News

Latest updates and stories from Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and its Members

Developing Your Workforce

Three in four employers are experiencing recruitment difficulties, changes to immigration policies following Brexit have presented further barriers, and the evident skills shortage seen across sectors is forcing companies to look at different ways to fill the skills gap. Whilst training and up-skilling existing employees is an obvious and effective solution, it can only go some of the way, and more practical solutions need to be identified and implemented.

Read More

Challenging times and material shortages affecting the construction industry

As construction activity has surged in 2021, the availability of some materials has become extremely difficult. Many contractors are reporting issues regarding purchasing critical materials such as steel, cement, timber, roof tiles and plasterboard.

Robert Franklin, Head of Architecture & Building Surveying at Robinson & Hall provides an update…

Read More

Women in Engineering

International Women in Engineering Day was celebrated across the globe on 23rd June. Launched by the Women's Engineering Society, who have been supporting women in engineering for 102 years, this day aims to raise the profile of women engineers and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.

Read More

Success for Imagefix at the SME Luton and Bedfordshire Business Awards

Imagefix is delighted to have been the recipient of two awards at the recent SME Luton and Bedfordshire Business Awards. Our wonderful apprentice, Reece Hornblower, won the Gold Winner Award for ‘Apprentice of the Year’, and Imagefix won the Silver Winner Award for Bedford Business of the Year. It means a good deal to us to be honoured in this way by the place we live and work in.

Read More

Major new funding for woodland planting in the Marston Vale, Bedfordshire

The Forest of Marston Vale Trust has secured unprecedented levels of funding from the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to accelerate tree planting activity within the Marston Vale area of Bedfordshire over the next four years. Under this new “Trees for Climate” scheme, up to £8 million is available to support new tree planting projects up until April 2025. It presents an excellent opportunity for landowners looking at options for their land going forwards, and a chance to explore how trees can be part of their plans.

Read More

Quarterly Recruitment Outlook – 70% Face Difficulty Finding Staff as Workforce Growth Expectations Surge


• Over half (52%) of firms say they attempted to recruit in Q2, highest since last pre-pandemic quarter

• Nearly two fifths (38%) expect to grow their workforce in next quarter, higher than pre-pandemic 2018-19 average of 29%

• 70% of those who attempted to recruit now report difficulty finding staff, a 7-point rise from the previous quarter 

Read More

How smaller retailers can avoid spending more than they have to

The outlook is tough; however here’s one simple step to control your outgoings

We have all heard about how the high street is under immense pressure, with smaller retailers taking the brunt of the impact of challenging trading conditions.

Read More

Jaltek selects Aegis’ FactoryLogix IIoT-based manufacturing operations platform

Electronics manufacturing company Jaltek, have chosen Aegis Software’s digital Manufacturing Execution System (MES) platform FactoryLogix (FLx) to support all aspects of production at their facility in Luton.

Read More

Jewers opens the Doors at their New Purpose-Built Headquarters

Staff at Biggleswade based Jewers Doors have moved into their new purpose-built factory and office building after only a 26 week build programme. The new premises at Juno Place on Stratton Business Park comprises 45,700 sqft of factory and over 12,000 sqft of office space, more than double the size of their old site only a quarter of a mile away.

Read More

Game-changing UK forensic science centre of excellence officially opened

A new forensic science ‘centre of excellence’ has been officially opened at Cranfield University. The facilities at Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI) are among some of the very best in the world and investment has been targeted in the fields of crime scene investigation, digital forensic investigation and forensic materials analysis, amongst others.

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BCC Issues Blueprint for Economic Recovery and says Global Trade can be a key driver

 

The new Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, Shevaun Haviland, will today set out the action needed to help firms and communities rebuild.

In her first speech at the BCC’s Global Annual Conference, Haviland will argue that key steps are needed to boost UK trade, unlock the blockages in the skills training system and build a greener and more sustainable economy that achieves the aim of net zero by 2050.

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Helping businesses manage their cashflow as they start to reopen

Cash is king – how businesses can take control of their outgoings

The impacts of the pandemic will be felt well into the future but for now, businesses are taking their first steps in gradually reopening.

