved through rigorous cash flow management.”

41% of owner-managers also said that recruitment and retention challenges had caused the workloads of their existing staff to increase in the past year, and 26% reported it had caused them to miss their growth targets.

Meanwhile 44% of owner-managed businesses ‘definitely’ intend to use AI tools such as ChatGPT and Chatbots in their daily operations and a further 39% ‘possibly’ intend to. Only 17% reported no intention to make use of this technology.

NEWS MAY | JUNE 2024 3

Maritime Minister talks Net Zero with Wightlink

Wightlink welcomed Maritime Minister Lord Davies of Gower to its port in Portsmouth to discuss the company’s vision to reach net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible.

Wightlink already operates England’s first hybrid energy vehicle ferry, Victoria of Wight, which entered service in 2018. It uses both powerful batteries and conventional diesel generators as it sails between Portsmouth and Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight. The company is now ambitious to build all-electric ferries, with zero carbon emissions, once shore power can be supplied to recharge the batteries after every crossing.

“The Minister was interested to hear about our plans for the future of our fleet,” says Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield. “We are excited at the prospect of reaching net zero and are ready to commission new ferries once we are assured that electricity can be available at our ports. Wightlink is currently installing solar panels to generate power from sunshine and more EV charging points. It is also ramping up its recycling programme and reducing food miles.”

Diverse Marine partners with Hefring Marine to Launch new AI solution

Brightbulb shortlisted for

Cowes shipbuilder Diverse Marine has formed a strategic partnership with Icelandic technology company Hefring Marine. A new artificial intelligence solution integrated as a standard feature in all new vessels built at Medina Shipyard. The technology provides real-time decision support to the vessel master, enhancing operational efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and improving passenger safety.

The strategic alliance grants exclusivity for new offshore wind crew transfer vessels constructed in the United Kingdom. Diverse Marine is dedicated to collaborating closely with Hefring Marine to advance the IMAS technology and its outputs, ensuring they are precisely tailored to the unique demands of this industry sector.

Ben Colman, Director of Diverse Marine, stated: “Our partnership with Hefring Marine originated through our connections with SAFE Boats in the USA. After discussions in both the UK and the USA, we shaped the system to meet Diverse Marine’s specific needs for the offshore wind crew transfer vessel sector. With data now accessible on the shoreside dashboard, our technical and operational teams receive invaluable insights.”

national company culture award

The Mince Pie Marathon has seen Brightbulb recognised as a national finalist at the 2024 UK Company Culture Awards. The team has been nominated in the Best Charitable / Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative category. The Mince Pie Marathon was created four years ago by Brightbulb CEO Matt Jeffery and has since raised close to £25,000 for Island brain tumour charity the Wight Brainy Bunch.

The UK Company Culture Awards recognise organisations that nurture their workforce, reward their staff, and create an environment that proves everyone is valued. It celebrates workplaces that see their staff as people and strive to care for employee’s career development, mental health, and physical well-being.

“The Mince Pie Marathon is a big part of our company culture at Brightbulb,” said Head of Happiness, Fiona Jeffery. “The whole team enjoy getting behind it and promoting the event. It creates an incredible team bond and helps with our own CSR as a growing UK business.”

Maritime Minister Lord Davies of Gower and Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield discuss the future of shipping



Wight Pearl invests £200k in café relaunch

Isle of Wight Pearl’s popular Pearl Café is getting a new look this spring, with a £200,000 investment and a new menu. The family-owned business Isle of Wight Pearl has been a landmark destination on the Island for over 35 years, welcoming generations of locals and visitors to their showroom on the Military Road.

April saw the arrival of floor-to-ceiling windows with new cafe interiors and furniture set to arrive soon. They have launched a brand new menu reprising some of their iconic dishes such as Moules Marinière, Welsh Rarebit and cooked breakfasts.

“We have some exciting events coming for summer ’24,” says Lizzie Wade, showroom manager. “We have worked hard to bring local ingredients and food into the café – we are championing the culinary delights we have right here on the island as well as supporting local businesses. The café will continue to lead the way as an island ambassador for local food and drink supporting small-scale producers and offering a menu that has been carefully selected alongside gluten-free and vegetarian options.”

Snacks and Ladders wins IW Radio’s £15k prize

Isle of Wight Radio’s Pitch Perfect competition has been won by Newport café Snacks And Ladders. The prize will see the popular café receive a marketing and business support package worth in excess of £15,000. The winning business was chosen by judges Charlie Panayi (Red Squirrel), John Irvine (WightFibre), Jonathan Thornton (PC Consultants), Rachael Randall (HTP Apprenticeship College) and Dame Dianne Thompson. Snacks and Ladders, on Upper St James Street, beat stiff competition from Diamond Adventures, Emily’s Nails and Beauty, Keert CIC and Cotton & Leaf.

“It’s absolutely amazing and a bit of a game changer to win,” says Snacks and Ladders owner, Karen Longhurst. “We’ve got plans to go into businesses to provide team building exercises and mental health workshops. The judges were so accommodating and encouraging.”

Claire John, Managing Director at Isle of Wight Radio, added: “This is the first time Isle of Wight Radio has run a promotion of this kind. We had some amazing entries from a real variety of businesses. Congratulations to Karen and the team at Snacks and Ladders and to all the finalists who were so enthusiastic about their plans.”

Safe Gas IOW expands in second year

Shalfleet based gas maintenance firm Safe Gas IOW is growing, recruiting a new experienced domestic gas engineer to join their expanding team. Currently employing two engineers with a combined total of 54 years’ experience in the industry and an office manager, the firm has also just taken on an administrative assistant. Established in March 2023, the business is looking to move to new premises later this year.

“We work alongside Island suppliers ensuring that we are proactive to customer needs and have a 99% first time fix rate,” says managing director David Broome. “Our clients include several Island care and residential homes, doctor’s surgeries, tourism accommodation providers, public house groups, NACASA and Cosgrove & Drew whose clients include national food and drink chains on the Island. We also have in excess of 2,500 private customers. Safe Gas IOW is also the preferred emergency call-out provider for several insurance companies, making insurance callouts quicker due to being Island-based engineers. We also offer Legionella risk assessments and TR19 kitchen canopy and extraction system cleans including full certification for commercial kitchens.”


NEWS MAY | JUNE 2024 7
Safe Gas IOW’s David Broome, MD and  Reece Gardner, Senior Engineer.


The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce welcomed Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, for a packed day of visits and networking in April.

Shevaun Haviland is one of the most influential people in the British economy. As the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce she is in constant contact with the government, representing the wider views of Chambers from across the UK.

Shevaun recently spent the day on the Island, engaging with Island business leaders to hear their concerns and challenges in a rare and exclusive opportunity organised by the Isle of Wight Chamber. It’s the first time a BCC Director General has visited the Island.

