News

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

Bedford bus operator commits to reduce near-term carbon reduction targets

Stagecoach, the parent company of Bedford’s largest bus operator, Stagecoach East, has announced that its near-term greenhouse gas emission targets have been approved by corporate climate action organisation, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Stagecoach was supported in developing its climate change targets by specialist consultancy, Net Zero International.

Read More

Member Interview: Bina Briggs, Plain Talking HR - Personalised Service that Puts Simplicity First

Plain Talking HR’s website spells its message out loud and clear. The hazard sign top and centre bears the legend ‘No Jargon!’

And for the last 15 years, this Luton-based HR specialist has been flying the flag for plain talking and simplicity across clients ranging in size from a handful of employees to 200, in industries as diverse as construction (a key focus), medicine, dentistry, accountancy, and many others.

Read More

Member Interview: Steve Blythe, Jaltek – Super-Excited About the Awards, and Banging the Drum for Luton!

 

 

We previously caught up with Steve Blythe, at Luton-based electronics manufacturer and Beds Chamber member Jaltek, back in 2022. So when we interviewed him again last month he had much to report – and the company’s platinum sponsorship of the forthcoming SME Bedfordshire Business Awards was high on the list!

Read More

Beds Chamber Members to Meet the Bank of England – and You Can Be There

Have you heard of the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, Huw Pill?

Would you like to meet him, and ask him some searching questions about monetary policy, inflation, interest rates, and all the other factors that impact on your business? Well, you can.

Read More

Member Interview: Jennifer Condon, Wenta – Free Business Support Takes the Stage at the SME Bedfordshire Business Awards

Currently celebrating its 40th year, social enterprise Wenta is a remarkable resource for anybody considering starting a business, already running a business, or looking to grow their business.

Dispensing free, impartial business advice, CPD accredited skills training, templates and toolkits, accompanied by free hot-desking facilities, affordable workspace, sustainability advice and access to specialist early stage growth support and funding, Wenta is the helping hand every new and aspiring small business needs to know about – and through its sponsorship of the SME Bedfordshire Business Awards, it’s determined to get the message ‘out there’.

Read More

Aegis Support Services appoints head of national operations to support growth plans

Aegis Support Services, the fast-growing security and facilities management services provider, has appointed experienced operations professional Darren Austin to its team as head of national operations.

Read More

Member Interview: Qadeer Qureshi, Aegis Support Services – Security: SME Awards, and Beyond

One supplier, one invoice, one request – not for nothing is this the mantra of Luton-headquartered Aegis Support Services.

The company prides itself on being a one-stop-shop for all manner of services that protect people, buildings, and assets – from security and facilities management to hygiene and training, and much more besides.

Read More

The Future of the Economy: Have Your Say

The future of the economy may sound like an awfully big topic – and one you can’t influence. But in fact these conversations – and some great networking opportunities that go with them - are within your reach!

Read More

Member Interview: Unisnacks – Bringing Peace, Prosperity, and Unity, Through the Business of Food

It was as a best business practices mentor in the early days of his career at Unilever, and later with Panasonic in Japan and Siemens AG globally, that Unisnacks CEO Hyder gained expertise in the areas that would underpin the start-up success of the company he now leads: food production and distribution, and Eastern food culture.

In 2006, Hyder envisioned Unisnacks to - as he puts it - “bring some excitement into the snack business by putting East Asian food in your corner shops, not just speciality stores. Global foods, locally!”

Read More

The Spring Budget 2024: Business Will Benefit, But More is Needed

The Chancellor’s Spring Budget, delivered yesterday (7th March at the time of writing) is, it’s fair to say, hardly a business game-changer.

That said, there’s perhaps more business benefit in it than initially meets the eye - and not least because it contains changes that we, through our connection to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), lobbied for.

Here’s a brief overview of what we believe are the Budget’s most important business takeaways.

Read More

LLA invests £70 million in local economy

More than half of London Luton Airport’s (LLA) supply chain spend went to businesses within a 25-mile radius last year, with an increasing number of local companies joining the airport’s supplier list.

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Bedford bus company ranked as the top environmental transport operator

•    Stagecoach wins A-rating from Carbon Disclosure Project, improved from ‘B’ last year.
•    Rating puts Stagecoach in Leadership band for climate change disclosure reporting.
•    Rating significantly above the average for the road transport sector.

