Surrey Heath report positive improvement from property investments

Surrey Heath Borough Council issued this press release on their investment performance [click on image to expand],

Surrey Heath Borough Council has adopted a strategy of delivering efficiency and increasing income in order for it to be able to maintain services against a backdrop of reduced central government funding.

The Council has borrowed money to invest in property within the Borough, not only to generate an income to pay for services, but also to further its regeneration and economic development aims.

A recent report to Councillors indicated that so far this investment strategy was paying off. The Council had expected to receive a £1.5m contribution to its budget, but performance has been better than predicted.

Members heard that net income since ownership for The Square was 5% ahead of budget, and for the six months to 30 September 2017 almost 15% ahead of budget for the industrial estates the Council owns.

The increased income for The Square is helping to fund the extensive refurbishment of the centre. This should result in returns increasing further, or at least being maintained, in what is a very competitive market.

Phase 1 of The Square refurbishment covering Grace Reynolds Walk has now been completed on time and to budget (More info). Works on the rest of the centre will restart after Christmas.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Moira Gibson said: “We are encouraged by these latest reports from our advisers. The positive results contribute to overall income, and emphasise the importance of our property investments in helping to achieve the Council’s aim of continuing to offer as wide a range of services as possible in the face of Government funding cuts.”

Learn about the Lightwater Business Association

On the Lightwater Business Association tombola and mulled wine stalls, at the recent Fayre in the Square, were information flyers on the group. I picked one up, and am presenting it here for your delectation. [Click on image to enlarge, click again in bottom right hand corner to view full size, which expands it in all its glory].

UK maintains its ranking in Legatum Prosperity Index 2017

In the 11th edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index, the world’s leading global measure of economic and social wellbeing, Britain remains in 10th place in the the rankings of 149 countries [See image of top 20. Click on image to link to the Rankings Table]. Much to delve into.

Britain’s position is driven by a Business Environment which is the best in Europe and fifth best in the world. Our Economic Quality has also begun to recover since the financial crash, and now sits ahead of both Canada and the US.

Overall, the Index finds a number of surprising global, regional and national trends in economic and social wellbeing, including an alarming deterioration in global security and a widening gap between the most and least prosperous nations.

Commenting on the publication of this year’s edition of the Prosperity Index, the Legatum Institute’s CEO, Philippa Stroud, said:

“It is encouraging to see the UK’s ranking unchanged since the momentous referendum last year. This year’s Index demonstrates that Britain has built the best Business Environment in Europe, and the fifth best in the world. Combined with world-class Governance, it suggests that the UK’s prosperity has been built on solid foundations, as it prepares for a future outside of the EU.”

2017 Prosperity Index – Key Findings

  • Norway has regained the number one spot from New Zealand
  • The UK has maintained its tenth place in the rankings
  • The world has become less safe and secure
  • The greatest gains in prosperity have come from the Asia-Pacific region
  • Governance improved in every region in 2017, with Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa rising fastest
  • Western European prosperity overtook North America for the first time in the Index
  • India is catching up with China
  • Latin America is showing the most concentrated declines in prosperity
  • The Nordic and Anglosphere nations have enjoyed the highest overall prosperity in the world.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise focus for Surrey Heath Business Breakfast

The Surrey Heath Business Breakfast provides business networking opportunities, with an exhibition area, followed by formal presentations. The focus of this morning’s Business Breakfast was The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

The Lord-Lieutenant for Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, described the Award, suggesting businesses should consider applying. He was followed by presentations from two local recent recipients of the Award, Alison Lyons of Sesame Access Systems, and Richard Llewellyn of Benchmark Geophysical Consulting. Both were good. The one from Sesame, well, I just had to post their YouTube video of their product.


Camberley Enterprise Expo successfully showcases local business

Surrey Heath Borough Council announced the result of the Camberley Enterprise Expo

The first Camberley Enterprise Expo took place at Camberley Theatre on Wednesday 13 September 2017.

The packed exhibition hall included IT companies, professional services, charities and retailers showcasing their products and services to the local community.  In addition the Expo featured seminars on topics including presentation skills, marketing tips and lead generation.  Eagle Radio ran digital workshops throughout the day.

The pre-show breakfast seminar, hosted by SHBC, provided an update on the latest redevelopment plans for Camberley.  Michael Gove, Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath, opened the breakfast seminar via a video link to express his support for the Expo event and businesses based in in the local area.  Alan Harris, Partner, Montagu-Evans (the managing company of’ The Square’ shopping centre), gave a talk on doing business in Camberley.

Visitors to the SHBC stand had the opportunity to talk to council officers about the regeneration of the town and go on a virtual walk around Camberley town centre via an innovative 3D digital map.

Karen Whelan, CEO SHBC, said, “The Expo proved to be a fantastic celebration of local business.   I was so pleased to see such a great turnout and hope our exhibitors and visitors enjoyed the day.”

