News

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

Double recognition for Wyboston Lakes Resort at Greengage Sustainability Awards

Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort and Sustainability Director of beam has been recognised as Sustainability Industry Champion at the prestigious Greengage Sustainability Awards.

Read More

Sue Ryder searches for volunteers in Bedfordshire to support new service for grieving people

National healthcare and bereavement charity Sue Ryder is on the search for volunteers in Bedfordshire to help set up a new local initiative offering vital support to residents who are living with bereavement. 

The charity is opening a series of Grief Kind Spaces across the country in 2023, with the first in Bedfordshire opening in Milton Ernest, just north of Bedford in the coming months.

Read More

Member Interview: Machins Solicitors – Making it Easier to Navigate Immigration Law and Recruit New Workers

With the national labour shortage making it increasingly difficult for Bedfordshire businesses to fill posts with suitable candidates, bringing workers in from abroad can be a pragmatic solution, especially as the UK is seen as an attractive professional destination.

Read More

Why Apprentices Hold the Key to Successful Business Growth

6th – 12th of February marks National Apprenticeship Week, with this year’s theme focussed on Skills for Life. The week aims to bring together businesses and Apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that Apprenticeships make not only to individuals, but businesses and the wider economy too.

Read More

Outstanding start to 2023 follows record year at Wyboston Lakes Resort

 
Wyboston Lakes Resort has made an outstanding start to 2023 following a year of record results in 2022.

Read More

Cranfield University joins with Bedford Borough Council to plant new Miyawaki forest

More than 3,000 trees have been planted in Bedford as part of a Miyawaki forest project involving Cranfield University. 

Bedford had its first Miyawaki trees placed in the ground on Saturday (21) – through a partnership between Bedford Borough Council, Cranfield University, the Forest of Marston Vale, and Bedford Rotary Club. The project is part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ funded Trees for Climate initiative.

Read More

Top Wellbeing Trends, 2023: What Matters to Your Employees?

Nothing makes people rethink their health and wellbeing like a succession of hard knocks – and if we didn’t all know that before, we certainly do now, in the wake of assorted global and national turmoil.

Read More

Esther Roche named one of 2023’s most inspiring female founders

Esther Roche has been named one of the UK’s most inspirational and dynamic female entrepreneurs by the f:Entrepreneur ‘#ialso100’ campaign.

Read More

Cranfield awarded prestigious Small Business Charter accreditation

In recognition of its wide-ranging support for small businesses, outstanding student entrepreneurship provision and dedicated work with small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to support growth in the local community, Cranfield School of Management has achieved the Small Business Charter Award.

Read More

No Signs of Business Recovery – BCC Quarterly Economic Survey Q4 2022

•    After significant declines across all business conditions tracked by the BCC in Q3, most indicators have stabilised at a low level. 
•    Profitability confidence remains at Covid-crisis levels; only one in three (34%) businesses believe their profits will increase over the coming year, while more (36%) expect a decline.   
•    Just 33% of firms experienced an increase in sales over the past three months, while 25% of firms reported a decrease, with hospitality firms the least likely to report improvements.  
•    More firms are reporting taxation (38%) and interest rates (43%) as growing business concerns.  

Read More

New Year, No Fear! Finding the Business Upside in 2023

Years ago, a proverb was inscribed over the fireplace of an old Bedfordshire pub: “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No-one was there.”

It’s a reminder that, even in times of turmoil, all is often not what it threatens to be, and we believe that there are genuine signs that the coming year potentially holds hidden promise for businesses forearmed with the right knowledge and the right connections, despite the wider economic issues.

Here are a few examples of what’s on our radar.

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Member Interview: Stephen Blythe of Jaltek – Combining Innovation and Growth with Social Value

Stephen Blythe, Business Manager at Jaltek Systems Ltd., is proud to be part of the Luton electronics manufacturer that has seen its business double over the last four years, and is targeting further ambitious growth across sectors including Automotive & Electric Vehicles (EV), Clean Energy, Medical, and Defence & Aerospace.

