Agenda item

GENERAL NEWS ROUND (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership had undertaken a range of activities since the last meeting.

 

Ms Terri Johnson, South East London Chamber of Commerce thanked the Chairman for attending their breakfast meeting at the Bromley Court Hotel on 16th March 2017, along with Councillor Stephen Carr, Leader of Bromley Council. The presentation they had delivered on the regeneration taking place in the borough had been very well received. The Chamber’s next networking lunch would be taking place at the Bexleyheath Marriott Hotel on Thursday 13th April 2017, where the Mayor of Bexley would be giving a presentation on loneliness and the effects on mental and physical health in order to raise awareness.

 

Members were informed that the Chamber of Commerce now had Masthead Light, a weekly newsletter providing details of upcoming events. The next issue of the quarterly Masthead magazine would be published in April 2017, and members were asked to advise Ms Johnson if they required a copy.

 

Mr Lee Thomas, Fairlight Group reported that the serviced offices were currently full, with a waiting list and a high level of enquiries still being received. Demand was strong and more space of 15,000 sq. ft. and above was needed.

 

Mr Dave Freeborn, Proctors advised members that sales of land were very busy, from single buyers up to multinationals. More land was needed as demand continued to be strong. Land prices were dependent on the location, but on average were between 35%-45% of Gross Development Value (GDV).

 

Ms Melanie Ross, Barclays Bank PLC reported that the bank was currently very busy, with an increased number of emerging start-up businesses and lots of companies moving business premises within the borough. Barclays Bank PLC would be delivering an Economic Update event at Bromley Civic Centre on Tuesday 18th April 2017, for which there were limited places still available.

 

Mr Lee Holland, The Glades, informed members that footfall remained tough, with established restaurants -2-3%, but new restaurants were +2-3%. One new store, HMV, had opened on 10th April 2017 and new letting agents for the centre, Cushman & Wakefield and Lunson Mitchenall, were now in place. Several marketing events were planned over the next few months. These included fashion events in May and June 2017, a kids club during the school summer holidays and a beauty event in February 2018. It was planned that a review of the Christmas Grotto would also be undertaken. Work was continuing with Your Bromley BID Company, and there would be a charity event taking place on 30th May 2017.

 

Ms Sharon Baldwin, Orpington 1st BID Company advised members that their next business breakfast would focus on counter-terrorism. The next major customer events would be the Vintage Festival on 1st July 2017 and Priory Live on 12th August 2017. There would also be Priory Intro live music events taking place throughout the town in the run up to Priory Live. During the week commencing 15th May 2017, events would be taking place in Orpington town centre as part of National Dementia Awareness Week. The aim was to make the town more welcoming and friendly for people with dementia and provide training for the staff of the businesses to recognise their habits. There would be a virtual dementia bus visiting which would allow people an experience of what dementia can be like, and the Odeon cinema would be running a dementia-friendly screening of a film.

 

Ms Carol Arnfield, LBB Head of Service – Education, reported that as there had been a reduction in unemployment, work was being carried out to prepare people with skills for employment, and target those trying to set up their own business. Work was also being undertaken with Go Train to access the traveller community. Further work would be continuing with Jobcentre Plus, focussing on the 50+ age category which was a growth area, and looking at using social media for job searches.

 

Work was also being undertaken in preparation for the new 30 hours a week funded childcare for working parents of three and four year olds that would be implemented from September 2017. The scheme was intended to free up parents for the employment market and allow part time workers to increase their hours. The Council was currently working with local providers to ensure there were sufficient places available.

 

Mr Michael Humphries, Handelsbanken informed member that business was currently booming, and they were inundated with enquiries. Businesses were moving and expanding and demand was currently exceeding supply.

 

RESOLVED that the updates be noted.

 

 

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