Surrey Heath Council attend Revo Manchester, plus Be Inspired video

Surrey Heath Borough Council [SHBC] announce their attendance at Revo Manchester on 18-20th September that offers opportunities to connect and do business with experts from the diverse retail property and placemaking community. See SHBC’s Be Inspired video at end of press release.

The regeneration of Camberley is bringing a revitalised place to one of the most affluent catchments in the South East of England.

Led by a forward-thinking management team and elected members, Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) has invested £140 million into Camberley to drive regeneration and economic growth.

SHBC will be attending Revo Manchester, 18 – 20 September 2018, Manchester Central.  Visit us on stand number 84.

Karen Whelan, Chief Executive, Surrey Heath Borough Council said:  “SHBC’s significant regeneration projects in Camberley are driving prosperity in the town and creating a vibrant place for our local communities to enjoy.   The regeneration work is also creating exceptional new commercial opportunities. Come and see us at Revo to find out more.”

Cllr Richard Brooks, Deputy Leader, Surrey Heath Borough Council said: “We are looking forward to attending the Revo exhibition next week to provide an update on the substantial progress that has been made on Camberley’s regeneration projects.  These projects are transforming the town and creating a great place for our local communities and businesses.”

SHBC’s investments have already seen the unique acquisition of The Square shopping centre, commencing its refurbishment programme within the first year of ownership.  Followed by an ambitious set of projects to improve the roads, pavements and street scene.  A redundant office building has also been purchased to create 116 high quality town centre apartments with proposals to re-deliver new business space.

SHBC is also currently in the process of sourcing an innovative developer partner for the London Road site.  Situated fronting the London Road, opposite the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the 5.5-acre site has the potential to create a mixed-use development.

The regeneration work is supported by a comprehensive events programme, grant schemes for independent businesses and cultural and enrichment projects to ensure Camberley is a key destination and experience.

Be involved

  • 19 September 11:30am – 12:30pm, Cinema: Karen Whelan, CEO, SHBC will be participating in the panel discussion ‘Are shops killing the High Street?’
  • 19 September 4pm – 5pm, Stand 84.  Camberley drinks reception. Join us for a glass of Stovells’ Wild-crafted Gin, an artisan gin produced within Surrey Heath in Chobham.  Talk to Officers and Members from SHBC about Camberley and the opportunities available.

Find out more

Watch our ‘Camberley Be Inspired’ short film

Rail investment means half of all rolling stock to be new within two years

Here’s a good news story about UK rail that’s contrary to the currently widely held view that the UK rail industry is a disaster.

Notwithstanding the debacle of new time table introduction by some train operators, more than 50% of the rolling stock – engines and carriages – will be new by March 2021.

In the report on the Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry sixth edition March 2018 by the Rail Delivery Group, is this, which I’ve taken from the excellent blog post The new trains dilemma (what to do with the old ones) by Paul Bigland.

” The number of new vehicles committed for delivery in the five-year period that commenced in April 2014 (CP5) and in the early years of CP6 is now 7,187 – more than 50% of the current in-service fleet of 14,025. These new vehicles have a capital cost of more than £13 billion, and around 50% will be built in Britain. The average age of the national fleet is estimated to fall from 21 years to 15 years by March 2021, while the numbers of vehicles in service will grow by 6% next year and by a further 5% to 13% by 2024″

For you edification, The Rail Delivery Group ‘is formed of representatives from rolling stock owners, train operators, Rail Delivery Group and infrastructure owner Network Rail, and endeavours to provide an up-to-date, balanced and well-informed perspective on the long term outlook for passenger rolling stock in the UK.’

The Rolling Stock Strategy report is over 50 pages, densely packed with a situation analysis, tables, and conclusions. In the report there are a few of things of interest,

  • In paragraph 90 of the report states – Beyond the commercial risks and issues arising from the displacement, there are also a number of operational issues the industry must address and manage, including: Storage: To place c.4000 displaced vehicles in storage would require over 52 miles of storage sidings – a resource no longer available on the UK network. Owners will manage the handling of their vehicles once they come off lease, but this figure gives scope to just one facet of that task. It is clear that owners will need to balance options including disposal, sale or storage in accordance with their business plans, but there are significant logistical as well as commercial challenges.
  • Electrifying the whole rail network is not now considered an aim in England and Wales, see para 51.
  • In paras 67 and 68 the report discusses alternative power options coming from hydrogen cells, batteries, and bi-mode operation [electric and diesel engines].
  • All British Rail rolling stock will be superceded within two years.
  • There’s a move to having self powered rolling stock rather than having engines.

So, all in all, the scene for the UK rail industry is positive, as long as the train operators can sort out timetabling issues.

Esso consults on replacement of its underground fuel pipeline

Walkers over local heathland won’t fail to have noticed the pipeline markers that identify the route of Esso’s pipeline that takes jet fuel from the Esso Hawley Refinery in Southampton to the West London Storage Terminal near Heathrow.

Here’s what they look like, and are described, in my earlier blog post,

Esso are consulting on the best route to take in their project to replace the pipeline. See HERE for their proposals, including an interactive map of the alternative corridor options.  If you like maps, as many do, then you’ll find the interactive map offers much information.

Over the past few years there’s been investigations on the state of the pipeline, which I reported HERE, and can be seen in this photo of the uncovered pipeline adjacent to the junction of Old Bisley Road and the Maultway. [click on image to expand]

Surrey Heath Borough Council announces vision for redevelopment of London Road site, Camberley

Surrey Heath Borough Council recently announced, [See London Road development site overview below the text – to expand the document, click on the upward facing arrow in the bottom right-hand corner].