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Kirkby Diamond scores tech park hat-trick

Commercial property consultants Kirkby Diamond has completed a hat-trick of deals at a leading technology park in the heart of the Oxford Cambridge Arc.
 
The deals at Cranfield Technology Park, next to the world famous Cranfield University in Bedfordshire, are expected to bring new jobs and investment to the region.

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Ghost Signs are go!

The people of Bedford will soon be able to enjoy a new art project by Bedford Creative Arts (BCA). Four murals in the style of “Ghost Signs” will be popping up around the town and all will depict historic and technical developments from Bedford’s past.  

Read More

October Growth Unlikely to Halt Recession

Reacting to the ONS GDP figures for October, David Bharier, Head of Research at the BCC, said:    

"The monthly growth in GDP for October of 0.5% is overshadowed by the underlying three-month trend revealed by the data, which shows a contraction in the economy of 0.3%.

Read More

Local packaging firm awarded Health and Safety Seal of Excellence

Bedfordshire company Colpac has received the nationally recognised Health and Safety Seal of Excellence Award from the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) after scoring 100% in a recent audit.

Read More

Marsh Farm Futures win national award

Marsh Farm Futures Staff and Board Members attended the SME National Business Awards at Wembley last Friday, 2nd December 2022 and were very pleased to witness Mr Mohammed Rafi, CEO of Marsh Farm Futures being awarded GOLD for the category of Lockdown Leader, following on from his success, in September, at the Luton & Beds Regional Awards, when MFF won Silver for being the Best SME Business with under 50 employees.

Read More

Crouchers are proud to announce the opening of a new office branch in Luton

Crouchers are proud to announce that they have recently launched a new office branch in Luton. “We have been operating in the Milton Keynes area for over nine years and we have decided it is time to branch out into Bedfordshire as well. We already have an office in Wellingborough, and we think it's time to expand our reach even further.

Read More

Expression of Interest to join the LSIP Executive Group

As you may be aware, the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper set out an ambitious employer-led approach aimed at making Further Education (FE) provision more responsive to local skills needs and ultimately local economic needs.

Read More

COP27 Report Adds Sustainability to the Long List of Business Challenges. Who Can Help?

The WTO’s World Trade Report, released at the recent COP27 summit, contains much to make us all proud of being businesspeople, because it sees trade as the potential cornerstone of sustainability and climate action – not the hindrance to it that it is often viewed as.

Read More

Budget Statement 2022: Hidden Effects Businesses Need to Understand

Chancellor Hunt’s turn at the despatch box on 17 November was, in many ways, noteworthy for the taxes he didn’t change, rather than those he did.

But it’s important for businesses to understand that the absence of changes to headline tax rates hides changes to thresholds and allowances below the surface – and these will affect how much of your business’s earnings you keep.

Read More

Wyboston Lakes Resort wins Sustainability Award in the Meetings Industry Association’s miaList 2022

Wyboston Lakes Resort has won the Sustainability Award in the highly prestigious Meetings Industry Association’s miaList 2022.

The miaList, now in its eleventh year, recognises inspiring and exceptional individuals and performance in the business meetings and events industry.

Read More

Smart meters are a smart decision for your business this winter

Firms of all sizes are currently confronted by a host of challenges, from soaring energy bills, labour shortages, spiralling inflation, and climbing interest rates. 

As a business owner, you need to ensure that your doors stay open and that your business can thrive no matter what the season brings.

Read More

Cranfield apprenticeship provision wins excellence award

Cranfield School of Management has been recognised for the high quality and standard of its apprenticeship provision by City and Guilds / Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) end-point assessment (EPA) award.

Read More

Arts Council England Continues its Investment in Bedford Creative Arts

Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) is delighted to be invited to return to Arts Council England's National Portfolio for a further three years.

Read More

Why Five Generations of Family Involvement and Responsive Corporate Values Have Been Key to Neville Groups’ Success

The Neville Trust Group, a fifth-generation family-run business, that consists of Neville Funerals, Neville Special Projects, Neville Trust and Neville Joinery, has embedded itself deeply within its regional communities for over 140 years, offering support well beyond its remit as a local enterprise. With nine funeral branches across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Buckinghamshire, and a range of construction sites across that area and wider, the business is committed to serving families during their time of need.

