Peter Timberlake on building a successful media profile

Peter Timberlake on building a successful media profileThis morning was our final networking breakfast of the year, hosted at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club and featuring a talk by Peter Timberlake.

Ewhurst resident Peter Timberlake is Head of Communications at the Financial Reporting Council.

He is a communications specialist with over 30 years experience across multiple audiences and media including financial services trade press, consumer personal finance press, city/business media, specialist lifestyle publications, broadcast and digital media, political and policy makers, IFAs, lobby groups and worthy causes.

Pete delivered a talk to a packed room of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members on the reasons for building a successful media profile and shared some examples of how this works in practice.

There was also plenty of time for members to network and get to know their respective businesses better.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce committee member Roger Coupe asked if any members would be willing to volunteer to help at the Cranleigh Christmas Lights Switch-On Event which takes place on Saturday 21st November. Please email if you are able to help.

Rosemary French, another Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce committee member, reminded attendees that entries for the Cranleigh & District Business, Innovation & Growth (BIG) Awards close next Friday, 20th November, and encouraged everyone to submit an entry as soon as possible.

Our thanks to Peter Timberlake for his talk and to Cranleigh Golf & Country Club for hosting our breakfast meeting this morning, with a delicious continental breakfast served by their resident French chef, Didier.

This was our final breakfast meeting of 2015, a year in which we have seen Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce membership growing rapidly and our networking events becoming very well attended.

The committee are already forming plans for the next series of networking events in 2016, starting on 9th February 2016 with a networking breakfast at One Forty Cafe.

Attendees from this morning will receive an email shortly with a full delegate list.




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Cranleigh business wins national Christmas Tree award

Cranleigh business wins national Christmas Tree awardCongratulations to Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce member Santa Fir who have once again won a prestigious national award.

Santa Fir founder Hans Alexanderson was winner of the Champion Wreath category at the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association competition.

Hans was also runner-up in the Christmas Tree category at the same awards.

As a result, a tree from Santa Fir will be displayed in the Pillared Room at 10 Downing Street this Christmas and their wreath will hang on the front door.

Commenting in the Surrey Advertiser this week, Hans said:

“I am really thrilled. We swept the board on wreaths by winning the dressed and undressed category, and are really pleased that it was a Douglas fir which won for the tree.

“We find the Douglas fir goes down particularly well with our American customers at our Christmas Tree Farms as that’s a more common choice back in the States.

“I’m glad we chose to enter it today.”

As a result of his win, Hans will get to visit the Prime Minister at the start of December.

Our congratulations to Hans and his team at Santa Fir on this fantastic achievement.

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Date confirmed for Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016

Date confirmed for Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016At the start of last month, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce was very proud to work in collaboration with the Cranleigh Arts Centre to host the first annual Cranleigh Food & Music Festival.

The team had a debrief meeting this week and reflected on what was an incredibly successful first event.

It resulted in a 71% increase in footfall to the Cranleigh Arts Centre’s food festival compared to last year and raised over £1,000 for their Target 25 Campaign.

The High Street was buzzing throughout the day with a festival atmosphere which brought local residents and visitors from further afield into Cranleigh to showcase our wonderful village.

We are very grateful to all of the volunteers, sponsors, businesses and performers who were involved with this project; especially our lead sponsor, Cranleigh Golf & Country Club.

A date has now been confirmed for the Cranleigh Food & Music Festival 2016.

This will take place on Saturday 24th September 2016, and the committee of volunteers are already hard at work planning an even bigger event for next year.

Interested local food producers, musicians and other performers can get in touch with the organisers by emailing

The committee is also welcoming suggestions from the community about next year’s line-up of activities and are invited to get in touch using the same email address.

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Cranleigh Chamber Putting Infrastructure First

Cranleigh Chamber Putting Infrastructure FirstCranleigh Chamber of Commerce has confirmed with Thames Water a commitment to provide a new water main for the village, without causing disruption to local retailers and residents.

Following recent reports that the infrastructure required to support new developments in Cranleigh would result in ‘the death knell for small local businesses’, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce opened a dialogue directly with Thames Water to obtain the facts.

Thames Water confirmed their commitment to invest time and money in projects which deliver measurable community benefits.

Following correspondence with Richard Aylard, External Affairs and Sustainability Director at Thames Water, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce is pleased to confirm any required infrastructure upgrades will not result in the disruption recently suggested by the Cranleigh Civic Society.

Richard Aylard of Thames Water stated categorically that there “has certainly been no suggestion from us that we would have to dig up the High Street for six months to supply the developments.”

He continued: “I hope you will accept my assurance that if major work does become a reality anywhere in Cranleigh, then we would of course do what we can to keep disruption to a minimum, including using trenchless technology where possible.”

Bob Bayley, Vice President of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, added:

“We were pleased to receive this reassurance from Thames Water on behalf of our members. In line with the objectives of Waverley Borough Council, we agree with the strategy of putting ‘infrastructure first’.

“Local interest groups have much common ground on their vision for Cranleigh in the future. It’s time we start identifying that shared ground and working together to secure positive results for the village.

“Cranleigh residents want a thriving High Street economy with its unique mix of independent retailers, multiples and places to meet friends for foods and drink. Some growth in our local population is inevitable, especially with recent ONS projections forecasting the UK population will grow by 15% over the next 25 years.

“Infrastructure is vital to ensuring that this national and local population growth is manageable and allows our village to prosper.”