Shevaun travelled to Ryde on Wightlink’s Fastcat where she was met by Wightlink CEO Keith Greenfield and Captain Sam Mitchell. Shevaun was given a tour of the bridge during her crossing.


On arrival at Ryde she was collected by the Chamber in a brand new Tesla, supplied for the day by Vehicle Consulting Solent. Her next stop was Ryde School, for a networking lunch with more than 40 Island businesses, followed by a Q and A forum hosted by presenter Tom Stroud.

In the afternoon Shevaun visited Isle of Wight Tomatoes in Arreton for a tour of the site with managing director Paul Thomas. Shevaun was also impressed by Branstone Business Park and the new Chamber offices, where she met with Christopher Scott and was presented with a copy of The Wight Book.

In the evening Shevaun stayed at the Hambrough in Ventnor and met with IW Chamber’s patrons.

Shevaun Haviland, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce. Shevaun Haviland visits Isle of Wight Tomatoes for a tour with managing director Paul Thomas Julian and Paul from Vehicle Consulting Solent with Shevaun Haviland and Steven Holbrook


What will you take away from your visit to the Island?

I’ve had a fantastic time. I’ve met so many inspiring people and been impressed by the spirit of innovation here. It’s been great to engage with so many business leaders and hear from them first hand about the challenges they face and the things that we can support them with. I spoke today about how their challenges, views and opinions are disseminated up through the Chamber here on the Island, to the British Chambers, where we work with government to make sure that voice is heard in Westminster. I’ll also leave the Island with my own copy of The Wight Book and some brilliant Isle of Wight tomatoes!

How important are days like today for you?

My days out visiting Chamber members are definitely the best bit of the job. It’s always fascinating to hear from business owners. They’re crucial for our work in terms of understanding what business needs in this country. The Chambers of Commerce are about ensuring that the UK is the best place to start, grow and invest in a business. We have a huge research programme that helps us have an evidence base when we’re building policy and ideas for government, but actually hearing stories direct from businesses that I can then use when I’m seeing ministers or talking to the media, those are the real golden nuggets. That’s what these sort of trips are about.

Shevaun Haviland speaks to Tom Stroud for Island Business Top: Tom Stroud chairs the exclusive Q and A with Chamber members Shevaun Haviland talks with IW Chamber members
“It’s great to be able to showcase the way we grow sustainably on the Island and to show Shevaun that the best tomatoes grown in the UK come from the Isle of Wight.”
Paul Thomas, Isle of Wight Tomatoes

Because I would imagine every Chamber is a bit different and maybe a Chamber on an island is a little bit different again. Today is the first Chamber I’ve been to on an island! Yes, the UK has a huge amount of different characteristics from place to place. I’ve been to Isle of Wight Tomatoes, hearing about the weather and the Island being one of the sunniest places in the country. They’re an incredibly successful business domestically and now they’re growing internationally, exporting abroad. Today we also heard from engineering companies and hospitality businesses too. It’s always a broad range of businesses, generally with similar issues. It was really interesting to hear the challenges from the members regarding recruitment, working patterns, immigration and exporting, which is in-line with a lot of what one hears around the country. The common thread wherever I go is also the same sort of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit amongst business owners.

What do businesses want from you and the BCC and ultimately the government?

The number one issue for businesses generally is people and getting people with the right skills. They want a skills system that works, an immigration system that works for the economy and they want to be able to look after their people with the right occupational health, childcare provision and things like that.

Other key challenges are around areas like energy costs, inflation, and currently interest rates. Our Quarterly Economic Survey at the end of Q4 saw a bit of an uptick in confidence that hasn’t yet translated into investment intentions, which is really what will drive growth. Businesses are holding on to their cash because there’s still uncertainty really. And I think we need to get through a general election before people feel a bit more settled.

The British Chambers is based in the heart of Westminster, a short stroll from Whitehall. With an election looming, what’s the atmosphere like in Westminster?

It’s very, very busy! We’re very active and there’s a lot of noise. We’re currently doing a lot of policy work to go into the various political party manifestos, that we would be able to adapt into a playbook for the new government coming in, whoever they may be. We are clear on what we need to deliver for our Members. There will be a lot of political noise and obviously a lot of debate and excitement, and our job is to keep focused on delivering on policy.

Why is it important for businesses to be Chamber members and to engage with the wider network?

The President of the Devon Chamber recently described membership as “a bit like a cure for loneliness.” It’s so true. Starting up, growing and managing a business is hard, and sometimes it’s lonely. But if you’re a member of the Chamber, you’ve always got someone to call at the Chamber, or you’ve probably been to an event and you’ve met another business leader having the same issues as you, and you can call them. Ultimately you’re sharing your cares and you’re finding people who faced problems before.

Networking is hugely important, working together to find new customers, new suppliers and people who face the same issues as you. It’s absolutely the core of the Chamber. But it’s also about business support. If you’ve just started up a bakery, you might be amazing at making cakes, but you need help with HR, finance, documentation, legal advice and guidance. Chamber membership is all about providing businesses with wider support, to help them to grow.

Finally it’s about voice. As businesses we need to have a voice about what we need government to do so we can grow the economy. That collective voice of power is what the Chamber network and the British Chamber of Commerce are all about.

From left: Peter Crowhurst, director British Chamber of Commerce Myanmar, Shevaun Haviland, Briege Leahy former CEO Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and IW Chamber CEO Steven Holbrook. Christopher Scott presents Shevaun with a copy of The Wight Book



With over half of the programme’s places already filled, don’t miss the opportunity to enhance your business through this governmentfunded initiative.

Go for Growth, the programme aimed at supporting independent business owners on the Island, launched successfully at Building 41 on the 26th of March. The event attracted over 40 local businesses, demonstrating strong interest in the initiative.

By signing up, you will benefit from a one-day training course and 6 hours of one-to-one support from a business advisor, all funded by the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund. Additionally, if you are not a member of the IW Chamber, you can gain a free 12-month membership as part of this programme, which offers many additional benefits for your business.

Building on its success, Go for Growth is now in its second year on the Isle of Wight, and to further illustrate its impact, we’ve included some case studies showcasing businesses that have reaped substantial benefits from participating.

The launch also generated numerous questions. We’ve collated these queries to help you understand how Go for Growth can benefit your business.

With spaces filling fast, we encourage you to take advantage of this free programme by applying at:


I participated in Go for Growth last year, can I participate again this year?

Yes, but you must complete a new application form. Visit or scan the QR code.

I have registered on the Go for Growth website, is that all I need to do?

No! To join the Go for Growth programme of support, you need to complete an application form.

Is Go for Growth free to join?

