Month: April 2016

In or Out? Anne Milton will lead EU debate with Cranleigh businesses!

With the EU referendum campaigns in full swing, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Anne Milton MP and Informed Choice, brings the debate to the village on Friday 13th May at Cranleigh Arts Centre at 12.30pm. 

The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, and Government Whip, will chair a robust panel discussion with representatives from both sides of the debate, providing an excellent opportunity for people to be better informed ahead of the vote on June 23rd. 

The panellists will also answer questions from the audience and debate the facts, figures and speculation, with a particular focus on the consequences for the local economy.

Anne Milton MP said: 

“It’s great to have had so much enthusiasm in Cranleigh for debate on the EU referendum.

“This will be a really good opportunity for local businesses to get a chance to hear the arguments for remaining and for leaving the EU.

“I am really looking forward to hearing the views of businesses at what I know will be a chance for some lively debate!”

Anne will be joined on the panel by Cllr Paul Spooner, the Conservative Leader of Guildford Borough Council and Harry Aldridge, an export business owner and former UKIP parliamentary candidate for Guildford.

A confidential poll will be held before and after the panel debate, to understand how Cranleigh might be voting in the referendum.

Richard Graham, President of the Cranleigh Chamber, said:

“This debate will ensure that Cranleigh businesses get an opportunity to hear the EU arguments and will provide a platform for local businesses own views on this topical and important subject.”

The event is open to non-members of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce and to the public. 

Bookings for the free event can be made online here.

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Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner 2016

50 members and invited guests attended the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, held at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club.

Guests were treated to a delicious two course dinner, followed by an inspirational after-dinner speech by world record breaking ultra-runner Susie Chan.

Susie entertained the room with her tales of ultra endurance madness and left several members feeling suitably inspired to take on their own fitness challenges.


Before dinner, the AGM of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce was held, with two resolutions voted for approval by members; to officially change the name of the organisation to Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce and to convert the Chamber to a new not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

Existing officers and committee members were reelected and thanked by Chamber president Richard Graham for their hard work over the past year.


There was time for networking before dinner was served, consisting of slow cooked belly of pork and tenderloin with a fondant potato, crackling, apple sauce and a Madeira & mushroom sauce, or the vegetarian option of roasted Mediterranean vegetable & mozzarella parcel in filo pastry, served on a bed of roasted new potatoes topped with rocket and green pesto dressing.


Membership secretary Roger Coupe invited members to join the 100 Club. This raises money each year to pay for the Cranleigh Christmas Lights, which cost a minimum of £10,000 a year to maintain and display.

This year, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has a more ambitious financial target of £20,000 which will allow the addition of further lamppost lighting as well as newly lit tree along the Common.

An apple & berry crumble tartlet with vanilla ice cream & toffee sauce was served for dessert, after which committee member Martin Bamford previewed upcoming Chamber events, including The Big Cranleigh EU Referendum Debate which takes place on Friday 13th May.

Once coffees were served, our guest speaker Susie Chan took to the stage and shared her remarkable story of a five year journey from lazy, wine drinking smoker to world record breaking endurance runner.


Guests had a variety of questions for Susie about her achievements and motivations.

Networking continued late into the evening with members sharing valuable connections and planning future meetings.

Thank you to everyone who attended our annual dinner this year and continues to support the work done by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the local business community.


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Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce AGM 2016 – President’s Report

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce president Richard Graham delivered the following President’s Report at the Chamber’s AGM earlier this evening.

Welcome to the Annual General Meeting of the Cranleigh & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.

It’s hard believe that a whole year has past since I was joined in my new post by a largely new Chamber Committee and we started making plans for the year ahead.

First and foremost we set an ambitious target to grow membership from the 60 we inherited to 100 and I am pleased to report that we have eclipsed that total and now have a membership of over 120.

To help do this we revised the fees, removed the historic joining fee and simplified the annual membership subscription, starting at £50 a year for businesses with up to 5 employees, which is tremendous value.

We quickly launched a new Chamber website of which we are very proud; it is the ‘one stop shop’ for all things Chamber.

We wanted to make sure we delivered something extra to existing and new members alike and identified that the networking and topic-based presentations could be built upon. We have significantly increased attendance at these meetings and are now reaching capacity in some venues.

We held seven breakfast meetings with diverse and pertinent topics including: getting business from Social Media, building a successful media profile, and delivering better customer service. I must thank all our speakers who gave us their time for free and, without exception, allowed us all to learn something new.

Our social event in the summer was a BBQ held at the Richard Onslow when Chamber members also gave generously, raising £260 towards the cost of the Christmas Lights.

We have led a project for Waverley Borough Council to adopt a new and highly flexible way of paying for car parking at both High Street car parks. The ability to pay on exit will alleviate the time pressure placed on visitors to the High Street, Medical Practice and Leisure Centre.

We submitted a successful objection to the outline planning application for replacement of light industrial capacity with housing at Hewitt’s Industrial Estate. We will continue to push to preserve and grow the allocation of employment land in Cranleigh.

The Chamber successfully lobbied O2 and Vodafone to improve mobile phone coverage in Cranleigh, with the introduction of 4G high speed mobile Internet.

We have taken responsibility for the Cranleigh in Bloom initiative.

We hosted a meeting for Chamber members with our local MP, Anne Milton, with Anne answering questions from the audience on a wide range of subjects affecting business and the community.

Assurances were obtained directly from Thames Water that a future upgrade to the water main in Cranleigh would not result in disruption to the High Street.