Stagecoach, the largest bus operator in Bedford, has ranked higher than any other in the Road Transport group globally in the latest external assessment of company performance on addressing climate change.

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How Does Beds Chamber Influence Government? Let’s Start with the Quarterly Economic Survey…

There’s no denying it - the political and economic uncertainty of the past few years has contributed to challenging conditions for businesses, as multiple crises have converged.

One of the most important ways we bring these challenges to the attention of the policymakers in Government is through the Quarterly Economic Survey (QES).

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Strong Prospects for 2024 at Wyboston Lakes Resort after Record-Breaking Revenue in 2023

Wyboston Lakes Resort is eagerly anticipating a strong year ahead after a successful 2023, marked by outstanding revenue growth and strategic achievements.

Read More

Local Apprentices Share Their ‘Skills for Life’ for National Apprenticeship Week

Neville Trust group of companies, a longstanding family business comprising of Neville Funerals, Neville Special Projects and Neville Joinery, is set to celebrate the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week (Feb 5-11, 2024).

Read More

Kickstart Your Career with a Lockheed Martin Apprenticeship

This week the UK is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, and with this year’s theme focused on “Skills for Life,” it’s a great reminder that an apprenticeship can set you up for a life-long path of learning, development, and progression.

Read More

Golf Day Secures Hole in One for Air Ambulance

East of England based Streets Chartered Accountants, a top 40 accountancy practice, hosted their tenth annual Charity Golf Day raising a record amount of more than £8,000 for the Air Ambulance.

Read More

Leading Tax specialist Andrew Cockman joins the fast-growing practice, Streets Chartered Accountants

Streets Chartered Accountants is delighted to announce that the widely acclaimed tax specialist Andrew Cockman has joined its practice.

Read More

SME Bedfordshire Business Awards 2024: Don’t Miss Your Chance to Shine!

Nothing does a successful business justice like the recognition, publicity, and exposure of a high-profile award win. But there are hundreds of awards out there, and you can’t enter them all – so which do you choose?

If you’re a Bedfordshire business, the SME Bedfordshire Business Awards are surely a clear contender, but perhaps for more reasons now than you were previously aware of. Because this respected event, in its seventh year, is now completely organised and run by us at the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce directly.

Read More

Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice to home RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 ‘Grief Kind’ garden

National healthcare charity Sue Ryder is set to explore the theme of grief with a sensory garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024.

Read More

Professor Joe Nellis awarded CBE in New Year Honours List

Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy at Cranfield University’s School of Management, has been awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in King Charles III’s New Year Honours List. The CBE has been awarded in recognition of Joe’s contributions to higher education, economics, business, and charity.

Read More

EVOLVE Social Entrepreneur 2023 Announced

EVOLVE is a membership based organisation. A Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation initiative launched in 2018 by Chair Viviane Vayssieres.

Last year EVOLVE awarded bursaries worth £16,000, helping women to retrain, upskill and start a business.

Read More

Wyboston Lakes Resort has signed the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge

Wyboston Lakes Resort has signed the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge, joining more than 600 leading conference and events industry organisations worldwide since its launch at Cop26 in signing it or expressing their support for the campaign.

Read More

Lockheed Martin: Tis the Season of Community Support at Ampthill

One of Bedfordshire’s largest employer shares its community spirit story. As part of its community outreach efforts, giving back to the local community in which it operates, and where a large number of its employee population lives, Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill site has a dedicated STEM outreach, and local volunteering and charity / fundraising programme that is focused around making a difference to the lives of others.

Read More

Together We Are Strong! Let the Chamber Help You Connect in 2024

Since the dawn of time, humans have formed groups, communities, societies, tribes. It helped them pool and trade resources, approach each other for help, and protect themselves against difficult conditions and predators.

And it’s really no different for businesses. Did you know, for example, that over 50,000 businesses in the UK are members of the British Chambers of Commerce, through their local Chamber (of which we at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce are one)?

Read More

Member Interview: Surinder Arora – Upgrading Luton Hoo to Put the Town and County on the Map

For Surinder Arora, Founder and Chairman of the Arora Group, the project to upgrade and improve Luton Hoo – the hotel, golf, and spa complex with a stunning 18th century manor house at its heart – is much more than business as usual.