Yes. It is fully funded by the Shared Prosperity Fund, managed by the Isle of Wight Council.

Who can join Go for Growth?

Go for Growth is open to any organisation or business based on the Isle of Wight with fewer than 250 employees. This includes limited companies, sole traders, partnerships, community interest companies or charities.

Do I need to have more than 5 employees to be able to join?

No! Go for Growth is open to any organisation with fewer than 250 employees, even if it’s just you.

Can I book a meeting with an advisor before I decide to join the programme?

Yes, absolutely. If you have any questions book a meeting call by visiting

Can I join the IW Chamber for free if I apply for the programme?

Yes, as long as you have less than 10 employees and are not a IW Chamber member already.

How long is the free IW Chamber membership for?

If you join the Go for Growth programme, you get a 12 month free IW Chamber membership. This is conditional on you participating in the one-to-one support provided by the Go for Growth team, and a one-day training course being run later this year.

If I am already an IW Chamber member, can I still join the programme?

Yes, absolutely. We cannot refund your existing IW Chamber membership fee, but you can still benefit from the one-to-one support, additional networking events, and training courses.



Many Island businesses have already benefited from Go for Growth. Here’s a selection of participant case studies from last year.

Isle of Wight Film Fixers C.I.C

Business overview:

The Island’s one-stop-office for the film & TV industry. Film Fixers promotes the Isle of Wight as a film destination, offering local data, crew, services, locations, accommodation, travel and more.

Support Received:

Strategic advice, One to Ones, Networking and support.

“It’s been great to get help and support in the areas our business needs to grow. Plus the network side has been very successful, learning new things from people in the know. Thank you.”

Business overview:

Fieldwork Patterns is a sustainable fashion brand creating unique, stylish sewing patterns, hosting expert pattern cutting and sewing workshops and now an approved Janome sewing machine retailer.

Support received: Strategic advice, networking and planning.

“I have found participating in the program very beneficial so far. I have had an in-depth review of my business with an advisor, Sam. This has given me a clear plan of action and identified areas where I could benefit from training and support. Plus, there is the added benefit of becoming a member of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce.”


Business overview:

Sustainability consultancy offering the development of environmental management systems, support with ISO 14001, sustainability reporting and strategy development.

Support received: Strategic advice, networking and training.

“We’ve found the Go for Growth programme to be a complete game-changer. The training and advice have helped us to develop our skills, but having the advisers act as true “critical friends” has really made the difference. We are now expanding our skill set to be able to provide solutions to a broader client base. We are developing our marketing and social media skills, and we’re using networking events to increase our exposure.This really offers a fantastic opportunity to Island businesses.”



Less than a year ago Michael Irons and the team at Datum Electronics took to the stage at the IW Chamber Business Awards to be unexpectedly presented with the highly coveted Business of The Year statue. Their winning night, which also included the Manufacturing and Export Business of the Year Award, marked record growth and turnover. In 2024 that surge continues, with treble growth in their maritime business.


Another record year for the award-winning East Cowes based world-leading torque manufacturer

“It’s a hugely exciting time for us,” Michael explains. “In 2022 we doubled in size. In 2023, we grew by another 44%. We’re in competition with ourselves these days and in the next five years I expect more heavy growth again for Datum Electronics.”

Michael joined the company as Financial Controller in 2021, assuming the role of Managing Director in 2023. He joined a business on the cusp of massive growth, but with a long heritage, being founded on the Island in 1995. Today Datum Electronics employs 37 people, currently headquartered in East Cowes, although that’s going to change.

“In 2023 we grew our staff by 50%, which has been brilliant but we’re running out of room in our current building on Castle Street. We’ve got a lease on a building in Newport, which we’re redeveloping, and we aim to move in later this year, leaving East Cowes. We’re also opening a remote office over in Southampton in the coming months.”

So what does Datum Electronics actually do? They describe themselves as “a world leading, British manufacturer & supplier of static and rotary torque sensors, torque transducers, torque meters and shaft power measurement solutions.” Like many Island manufacturers, who export highly specific solutions

to off-Island customers, there’s still an air of mystery around how it all works. Michael admits that it “can be tough to get people interested in understanding torque sensors unless they are already involved in the industry.”

In practice, it’s very much a global business, with sensors and systems being shipped around the world from East Cowes. In 2023 two thirds of the business came from the maritime sector, although Michael foresees this settling to 50% maritime, with the other half being industrial, renewables, oil and gas.

“We do sell into the UK but roughly 90% of our business is exported globally.. In the past year we’ve had a huge uptake in the maritime industry where we’ve more than trebled our sales. The growth was driven by a regulatory change in the maritime market and the new Energy Efficiency Existing Index requirement, to reduce the carbon impact of the shipping industry. This regulation was driven by the International Maritime Organisation with little advice as to how to comply, we therefore pioneered a solution to allow our customers to comply with these new regulations by way of an easy upgrade to our existing Shaft Power Meter.

“That growth has impacted across the organisation in a very positive way because it enabled us to look at our system in a different way. We now have a number of new product releases lined up for 2024 across different industries that all look extremely exciting for us.”

Michael Irons

In recent years Datum has stepped up its profile locally and in the UK, speaking more loudly about its success, which has long been recognised within the industry. With a clutch of recent award wins alongside their sizable growth in market share, it’s a very confident position for the business to be in.

”We bring out the most innovative solutions in the industry where possible, to the point where we have seen a few competitors try and clone our solutions but fail. We are a real British success story too, and we’re leading the way with our modular torque sensor solutions. Our competitors are primarily in America and Europe. We will continue releasing new innovative products into the torque measurement industry, aiming to become the most desired brand in torque measurement.”

Being an Island business matters to Datum Electronics. With a stable and loyal workforce and an established management team, the company is proud of its Island roots and its staff, and an atmosphere Michael describes as “like family.”

“Living on the Island already instils a sense of community. People who live here know other people on the Island, and that feeling contributes to the work we do at Datum. It’s there in the teams. Everyone cares about each other. And I think that goes a long way to delivering top quality products and an efficient and happy working environment.

“Datum Electronics had very humble beginnings, originally operating out of a shed on the Island. From its modest early days and a small uptake for our sensors, through the years we’ve managed to define ourselves as a world leader in large torque manufacturers. We’ve broken the unofficial record three times over now for the world’s largest torque sensor. Each record that we’ve broken has been our own prior one. We’re very proud to be competing at the front of torque measurement on a global scale.”

“Being a Silver Patron of the IW Chamber is very important to us and it’s an extremely valuable forum where I can share ideas and bounce off other similar businesses. We have a firm, ethical belief too that as an Isle of Wight company, we should always try and use local suppliers where possible. Our view is that if we can get a service completed to the same standards via a local business, even if it costs a little bit extra, we will always try and prioritise them because it’s so important to help our local economy and protect local jobs.”