The Expo was the idea of Kevin Cantlon, Economic Development Officer at Surrey Heath Borough Council who died earlier this year.  Karen added, “This event is for Kevin as much as the businesses and community and I’m so proud it was a success.”

Co-organiser David Yu from Best of Camberley said: “This is a key new event in the Surrey business calendar. We hope that local businesses made the most of the networking, sales and marketing opportunities it offered. The exhibition was a great place to socialise, make friends and do some business.”

We hope to run this event again next year, so watch this space.

First Camberley Enterprise Expo announced

Surrey Heath Borough council has announced the date of the first Camberley Expo,

If you are involved in business in or around Surrey Heath, the Camberley Enterprise Expo is a crucial event not to be missed.

The Council is pleased to host our first ever Expo on September 13 at Camberley Theatre. With virtual interactions increasingly replacing opportunities to meet existing and prospective clients face to face, the Camberley Enterprise Expo offers a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services, build key relationships and gain valuable sales leads.

This local event is more than just another business to business exhibition. It’s open to exhibitors who wish to reach local consumers as well as other businesses – encouraging a wide range of attendees, including venues, banks, IT companies, professional services and retailers.

To ensure the event gets off to a flying start, the Council are hosting a pre-Expo breakfast seminar, including presentations from SHBC Chief Executive Karen Whelan and Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove. A series of business seminars led by local business leaders will also take place throughout the day.

The Expo is supported by The Camberley Society and Surrey Chambers of Commerce, and is being organised by Webster Consultancy and The Best Of Camberley, both of whom have significant experience in delivering successful networking and exhibition events across Surrey.

Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, Cllr Moira Gibson, said: “We are pleased to support this important new business event in Surrey Heath, as part of our key objective to support and promote our local economy so that people can work and do business across Surrey Heath.”

Co-organiser David Yu of The Best Of Camberley said: “This is a key new event in the Surrey business calendar. We hope that local businesses will support it, and make the most of the networking, sales and marketing opportunities it offers.”

A range of stand sizes are available at the Expo, with prices starting at £380. There will also be a smaller, lower cost area for charities, not-for-profit organisations and community groups.

Thanks to event sponsors McCarthy & Stone, Watchmoor Park, Dolphin Head, Basepoint Camberley and The Mall Camberley for their continued support.


Surrey Heath Borough Council’s update on Camberley Town Centre developments

Surrey Heath Borough Council update on Camberley Town centre projects, [click on images to expand]

Exciting progress has been made in crucial Camberley Town Centre projects over recent months.

  • The Mall, Camberley
  • Following the Council’s purchase of The Mall last year, work is now underway to begin updating and transforming the shopping centre. Haskoll have been appointed as architects to oversee an exciting refurbishment scheme, and designs are being finalised for the interior. The work will be phased, with the first phase starting in mid-summer in Grace Reynolds Walk, followed by The Square, then other parts of the centre. In the meantime repainting of the roof has already begun as part of the work to brighten up the shopping centre.

    Changes are also underway to the branding, with a temporary website already available (, and further work is underway to improve the marketing of the shopping centre both to customers and potential retailers when it is relaunched later in the year.

  • Ashwood House, Pembroke Broadway
  • As previously announced, Berkeley Homes has been appointed as developer of the site. The upper floors of the building will be transformed into high quality residential accommodation, comprising around 100 flats, subject to planning permission.

    A planning application is due to be submitted in June 2017 following public consultation, with the aim of starting on site at the end of the year.

  • Public spaces in Princess Way and the High Street 
  • Plans for improvements to the ‘public realm’ and amenity areas have progressed with surveys of services and ground levels in the High Street completed. Design work is underway, with public consultation to begin shortly on ideas for changing these areas of the town.

  • London Road Block
  • Consultants have been appointed to undertake feasibility work for the new development and submit an outline planning application by the end of 2017.

  • Pembroke House, Frimley Road
  • As with Ashwood House, Berkeley Homes has been appointed as developer for this scheme, which has the potential to offer around 25 flats and ground floor retail space, subject to planning permission. It will provide affordable housing for local people and retail space for Camberley’s businesses.
    A planning application is due to be submitted in June 2017 following public consultation, with work on site aiming to commence at the end of the year.

    In another significant development, SHBC have appointed Paul Ramshaw in a new role, Head of Investment & Development. Paul’s previous roles include Head of Regeneration and Planning Policy at Eastleigh Borough Council. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive, he will head up a new team, including an applications planner, procurement officer, accountant and lawyer, to deliver the Council’s property acquisition and development plans.

    Paul said: “I am delighted to be joining Surrey Heath at an exciting time in terms of property acquisition and development, and look forward to helping drive forward the regeneration of Camberley Town Centre as one of our key priorities.” SHBC Chief Executive Karen Whelan said: “As can be seen, our work continues to make Camberley an even better place to live, work and enjoy. We look forward to making announcements about further significant plans and developments in the near future.”