Page 1

Island usiness

November / December


IW Chamber Business Awards 2019


celebrate winning Business of The Year Full coverage of all of our winners inside


Member news and events

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In this issue...


News Business news


FOREWORD WELCOME TO THE IW CHAMBER AWARDS SPECIAL EDITION OF ISLAND BUSINESS! It’s our last issue of 2019 and we go out with a bang. It’s a celebratory issue, with all the glitz and glamour of the Chamber’s recent Business Awards event. This month we’ve cleared the decks to bring you extended coverage of all of our welldeserved winners. We hear from the recipients of these prestigious awards about what it means to win and how they celebrated on the night.

night came when Mountbatten was named Employer of the Year. The capacity crowd at Cowes Yacht Haven took to its feet and gave the charity a standing ovation. This month we hear from Mountbatten’s CEO Nigel Hartley in an extended Notes to Self. We’ll see you again in 2020. In the meantime there’s plenty still to come. Christmas! A new year! A new decade! Oh and Brexit of course. It really has come round so quickly hasn’t it?

Our awards coverage continues as we visit MHI Vestas for an extended feature, marking their recent 12 months in which the business has created hundreds of new jobs and has been named Business of The Year.


One of the biggest reactions on the


Editor Tom Stroud

In the meantime, enjoy your magazine!

Advertising Amber Beard


23 29 32 34 36 39

IW Chamber Business Awards Winners

MHI Vestas: Business Of The Year Notes to Self Nigel Hartley - Mountbatten

Green Impact Isle of wight Events Chamber Networking

IW Chamber AGM

New Chamber Members

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA Tel. 01983 520777

Printing & Design Crossprint A Newsquest company

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




Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce



British Accountancy Awards win for Ciaran O’Donnell Ciaran O’Donnell, founder of Island based Virtual FD, has been named the CFO/Finance Director of the Year at the 2019 British Accountancy Awards. He was presented with the accolade at a ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Hosted by Sean Lock, over 800 guests were welcomed to celebrate excellence, professionalism, and innovation in accountancy. “I was genuinely more than happy just to be shortlisted by a panel of distinguished judges – so to be hear my name called out was very surreal indeed,” Ciaran says. “It has been quite a buzz sharing the news with the brilliant people and early stage companies I get to work with who are equally thrilled. “The endorsement from the sector is simply huge given The British Accountancy Awards are truly representative of end user and end business achievements across the entire ecosystem and highlights the hard work that mobilises continued growth within the sector. “It’s also a great opportunity to share knowledge and innovation with other firms and businesses based on the Island to grow and make their mark within their respective sector.”

Negotiator nomination for Red Squirrel’s Charlie Charlie Panayi, business manager at Red Squirrel Property Shop, has been shortlisted in the Rising Star category at The Negotiator Awards. The scheme is the most prestigious and popular in UK residential property. It’s the second year running that Charlie has been nominated. In 2018 he was the first ever Islander to be shortlisted for the industry awards. “The Negotiator Awards are the Oscars of our world,” Charlie says. “The champagne will be flowing, the atmosphere will be intense and electric and the fun will go on until the small hours.” Red Squirrel Property Shop want to wish Charlie the best of luck and are immensely proud to have him as part of their team. The winners will be revealed at a grand black tie gala dinner in London on 29th November.

WightAID awards more than £250,000 in third year The WightAID Foundation has succeeded in smashing the quarter of a million pounds barrier in grants to community and charity groups on the Island, thanks to the support of Island businesses. Around 100 individual Island charities have now benefited from grants totalling £294,000 with projects focusing on social and community needs, education and training.

The WightAID Foundation was founded in 2017 by IFPL Chief Exec Geoff Underwood, to support businesses wanting to contribute to improve the lives of Island people. The WightAID Foundation provides an easy system for distributing funds, quickly, fairly and evenly across the Island making it easier for both businesses and charities. Over 30 businesses both large and small have already signed up as business partners to channel their donations through the foundation. “We’re thrilled to have been able to work with so many businesses and charities to enable them to make such a difference in our local community,” Geoff says. “The fact that this money is from


the Island and going to the Island is incredibly important to me and to the trustees who helped me set up the foundation and the fact that we can turn around grants so quickly each month, means the money gets to work faster, delivering more immediate results. “What we need now is for more businesses to get involved. I’d like to challenge local businesses to see how quickly, by working together, we can give £1 million pounds to our local community and see what kind of difference that can make.” Anyone interested in getting involved with the WightAID Foundation can contact 01983 555915 or by emailing



Glitz, glamour and gin at IW Chamber Awards 2019 The cream of the Island’s business community has been honoured at the Chamber’s annual Business Awards for Excellence. The biggest night of the year for the Island’s business community went off with a bang and a shot of Mermaid Gin, with a spectacular ceremony in front of a capacity audience of more than 400 at Cowes Yacht Haven. MHI Vestas was named Business of the Year 2019, reflecting their multi-million pound investment in the Island’s economy and the creation of hundreds of jobs. David Jackson from WRS Systems was presented with the President’s Cup for Outstanding Achievement and the award for IW Chamber Member of the Year went to Wight

Playing to win: WRS Systems backs IW Lottery

Computers. It was also a great night for the Garlic Farm who won a hat trick of awards. It was a night that celebrated the best in local business, with new look glass trophies that had been produced and manufactured on the Island. Winners were also presented with a bottle of Mermaid Gin and the opportunity to enjoy a celebratory shot from a bespoke ice sculpture luge. The ceremony was hosted by comic actor Colin Carmichael who went to school on the Island. For full coverage of all of the winners, see our extended feature beginning on page 10.

New president for IW Chamber

The team at WRS Systems in Newport have an extra task on Friday mornings now – they’ll all be checking their Isle of Wight Lottery numbers! The seventeen staff members have all been signed up to play each week, with the chance of big cash wins including the £10,000 annual draw. The Newport based business is the latest company to sign up for the IW Lottery, an increasingly popular choice and an easy option as part of the pay-through-payroll scheme. “WRS Systems staff are delighted to be part of the Isle of Wight Lottery,” says operations director Sophie Jackson. “We decided to offer this opportunity to all of our staff as we have seen how beneficial it can be to Island businesses and creating jobs across the Island. “We pride ourselves on being able to help with what we can when it comes to businesses and suppliers across the Island. We’re paying £1 a week for each staff member because we know that the money supports the Isle of Wight Lottery loans, giving new and ambitious businesses the opportunity they deserve.”

Ventnor businessman John Allen is the new President of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce. John was sworn in at the Chamber’s recent AGM on October 11th at the Garlic Farm. John runs a self-catering holiday business in Ventnor and is also general manager of Ventnor Winter Gardens. He is a director of Visit Isle of Wight and for some years has been a director of the Isle of Wight Lottery, run by the Isle of Wight Chamber. John moved to the Island in 2006 after a career in radio senior management, working for LBC and the BBC. “The sector I know best on the Island is tourism,” John says. “As President of the Chamber I want to hear from you, share experiences, and hear how we can take the Chamber to the next level.” Read more from John Allen in President’s View on page 40. See more from the Chamber’s AGM, including long-standing membership awards on page 34.