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Cloud based IT solution company – Cloud Geeks – wins at Comms National Awards!

The Cloud Geeks Team are experts at delivering enterprise grade cloud solutions to the SME – and at the CNA awards this year, they received well-earned recognition for its solution provided to Carnevale Group.

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Trading Up in a Downturn? Preparing Your Business is Key

It’s no secret that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have had more than their share of tribulations recently – Brexit, Covid, and now soaring interest rates and energy costs.

But whilst you may be feeling shell-shocked, now is not the time for desperation - it’s the time for preparation.

If you ready your business for the tricky times ahead, you might even turn adversity into opportunity.


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Top tips to help your business use less energy this Autumn

With energy bills in the news, businesses of all sizes are keeping a close eye on how much they’re using day to day.

We know that small business owners are working flat out to keep their business running and might not think they have the time - or brain space - to start thinking about this. However, there are some simple hacks out there which can help businesses limit their energy usage.

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What’s Important for Your Business in the Emergency Budget – and Where Can You Get Further Advice?

The Government’s emergency budget – described by them as “The Growth Plan” – is the most radical in decades, and its low-tax agenda and high borrowing has raised alarm in some quarters.

But for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular, there are plenty of changes that stand to deliver new benefits, both to the business directly, and through more attractive conditions for employees.

Here’s what’s changed – and what it means to many of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce’s member businesses across the county.


Read More

Double recognition for Wyboston Lakes Resort at Greengage Sustainability Awards

Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort and Sustainability Director of beam has been recognised as Sustainability Industry Champion at the prestigious Greengage Sustainability Awards.

Read More

Sue Ryder searches for volunteers in Bedfordshire to support new service for grieving people

National healthcare and bereavement charity Sue Ryder is on the search for volunteers in Bedfordshire to help set up a new local initiative offering vital support to residents who are living with bereavement. 

The charity is opening a series of Grief Kind Spaces across the country in 2023, with the first in Bedfordshire opening in Milton Ernest, just north of Bedford in the coming months.

Read More

Member Interview: Machins Solicitors – Making it Easier to Navigate Immigration Law and Recruit New Workers

With the national labour shortage making it increasingly difficult for Bedfordshire businesses to fill posts with suitable candidates, bringing workers in from abroad can be a pragmatic solution, especially as the UK is seen as an attractive professional destination.

Read More

Why Apprentices Hold the Key to Successful Business Growth

6th – 12th of February marks National Apprenticeship Week, with this year’s theme focussed on Skills for Life. The week aims to bring together businesses and Apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that Apprenticeships make not only to individuals, but businesses and the wider economy too.

Read More

Outstanding start to 2023 follows record year at Wyboston Lakes Resort

 
Wyboston Lakes Resort has made an outstanding start to 2023 following a year of record results in 2022.

Read More

Cranfield University joins with Bedford Borough Council to plant new Miyawaki forest

More than 3,000 trees have been planted in Bedford as part of a Miyawaki forest project involving Cranfield University. 

Bedford had its first Miyawaki trees placed in the ground on Saturday (21) – through a partnership between Bedford Borough Council, Cranfield University, the Forest of Marston Vale, and Bedford Rotary Club. The project is part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ funded Trees for Climate initiative.

Read More

Top Wellbeing Trends, 2023: What Matters to Your Employees?

Nothing makes people rethink their health and wellbeing like a succession of hard knocks – and if we didn’t all know that before, we certainly do now, in the wake of assorted global and national turmoil.

Read More

Esther Roche named one of 2023’s most inspiring female founders

Esther Roche has been named one of the UK’s most inspirational and dynamic female entrepreneurs by the f:Entrepreneur ‘#ialso100’ campaign.

Read More

Cranfield awarded prestigious Small Business Charter accreditation

In recognition of its wide-ranging support for small businesses, outstanding student entrepreneurship provision and dedicated work with small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to support growth in the local community, Cranfield School of Management has achieved the Small Business Charter Award.