Coffee shops and cafes are welcoming customers inside, hairdressers and beauty salons are switching on the lights and workers are starting to return to the office.

Read More

Platinum Award recognises Wyboston Lakes Resort’s sustainability efforts

Wyboston Lakes Resort has gained official recognition for its continuing extensive efforts to operate sustainably by achieving the EcoSmart Platinum Venue Award, after reaching the Gold level last year.

Read More

Small Business Confidence Rising But Fears Over Future Lockdowns Remain, Finds BCC/Funding Circle Survey

• Growth: 63% of firms surveyed confident in their growth prospects over next 12 months

• Restarting: 53% already operating at pre-pandemic capacity; 80% expect to be by October

• Barriers: 38% cited further lockdowns as a barrier to re-opening, while 37% cited ongoing social distancing measures

• Finance: 44% believe access to finance will help overcome the remaining barriers to fully restarting operations

Read More

Wyboston Lakes Resort confirmed as one of the UK’s Best Companies to Work For

Wyboston Lakes Resort has earned 45th place in the UK’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For list 2021.

In the Top 75 Best Companies to Work for in the East of England, Wyboston Lakes Resort was ranked 21st and also at 10th in Leisure & Hospitality’s 20 Best Companies to Work For.

Read More

One month left to join VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

Businesses that deferred VAT payments last year have one month left to join online to pay in monthly instalments under the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.

The online portal for the new payment scheme closes on 21 June 2021.

Read More

Peli BioThermal Expands Role for Dominic Hyde to Include Global Services

Vice President of Crēdo™ on Demand will now lead ongoing expansion of worldwide services and network growth as company looks to further global presence

Read More

Central Bedfordshire College Engineers the Future with Amazon

Engineering students at Central Bedfordshire College are thrilled to have the opportunity to extend their practical industry knowledge using top-of-the-range machines donated by Amazon.

Read More

Government’s announcement will have widespread implications for all building owners and occupiers

The Government has announced to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035. With under 14 years to go, it is an ambitious goal which the Climate Change Committee says will require big changes. 
Robert Franklin, Head of Architecture & Building Surveying at Robinson & Hall explains…

Read More

Landmark skills training report calls for wide-ranging reboot of UK system

A major new report is calling for a root and branch reform of the UK’s training system to help businesses access the skills they need to boost productivity.

The final report from the Workplace Training and Development Commission (WTDC), set up by the British Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Indeed, follows an 18-month in-depth study of what businesses want from adult skills training provision in the UK.

Read More

BCC welcomes Ratification of UK-EU TCA but says work remains to be done

Speaking after news that the Trade and Co-operation Agreeement has been ratified, Hannah Essex, Co-Executive Director of the BCC, said:

“While there may be relief that the ratification of the TCA has gone smoothly, the reality is that the changes within the agreement have been operational now for almost four months.

Read More

Wyboston Lakes Resort awarded ‘world class’ status by Best Companies

Wyboston Lakes Resort in Bedfordshire has been awarded a 3-star accreditation for the second time by Best Companies, based on employee feedback. This means the venue is considered a ‘world class’ employer in terms of employee engagement.

Read More

East West Rail Update – 5 possible routes


Robinson & Hall, Land and Property Professionals provide an update on East West Rail…

“With a number of clients affected by the proposed corridor for East West Rail we have been awaiting more news of the proposed route. We have today received information of a consultation on five possible routes for the line between Bedford and Cambridge.The consultation also includes details of planned changes on the Milton Keynes to Bedford route.

Read More

BCC SAYS MODEST GROWTH IN GDP OFFERS SOME HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

Commenting on GDP figures for February 2021 published by the ONS, BCC Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said:

“The latest data confirms a modest return to growth in February. However, coming after a contraction in January, it does little to alter the prospect of a downbeat first quarter for the UK economy.

Read More

Up to £4,000 grant for apprentices

Employers can claim up to £4,000 for taking on an apprentice aged 16-18.

And, apprentices of any age can attract £3,000 of funding.

Business Development Director Gina Bubbins of The Bedford College Group says:

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BCC signs Armed Forces Covenant

The British Chamber of Commerce has signed the Armed Forces Covenant in a virtual signing event attended by the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Simon Brooks-Ward CVO OBE TD VR.