In October we hosted the inaugural Cranleigh Food & Music Festival in partnership with Cranleigh Arts Centre, raising over £1,000 for their Target 25 Campaign. Its popularity means that this will become an annual festival.

We built on the hard work of previous Chamber committees by continuing to organise the Cranleigh Christmas Lights and Switch-On Event, with special guest Kenney Jones and a packed programme of live entertainment throughout the evening.

One of our biggest and most successful initiatives was the inaugural Cranleigh & District Business, Innovation and Growth (BIG) Awards 2016, awarding prizes of £4,000 to the winner and runner-up and hosting a fully booked awards evening at Cranleigh Arts Centre.

We organized a presentation, kindly hosted by Dunsfold Park for Chamber members to hear about their plans for development of the aerodrome.

We visited the Arts Centre to host a networking event for International Women’s Day, with a panel of speakers representing women in different stages of business growth.

We have just launched ‘Up Your Game!’, a village-wide customer service initiative with the support of Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council.

And finally, we have generated more than 40 press articles and comments thereby increasing our profile and allowing the ‘business voice’ to be heard.

Quite a busy year then! And there will be no let up.

The coming year sees us keen to reach a membership total of 150, we’ll be building on our key events: Cranleigh in Bloom, the Food & Music Festival, the BIG Awards and the Christmas Lights Switch on and there is already an exciting list of networking events in place for the coming year.

We will continue to work in any way we can to support and promote business in Cranleigh, and to ensure we do all we can to support our community.

We have had the privilege of working with our local councils, councillors, community groups and charities and we thank them all for their help and support.

In particular I would like to thank Alan Young and through him Surrey County Council together with Kary Backhouse and her team at Cranleigh Arts Centre.   

Of course none of this happens without a huge amount of hard work and dedication by the Committee and, on behalf of the membership, I must thank Bob Bayley, Martin Bamford, Rosemary French, Roger Coupe, Julie Alexandersen, Guy Sansom, Christine Martin, David Smith and John Taylor for their phenomenal input.

It is impossible to convey how grateful I am personally to this Committee, they are, without doubt, the dream team! All of these people lead very busy lives without the imposition of Chamber duties and the list of this year’s achievements is a real credit to them.

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Live Music & Delicious Food Coming to Cranleigh!

Cranleigh will be flooded with live music and delicious food again this year, with plans afoot for the Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016.

Following a successful inaugural event last year, volunteers from Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce and Cranleigh Arts Centre are putting together a bumper programme for the event later this year.

At an official launch party this evening, guests were treated to a flavour of the festival, with food and drink samples on offer from main sponsors of the festival Cranleigh Golf & Country Club, and also Ruby & Kind and Firebird Brewing Co.

A taste of musical entertainment was also on offer from The Three Amigos, one of the most popular live performers from the festival last year.

The organisers are encouraging local musicians to get in touch if they would like to be a part of the festival, and also encourage even more High Street retailers to offer venues for performances this year.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce committee member Martin Bamford, one of the volunteers organising the festival, said:

“The festival was such a fantastic event last year, creating a real buzz in the village and raising over £1,000 for Cranleigh Arts Centre.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and showcase local talent, encouraging visitors to Cranleigh to enjoy a day of delicious food and live music.”

Kary Backhouse, Manager of Cranleigh Arts Centre, said:

“Our first Cranleigh Food and Music Festival was such a huge success and enjoyed by large numbers of people and we want to build on that this year.

“Plans are well advanced for a great day out for all the family. The Arts Centre is delighted to be the beneficiary charity again this year.

“The monies raised last year helped us refurbish the kitchen so we can attract more hirers to use our facilities and the income from this helps to subsidise and support our varied arts programme.”

The Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016 takes place on Saturday 24th September at Cranleigh Arts Centre and throughout the village. Musicians and business owners should email for more information.

All funds raised from the Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016 will be donated to the Cranleigh Arts Centre Target 25 fundraising campaign.

Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016 Official Launch

Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016 Official Launch

Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016 Official LaunchCranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016 Official Launch

Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016 Official Launch

Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016 Official Launch

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Berkeley Homes appeal decision in Cranleigh

Berkeley Homes appeal decision in CranleighFollowing the recent decision by the Planning Inspector to approve 425 new homes to be built in Cranleigh by Berkeley Homes, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce released the following statement to the press:

“Cranleigh needs more appropriate housing, especially affordable housing, some of which will be delivered by Berkeley Homes.

“It is right that new developments are within walking distance of the village centre, as this will ensure their sustainability.

“The decision sets a precedent for development to the south and west of the village, reducing traffic pressure on the High Street whilst retaining the option for new residents to easily walk to the centre of Cranleigh.

“Following this decision by the Planning Inspector, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce will be speaking to Berkeley Homes to encourage the right mix of housing along with the infrastructure needed to best support business and residents.

“It would be fantastic to see some of the houses built with dedicated space available for home working.

“We would also like to see plans for the proposed community centre updated to create some much needed community business space for start-up businesses who want to expand within the village.”

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‘Ask the Expert’ – free advice for business start-ups

Are you thinking of starting a business?

Waverley Borough Council are offering free business advice for start-ups at an event in Haslemere next week.

The event is an opportunity for you to chat informally to local experts about starting or expanding your business.

It is also a great chance to network and share ideas with other local entrepreneurs.

The event takes place at the Georgian House Hotel in Haslemere from 6-7.30pm on Tuesday, 12 April 2016.

A buffet, with drinks, will be available on arrival from 5.45pm.

There will be a brief welcome by the Mayor of Waverley, followed by plenty of time to browse the stands and get answers to your business questions.

Register you free place at this event at

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