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How healthy is the high street really?

The Week have published an interesting article asking how healthy is the high street really?

This article reports on store closures falling to their lowest level in five years (albeit still at a rate of 14 a day in the first half of this year!), September retail sales 1.3 per cent higher than in August and spending at online retailers slowing.

That’s not to say that High Street retailers can afford to rest on their laurels. According to the article:

But the British high street is adapting to this. New shop openings “were more likely to be leisure or service-based,” Mark Hudson, retail partner at PwC told The Guardian. While traditional high street stalwarts such as clothing shops, pubs and banks are retreating, they are being replaced by health food stores, coffee shops and takeaways.

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Anne Milton MP speaks to Cranleigh Chamber Members

Anne Milton MP speaks to Cranleigh Chamber MembersMember of Parliament for Guildford, the Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, accepted an invitation to meet with the Cranleigh business community on Friday.

During a meeting chaired by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce president Richard Graham, Anne met privately with Chamber committee members before delivering a short talk to Chamber members and answering their questions.

Cranleigh business owners heard Anne explain how the argument over development continues to ‘rage’ in the village, saying her inbox is equally divided between those for and against further development.

Anne went on to say that a solution to the current development challenges will only be reached by all residents coming together to agree on a shared vision for Cranleigh. This resonates with the government’s ambition to enable decisions to be made locally, she said.

Anne responded to questions on the continued problems faced by businesses accessing finance, reopening the rail link between Cranleigh and Guildford, how to best encourage a ‘live local work local’ philosophy, the European question and an emerging local plan from Waverley Borough Council.

The MP for Guildford explained she was looking forward to a ‘grown up debate’ on Europe, concluding she did not yet know whether she was part of the in or out camp. Regarding a local plan, Anne explained the importance of Waverley Borough Council finishing this work before the government steps in to do so in 2017.

Commenting on the meeting, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce president Richard Graham of One Forty said:

“Our members were delighted to hear from Anne and have the opportunity to quiz her on government policy. She was keen to hear the business voice in Cranleigh and has asked the Chamber of Commerce to keep her regularly updated on the challenges facing business growth and entrepreneurship.”

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Fundraising dinner at Cranleigh Arts Centre

Cranleigh Arts Centre is holding a fundraising dinner on Saturday 28th November 2015 to raise money for Target 25.

This is a fundraising initiative to modernise and sustain Cranleigh Arts Centre for the next 25 years and beyond.

Tickets for the dinner are £75 to include champagne reception, 3 course dinner, musical entertainment and an auction. Tables of 2s, 4s and 10s are available.

Lots on offer include a private tour of Broughton Castle, Solent Yacht Cruise, House for Salcombe Regatta, Raceday at Fontwell, “The Archers” signed script and Joe Stilgoe Concert tickets.

For further information please call Antonia Wilson on 020 8398 5513 or email

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Cranleigh Businesses Updated on Gatwick Investment

Cranleigh Businesses Updated on Gatwick InvestmentLocal businesses were brought up to date with Gatwick’s investment programme and plans for increased capacity growth at a well-attended breakfast meeting this week.

Hosted by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Surrey Chambers of Commerce at Hurtwood Park’s Haywards Restaurant, thirty business owners heard from Hannah Staunton, Head of Gatwick’s Community Engagement, talking about their current £1billion investment programme and their rapid business and holiday traveller growth.

In only five years, since the BAA monopoly ownership in the UK ended and under new ownership, passenger growth has increased from 31 million to 40 million passengers a year. During this time, business travel has more than doubled to 20%, because large and small businesses are looking for lower cost options on new routes to the U.S. for example with Norwegian Air and the soon to be launched new low cost routes to Canada, from West Jet.

Richard Graham, president of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce said:

“Cranleigh is in that ‘halo’ of Gatwick which provides employees to the airport and Gatwick Diamond business area, local businesses looking to trade overseas and holiday makers looking for a hassle free, quality airport experience.

“We were delighted to welcome Hannah and introduce her to the vibrant Cranleigh business community, as evidenced by the large number of attendees at this breakfast briefing.”

The next Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast takes place on Wednesday 11th November at the Cranleigh Golf and Country Club, with more details and booking links at

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Councils must deliver local plans for new homes by 2017

Councils must produce local plans for new homes in their area by 2017 – or the government will ensure, in consultation with local people, those plans are produced for them.

This was the announcement from the Prime Minister earlier this week, revealing details of a landmark Housing and Planning Bill which is designed to deliver the government ambition of one million new homes by 2020.

Councils must produce local plans for new homes by 2017 – or government will ensure plans are produced for them.

Within the announcement, the Government confirms measures to deliver 200,000 Starter Homes, offer 1.3 million tenants the Right to Buy and cut red tape to boost home building.

You can read more about this at

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Anne Milton MP to meet with Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members

Anne Milton MP to meet with Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce membersMember of Parliament for Guildford, the Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, will be meeting with Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members.

Anne has accepted an invitation to meet with Cranleigh business owners on Friday 23rd October 2015 to discuss topical local issues and answer questions from constituents.

The meeting is open to members of the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce only.

Topics covered are expected to include the support for commercial enterprises of all sizes in Cranleigh and the surrounding areas; strategic measures towards becoming a live local, work local community; provision of appropriate housing for local residents; and infrastructure improvements including sustainable transport solutions.

To reserve your place for this meeting, which takes place at the Cranleigh Arts Centre and starts at 1.15pm, please click here or email

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