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Bedford business and local charity join forces to ramp up initiative for a greener future

The Forest of Marston Vale and Midas Pattern Company Ltd launch partnership to showcase zero-carbon business in action and plant trees in the local area

SHORTSTOWN AND COTTON END: Local Community Forest charity the Forest of Marston Vale has entered into a 5 year partnership with award-winning company Midas Pattern Company Ltd, planting 500 trees per year near Bedford and selling verified carbon units to cut the manufacturing company’s carbon footprint to absolute zero.

Read More

Peli BioThermal Announce Asia Award Win for Industry Leading Packaging Products

Company celebrates winning major accolade at Asia-Pacific Bioprocessing Excellence Awards

Peli BioThermal, the global name in temperature controlled packaging, was announced as winner of the Best Temperature Control Packaging Provider - Passive category at the annual Asia-Pacific Bioprocessing Excellence Awards 2021.

Read More

Breaking news… Publishing companies make their own headlines by joining forces

TWO of the leading publishing businesses in Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire have joined forces to create a new ‘print powerhouse’.
Lunar Publishing Ltd, which produces the monthly MK Pulse and NN Pulse lifestyle magazines, has relaunched the well respected and long-established Northamptonshire business publication Business Times earlier this year.

Read More

Developing Your Workforce

Three in four employers are experiencing recruitment difficulties, changes to immigration policies following Brexit have presented further barriers, and the evident skills shortage seen across sectors is forcing companies to look at different ways to fill the skills gap. Whilst training and up-skilling existing employees is an obvious and effective solution, it can only go some of the way, and more practical solutions need to be identified and implemented.

Read More

Challenging times and material shortages affecting the construction industry

As construction activity has surged in 2021, the availability of some materials has become extremely difficult. Many contractors are reporting issues regarding purchasing critical materials such as steel, cement, timber, roof tiles and plasterboard.

Robert Franklin, Head of Architecture & Building Surveying at Robinson & Hall provides an update…

Read More

Women in Engineering

International Women in Engineering Day was celebrated across the globe on 23rd June. Launched by the Women's Engineering Society, who have been supporting women in engineering for 102 years, this day aims to raise the profile of women engineers and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.

Read More

Success for Imagefix at the SME Luton and Bedfordshire Business Awards

Imagefix is delighted to have been the recipient of two awards at the recent SME Luton and Bedfordshire Business Awards. Our wonderful apprentice, Reece Hornblower, won the Gold Winner Award for ‘Apprentice of the Year’, and Imagefix won the Silver Winner Award for Bedford Business of the Year. It means a good deal to us to be honoured in this way by the place we live and work in.

Read More

Major new funding for woodland planting in the Marston Vale, Bedfordshire

The Forest of Marston Vale Trust has secured unprecedented levels of funding from the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to accelerate tree planting activity within the Marston Vale area of Bedfordshire over the next four years. Under this new “Trees for Climate” scheme, up to £8 million is available to support new tree planting projects up until April 2025. It presents an excellent opportunity for landowners looking at options for their land going forwards, and a chance to explore how trees can be part of their plans.

Read More

Quarterly Recruitment Outlook – 70% Face Difficulty Finding Staff as Workforce Growth Expectations Surge


• Over half (52%) of firms say they attempted to recruit in Q2, highest since last pre-pandemic quarter

• Nearly two fifths (38%) expect to grow their workforce in next quarter, higher than pre-pandemic 2018-19 average of 29%

• 70% of those who attempted to recruit now report difficulty finding staff, a 7-point rise from the previous quarter 

Read More

How smaller retailers can avoid spending more than they have to

The outlook is tough; however here’s one simple step to control your outgoings

We have all heard about how the high street is under immense pressure, with smaller retailers taking the brunt of the impact of challenging trading conditions.

Read More

Jaltek selects Aegis’ FactoryLogix IIoT-based manufacturing operations platform

Electronics manufacturing company Jaltek, have chosen Aegis Software’s digital Manufacturing Execution System (MES) platform FactoryLogix (FLx) to support all aspects of production at their facility in Luton.