Isle of Wight Milk partnership backed by Co-op

British Farming Award for Paul Griffin Briddlesford Farm is celebrating being named Dairy Innovator of The Year at the 2019 British Farming Awards. Co-partner and fourth generation farmer Paul Griffin collected the award in front of more than 700 farmers and industry professionals at a ceremony at Birmingham’s National Conference Centre. The event showcased the innovation and achievements of British farmers across the agricultural industry. “I’m shocked but so pleased and proud,” Paul said. “Thank you to the people who work with me back home as I can’t take this award without giving them the recognition they deserve. Dairying is hard but we came to realise we had to value to our core product. We changed our markets and reinvested heavily and it was a massive gamble to sell directly to consumers. But it has paid off and given us renewed optimism to move forward into the future.” The award reflected the Griffin family’s 2017 decision to resign from the wholesale market to reconnect with consumers and take back control of their milk price by processing all their own milk.

(L to R) Kaysie Reed, Matt Elliott and Kirsty Lee (Southern Co-op), Paul Griffin, Jodie Reed and Mark Reed

A new brand of Isle of Wight milk has been launched in a bid to support Island dairy farmers. Isle of Wight milk is initially being sold in three Co-operative Food stores but it is hoped that local support will enable it to be sold in even more locations across the Island. The new product is a partnership between Read's Farm in Carisbrooke and Briddlesford Farm’s Paul Griffin, who came up with the idea as a way to protect the Island's heritage, to ensure farmers get a fair price for their milk and to reduce the impact on the environment by reducing travel distances. Briddlesford’s new processing plant cuts the costs of production while ensuring the highest standard of processing with a 12 day shelf life. Matt Elliott, who looks after the Local Flavours range at Southern Coop, said: "We are very proud to have been asked to be the first to sell it in our stores. There have been a number of smaller businesses we have supported in their journey of growth and we hope this is going to be another success story.”

Island businesses help to celebrate Local Heroes The thirteenth annual Isle of Wight Radio Local Heroes awards have celebrated community-minded Islanders and achievers, with crucial support from a host of local businesses. John Phillips of Ryde’s John’s Club was named the Isle of Wight Radio and Wightfibre Overall Local Hero at the ceremony on October 3rd at Cowes Yacht Haven. The night would not have been possible without the support of so many Island companies. Cowes-based communication firm WightFibre has headed up the title sponsor role for six years. Meanwhile Isle of Wight Radio’s individual award sponsors included:


Solent Youth Services (Young Person), Pittis (Best Neighbour), Medina Food Services (Emergency Services), Beacon Magazine (Tourism), 1 Leisure (Sporting Achiever), WRS Systems (Customer Services), PC Consultants (Fundraiser Award), IFPL (Inspirational Leader), Island Roads (Make a Difference), Fidelity International (Lifetime Achievement), Mountbatten (Volunteer), Charmes Care (Carer). Isle of Wight Radio Managing Director Claire John said: “Isle of Wight Radio Local Heroes are inspirational people who have transformed not only their own lives but those of Islanders too. We’re always inspired by their determination and dedication.” THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


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Improvements in store for IDML IDML’s work-wear and clothing store on Bernard Way in Newport has a brand new look. The premises includes new signage as well as individual shops for the Helly Hansen and Dickies workwear brands. “We want to give our clients information and advice, along with quality products,” says IDML’s Martin Morris. “Our eye catching new store front makes us easy to find and makes our services straight forward and easy to understand. We have also simplified our logo-ing and print services along with our product ranges, while improving the amount of options available in our range of top level products. It makes getting what you need an easy choice and ensures your bespoke designed clothing is perfect. “We have increased the amount of stock we carry of our safety footwear. We are now a support service for our clients bespoke requirements and hope to guide them to the successful image they deserve.”

Brighstone Primary School are sold on their brand new play house Hose Rhodes Dickson are no stranger to houses, but this one is extra special. Working with the Brighstone School Association, the brand new playhouse at Brighstone Primary School was a surprise to the pupils returning from their summer holidays. The playhouse had long been in discussion since the previous house was knocked down two years ago to allow for much needed space as the school expanded. Through various fundraising by the BSA and a donation from Hose Rhodes Dickson, a local carpenter was able to complete the project in time for the new school year. Sophie Honeybourne

Vibrant new look for Honeybourne Jewellery

Tom Buchanan, manager of the Newport branch of Hose Rhodes Dickson added, “We are happy to be able to support Brighstone Primary School and get involved in such a fun project for the local community. Of all the houses we are involved in, this has certainly been the most enjoyable.”

One of the Island’s leading jewellers ‘Honeybourne Jewellery’ are extremely proud and excited to launch their brand new website. The site was inspired by the brand’s ever growing signature Vitreous enamel range and reflects their vibrant and playful nature. The team of four in-house designer/jewellers work mainly in silver adding sumptuous seasonal colours from a palette of around 50 kiln fired enamels. With a little help from Brightbulb Design and photographer Holly Jolliffe, the new site is fresh and bright, with an easy to use layout and a much larger E-Shop featuring their classic ranges from engagement and wedding rings to everyday essentials, alongside many new and limited editions and showstopper pieces. Every piece of jewellery is designed and handmade by the Honeybourne Jewellery team, under Royal College of Art trained head jeweller, Sophie Honeybourne, from their bustling Ventnor based boutique and can be shipped UK & worldwide. The site also boasts a comprehensive Bespoke section that archives thousands of pieces made for their clients over the years, with a view to inspire future commissions.




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Visit Isle of Wight celebrates winners of Visit England’s Rose Awards Visit Isle of Wight is congratulating Island tourism businesses that have been recognised for going above and beyond in their customer service. Five Isle of Wight businesses were successful in bringing home the coveted Visit England Rose Award, following a nomination by the Visit England’s quality scheme assessors. Grange Bank House in Shanklin, Studio Annexe in Seaview, The ArtDeco House in Shanklin, The Hambledon Hotel in Shanklin and Tom’s Eco Lodge in Yarmouth were all named winners at a ceremony in London. The awards cover all types of accommodation from hostels to hotels, self-catering to parks & campsites and from glamping sites to Bed & Breakfast (B&Bs) & guest houses, irrespective of star rating. Chloe Baker, Accommodation Manager at Tapnell Farm said: “We’re absolutely delighted to receive this Award and recognition for Tom’s Eco Lodge. We have a wonderful team whose sole purpose is to ensure that our visitors receive only the best experience and are happy to ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure this.” Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight commented: “Isn’t it great that the Visit England Rose Awards have been awarded to five Island businesses? That’s a few more than last year. It continues to show that we’ve got great customer service, great people on the Island and a great tourism product for people to come and enjoy.” Chloe Baker, Accommodation Manager, Tapnell Farm receiving award with Denis Wormwell, Chairman, Visit Britain.

Diametric wins at 2019 Solent Business Awards

WightFibre secures charity Star Wars premiere once again Star Wars IX: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ will be screened on the Island at a charity premiere event to raise money for maritime youth charity UKSA. The event follows months of negotiation by WightFibre to secure the screening and will be the third Star Wars event of its kind held at Cineworld in Newport.