We were all so excited and as soon as we saw our imagery in the winner’s video, one of our team members actually screamed out in joy. I have very, very good memories of that evening! It’s also really important for us to celebrate with the team and we had a table of ten. It’s something for all of us to be very proud of. It’s not been an easy journey to grow as we have and to make the changes that we have over the past few years. I know it’s a very positive outcome, but certainly on a day-to-day life, it can be very stressful for the team and they’ve done a fantastic job. The awards are a testament to the to the work they’ve put in for the past two years to grow the company as they have. We like to show off our team to the other Island businesses and it was a great moment for our wider staff to get a chance to speak to other teams and other local businesses. It’s not something that our day-to-day staff often get a chance to do, so it is nice to network and be a part of that wider community.

DATUM ELECTRONICS and the value of winning awards

Winning the IW Chamber Business of The Year 2023 award last May was incredible. We were nominated three times that night and we won the Manufacturing and Export Business of the Year Award, as well as a Highly Commended in the Environment and Sustainability category.

We’ve also enjoyed success at the Maritime UK Solent Awards, where we won the Clean Maritime Innovator and also the Employer of the Year awards in 2022. It’s great to take a little Isle of Wight business and show it off to the rest of the world. Marking the impact that we’re having on the maritime market is something that we are really very proud of. In 2023 we were also extremely pleased to help recognise companies making efforts in Maritime Sustainability and sponsored the Maritime UK Solent award for Clean Maritime Innovator, won by Associated British Ports.

Winning awards does matter, for the business as well as the team. We like to shout about what we do for our people, what we do for the community, the donations we give, but also the happy place to work that we now provide. We recently had an engagement survey completed, where we actually achieved 95% winning the People Insight “Outstanding Workplace 2024” award. So we’re very proud of what we’ve done for our teams and we want to continue improving their workplace for them.

The challenge for us now to be honest, is in trying to beat the last year, which was remarkable. We are always aiming to compete with our prior year; that’s what really gets me out of bed in the morning, to try and improve a little bit each day.

As told to Tom

Left: Datum Electronics is named Business Of The Year 2023 at the IW Chamber Business Awards and (below) is presented with the Clean Maritime Enabler Award at the Maritime UK Awards in Hull

The nominations have been published for the Isle of Wight’s most prestigious awards. The IW Chamber Business Awards 2024, sponsored by WightFibre, will be presented at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday May 10th.

The ceremony will be hosted by double Olympic gold medal winning sailor Shirley Robertson OBE, who has been an Island resident for more than 20 years, and is a highly experienced international TV presenter and event host.

This year 42 businesses feature in the shortlist, with 54 nominations in 16 categories. The shortlist was produced by a panel of independent judges, some of whom are on the Island, with most on the mainland or even internationally based.

“Another fantastic year”

This year’s shortlist once again represents the best in Island business, with nominees of all sizes and sectors, as the Chamber’s Chief Executive Steven Holbrook explains.

“The calibre of our nominees is fantastic. The feedback from the judges shows the high quality of the shortlist, covering a wide variety of industries, from wellestablished names to new businesses. It’s great to see new participants too, with some established names taking part for the first time. As always these awards are hugely competitive and hard fought. Massive congratulations to all of our nominees.

IW Chamber Business Awards with



“We’re so excited to welcome Shirley Robertson as our host this year. Shirley is a truly inspirational sportswoman – and she knows a lot about winning! She’s also a brilliant presenter and no stranger to hosting prestigious awards nights across the globe. For this event, her travel time will be shorter than most!

“Every year we work hard to design a show that sparkles and celebrates the best of our business community. Every year we do something different and this year will once again be packed with success, fun and some surprises on the night.”

“I can’t wait to celebrate with you all” In becoming the first ever British woman to win Olympic Gold Medals at consecutive Olympic Games, Shirley Robertson OBE was until recently, the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. Since that remarkable feat, Shirley has become one of the most recognisable faces in sailing, travelling the globe as a competitor and broadcaster for channels including the BBC and CNN. Shirley is a highly sought-after and experienced event host, presenting awards ceremonies at exclusive events around the globe.

“I’ve lived on the Island for more than two decades and I’m still constantly impressed by the flair and ingenuity of the Island’s business community,” Shirley says. “I’m thrilled to be helping you all celebrate, and to shine a light on the many successful and inspirational businesses that call the Island their home. I’m so excited to be part of this highly prestigious evening. It’s going to be a great night and I can’t wait!”

WightFibre CEO John Irvine adds:

“WightFibre is delighted to support the Chamber in making the Chamber Business Awards THE highlight of the Island business calendar. This is the third year of our sponsorship and the Awards get bigger and better every year.”

Awards host Shirley Robertson OBE


sponsored by PC Consultants

Cherry Godfrey

Wight Coaches

Wight Vets


sponsored by Liz Earle

Acorn Interiors

Julia Tanner Art

Wed & Prosper


sponsored by Red Funnel

Grace’s Bakery

Preziosa Dachshunds

Southern Vectis

W Hurst & Son

Wed & Prosper


sponsored by WRS Systems

Datum Electronics

PC Consultants

Wight Coaches


sponsored by Moore (South) LLP


Tidal Family Support


Vectis Radio

Wessex Cancer Support


Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd

GKN Aerospace Cowes

Nosy Agency



Top Mops

Vestas Blades UK

HOSPITALITY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by Cherry Godfrey

The Blacksmiths

Island Holiday Company

Luccombe Hall Hotel


Also presented on the night…

Member of the Year

President’s Cup Outstanding Contribution

Business of the Year

• • •
• • •
• • •











sponsored by Lifeline Alarms Abundance Movement Innovative Physics IOW Group XRD Nano
sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight Blackgang Chine JR Zone The Terrace Rooms & Wine
sponsored by Medina Publishing Monkton Arts Quay Arts Visit Isle of Wight
sponsored by Diametric Technical Ltd Datum Electronics PC Consultants Vestas Blades UK
sponsored by GKN Aerospace Cowes IOW Group MedTec Design
sponsored by WightFibre Nettlecombe Farm RenoDrain Right At Home W Hurst & Son
sponsored by Gurit JR Zone MedTec Design Nosy Agency
sponsored by Wightlink Acorn Interiors Island Holiday Company Richardsons Yacht Services Seaview Hotel


LCM Systems Ltd specialises in load measurement solutions utilised in many different industries worldwide.

Established in 1984 to provide the yachting industry with precision load cells and readout systems, the company has grown rapidly, and now provides engineering and design expertise to market sectors including oil & gas, civil engineering, marine & offshore, aerospace, heavy lifting and process engineering.