Driving through the gates for the first time, Surinder felt something that, even with his vast experience in the property and hotel sector, he’d never felt before – an immediate sense that the place was, as he puts it, “very special”. And so he bought it - as seen.

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Stagecoach East wins gold at UK Bus Awards

•    Gold Award for outreach scheme. 
•    Further Silver Award for outstanding Engineer. 
•    Finalists in three more categories, only weeks after winning a National Transport Award. 

Read More

Red Tape, Regulation & Costs Holding Back Exports

•    Almost half (49%) of businesses say current customs checks and declarations are a barrier to exporting. This rises to 62% for manufacturers
 
•    Taxes and duties, due to tariffs, are the next biggest stumbling block for two fifths (40%) of firms.
 
•    Regulations, such as product certification, cause problems for a similar proportion of businesses (38%)

Read More

Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce Unveil International Trade Support Programme

Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Central Bedfordshire Council, is proud to announce the launch of a targeted support programme aimed at assisting businesses engaged in, or aspiring to engage in, international trade.

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Bedford Radio's new studio formally opened by Mayor and MP

Bedford Radio, the new local radio station for Bedford, formally opened its new studio on Thursday, 23rd November 2023.

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Bedford bus operator commits to reduce near-term carbon reduction targets

Stagecoach, the parent company of Bedford’s largest bus operator, Stagecoach East, has announced that its near-term greenhouse gas emission targets have been approved by corporate climate action organisation, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Stagecoach was supported in developing its climate change targets by specialist consultancy, Net Zero International.

Read More

Member Interview: Bina Briggs, Plain Talking HR - Personalised Service that Puts Simplicity First

Plain Talking HR’s website spells its message out loud and clear. The hazard sign top and centre bears the legend ‘No Jargon!’

And for the last 15 years, this Luton-based HR specialist has been flying the flag for plain talking and simplicity across clients ranging in size from a handful of employees to 200, in industries as diverse as construction (a key focus), medicine, dentistry, accountancy, and many others.

Read More

Member Interview: Steve Blythe, Jaltek – Super-Excited About the Awards, and Banging the Drum for Luton!

 

 

We previously caught up with Steve Blythe, at Luton-based electronics manufacturer and Beds Chamber member Jaltek, back in 2022. So when we interviewed him again last month he had much to report – and the company’s platinum sponsorship of the forthcoming SME Bedfordshire Business Awards was high on the list!

Read More

Beds Chamber Members to Meet the Bank of England – and You Can Be There

Have you heard of the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, Huw Pill?

Would you like to meet him, and ask him some searching questions about monetary policy, inflation, interest rates, and all the other factors that impact on your business? Well, you can.

Read More

Member Interview: Jennifer Condon, Wenta – Free Business Support Takes the Stage at the SME Bedfordshire Business Awards

Currently celebrating its 40th year, social enterprise Wenta is a remarkable resource for anybody considering starting a business, already running a business, or looking to grow their business.

Dispensing free, impartial business advice, CPD accredited skills training, templates and toolkits, accompanied by free hot-desking facilities, affordable workspace, sustainability advice and access to specialist early stage growth support and funding, Wenta is the helping hand every new and aspiring small business needs to know about – and through its sponsorship of the SME Bedfordshire Business Awards, it’s determined to get the message ‘out there’.

Read More

Aegis Support Services appoints head of national operations to support growth plans

Aegis Support Services, the fast-growing security and facilities management services provider, has appointed experienced operations professional Darren Austin to its team as head of national operations.

Read More

Member Interview: Qadeer Qureshi, Aegis Support Services – Security: SME Awards, and Beyond

One supplier, one invoice, one request – not for nothing is this the mantra of Luton-headquartered Aegis Support Services.

The company prides itself on being a one-stop-shop for all manner of services that protect people, buildings, and assets – from security and facilities management to hygiene and training, and much more besides.

Read More

The Future of the Economy: Have Your Say

The future of the economy may sound like an awfully big topic – and one you can’t influence. But in fact these conversations – and some great networking opportunities that go with them - are within your reach!