Industrial badge manufacturer Diametric has won the Management Team of the Year award at this year’s Solent Business Awards. The Isle of Wight and Southampton-based business beat five other nominees from the South Coast and Solent to win the award. Graham Steele, Managing Director of Diametric, said: “It’s fantastic, we really didn’t expect to win. We’re quite a humble company and just try to look after everyone. Our philosophy has always been to be open with staff, share information with them and ask for their feedback. Without staff engagement you don’t have a management team. We’re particularly pleased to win in what was a difficult year for us as we diversified the business into new areas outside the automotive sector.” Diametric has had a successful year, gaining JLRQ, Hella and JCB accreditation showing their commitment and dedication to supplying quality parts to customers. There have been several new senior positions created at Diametric during the last year with the company continuing to grow and position itself as a key SME on the South Coast.


The two previous events in 2017 for Star Wars: ‘The Last Jedi’ and 2015 for Star Wars: ‘The Force Awakens’ raised over £7,500 for UKSA, which like WightFibre, is based in Cowes. This year’s VIP event, which promises to be even bigger, hopes to raise even more through the generosity of all those attending on December 19th when the film is released in the UK. John Irvine, CEO of WightFibre comments: “Once again, this is real coup. Being able to secure this important charity event for the Island and to support such a great Island based charity as UKSA is really important to us at WightFibre.”



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MHI Vestas named Business Of The Year at biggest ever event More than 400 people fill Cowes Yacht Haven to capacity for the glittering ceremony Glitz, glamour and Mermaid Gin to toast the winners at the annual celebration of Island business success

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBIN CROSSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY It was a night that celebrated the very best of the Isle of Wight, with the winners, nominees, the new glass trophies and even the host of the event being examples of Island raised success and innovation. The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2019 in association with Wightlink marked the biggest night yet for the win-win event. Comic actor Colin Carmichael, known for his appearances in Hot Fuzz, Black Mirror and the 118 118 television commercials handed out the twenty awards as part of a glittering


night that also included live music, a three course gourmet meal and a charity auction to raise funds for WightAID. It was a homecoming performance for Colin who grew up on the Island, attending Medina and Carisbrooke schools. “I had a wonderful night,” Colin said. “It’s been a real privilege for me to host this prestigious event. The Isle of Wight is an amazing place and I had a great time here in my youth. It’s been a thrill to be part of this celebration of all the brilliant businesses that are based here.”

Colin was joined on stage by an ice sculpture in the shape of Mermaid Gin’s iconic bottle. In a first for the event, winners were able to take a shot of gin from the luge that ran through the sculpture. It was an emotionally charged night – with a double win for MHI Vestas who were named Business of the Year as well as the Manufacturing Business of the Year. The Garlic Farm took three awards and Wight Computers were named IW Chamber Member of the Year. There was a standing ovation for



Host – Colin Carmichael

Mountbatten, winners of the Employer of the Year trophy. As well as being the biggest night yet, with more than 400 people filling Cowes Yacht Haven, it was also the longest too, with doors opening at 5pm and the evening drawing to a close at 1am. “Tonight is basically a full eight hour working day,” said IW Chamber Chief Executive Steven Holbrook as part of his opening speech. “The journey to our event tonight began less than a month after we closed last year’s ceremony. We wanted to go bigger and better and keep raising the bar so we knew we needed to start very early to achieve this. We have challenged every part of this evening to make it as fun, new and dynamic as we can, whilst delivering an event that highlights and celebrates the amazing job being done by Island businesses.” Steven hosted the Wight AID auction which featured lots donated by 1Leisure, The Hut, JR Zone, The Royal Hotel, W Hurst and Son and Vectis Ventures. In total the auction raised £2,625 for Wight AID, an amount which was then equally matched by The Wight Book. With the addition of IW Lottery Scratchcards sold on the night, a total of £6991.92 was raised for the Wight AID Foundation. There was even an unannounced game of bingo at the beginning of the evening, kicking off a night full of surprises. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

Business of the year – MHI Vestas





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IW Chamber President’s Cup for Outstanding Contribution WRS Systems “WRS Systems has put the Isle of Wight firmly in the spotlight. Their work can be seen across the UK and Europe with a record-breaking series of installations for a household name brand. It’s a remarkable story for a family business. For showing innovation, world class implementation of smart technology, supporting over 3,600 terminals for Costa Coffee stores from their Newport base. Congratulations to WRS Systems!”

Growth Business Award

WRS are proud and honoured to have won two awards on the evening, and completely shocked.


We were actually celebrating the Business Growth Award, when Sophie heard “the largest roll-out in the hospitality sector in the last 10 years”. She said “they are talking about us!” To say we were speechless to win the President’s Award is an understatement.

Sponsored by Brightbulb Design


The generosity and congratulations from members has been inspiring. There were a few sore heads on Saturday. In fact one or two of our managers didn’t make it home that night! We have a lot of people to thank who helped us on this journey, as well as our team, without whom it would not have been possible. David Jackson, WRS Systems




Tourism Business Award Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight WINNER: The Garlic Farm NOMINATED: Farringford

Retailer Award

Sponsored by NFU Mutual WINNER: The Garlic Farm NOMINATED: Cowes Town Central

Marketing & PR Award Sponsored by IW County Press WINNER: The Garlic Farm HIGHLY COMMENDED: Visit Isle of Wight NOMINATED: The Wight Book

By successfully encouraging Island businesses to enter these awards, the Chamber is doing its bit to get us all to step back and reflect. This in itself is a massively useful exercise. Documenting the successes that comprise these applications helps us all take stock. We gave our team an extra pat on the back even before we knew we’d been nominated – the application process illuminated the good stuff that we’re often too busy to register. To be shortlisted against such quality was also a huge boost but winning all the awards we entered was something really


special. Knowing the effort that the Chamber team have put in to ensure the credibility and professionalism of the judging process made both the nominations and victories even sweeter. The night itself deserved an award. Not only a slick celebration of commercial success but a properly glitzy knees-up and really, really good fun! To quote Visit Isle of Wight’s Will Myles who was sat near me, “Team Isle of Wight have done well tonight!” Barnaby Edwards, The Garlic Farm THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT





Start Up Business of the Year Sponsored by PC Consultants WINNER: Island VetCare

NOMINATED: Lintons Home Ltd Nosy Design Solent Youth Services

Our whole team attended the Award Ceremony, and we glammed up and enjoyed a well-earned night out together, celebrating our nomination, and also enjoying what we have achieved together so far at Island VetCare in only 18 months. That we actually won was a pleasant surprise, considering the level of competition! It was a very special evening, and we were made to feel extremely welcome as part of the Island’s business community. We also celebrated a number of impressive companies doing inspirational work, locally and globally, built on the character and skills of their own Islandbased teams – big thanks to the Chamber for showcasing all this local talent! This award reflects the great start our business has made, and gives us further confidence to build upon our core, exceptional, service level, and expand our specialist services with investment in CT and MRI scanners. Island pets and owners deserve the best! Sarah Pink, Island Vet Care

The Morris Barton Apprenticeship Award

WINNER: NOMINATED: The Seaview Hotel Stoneham Construction

Sponsored by Christopher Scott

Winning this award is a huge deal for us. It gives us an opportunity to put our apprentices into the spotlight and to celebrate their individual journeys into the world of business. There is a saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, well you can also say it takes a business community to raise an apprentice, as behind every successful apprentice there is a dedicated manager, supervisor and training provider all working together to nurture tomorrow’s talent. Winning this award is a celebration of that. The awards night was a glittering affair, upbeat and filled with fun. The apprentices that attended, Tom Bull, Emily Hardie, Ellie Herman, Alex Woodward-Parker had an amazing night and one that will be remembered for years to come. Tracy Mikich, The Seaview Hotel