“We pride ourselves on being able to provide innovative

solutions to complex and challenging load measurement problems. All products and systems are designed and built in-house at our head office and factory located in Newport.”


LCM Systems Managing Director, Jeff Williams, talks about the company’s recent acquisition by USA based Interface Inc, unprecedented growth and how the company is evolving to meet future demand.

Jeff joined LCM Systems in September 2023, with the main goal of developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy that will deliver significant grown over the coming years, in line with the objectives of the new owners, Interface Inc. Key to this is the employment of additional team members throughout the business to ensure the company is in a position to continue to provide outstanding levels of customer service and high-quality products. Additional investment will also be made in new equipment where needed and in improving existing facilities to meet the growing demand for specialist load measuring products.

“As part of this process new key staff have already been recruited, a few of whom we would like to introduce you to” says Jeff. “We will only continue to be successful with the help, expertise and commitment of our employees, and these appointments will be pivotal to achieving our goals over the next few years.”

Rob Cooch, Production & Operations Manager

Rob joined the LCM team in October 2023. He is responsible for overseeing the production department and coordinating the day-to-day scheduling of the load cell manufacturing process. Before joining LCM, Rob was a member of a cross-functional team looking at No Value Added (NVA) lean manufacturing, which, through various lean changes in production, succeeded in significantly reducing build time and manufacturing costs. Rob is utilising these skills to help fulfil the demands for LCM products with a highly skilled operations team. Since he started an additional three production staff have been recruited, including a calibration technician and two strain gauge technicians.

Emma Corlett, Commercial Financial Controls Manager

Emma joined LCM in March 2024 in a newly created role where her main focus will be keeping track of costs within weekly and monthly reports, as well as supporting the wider business by delivering budgets to aid ongoing growth. Emma is an experienced MAAT accountant with 25 years’ experience across manufacturing, stock control, purchasing, logistics, financial compliance and payroll in multiple market sectors. Emma commented that “driving internal processes and controls that effect financial reports ensures our processes are robust, compliant, and future proof. I have only been here a few weeks, but the team have made me feel very welcome and I am looking forward to really getting to grips with this new role and making a positive contribution to the business.”

Stacey Bond, Strategic International Sales Executive

Stacey originally started at LCM in 2014 but left after nine years to embark on a new career as a property surveyor. Fortunately for LCM Systems, Stacey soon realised that she missed her sales role and returned in January 2024. Stacey forms part of the sales team and responds to incoming enquiries and provides sales and technical support to our existing customers and potential customers alike. In the last few years her role has expanded to include a greater focus on building strong relationships with our major customers and proactively seeking new business.

Jeff reiterated that “As a company we are committed to investing in all areas as the need arises in order to provide our customers outstanding service, ensure


orders are fulfilled expeditiously, whilst maintaining our high standards, quality and the accuracy of every product we manufacture.”

“This includes significant investment this coming year with an expansion of our current premises, which will include an enlargement of our production facilities to give us the space and flexibility to recruit a further seven new production staff as demand dictates, additional calibration and production equipment, as well as improved conference facilities, additional office space and a new cafeteria.”

Acquisition of LCM Systems by Interface Inc.

In July 2023 Interface Inc. announced the strategic acquisition of LCM Systems. Greg Adams, CEO of Interface said that “LCM Systems is an established and recognised leader in the design and manufacture of specialised load cells and instrumentation, and we are proud to officially welcome them to the Interface family. Adding their quality, proficiency and long history, the LCM team further bolsters our global capabilities in meeting the rapidly growing demands for exceptional products.”

Jeff continued “joining Interface, a company with a worldrenowned reputation and 55 years of experience in the load measurement industry, is an incredible opportunity for the continued success and future growth of LCM Systems.


We have an open position for a Mechanical Design Engineer and new apprentice roles are being created for the Autumn 2024 intake in our production, machining and engineering departments.

Please contact LCM Systems for more information.

Telephone: 01983 249264


Interface are long standing partners and have been our exclusive distributor for the US market since 2018. Our combined experience, the unmatched expertise of our teams, and a shared continuous improvement culture will make our integration into Interface seamless and highly beneficial not only for both of our companies, but also our customers and employees.”

Telephone: 01983 249264 Email:




If you’re in business on the Island, you’ll want to be at Expo 2024. It’s the biggest day for business-to-business networking on the Isle of Wight and an essential part of the calendar for the business community.

Expo is once again being held in the grounds of Ryde School, with exhibitor stands on-sale now. The event is proudly supported by headline sponsor WightFibre.

“Moving Expo to Ryde School was a huge success and we’re excited to be doing it all again this year,” says the Chamber’s CEO Steven Holbrook.

“We had strong footfall across the day, helped by our new location in Ryde town. This year we’ll have extra parking on-site too. Ryde School have been brilliant hosts and I know that the excellent exhibitor breakfast and lunch menus went down a storm last year!

“I would urge every Island business to make sure that Expo is in the diary for July 10th. As always exhibitor stands are proving popular so book now to avoid disappointment. And if you’re not exhibiting, make sure you come along and benefit from the amazing networking opportunities on offer.

“Bringing together hundreds of likeminded business people to chat with and engage with informally would be an impossible task for one single business to achieve. IW Chamber makes it happen; join us and the Island’s business community for an amazing, high-value day.”

Find out more and book your stand for Expo 2024 at:


“WightFibre is thrilled to once again sponsor the Chamber’s Expo, which provides a unique platform on the Island for businesses to connect, collaborate, and explore new opportunities. By sponsoring this event, we hope to foster meaningful relationships within our Island community. Together, we can build a stronger Island business ecosystem.”

John Irvine, WightFibre


The Isle of Wight was awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO in 2019, only the seventh place in the UK to achieve this. But what does that mean?


How can you and your business make the most of the Island’s Biosphere designation?

The Island’s Biosphere designation has been instrumental, and at times essential, in attracting significant new investment to the Island. In addition to collaboration with south coast universities, species conservation work and the delivery of new social housing for Islanders, Biosphere status has already brought funding to youth projects, arts and cultural venues, and Island high streets. In all of these initiatives, the Biosphere designation works as a clear connector between the Island and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: it is already driving systemic change in the way that Island decision making works.

All of this is good news for people running a business on the Isle of Wight. Everyone who lives, works and visits here is part of the Biosphere, and our impact on it is guided by nine principles, unique to the IOW. Of these, Principle 7 is, “Embrace a New Economy,” and it is increasingly clear how necessary this is for any business looking to flourish in the future. We can all see how the world is changing, whether that is the supply chain vulnerabilities of the last few years, accelerations in AI technology, or the


Biosphere Reserves are designated by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, a global body that seeks to build peace through cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO Biospheres are defined by their internationally important natural and cultural environments and recognised as places where local communities have an aspiration to live sustainably within their local ecosystems.