Read More

Member Interview: Unisnacks – Bringing Peace, Prosperity, and Unity, Through the Business of Food

It was as a best business practices mentor in the early days of his career at Unilever, and later with Panasonic in Japan and Siemens AG globally, that Unisnacks CEO Hyder gained expertise in the areas that would underpin the start-up success of the company he now leads: food production and distribution, and Eastern food culture.

In 2006, Hyder envisioned Unisnacks to - as he puts it - “bring some excitement into the snack business by putting East Asian food in your corner shops, not just speciality stores. Global foods, locally!”

Read More

The Spring Budget 2024: Business Will Benefit, But More is Needed

The Chancellor’s Spring Budget, delivered yesterday (7th March at the time of writing) is, it’s fair to say, hardly a business game-changer.

That said, there’s perhaps more business benefit in it than initially meets the eye - and not least because it contains changes that we, through our connection to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), lobbied for.

Here’s a brief overview of what we believe are the Budget’s most important business takeaways.

Read More

Strong Prospects for 2024 at Wyboston Lakes Resort after Record-Breaking Revenue in 2023

Wyboston Lakes Resort is eagerly anticipating a strong year ahead after a successful 2023, marked by outstanding revenue growth and strategic achievements.

Read More

Local Apprentices Share Their ‘Skills for Life’ for National Apprenticeship Week

Neville Trust group of companies, a longstanding family business comprising of Neville Funerals, Neville Special Projects and Neville Joinery, is set to celebrate the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week (Feb 5-11, 2024).

Read More

Kickstart Your Career with a Lockheed Martin Apprenticeship

This week the UK is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, and with this year’s theme focused on “Skills for Life,” it’s a great reminder that an apprenticeship can set you up for a life-long path of learning, development, and progression.

Read More

Golf Day Secures Hole in One for Air Ambulance

East of England based Streets Chartered Accountants, a top 40 accountancy practice, hosted their tenth annual Charity Golf Day raising a record amount of more than £8,000 for the Air Ambulance.

Read More

Leading Tax specialist Andrew Cockman joins the fast-growing practice, Streets Chartered Accountants

Streets Chartered Accountants is delighted to announce that the widely acclaimed tax specialist Andrew Cockman has joined its practice.

Read More

SME Bedfordshire Business Awards 2024: Don’t Miss Your Chance to Shine!

Nothing does a successful business justice like the recognition, publicity, and exposure of a high-profile award win. But there are hundreds of awards out there, and you can’t enter them all – so which do you choose?

If you’re a Bedfordshire business, the SME Bedfordshire Business Awards are surely a clear contender, but perhaps for more reasons now than you were previously aware of. Because this respected event, in its seventh year, is now completely organised and run by us at the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce directly.

Read More

Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice to home RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 ‘Grief Kind’ garden

National healthcare charity Sue Ryder is set to explore the theme of grief with a sensory garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024.

Read More

Professor Joe Nellis awarded CBE in New Year Honours List

Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy at Cranfield University’s School of Management, has been awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in King Charles III’s New Year Honours List. The CBE has been awarded in recognition of Joe’s contributions to higher education, economics, business, and charity.

Read More

EVOLVE Social Entrepreneur 2023 Announced

EVOLVE is a membership based organisation. A Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation initiative launched in 2018 by Chair Viviane Vayssieres.

Last year EVOLVE awarded bursaries worth £16,000, helping women to retrain, upskill and start a business.

Read More

Wyboston Lakes Resort has signed the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge

Wyboston Lakes Resort has signed the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge, joining more than 600 leading conference and events industry organisations worldwide since its launch at Cop26 in signing it or expressing their support for the campaign.

Read More

Lockheed Martin: Tis the Season of Community Support at Ampthill

One of Bedfordshire’s largest employer shares its community spirit story. As part of its community outreach efforts, giving back to the local community in which it operates, and where a large number of its employee population lives, Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill site has a dedicated STEM outreach, and local volunteering and charity / fundraising programme that is focused around making a difference to the lives of others.

Read More

Together We Are Strong! Let the Chamber Help You Connect in 2024

Since the dawn of time, humans have formed groups, communities, societies, tribes. It helped them pool and trade resources, approach each other for help, and protect themselves against difficult conditions and predators.

And it’s really no different for businesses. Did you know, for example, that over 50,000 businesses in the UK are members of the British Chambers of Commerce, through their local Chamber (of which we at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce are one)?

Read More

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