Hospitality Business Award Sponsored by Wightlink

WINNER: Caffe Isola


NOMINATED: The Havelock

We are absolutely delighted to have won the 'Hospitality Business of the Year award'. There are so many incredible businesses on the Island, so to have won gives us a huge amount of pride and validation for what we do. As a family business we have not only poured our hearts into Caffe Isola and the Island Roasted brand, we have also invested a huge amount into renovating and refurbishing such an iconic building, helping to keep Newport town centre alive. So to be recognised for making a meaningful difference in retail, is also great for the town. Our team, headed up by our manager Dani, work exceptionally hard and winning this award really gives them recognition for what they do. Retail and hospitality awards like this show that it is a worthwhile career to be in - and we couldn't do it without our team, so this is a big thank you to them! Stefanie Burgess, Caffe Isola




Technology and Innovation Award Sponsored by Lifeline Alarms

HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Seaview Hotel Wight Computers


Gurit UK has been part of the Island business community for over 40 years and during this time has continually innovated to allow the composites sector to continue to grow and advance the Island’s position in the global composites arena. Gurit completed intensive R&D programs to develop a new range of composite materials and supporting ancillaries to make composite materials safer, easier to use and higher performing.

developed and serves to promote our new range of innovative new products throughout the composite industry. The awards ceremony was well represented by employees throughout the Gurit organisation who had all contributed to our success and enjoyed celebrating together at the ceremony which rewarded all of the efforts in the past year.

Winning this award validates the recent enabling technology we have

Green Initiative Award Sponsored by IFPL WINNER: Gurit


Over the last year, Gurit UK has completed multiple initiatives to develop greener and safer Advanced Composite products to serve the light-weighting of industries including wind energy, aerospace, high performance marine, rail and automotive. In addition, Gurit developed methods to produce these in a more sustainable way, utilising the use of plant-based or bio materials, reducing our factories environmental impact and carbon footprint, lowering the use of single-use plastics and well as increasing bio-diversity within our Island-based production plant to ensure we are supportive of the surrounding ecosystem.

Debbie Smith, Gurit

Excellence in Customer Service Award – Micro Business Sponsored by Hovertravel WINNER: Hillbans Pest Control


NOMINATED: Bayliss & Booth Real Employment Law Advice

Winning this award rewards the enthusiasm and involvement of all of our staff who care about sustainability and appreciate the quality of the environment that we work in. It demonstrates to our customer base that Gurit is able to offer sustainable products as a viable alternative, supporting the further positioning of the Isle of Wight as a leading hub for the composites industry. Debbie Smith, Gurit

Having previously won the award for ‘Growth Business of the Year’ in 2017, to be the winner of this year’s ‘Excellence in Customer Service Award – Micro Business’ and to be Highly Commended for the ‘Micro Business of the Year’ award, confirms to us that we are doing everything right for both our customers and our team and that’s a great feeling. We were pitted against some very strong competition in both categories, so it was a real accolade to receive these awards, both of which are now proudly displayed at Hillbans HQ having made it safely back to our offices after an excellent evening at the Chamber awards. We’re looking forward to next year already! Sandra Knowles, Hillbans Pest Control NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019



Business in the Community Award

Sponsored by Glanvilles Damant


HIGHLY COMMENDED: Southern Co-op Retail Vectis Radio CIC

NOMINATED: Action 4 Support Northwood House Charitable Trust

We are delighted to have won this award, as the local community is at the heart of everything we do. Over the last 30 years we have supported and encouraged young people from the Island to improve their skills, gain qualifications and broaden their horizons launching careers in all corners of the globe. In the last year alone we have offered educational and developmental programmes to over 2500 people from the Island, 2117 of whom were under 18. We are continually investing and growing our charitable programmes and funding for island young people, and always enjoy seeing the smiles on young people’s faces as they take part in our popular Test the Water, NCS and Go Sail programmes. Thanks to the Chamber for a great evening and the opportunity to share our success with other Island businesses. Ben Willows, UKSA

Excellence in Customer Service Award - Small Business Sponsored by Hillbans Pest Control WINNER: The Royal Hotel

NOMINATED: Farringford Top Mops

We’re absolutely delighted to have won the Small Business Excellence in Customer Service Award and gain a Highly Commended for the Hospitality Business Award.

Employer of the Year Award Sponsored by GKN Aerospace Cowes WINNER: Mountbatten


Most of our staff and volunteers at Mountbatten are passionate about what they do. We need to ensure that their ‘passion’ is supported, held and developed in the right way. “We therefore strive to ensure that Mountbatten is an exceptional and rewarding place to work and to be recognised by the chamber feels very special. “We are relentless in our commitment that our employees have access to ongoing education, training and support, so they can develop themselves and feel connected to an organisation which cares. We care for and about each other, and that caring sits at the very heart of what Mountbatten does. “Our staff and volunteers are at the centre of everything we do for our Island community and this award is for each and every one of them. Nigel Hartley., Moutbatten

From the moment our guests walk through the door, we like to make them feel like royalty. We aim to offer guests the best possible Island experience, and not just be an accommodation provider. We practise a Loyal Royal approach for regular guests - we know their pillow, bed, newspaper, favourite Island location, their family and food preferences. We are so proud of our outstanding customer services team who are the reason The Royal Hotel is so special to so many. We’d like to thank all of our guests, including our ‘Loyal Royals’ for continuing to visit our Royal family. Andrew Woodland, The Royal Hotel







International Business Award Sponsored by Red Funnel WINNER: IFPL

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Isle of Wight College

It is a testament to the whole IFPL team that we have achieved this award. Additionally, it is a testament to the investment that has been made in our quality systems, manufacturing and product development capability. This combined with the development and introduction of new products means that we will continue to innovate and deliver to our international customers. Jason Davies, IFPL

NOMINATED: Innovative Physics

Micro Business of the Year Award Sponsored by Gurit WINNER Island Echo HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hillbans Pest Control NOMINATED: BeCalmed Real Employment Law Advice

I am still in disbelief that Island Echo has been named Micro Business of the Year 2019. When I started the business in 2012 I never imagined that it would become the success it is today, and that Island Echo would see off strong competition to pick up such a prestigious award. The award represents hard work, sheer determination and enterprise. As the youngest award winner on the night it shows that anything is possible in the world of business and that even the smallest of businesses can flourish to lead the way. Thank you to all of our clients, readers and supporters. Darren Toogood, Island Echo

Having never entered for the awards before we were absolutely delighted to be nominated, let alone win! To be recognised for the journey we have been on and the Isle of Wight message we continue to share is amazing. We know we have products which are universally renowned for their quality and a reputation for service that we are very proud of. This award represents a bright future and a continued mission to make the Isle of Wight famous for its tomatoes! We couldn’t wait to bring the news back to the team and thank them all for making an award like this possible. This is all due to their hard work and passion to make us the business we are today.

Small Business Award

Daniella Voisey, The Tomato Stall

Sponsored by Liz Earle WINNER: The Tomato Stall





IW Chamber Member of the Year –

Wight Computers

This award goes to a Chamber member that has gone above and beyond in their support for the Chamber this year.

We didn’t expect to win an award so to be presented with this tribute, as well as receiving a Highly Commended in the Technology and Innovation category, was a complete revelation!