The Isle of Wight is only the seventh place in the UK to achieve Biosphere status. It is a recognition of the unique combination of nature, people and places we have here, where communities and the environment work together in an increasingly sustainable way.

It covers all our 33 parishes on land, and stretches north across the Solent to the shores of the mainland and south into the Channel.

Learn more at the website:


the recent floods that devastated the Island. Putting our head in the sand and hoping the challenges will go away is no longer an option. As the world changes, so must we, and the nine principles of the Biosphere are a guide to the new ways of working expected by investors and funders at every level. Forwardlooking businesses will seize on the opportunities this provides, including sustainable practices as part of their process or even making that their whole selling point, as consumers become increasingly interested in sustainability.

How can my business get involved?

The Biosphere is at the centre of new thinking and the new action that must happen if we are to thrive as an Island community. Whether we are in the centre of town, out in the countryside, or even on the seas, we are all interconnected. While protecting and sustaining nature is an important aspect, Biosphere designation also encompasses our shared heritage and communities - all the things that make our Island distinctive.

These three themes of nature, heritage, and community can provide tangible start points for any business to get involved with the Biosphere:

• How much attention do you pay to the environment around your business?

• What do you know about the history of the area where you are based?

• What island communities is your business embedded within?

The first step is to broaden our horizons, and as we do that, we start to see things differently. Reconnecting with the people, nature, and stories around us is a simple place to start.

The future?

Perhaps the most important of the nine principles is the last one: “Safeguard Future Generations.” What kind of world do we want to leave behind us? A world stripped bare of beauty and resources? Or a world where all our ancestors can flourish and thrive? These are big questions, but we need to answer them.

The accelerating pressures and impacts of climate change require a different approach to our social and physical infrastructures

The Biosphere principles provide a framework for tackling these challenges, and Island businesses have a crucial role to play in helping to build a liveable island.

We are all part of this journey.


The first ever Biosphere Festival takes place on 29 & 30 June. It is a weekend for everyone to celebrate our Biosphere status together, with events all over the Island.

There are a number of ways businesses can get involved. It can be as simple as helping spread the word - but perhaps you can do more? Might your team get involved in a litter pick or beach clean? Maybe this is the opportunity you’ve been looking for to finally expand the green space at your office?! Who could you connect with? Other businesses? A local school? What could you do in collaboration with others?

Perhaps you can use the nine principles for inspiration?

Key events will be taking place at the Quay Arts Centre in Newport and the Wildheart Sanctuary in Sandown, with lots more happening around the island. Full details are at the website:





115 businesses have received loans so far, totalling a whopping £1,268,431

Over 435 Island jobs created £100,000 of funding to Island businesses in interest free loans in 2023

More than 540 prizes paid out in 2023, with £118,000 paid out in prizes

It’s just £1 to play Find out more about the Isle of Wight Lottery by heading to:

The Chamber’s own Megan and Jane have been out and about across the Island telling companies about the Isle of Wight Lottery and how it can benefit not just your business, but other local businesses too.

At the heart of the Lottery is a simple yet profound idea: to reinvest the proceeds from ticket sales directly into the local business ecosystem. This innovative approach ensures that the funds raised are channelled into supporting small and medium-sized enterprises that form the backbone of the Island’s economy. Through interest-free loans or financial grants, the lottery provides vital capital to these businesses, enabling them to flourish, expand, and create more jobs.

The Patron Scheme underpins this idea that you can play your part in building the Island’s economy, while also giving your employees a chance to win big with more than 500 prizes a year, including a massive £10,000 draw. The scheme is based on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze tier system with a bonus of editorial in the Island Business Magazine as an added extra.

Rouse Limited recently signed up to the scheme as Bronze patrons and has already had three wins, which the company has chosen to pay back into the lottery pot.

“Rouse Limited is delighted to become the first Bronze Patron of the IW Lottery,” Ben Silk said. “We want to support this initiative because, as part of the Island community, both as

a business and as individuals, we know we are in a position of privilege to be able to help. Our business has grown organically over more than three decades and has always endeavoured to engage with fellow business owners because we understand the challenges they face day-to-day. So, whether it’s working with Island businesses through our service provision – for example with company pension schemes – or supporting local charities and community groups, we love being able to give something back to the community.

“By becoming a patron of the IW Lottery, we also have the opportunity to support the Island economy in general, through the boost given to businesses when the lottery can grant them funding. The lottery prizes, and the benefits of being a patron, are very attractive so we would urge other businesses to support it in any way they feel able. To further encourage you to participate and proving that this is a genuine win-win opportunity for all, we are happy to announce that Rouse Limited has already won twice!

“Our additional commitment to the lottery is that, to boost our support for the Island business community, any winnings for Rouse Limited will be returned to the lottery ‘pot’ – and we’re very pleased to be able to do this from the very start!”

To find out more or to sign up for the Isle of Wight Lottery, head to

IW Lottery Patron
Rouse Limited


The Isle of Wight Lottery has given away thousands of prizes and millions of pounds in prize money, whilst supporting Island businesses and local jobs.

The Lottery’s unique support has created and sustained thousands of Isle of Wight jobs at companies of all shapes and sizes.

Playing the Isle of Wight Lottery means you’re supporting the business community, whilst giving your team the chance to win big prizes. We give away more than 500 prizes a year, including our massive £10,000 draw. Your money also supports Island businesses with interest-free loans to create and sustain jobs on the Isle of Wight.




• As a Patron your business logo will appear on our website

• Your business logo will also appear in each issue of Island Business magazine

• You will also receive an advertorial feature in Island Business magazine



100 numbers entered in the draw each week –for a whole year. Plus a full-page magazine editorial for £5,200 a year

50 numbers entered in the draw each week –for a whole year. Plus a half-page magazine editorial for £2,600 a year


25 numbers entered in the draw each week –for a whole year. Plus a 1/3 page magazine editorial for £1,300 a year




When I was 16, I completed a summer internship with them and have since felt that the company cared for the environment, and for our local community.

At a recent Chamber networking breakfast, Helen Curel (Head of Operations) gave a speech which quantified my feelings. I thought it’s worth highlighting some of the tangible actions Liz Earle is taking on their Mission Zero journey!

Before we dive in, there’s an important point to make. The journey towards a sustainable society is multifaceted, involving much more than just reducing carbon emissions. It’s about ensuring that our businesses are ethical and don’t harm biodiversity or exploit people. This broader approach is reflected in this article.