Read More

No Signs of Business Recovery – BCC Quarterly Economic Survey Q4 2022

•    After significant declines across all business conditions tracked by the BCC in Q3, most indicators have stabilised at a low level. 
•    Profitability confidence remains at Covid-crisis levels; only one in three (34%) businesses believe their profits will increase over the coming year, while more (36%) expect a decline.   
•    Just 33% of firms experienced an increase in sales over the past three months, while 25% of firms reported a decrease, with hospitality firms the least likely to report improvements.  
•    More firms are reporting taxation (38%) and interest rates (43%) as growing business concerns.  

Read More

Ghost Signs are go!

The people of Bedford will soon be able to enjoy a new art project by Bedford Creative Arts (BCA). Four murals in the style of “Ghost Signs” will be popping up around the town and all will depict historic and technical developments from Bedford’s past.  

Read More

October Growth Unlikely to Halt Recession

Reacting to the ONS GDP figures for October, David Bharier, Head of Research at the BCC, said:    

"The monthly growth in GDP for October of 0.5% is overshadowed by the underlying three-month trend revealed by the data, which shows a contraction in the economy of 0.3%.

Read More

Local packaging firm awarded Health and Safety Seal of Excellence

Bedfordshire company Colpac has received the nationally recognised Health and Safety Seal of Excellence Award from the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) after scoring 100% in a recent audit.

Read More

Marsh Farm Futures win national award

Marsh Farm Futures Staff and Board Members attended the SME National Business Awards at Wembley last Friday, 2nd December 2022 and were very pleased to witness Mr Mohammed Rafi, CEO of Marsh Farm Futures being awarded GOLD for the category of Lockdown Leader, following on from his success, in September, at the Luton & Beds Regional Awards, when MFF won Silver for being the Best SME Business with under 50 employees.

Read More

Crouchers are proud to announce the opening of a new office branch in Luton

Crouchers are proud to announce that they have recently launched a new office branch in Luton. “We have been operating in the Milton Keynes area for over nine years and we have decided it is time to branch out into Bedfordshire as well. We already have an office in Wellingborough, and we think it's time to expand our reach even further.

Read More

Expression of Interest to join the LSIP Executive Group

As you may be aware, the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper set out an ambitious employer-led approach aimed at making Further Education (FE) provision more responsive to local skills needs and ultimately local economic needs.

Read More

COP27 Report Adds Sustainability to the Long List of Business Challenges. Who Can Help?

The WTO’s World Trade Report, released at the recent COP27 summit, contains much to make us all proud of being businesspeople, because it sees trade as the potential cornerstone of sustainability and climate action – not the hindrance to it that it is often viewed as.

Read More

Budget Statement 2022: Hidden Effects Businesses Need to Understand

Chancellor Hunt’s turn at the despatch box on 17 November was, in many ways, noteworthy for the taxes he didn’t change, rather than those he did.

But it’s important for businesses to understand that the absence of changes to headline tax rates hides changes to thresholds and allowances below the surface – and these will affect how much of your business’s earnings you keep.

Read More

Wyboston Lakes Resort wins Sustainability Award in the Meetings Industry Association’s miaList 2022

Wyboston Lakes Resort has won the Sustainability Award in the highly prestigious Meetings Industry Association’s miaList 2022.

The miaList, now in its eleventh year, recognises inspiring and exceptional individuals and performance in the business meetings and events industry.

Read More

Smart meters are a smart decision for your business this winter

Firms of all sizes are currently confronted by a host of challenges, from soaring energy bills, labour shortages, spiralling inflation, and climbing interest rates. 

As a business owner, you need to ensure that your doors stay open and that your business can thrive no matter what the season brings.

Read More

Cranfield apprenticeship provision wins excellence award

Cranfield School of Management has been recognised for the high quality and standard of its apprenticeship provision by City and Guilds / Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) end-point assessment (EPA) award.

Read More

Arts Council England Continues its Investment in Bedford Creative Arts

Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) is delighted to be invited to return to Arts Council England's National Portfolio for a further three years.

Read More

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