They’re a regular attendee at our events; they have given their time freely to help the Chamber team; they have also helped promote the benefits of Chamber membership to non-members.

We’ve enjoyed taking part in Chamber events throughout the year – from networking breakfasts to the Business Expo and Business Awards. The Chamber has always been very supportive of us and in turn we love to support the Chamber, particularly with our innovative technology for Expo.

If you were at Expo you’ll know that this is a business that made a real difference to our event, helping us with bespoke software designed to welcome our visitors.

It’s been an exciting year for Wight Computers, and this is an excellent way to celebrate our seven years in business. We are thrilled to have received this recognition for our hard work and would like to thank the Island’s business community and especially our customers as we couldn’t have done it without their loyalty and continued support!

IW Chamber CEO Steven Holbrook

Andrew Nordbruch, Wight Computers

A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS… Wightlink was proud to sponsor this year’s event and I was delighted to present some of the awards, including Business of the Year to MHI Vestas. We hope everyone enjoyed the night and, like us, found out a lot more about the Island’s fantastic companies. Keith Greenfield, Wightlink Thanks to Cowes Yacht Haven, Crossprint, Mermaid Gin, Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, Spyder, TVC and TVMI

IW Chamber PATRONS Our Gold Patron

Our Silver Patrons

Our Bronze Patrons




Season tickets available

2019-2020 PROGRAMME

Saturday 16th November 2019, 7.15pm

Saturday 16th May 2020, 7.15pm

Karelia Suite Jean Sibelius Viola Concerto in G Minor Cecil Forsyth Soloist: Timothy Ridout Symphony No.1 in B1 Minor William Walton

Phoenix Rising Thea Musgrave `Ulysses' Violin Concerto Tim Kliphuis Soloist: Tim Kliphuis Symphony No.5 Gustav Mahler

Saturday 18th January 2020, 7.15pm

Saturday 4th July 2020, 7.15pm

Overture: Street Corner Alan Rawsthorne Horn Concerto No.1 in E Richard Strauss Soloist: Joel Roberts The Perfect Fool Gustav Holst Vltava from Ma Vlast Bedrich Smetana The Firebird Igor Stravinsky

Saturday 14th March 2020, 7.15pm

Caprice Bohemien Sergei Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.1 in B Minor Piotr Tchaikovsky Soloist: Viv McLean Symphony No.1 in C Mily Balakirev

USA Independence Day Concert Fanfare for the Common Man Aaron Copland An American Overture Benjamin Britten Knoxville: Summer of 1915 Samuel Barber Soprano Soloist: Elizabeth Karani Gone with the Wind Suite Max Steiner Washington Post John Philip Sousa On the Town Leonard Bernstein Flying Theme from E.T. John Williams An American in Paris George Gershwin TICKETS Per Concert: Adults £15.00 | Under 18’s £6.00 Medina Theatre | Fairlee Road | Newport | PO30 2DX Telephone: 01983 823884

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MHI Vestas: Business Of The Year

In October last year MHI Vestas held an open day to recruit new staff to work on their recently announced new blade mould. Almost exactly twelve months later, with 350 new jobs created and an estimated £42million pumped into the Island’s economy, the Newport based manufacturer was named Business of the Year at the culmination of the 2019 IW Chamber Business Awards. Tom Stroud hears the inside story of a record year.




More than 750 people now work at MHI Vestas factory on the bank of the Medina. The workforce has almost doubled in size in the last year and the wind turbine blades that are produced here will have a long and productive working life. “Our blades are 80 metres long, weighing 33 tons and they rotate at a top speed of more than 200mph,” explains MHI Vestas factory director James Luter. “They are actually bigger than the London Eye when you look at the circumference of the turbine. The blades are designed and developed to weather the elements out in the North Sea for up to 25 years.” James knows a lot about these blades. He joined Vestas in 2001, straight from college. In 2009 he moved from blade building to prototyping. He was part of the team that designed the V164 offshore wind turbine and in 2014 he moved to the newly created MHI Vestas, a joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd which brought blade manufacturing back to the Island. “We started off with around about 70 employees. Today we have ten times that amount, working here 24 hours, seven days a week,” James says. “The last year in particular has been hugely challenging but very exciting. We’ve put in a brand new mould and we've expanded the facility too. We've taken over the whole site now here at West Medina Mills. That challenge has been met by both the staff here but also with the support of our parents within Vestas and MHI. I'm really pleased to say that we've been able to keep production at the levels that we had planned, as well as recruiting all the new staff and moving in all of the new equipment.” Ten new staff members have been joining the team every week since the end of last year. Their induction begins with


intensive bespoke training, delivered at the CECAMM centre in East Cowes. It’s been an investment of more than £1million to bring the workforce up to speed with the new technology. “The Isle of Wight has a long history of composite engineering and also composite manufacturing,” James says. “So when we were asked by our parent company if we would be able to find the right people I was confidently able to say that we would. We had over a thousand people hand in their CVs at our first open day. We were looking to try and break some of the preconceived ideas about what we were doing here. We wanted to show that it didn't matter where you came from, your background or whether you are male or female, this was the environment for you.” The Newport site has the potential to continue to grow too, designed with the ability to deliver blades much longer than the current 80 metres. “Our blades use both carbon and composites in their construction so learning those technologies is really crucial for our employees as well as for the growth of the business. The facility that we've got here now is the state-of-the-art, designed and set up to deliver the next generation of wind turbine blades. Bigger is better within our industry. A bigger turbine gives you better economies of scale. As the technology grows so does your workforce. We see this facility expanding to meet the growing demand of the market.”



MHI Vestas is riding the wave of a growing domestic market. The UK renewable energy sector has trebled in size since 2015, with reductions in cost driving sales. “When we first started producing the V164 the price per megawatt hour was £131. Now it's dropped to £39 per megawatt hour. Our industry is highly competitive but setting up the facility here on the Isle of Wight also gave us a really good advantage.

also grown through the government’s commitment to deliver a net zero emission on greenhouse gases by 2050. We've seen the detrimental effects that the older generation of energy has given to the planet. Wind is the future and we know that the development of the turbines is only going to grow. It's not only a job for today but it's also a job that delivers for our children's future as well. In 2018 renewable energy was powering 20% of the National Grid. Within the next few years it will be 30 percent, if not 40 percent, going even further.”

“Over the last few years we have seen a big transition from fossil fuels to green energy generation. The industry has

A year on from that recruitment drive, with 350 new colleagues and a pair of IW Chamber Business Awards newly installed, it’s a moment of celebration and reflection for James. “To see our product leaving this site, going down the River Medina, fills me with pride as an Islander. This is a fantastic place to build an industry. When we look at the supply chain and the wages that are now being spent in the local community, I’m so proud that MHI Vestas is contributing over 42 million pounds to the Isle of Wight economy.”