Partnership with WWF

On a national level, Liz Earle has collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This partnership, set to last three years, focuses on the

Liz Earle Beauty Co. is a globally recognised brand, which was established on the Isle of Wight back in 1995 by Liz Earle and Kim Buckland.

restoration and protection of seagrass meadows around the Isle of Wight and other parts of the UK.

Seagrass meadows are rapidly declining ecosystems with around 7% of their known area lost globally each year. Up to 90% of seagrass has now been lost due to poor water quality, coastal development, boating impacts and aquaculture.

Why does this matter? Seagrass is crucial for tackling climate change due to its ability to absorb carbon at a rate far exceeding that of tropical rainforests.

Since launching the partnership, Liz Earle has raised awareness and hosted planting days at their Island HQ. In Spring 2024, Project Seagrass will be planting 130,000 seagrass seeds and plants in two locations on the Isle of Wight. All as part of this project’s active restoration plan.

Adopting Ecosia

Liz Earle has also taken a straightforward yet impactful step by adopting Ecosia as its default search engine across the company. Ecosia uses its ad revenue to fund tree planting projects globally. This change means that everyday internet searches by Liz Earle’s team now contribute to reforestation efforts around the world. Ecosia has planted over 200 million trees to date.

Community Kitchen Garden

At a local level, Liz Earle has engaged with the Isle of Wight Foodbank to establish a kitchen garden. The goal is to provide fresh produce to complement the Foodbank’s existing

canned and dry supplies, promoting healthy eating and self-sufficiency.

Liz Earle has supported the design and build of this garden, drawing on their team members’ knowledge and passion for nature.

The garden is thoughtfully laid out to be both accessible and educational, featuring a varied selection of produce including staples like cabbages, carrots, and tomatoes, alongside herbs such as oregano and thyme.

Disability Confident Employer

Liz Earle is committed to inclusivity, as shown by their involvement with the Disability Confident Employer Scheme. They are currently Level 1 certified, and have recently worked with the careers team at both, St George’s School (Newport) and St Catherine’s School (Ventnor) to provide work experience placements for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

In the future, Liz Earle has ambitions to become a Level 2 – Disability Confident Employer, with the ultimate ambition of reaching Level 3.


Support for Schools and Colleges

At the beginning of the academic year, Liz Earle gifted every primary school on the Island with six ‘Back to School’ goody bags filled with their products. These were intended for use in fundraising activities throughout the year. Furthermore, they have backed an art competition at the Isle of Wight College, motivating students to delve into the theme of Sustainable Beauty through their art.

Restoring Biodiversity

In 2010, Liz Earle purchased two acres of what was overgrown wasteland. Now, thanks to the careful planning and management of their dedicated team, the land has been developed into a thriving woodland, providing habitats for animals such as red squirrels, dormice, hedgehogs, bats and more. This is a great testament to nature’s ability to bounce back when given the chance.

ESG as Standard

On top of these initiatives, Liz Earle reports annually on their ESG impact, as part of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

This covers four core areas:

• Healthy Communities: Improving health equity and societal well-being.

• Healthy and Inclusive Workplace: Creating a DEIcentered culture and positive workplace environment that supports the health and wellbeing of their team.

• Healthy Planet: Reducing the environmental impact of business operations, including waste, emissions and plastics.

• Sustainable Marketplace: Providing quality, safe products and services to customers with a focus on traceability, transparency and ethical sourcing.

My key message is to reflect on whether your business could also embrace similar initiatives. Begin evaluating your achievements not solely in terms of profit, but through the broader lens of the triple bottom line: People, Planet and Prosperity.

33 FEATURE MAY | JUNE 2024 Share Your Sustainable Stories After writing various articles about the Mission Zero Hub, I decided that
better way to communicate this message will be through stories of
businesses taking positive action.
was the first, but there are so many others doing amazing things. So, if your business has made significant strides on its Mission Zero journey, I’d love to hear from you:
Left: Matt Greg, Chair of the Mission Zero Business Hub

Looking to start your own business? Need help getting moving?

We can help!

The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce is providing monthly, one-day business start up courses, sponsored by Red Funnel. Our friendly courses will help you to get started on the road to being your own boss.

Our expert business mentors will give you an overview of running your own business, operating as sole trader or company, bookkeeping, insurance, professional services, marketing and more.

The Red Funnel Business Start Up Course is a great way to learn more about the world of business and how to get moving in the right direction. The informal environment is also a friendly place to ask questions and learn with like-minded people.

The Red Funnel Business Start Up Course is only £5 to attend, thanks to the support of Red Funnel. The courses are promoted by the Isle of Wight Lottery, as part of the Lottery’s work to create and sustain employment on the Isle of Wight.

Sign up today!

Wednesday 22nd May 9.30am– 4pm

Wednesday 19th June, 9.30am– 4pm






Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce members are well connected! Being part of the Chamber means you can join in on a wide range of networking opportunities. Chamber members recently enjoyed a brilliant breakfast at Liz Earle’s headquarters on Nicholson Road in Ryde.

Helen Curel from Liz Earle welcomed members to the Green House, with a talk explaining Liz Earle’s commitment to sustainability. You can read more about their journey in our Mission Zero feature on page 26. Members left the breakfast event full of great food, inspiration and carrying a fabulous Liz Earle goodie bag. Huge thanks to Helen and the team at Liz Earle for hosting us once again.

See our full list of networking events on page 38.

Helen Curel from Liz Earle


Being part of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce means you’re well connected and welcome to take part in a wide range of events and training courses. We know that networking is essential to business growth, particularly in a marketplace like the Island. Make new connections and promote your products and services by attending our events.

Our annual Business Expo returns in July and is a must for all Island businesses. Our flagship Business Awards will take place in May. We offer much more too, with informal, free-to-attend events which are great for those new to networking.

As well as our Business Breakfasts we hold occasional Business Brunches. In May we launch Coffee & Cake at Caffe Isola, a free-to-attend event offering afternoon networking.


Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club, Sandown

Friday 3rd May, 7.30am-9am

IW Chamber members - £16 per person

Join us for an excellent networking opportunity at the Clubhouse at Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club, with a hot breakfast and a great start to the business day, networking with other Chamber members.


Friday 10th May

Cowes Yacht Haven



Delivered by Good Skills Training at YMCA, Shanklin

Monday 13th May, 9am–12.30pm

IW Chamber members - £65+VAT per person

This half day course is 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. The certificate will be emailed after completion.


Delivered by Good Skills Training at YMCA, Shanklin

Tuesday 14th May, 9am–4pm

IW Chamber members - £74+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 aiders. The certificate will be emailed after completion.


