Presidents Update

Hi all and welcome to a new and exciting ‘middle of the week’!


Our September board meeting focused on data and thank you to everyone who enthusiastically threw themselves into the activity.  I have attached photographs of the 3 issues the respective groups looked at, being:

  • Member Engagement & Growth
  • How is Business Changing in Eastbourne
  • Connecting Education & Business

We will come back to this work as we discuss various aspects of our plan over the coming months.

We briefly looked at one of the best sources of data for Eastbourne and the County and you can find this at:


I attended a day of talks at Platf9rm in Hove a couple of weeks ago called ‘Welcome to Work’.  A huge turnout for a Sunday and the keynote speaker was European VP of Twitter and author of ‘The Joy of Work’, Bruce Daisley.  Bruce has a podcast Eat Sleep Work Repeat and his interviews include; a Police Chief and Juergen Klopp – they are really interesting and worth a listen.  I was reminded of the talented global workforce we have living on our doorstep and these are the role models we need to encourage to come and talk to our members.

These contemporary workspaces (coworking, office, meeting and events) are brilliant and perhaps something the business community is missing in EB.  Check it out:


Eden Project

At the end of last week I attended a meeting with Sir Tim Smit and the CEO of the Eden Project, along with the EHA and Lord and lady Lucas.  Tim had been in the town for 3 days meeting schools, councillors, EBC and ESCC.  If I understand correctly this visit was Tim and his team gauging the support and desire of Eastbourne for an Eden project team helping us establish a possible environmental led project, and not them asking if they can come along and build some big shiny tourist attraction.  The area of the town that interests them most is the open green areas between Cross Levels Way over Lottbridge and towards Langney.  They were very complimentary about the town and are used to something out of nothing, but with Eastbourne we already have a real gem so it would be about bringing connectivity, community, the environment and sense of place to these underutilised areas.

Gildredge Road

Christina has finally received the keys for #49 and the IT and decs have begun – we just need to fight over which one of us the building is named after!

Vacancy Rate Report

Luke has provided the latest vacancy rate report as of 24 September 2019. The vacant % has increased to 7.3% this month in Eastbourne, whilst the national average is sat at 10.3%.

New Generation Leaders

Great to see that Zoe and Tamryn have, with the help of the team, put together the first NGL networking event.  With their leadership we can capture people who may not ordinarily come to a traditional member event and I hope it may also encourage some of the younger people within member businesses and newer start-ups, to see the chamber as the best place to begin their journey and as the go to source of support and inspiration.


Our next FBM meeting will focus on Member Engagement & Business Support so the work we did last time on engagement and growth will be useful starting point.  The team do an amazing job of bring members together for networking breakfasts, lunches, member events, meetings as well as the Awards, so what we should be thinking about is how can we support this great work further.  Do we know how members wants may change as they transition through start-up to a more established business?  How can we encourage new members to join?  From listening to people at Platf9rm, whether we are running a micro business or a large organisation we all want our networking and learning time to be outlook focused, sharing; ideas, visions, concepts, solutions and making contacts through shared values.


Have a fabulous second half of the week.