IW Chamber Business of the Year 2019 MHI Vestas “This business has created hundreds of new jobs on the Island, pumping millions into the Island’s economy and sending out a very powerful message about how the Isle of Wight can provide a home for world class businesses.” IW Chamber Chief Executive Steven Holbrook

Manufacturing Business of the Year Award Sponsored by WightFibre WINNER: MHI Vestas HIGHLY COMMENDED: IFPL NOMINATED: MedTec Design Services


We were honoured and proud to win the Business of The Year award. We are pleased that all the staff have got the recognition for all the hard work we have put in over the last four years. It was a great evening and we felt very proud to be with all the other great businesses that represent the Island’s thriving economy. James Luter, MHI Vestas



WIGHTFIBRE – THE ISLAND’S FASTEST BROADBAND IS NOW EVEN FASTER Ultrafast, full-fibre broadband now available in East Cowes WightFibre has released a further 604 homes in East Cowes bringing the total to homes in East Cowes to 1445 and the total number of homes on the Island previously released to near 10,000. This new, ultrafast, future-proof, full-fibre broadband provides a completely new online experience at speeds of up to 900Mb. This speed is amongst the fastest broadband speeds available anywhere in the world and is now available to homes and business in East Cowes, Newport and Cowes. Commenting on the latest release WightFibre CEO John Irvine said “We hope Island residents will now appreciate being amongst some of the first to receive our new Different kind of broadband”.

WightFibre Park, the new home of Newport Football Club

Paul Spreadbury, Newport FC supporters trust chairman (left) and John Irvine CEO from WightFibre.

Wightfibre and Newport Football Club are delighted to announce WightFibre’s support for the new, state-of-the-art football and community stadium. The stadium is also the new home of Newport Football Club. WightFibre Park, to be located off The Racecourse, has been designed to maximise community use by offering top-class facilities including a grandstand, clubhouse and a new 3G all-weather pitch enabling Newport to play all the way up to Southern Football League Division 1. There is already interest in developing women’s and junior football at the new stadium while the IW College and the Island’s public health service are also looking to use the facility for sports


coaching courses and to encourage participation in football and other activities as a means of staying healthy. Announcing the provisional sponsorship of the new stadium,

WightFibre chief executive John Irvine said: “As a local island company, WightFibre cares deeply about giving back to the Island. We are proud to put our name to what will be a fabulous, THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


new, sporting venue that will benefit our Island community. WightFibre Park will be a real hub bringing together people of all abilities and uniting them in the name of sport.” WightFibre Park’s new club house will have space for public and business use including a conference/function room to host community, private and business events on non-match days. There is also a disabled/vulnerable persons viewing room intended for use by families and individuals from local disability and age charities along with Mountbatten hospice. Paul Spreadbury, Newport FC supporters trust chairman, said: “As a business that is all about connecting people, WightFibre is the perfect company to partner us in what we are trying to achieve. “Our vision is to establish Newport FC as a club at the very heart of the community and we know that WightFibre have similar values. As well as being a home that the club can be proud of, WightFibre Park will be a vibrant venue based around healthy activity that the whole community can be part of and benefit from. We really are excited about creating a community sporting hub and we are thrilled to have WightFibre on board as an important part of the team.”

Find out more about WightFibre’s Gigabit Island WightFibre is inviting Island businesses to a briefing on November 26th at Cineworld in Newport. The event will provide an update on the development and roll-out of the Gigabit Island, offering the opportunity to gain


WightFibre joins the Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership WightFibre has joined the Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership (IWASP). IWASP was created when IOW Trading Standards joined forces with the Police, Fire and Rescue, Age Friendly Island and Citizens Advice Bureau to create the partnership. The Charter is for organisations to work together to better protect people on the Isle of Wight from scams, doorstep crime and fraud. As well as supporting victims. Approximately 3.2 million people fall victim to scams every year and the average age of a scam victim is 75. Sally Ash Fair Trading Officer said “IWASP are delighted to welcome WightFibre as a partner, scams are constantly evolving and increasing, using the phone and internet to con their victims in to parting with money. By training the staff at WightFibre to identify scams and protect possible victims they will be playing a major role in helping the partnership to keep our Island residents safe” Simon Poole, WightFibre COO said “As scams become more complex and targeted we wanted to partner with IWASP to help assist our customers and educate our staff to reduce and tackle such crimes and support island residents”. In addition to joining the partnership all customer facing WightFibre staff will be receiving Friends Against Scams awareness training in the new year. WightFibre have also signed up to the IWASP alerting service where the company will be notified by trading standards of any known scams and doorstep crime and all installers will be promoting the scheme by issuing ‘stay safe online IWASP’ cards to all customers.

clarity on the programme and to ask questions relevant to you. Those attending this important event will receive first-hand knowledge of the current plans and schedule. This also includes how those present can effectively engage with the Gigabit Island project to the benefit of their constituents and businesses across the Island.

The Gigabit Island project represents a £35m investment in the Island’s Broadband Infrastructure and will give the Island some of the fastest Broadband speeds in the world - catapulting the Island into the front line of the new digital economy. Places are limited.

Find out more by visiting or calling 01983 300 000



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Notes To Self Nigel Hartley Mountbatten

Nigel Hartley joined Mountbatten as Chief Executive Officer in 2015. Mountbatten was named Employer of the Year and received a standing ovation at the recent IW Chamber Business Awards. Nigel tells us his story and what he has learnt about business in this extended Notes To Self.

What was your first job?

business and a heart for people.

I was brought up in and around a pub in North Wales. My family were Welsh coal miners and publicans, and I learned, at a very early age both the power and complexity of ‘community’. I remember serving behind the bar at a relatively young age which was probably illegal!

The complex funding mechanisms for Mountbatten keep me on my toes. For example, legacies, where people leave us money in their wills, accounts for roughly a third of our annual income. We have been working hard to understand our legacy pipeline and work with people to truly value and understand why anyone would leave a legacy and why they would leave one to the hospice. This year, for example, we are well ahead with our legacy income, and this can be a game changer. We feel more confident and we are able to innovate and develop services once we know that legacies are secure. Some years, however, we are sitting on the edge of our seat right until the last moment. It can be very unpredictable.

I had a range of jobs which supported my studying in my late teens and early twenties. For a while I worked as a carer in a school for boys with behaviour problems. I also did some counselling at Reading prison for a couple of years. I learned so much about people and particularly people who were vulnerable and living with some extremely big challenges. I always think of my ‘real’ work starting in my mid-twenties when I began working at London Lighthouse, which was the first centre in the UK for people living with HIV/AIDS. I worked as a counsellor and therapist and it is where I really learned once more how to be kind and how important it is to be generous with ourselves and the skills that we have. I remember being terrified when I turned up to work and had to find the courage repeatedly to enter the door of the building. I am so glad that I persevered and found the courage to stick with a career which has been unimaginably rewarding and fulfilling. I believe that is where my journey really started to where I am today

I think a lot of business is about ‘luck’. The key issue is to recognise it when it comes along and to make the most out of it. I keep my eyes and ears open and I love people. At the end of the day, business, like most things in life, is about

What have you learned about business? I learned a lot from my grandfather growing up. He bought his first pub when the coal mines began to first close in North Wales in the 60s and he went on to own a number of other pubs during his lifetime. When he died, we were all surprised to learn that my Grandfather had been paying bills for a number of people in the village who could not afford to do it themselves, and I realised again the importance of kindness even if you are running a business. I try really hard to do even the most difficult things as well as possible, and I have learned on the whole, that if we can be kind to each other, we can achieve much and make the most difficult things bearable. I was very fortunate to train in management at Ashridge Business School in the UK almost 20 years ago and I really enjoyed being together with leaders from a range of different industries and businesses. It was a life-changing experience, even though I often felt a little bit of an ‘odd one out’. It was endlessly fascinating and it has been so useful to be able to utilise what I learned there together with my psychology and therapy training to bring me where I am today. My sense is that the hospice needs a head for NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019



creating relationships which are based on trust, confidence and commitment. It is about providing a service that people both need and want and it has to be about providing services which are of the highest quality possible.