Caffe Isola, Newport, 3.30pm-5pm Wednesday 15th May, IW Chamber members–FREE Join us for afternoon networking and a superb way to meet other members informally, in the great setting of Chamber patrons Caffe Isola. If you’re new to networking, it’s a brilliant way to get started and promote your business. Bolstered by fine coffee and hot drinks, with cakes and nibbles, don’t miss Coffee & Cake, which is free to attend for IW Chamber members.


Delivered by Good Skills Training

Wednesday 5th June, 9am-4pm YMCA, Shanklin

IW Chamber members - £99+VAT

The QNUK Level 2 Award in Mental Health at Work (RDF) is the ideal introduction to understanding mental health in the workplace.  The qualification covers the most common mental health conditions, how to identify potential mental health concerns in colleagues and then how to discuss their needs and assist them to access suitable services and support. The certificate will be emailed after completion.

Quarr Abbey Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club


Isle of Wight College Restaurant, Newport

Friday 7th June, 7.30am-9am

IW Chamber members - £16 per person

Join us for an excellent networking opportunity at Isle of Wight College Restaurant with a hot breakfast and a great start to the business day, networking with other Chamber members.


Quarr Abbey Ryde

Wednesday 26th June, 2.30pm-4.30pm

IW Chamber members - £5 admin fee

Join us for a fabulous networking opportunity, enjoining afternoon tea in the grounds of Quarr Abbey. A hugely popular annual event, it’s a unique chance to engage with Chamber members whilst enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the Abbey.


IW Chamber Office, Branstone Business Park

Wednesday 22nd May 9.30am– 4pm

Wednesday 19th June, 9.30am– 4pm

Available to non-members, £5 admin fee

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.

The Island Sailing Club, Cowes High Street,

Tickets are on-sale now, £72 plus VAT per person. Book at

Join IW Chamber members for an informal networking afternoon overlooking the sailing at Cowes Week. Soak up the atmosphere with an open bar including Mermaid Gin, Mermaid Rum and Fever Tree. The food menu includes IOW Meat Co burgers, sausages and kebabs and other local produce.

IW CHAMBER COWES WEEK BBQ & DRINKS Sponsored by Red Squirrel Property Shop
Wednesday 31 July 2024 – 1pm-4pm


Aligned Accounting

Karen Feltham 07724 187871

Aspire Ryde

Trevor Nicholas 01983 716020

Black Rock Charters

Lee & Sandra Hall 07865 593155

Bluebird Care

Isle of Wight

Night Murray-Walker 01983 526776

Carisbrooke Shipping Limited

Robert Wester 01983 284100

Elite Plumbing & Heating

IW Limited

Chance Higgins 07986 997458

Emerald Elite VA Service

Hannah Woodford 07591 368341

Flower Garden

Catherine Jones 01983 524061


Wight Community Access 01983 752917

House of Numbers Limited

Dawn Benjamin 07480 064371

Isle of Wight Cocktail Co. Facebook isleofwightcocktailco 07983 494962

Isle of Wight

Studio Glass Ltd

Nicola & Timothy Harris  01983 522339


Isle of Wight VoucherBook Ltd

Rob Hull 01983 210322

Isle Publish

Jessica Lewis 07300 296808

The Lemongrass Lounge

Kay Gower Facebook TheLemongrassLounge 01983 716850

Meadow View Contractors Ltd

Katie Churchill 07733 800207

Richmonds Bakery

Immy Bawdon 01983 241020

SmartHealth Chiropractic

Martin Scotcher  01983 754175

St James Clinic

68a Upper St James Street, Newport 01983 822220

Towergate Insurance Brokers

Chris Pearce 07855 183661

Valentines Newport Ltd

Jay Smith Facebook valentinesnewport 07486 324995

Vectis Hire

Laura Gibbs 07485 363652

Vincents Motorcycles and Antiques

Vincent Faithfull vincentsmotorcyclesandantiques. 07850 065187

Zilch Waste Services

IW Ltd

Josh Rice 07871 419273

Want to join the Chamber? Call the team on 01983 520777 or online 41 MAY | JUNE 2024 IW CHAMBER

Join the CHAMBER!

Being a member of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce is a great business decision! Membership starts at little more 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




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.


Making the jump: celebrating entrepreneurial spirit on the Island




To provide value and benefits for our members through listening, representation, support and collaboration.

It’s been a busy few weeks for me at the Chamber with a visit from the Director General of British Chambers, networking brunch and breakfast, and the Chamber Awards to prepare for and look forward to.

We were delighted to welcome Shevaun Haviland to the Island for a talk and networking lunch at Ryde School. As one of the most influential people working in the British economy through her roles in central government and now as the Director General of the British Chambers, Shevaun gave us a fascinating Q&A Forum before visiting our new offices, Isle of Wight Tomatoes, and meeting patrons at The Hambrough in Ventnor. This allowed us to showcase some of what the Island has to offer, and she told us how impressed she was by the “incredible entrepreneurial energy on the Isle of Wight”.

Listening to what Shevaun had to say made me reflect on the true entrepreneurial spirit that we have here in business on the Isle of Wight. Many of us small business owners and leaders, don’t often think of ourselves as entrepreneurs, but we’ve all come through the setting up of companies, rising to the challenges that are presented, and managing teams, and it’s how you rise to those scenarios and the characteristics that you display that brings out the entrepreneurial spirit in us all. It’s also about having a strong network around you.

At a recent networking breakfast at Briddlesford Farm, we listened to Paul Griffin tell us how they as farmers have had to reinvent themselves to survive and it’s that sort of understanding and facing the inevitable challenges that keep the farm and its associated offshoots going. As he said, ‘If you don’t try, you’ll never know’ and to me, it’s those who make the jump and try who can succeed. At that same breakfast, there were so many new faces who had recently joined the Chamber, some of whom are at the earliest stages of their new enterprises and who are looking to get support, mentoring, and advice to become the next generation of Island businesses.

I should also mention our collaboration with Go For Growth at Building 41 which, when you join, gets you a year’s free membership of the Chamber with its invaluable added extras from health insurance to help with tax, employment, and discounts on ferries and leisure. And of course, that membership extends to a huge number of inter-company benefits when you use networking opportunities like our breakfast, brunch, and afternoon meetings to get together with other business owners.

The IW Chamber Awards will be celebrated in a couple of weeks, and I’m impressed by the wide-ranging breadth of entries this year and at such a high calibre. All of the companies who have been nominated should be justly proud of this achievement in a highly competitive field where they are judged by both on and off-island judges. PC Consultants will be sponsoring the Start-Up Business Award again at this year’s ceremony and we are delighted to be supporting those who are at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey in business as a start-up, either because they’ve transitioned from another career or are starting a business from scratch, and who go on to become the backbone of our economy. Good luck to everyone.

All food for thought, but it’s clear that the spirit of enterprise is not only alive but flourishing, inspiring all of us to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the business world.

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