Read More

Jewers opens the Doors at their New Purpose-Built Headquarters

Staff at Biggleswade based Jewers Doors have moved into their new purpose-built factory and office building after only a 26 week build programme. The new premises at Juno Place on Stratton Business Park comprises 45,700 sqft of factory and over 12,000 sqft of office space, more than double the size of their old site only a quarter of a mile away.

Read More

Platinum Award recognises Wyboston Lakes Resort’s sustainability efforts

Wyboston Lakes Resort has gained official recognition for its continuing extensive efforts to operate sustainably by achieving the EcoSmart Platinum Venue Award, after reaching the Gold level last year.

Read More

Small Business Confidence Rising But Fears Over Future Lockdowns Remain, Finds BCC/Funding Circle Survey

• Growth: 63% of firms surveyed confident in their growth prospects over next 12 months

• Restarting: 53% already operating at pre-pandemic capacity; 80% expect to be by October

• Barriers: 38% cited further lockdowns as a barrier to re-opening, while 37% cited ongoing social distancing measures

• Finance: 44% believe access to finance will help overcome the remaining barriers to fully restarting operations

Read More

Wyboston Lakes Resort confirmed as one of the UK’s Best Companies to Work For

Wyboston Lakes Resort has earned 45th place in the UK’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For list 2021.

In the Top 75 Best Companies to Work for in the East of England, Wyboston Lakes Resort was ranked 21st and also at 10th in Leisure & Hospitality’s 20 Best Companies to Work For.

Read More

One month left to join VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

Businesses that deferred VAT payments last year have one month left to join online to pay in monthly instalments under the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.

The online portal for the new payment scheme closes on 21 June 2021.

Read More

Peli BioThermal Expands Role for Dominic Hyde to Include Global Services

Vice President of Crēdo™ on Demand will now lead ongoing expansion of worldwide services and network growth as company looks to further global presence

Read More

Central Bedfordshire College Engineers the Future with Amazon

Engineering students at Central Bedfordshire College are thrilled to have the opportunity to extend their practical industry knowledge using top-of-the-range machines donated by Amazon.

Read More

Government’s announcement will have widespread implications for all building owners and occupiers

The Government has announced to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035. With under 14 years to go, it is an ambitious goal which the Climate Change Committee says will require big changes. 
Robert Franklin, Head of Architecture & Building Surveying at Robinson & Hall explains…

Read More

Landmark skills training report calls for wide-ranging reboot of UK system

A major new report is calling for a root and branch reform of the UK’s training system to help businesses access the skills they need to boost productivity.

The final report from the Workplace Training and Development Commission (WTDC), set up by the British Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Indeed, follows an 18-month in-depth study of what businesses want from adult skills training provision in the UK.

Read More

BCC welcomes Ratification of UK-EU TCA but says work remains to be done

Speaking after news that the Trade and Co-operation Agreeement has been ratified, Hannah Essex, Co-Executive Director of the BCC, said:

“While there may be relief that the ratification of the TCA has gone smoothly, the reality is that the changes within the agreement have been operational now for almost four months.

Read More

Wyboston Lakes Resort awarded ‘world class’ status by Best Companies

Wyboston Lakes Resort in Bedfordshire has been awarded a 3-star accreditation for the second time by Best Companies, based on employee feedback. This means the venue is considered a ‘world class’ employer in terms of employee engagement.

Read More

East West Rail Update – 5 possible routes


Robinson & Hall, Land and Property Professionals provide an update on East West Rail…

“With a number of clients affected by the proposed corridor for East West Rail we have been awaiting more news of the proposed route. We have today received information of a consultation on five possible routes for the line between Bedford and Cambridge.The consultation also includes details of planned changes on the Milton Keynes to Bedford route.

Read More

BCC SAYS MODEST GROWTH IN GDP OFFERS SOME HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

Commenting on GDP figures for February 2021 published by the ONS, BCC Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said:

“The latest data confirms a modest return to growth in February. However, coming after a contraction in January, it does little to alter the prospect of a downbeat first quarter for the UK economy.

Read More

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