“Mountbatten is a hard working organisation because we are here for a cause which is bigger than any of us. I think we are also a very happy workforce, which for some will be hard to believe. We will all die and we will all be bereaved and I am not embarrassed to think of my work as a ‘calling’ and I know that a large number of my colleagues agree. Of course we need to make sure we balance our work with a good life, within which we are loved and cherished and that has been important for me to thrive. We have one life and we cannot separate out the segments of it into work and play. We are one person with a life that cannot be made sense of by segmenting it up into smaller pieces.”

although we take care of thousands of people every year at Mountbatten, we also take care of each other and there is a real sense that ‘we are in this together’. It is a remarkable organisation and I am very proud to be part of it.

Is the Isle of Wight a different place to do business? I love this question! When I arrived on the Island I was quite taken aback by how many people said to me that the Island was ‘different’. We cannot solely define the Island on its geographical location. It is much more than that. People are people, wherever they are, with all of their foibles, wonderfulness and unpredictability. Maybe one difference on the Island is that there are less opportunities to work in real partnership. However, the mainland is not that far away and I do think we need to think differently to secure a good day-to-day life and a good future for every island resident. We must never accept that we are second best, that we are ‘different’, and we must always tell our best story. We have so much to offer on the Isle of Wight, let us be big and generous in who we are and how we behave. Telling our ‘best story’ is vital.

What advice would you give that younger version of yourself?

What have you learned about yourself?

What I have learned to do as I have grown older is to keep calm and always be measured and fair. I was a little impetuous when I was younger, I had a big personality which I had to come to terms with and learn to control. I am always slightly amused when people tell me how calm I am. It is true, but I have had to learn it. So my advice to my younger self would be to keep believing in yourself and that all will come right in the end.

I have learned that I am very resilient and never give up. I was born, fortunately or unfortunately, with the ‘work hard’ gene. My family taught me that working hard was the key to a successful life. I am very fortunate at Mountbatten to work with a team of both staff and volunteers who mostly always go above and beyond and are not afraid to work hard. My experience is that

The other thing that I notice is that I am constantly learning how to be kind. It is the most difficult thing to master all of the time as a human being, but I try to commit to it and always try my best. Maybe a useful question would be to ask what do I think the advice will be that I would give to myself in 20 years’ time… now that’s an interesting question!

Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten


ISLAND BUSINESS MAGAZINE Every month Island Business magazine spotlights the people and companies that are making the news on the Isle of Wight. If you’ve got a story to share with the Island’s business community, start with Island Business. Every edition is emailed directly to thousands of Island business people and the physical edition is racked across the Island at high footfall locations. It’s also directly mailed to all Chamber members. If your business is growing, investing, celebrating, winning awards, appointing new staff or marking a milestone then get in touch. Send your news stories to the editor, Find out more about advertising, marketing opportunities and how we can help you to raise your profile by emailing







GREEN IMPACT ISLE OF WIGHT More than 65 Island businesses have taken part in the first year of the Island’s Green Impact scheme. Collectively participants took 1,159 actions to make the Island a cleaner, greener place to live, work and do business. The award winning programme marked its one year anniversary with its own awards ceremony. Michelle Hemmingfield from Students Organising for Sustainability explains more It’s been an amazing year! Our Green Impact businesses have made hundreds of improvements, from small things like labelling recycling bins and switching off lights, to bigger changes like moving to renewable energy suppliers, or phasing out single use plastics. We did some carbon calculations for just 10 of the actions within the toolkit and estimate that their actions have kept over 37938kg

of carbon equivalent out of the atmosphere, which equates to the weight of 417 baby elephants, and a potential financial saving of over £9k for those 10 actions alone. A personal highlight for me was seeing the student audits, held at the IW College. The 14 students, with no prior experience, were trained up as environmental auditors. They did a fantastic job and the training provided them with an insight into sustainability in the workplace, and is designed to boost their CVs by provide experience in cross transferable skills such as team working, communications and report writing. Together the Island has made a huge combined impact.Thank you to all our sponsors who made this all possible. It’s so uplifting to hear of local businesses investing in a community project like this. It’s given the project legitimacy and it’s been great working with you all.


Kayleigh Richter (left) and Michelle Hemmingfield (right) present the Outstanding Contribution award to Julie Jones-Evans (centre)

Green Impact IW is an innovative partnership between the National Union of Students, which has developed the Green Impact model over the last 11 years, as well as the IW Chamber of Commerce, IW College and IW Council. It’s also sponsored by several Island businesses, and thanks to this support the 2-year pilot is free for all island businesses. Green Impact centres around an online toolkit which supports businesses to take simple, tangible actions, through which they gain points and work towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. Green Impact is designed with business resilience in mind, so many of the actions have the added benefit of reducing costs through efficiency savings. The Isle of Wight’s Green Impact programme has won an Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) Sustainability Impact Award in the Consultancy and Collaboration category.





Kayleigh Richter presents Bronze standard awards to PC Consultants, The Seaview Hotel, Yokogawa Marex and Plan Research.


Kayleigh Richter presents Silver standard awards to Dragonfly, the Bodyworks Clinic, Lifeline Fire & Security and Cowes Chiropractic Clinic.

GOLD Kayleigh Richter presents Gold standard awards to Wight Computers, Graham Attrill Civil Engineering, Vikoma International and Love Running.




Networking Chamber

Being a Chamber member means you’re well-connected. Make the most of your membership by taking advantage of our member-only networking opportunities. Thursday 21 November 2019

Thursday 12th December 2019

One-Day Business Start Up Course

Thursday Tea & Toast Networking

We offer new businesses the opportunity to take their ideas from paper into practice. We offer a one day 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.

Meet members for informal networking in a great location. It’s free to attend,

IW Chamber Offices, Newport £5 admin fee (Available to non-members)

Slug & Lettuce, Newport 7.30am – 9.30am | FREE

with hot drinks and toast for everyone.

Friday 10th January 2020

Business Breakfast Tuesday 26th November 2019

The Interview Workshop

With WP Recruitment & HR Ltd IW Chamber Offices, Newport | 10.00am – 1.00pm | £5 admin fee During the morning you will understand the need to have and be able to prepare, a comprehensive job description and interview questions. You will also explore techniques and other assessment and selection methods in order to assist you to make the right appointment.

Isle of Wight College | 7.30am-9.30am | £15 per person Join us for our first breakfast in 2020! Our guest speaker will be Michael Coyle of Lawdit Solicitors talking about Intellectual Property Law. Don’t forget we have also opened up networking breakfasts to non members who can attend as your guest. If that guest signs up to join the Chamber during the morning then you and your guest will get your next breakfast for FREE as part of our Member Referral Scheme.

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Emergency First Aid at Work Course Friday 6th December 2019

Networking Business Breakfast The Breeze, Island Harbour 7.30am – 9.30am | £15.00 per person

Our guest speaker this month will be Gary Peace from ESID Consulting who will be talking about ‘Insider Threat – The Human Factor’.

Delivered by Good Skills Training IW Chamber Offices, Newport | 9.30am – 4.30pm £60 +vat per person

This one-day course designed to give delegates the knowledge, skills and confidence to help those that have become unconscious, and those with minor injuries..

Tuesday 11th February 2020 Tuesday 10th December 2019

How to Use Instagram for Business With Nosy Design IW Chamber Offices, Newport | 9.30am – 12.30pm | FREE

Instagram is one of the biggest social media networks, with over 1 billion users. Over 70% of businesses use Instagram; but do they do it correctly? In this FREE workshop, Matt from Nosy Design will discuss how to use Instagram to increase your brand’s awareness and gain new customers. You will walk away with a plan on what content to post, when to post it and who to engage with.

Fire Marshal Course Delivered by Good Skills Training IW Chamber Offices, Newport 9.30am – 1.00pm £60 +VAT per person

This half day course designed specifically for those who have been designated with the responsibilities of the Fire Marshal or Fire Warden. This course will look at the legal responsibilities of both the company and individual. By the end of this course delegates will be able to confidently and competent carry out theirs at-to-day duties as a fire marshal, as well as take charge in the event of a fire.

Book your place now! Go to 34



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New President sworn in, new board members elected and long-standing members recognised at Chamber’s AGM

Steven Holbrook speaks at the Chamber’s AGM

The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting was held on Friday 11th October at the Garlic Farm. The meeting was chaired by Steve Porter, Chairman of the Chamber Board. The Chamber’s Chief Executive Steven Holbrook shared his vision and ideas for the future of the Chamber and the meeting formally approved changes to the Chamber Board. John Allen from Ventnor Self-Catering was sworn in as the Chamber’s new President. John had a successful media career in both the BBC and commercial radio, where he was programme controller of news radio station LBC. He first joined the Chamber Board in 2012 having started a holiday letting business in Ventnor in 2007 and he is currently also a director of the Isle of Wight Lottery and Visit Isle of Wight Ltd. Since the start of the year he has been running the Ventnor Winter Gardens. Mark Lee of Lifeline Alarm Systems was elected unopposed to serve a second 3-year term of office in the category of General Business. Jonathan Thornton of PC Consultants and Chris Scott of Christopher Scott Ltd were both elected unopposed to serve their second 3-year term of office in the category of Professional and Business Services.


Steven Holbrook (left) with the Chamber’s new president John Allen



Fran Collins CEO of Red Funnel was elected to the Board to replace Kevin George in the category of Transport & Logistics. Alison Colley from Real Employment Law Advice was elected to the Board in the category of Professional and Business Services and Neil Chapman from Hovertravel stood down from the Board after completing his second 3 year term of office. Sandra Knowles from Hillbans Pest Control was co-opted to the Chamber Board for a period of one year. The AGM also recognised long-standing members with a Gold award presented to Glanvilles Damant Legal Services marking 35 years in membership. Silver awards were presented to Clarkes Mechanical, W Hurst & Son (IW) Ltd, Royal Ocean Racing Club and West Wight Sports & Community Centre marking 20 years of membership. Bronze member certificates, marking 10 years of membership, were presented to The Rosetta Group inc Open Sauce Systems Ltd and The Utility Warehouse Discount Club. Claudia Roberts from Glanvilles receives the Gold membership award

Simon Clarke from Clarkes Mechanical collects the silver award

A silver award for Peter Hartnell from W Hurst & Son

The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Sam Flux receives a silver award

Clare Griffin and Sue Lupton from West Wight Sports & Community Centre receive their silver award

Open Sauce’s Sue & Mike Cox with their bronze award

A bronze award for The Utility Warehouse Discount Club’s Jacquie Tarry

Also announced at the AGM Silver membership status for Clare Lallow Bronze membership status for Catalyst, Comar Systems, Cowes Chiropractic Clinic, Curraghmore Hotel, Eve's Tipis, Flowers by Nic, Fortis Energy, Gailygain Ltd, Grange Bank House, The Havelock, The Hermitage, HM Prison Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight Tramway Co Ltd, Island Wellness Club Spa, Luccombe Villa, Michaelangelo Italian Restaurant, Monkey Haven, Pepper Creative, Phil Hughes Financial Services, Sands Hotel and Univoice.




Chamber Members New

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Island Opportunities CIC

Claire Speight Design

Isle Stay

Colloco Marketing Agency

IW Furniture



Michael Salmon 07486 653917

Claire Speight 07910 226854

Sophia Brading 033330 034347

Matt Sprooles 01983 559000

Norman Arnold 01983 528142

Salim Miah 07868 658353

Wayne Rose 01983 220304

Lorraine Lawton-Berry 07774 518381

Executive Command Ltd

Saltwater Social


Solent Composite Solutions Limited

Benji Churchill 07927 193217

Kay Montgomery 01983 716850

Siobhan Gailey 07794 660298

Matthew Chalk 01983 292602

Want to join the Chamber? Call the team on 01983 520777 or online 38


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President’s View By John Allen, IW Chamber President

I find it a great honour to be the newly elected President of the Island’s Chamber and I look forward to working with Chamber members large and small, and in different sectors over the next three years. I recognise that you may not know me, but I have had a varied experience working mainly in public facing roles. At present I am running my own self-catering holiday business in Ventnor, and since January I have been general manager of Ventnor Winter Gardens.  Additionally I am a director of Visit Isle of Wight and for some years have been a director of the Chamber company that runs the Isle of Wight Lottery.  The Winter Gardens is part of a group of companies that also own the Hambrough in Ventnor and, on the mainland, import rum from St Vincent and wines from Provence and I am involved in those businesses too from time to time. Prior to setting up in business on the Island in 2006 I worked in radio (including being Programme Controller of news station LBC)

and later was the BBC senior manager responsible for transforming their local and regional services from analogue to digital. Of course the big event for the Chamber in the last month has been the Business Awards which become bigger and more prestigious each year. I’d like to congratulate all the winners and finalists.  Just a glance down the list shows the breadth and quality of businesses on the Island.  I’d particularly like to congratulate WRS Systems for winning the President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution. The sector I know best on the Island is tourism and it is interesting to reflect back on this summer.  For me it has been busy and there does seem to be a bit of a Brexit uncertainty effect on my bookings, with more demand for my larger properties and booking much further in advance.  It would be interesting to hear other people’s take on things.  If you are involved in tourism, and a BID Levy payer, I would urge you to attend the Visit Isle of Wight Tourism Conference on 20th November as

you are bound to pick up some good tips. The Chamber has an interesting programme of networking events and courses over the coming weeks aimed at everyone from small startups to established companies. Many courses are free or have a nominal cost, so are a good way to get value from your membership.  I’d advise you to book them quickly as the last one I tried to attend was already fully booked! As President of the Chamber I want to hear from you, share experiences, and hear how we can take the Chamber to the next level.  I look forward to meeting you over the next three years.


ISLAND BUSINESS MAGAZINE Every month Island Business magazine spotlights the people and companies that are making the news on the Isle of Wight. If you’ve got a story to share with the Island’s business community, start with Island Business. Every edition is emailed directly to thousands of Island business people and the physical edition is racked across the Island at high footfall locations. It’s also directly mailed to all Chamber members. If your business is growing, investing, celebrating, winning awards, appointing new staff or marking a milestone then get in touch. Send your news stories to the editor, Find out more about advertising, marketing opportunities and how we can help you to raise your profile by emailing




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Profile for Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

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