Camberley Town Centre is currently undergoing an exciting regeneration programme led by Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC).

To date SHBC has invested £140 million into Camberley; which has already seen the acquisition and subsequent refurbishment of The Square shopping centre, substantial projects to improve the roads, pavements and public realm areas in the High Street and the redevelopment work that is about to commence converting Ashwood House into 116 high quality residential apartments.

The next stage of regenerating Camberley is investing in and improving the area along London Road (A30) between the High Street and Park Street.  To start this process SHBC will be looking to secure a development partner to deliver a major redevelopment of this gateway site.

Karen Whelan, CEO, SHBC said; “Camberley is rapidly transforming into a modern and improved place to live, do business and shop.  We envisage this is the start of a really exciting new development for London Road which will offer both residential and business opportunities.  The redevelopment of this site will also greatly improve the gateway to our town.”

This spring SHBC will be starting the formal process of selecting a development partner. Alongside this the Council is likely to be required to progress assembly of the site. SHBC have contacted the current owners and tenants currently occupying the buildings within the site and will be working with them to ensure affected businesses are relocated within the town wherever possible, including the opportunity to relocate temporarily if they would like to be part of the new development. We will keep everyone affected informed at each stage of the process.

Cllr Moira Gibson, Leader of the Council added; “It has been a key objective of the Council to drive forward and deliver positive change and regeneration projects to Camberley town centre.  The redevelopment of this key quarter will ensure the Council’s dynamic renewal work encompasses the entire town centre bringing improved economic prosperity to Camberley and all of Surrey Heath.”

Montagu Evans is advising Surrey Heath BC. Alan Harris, Partner and Head of Development at Montagu Evans, said: “Local authority-led regeneration is increasingly essential for the long term future of urban centres. Surrey Heath BC is leading the way in Camberley, taking a town-wide view, identifying key sites and creating strong partnerships that will help deliver high quality development. The 5-acre London Road site is a significant opportunity and we are expecting considerable interest in taking it forward.”

Surrey Heath Business Awards 2018 winners announced

Surrey Heath Borough Council announced,

The winners of the Surrey Heath Business Awards 2018 have been announced at a ceremony at Camberley Theatre.

More than 150 delegates attended the awards at Camberley Theatre on Friday 9th March, hosted by the Surrey Heath Business Breakfast event. Returning for a fifth year, the awards showcase the achievements of businesses big and small, spanning the length and breadth of Surrey Heath, from Windlesham to Frimley, and Chobham to Camberley.

Recognising the great people and ideas that keep the local economy thriving, the shortlist featured a wide range of industries and professions, from sportswear to science, and optometry to dance.

The six categories and their winners were:

  • Business Innovation of the Year – Awarding creativity with measurable results.
    • Winner: Planet Ocean Ltd
  • Developing Talent – Recognising businesses that provide opportunities for personal development.
    • Winner: Stewart and Co
  • Community Action – Recognising organisations who take responsibility towards the community and the environment.
    • Winner: Specsavers Camberley
  • Kevin Cantlon Award for Best Small/Medium Sized Business  – Spotlighting businesses with less than 250 employees.
    • Best Small-Sized Business
    • Winner: Legacy Performance Sports Wear
    • Best Medium-Sized Business
    • Winner: Fins Swimming Club
      • The Best Small / Medium Sized Business Award is newly named in honour of Kevin Cantlon, SHBC Economic Development Officer, who sadly passed away in 2017. Renaming the award is our tribute to his work within local business and a reflection of the respect that our business community had for Kevin. This award in particular was very close to his heart.
  • This year also saw a new award, The Star of The Year, which was voted for by the public.
    • Winner: Rachel Bell, The Secret Stage School
  • Finally, the Outstanding Achievement Award was selected by the judging panel and awarded to a company who has significantly contributed to the growth and success of the Surrey Heath community over a number of years.
    • Winner: Eli Lilly

Each winner received a specially commissioned award. Deputy Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, Cllr Richard Brooks said:

‘This event is key in recognising the borough’s best businesses, but also in encouraging and supporting local firms who contribute so much to the Surrey Heath economy. With such a wide range of businesses entering the various categories, we were delighted by the quality of the submissions, which made the judging process all the more difficult.

This successful event is enjoyed and appreciated by the many firms who attend, and of course our congratulations go to all the winners!’

Surrey Heath announce Business Awards shortlist

Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced the shortlist for Surrey Heath Business Awards, the winners of which will be announced at the Surrey Heath Business Breakfast at Camberley Theatre on March 9th, 

The judging panel for this year’s Surrey Heath Business Awards sat for a full day to go through all the nominations this week and have now drawn up the short list. The panel was made up of Karen Whelan (Surrey Heath Borough Council Chief Executive), Paul Marcus (M.D. of Eagle Radio), Sarah Croke (Owner at Weddings & Events at The Pottery and Vice Chairman of  the Frimley Business Association) and Charlie Thompson (The Massage Company Founder and Operations Director). The Massage Company  were last year’s winners of  the Best Small / Medium Sized Business Award.

Karen Whelan said ‘Once again we had a very hard day going through all the fantastic Surrey Heath Business Award nominations, to decide on the short list. It was so encouraging to see great examples of the brilliant businesses we have in the Borough. Well done to all who made the short list and thank you to all those companies who applied. I’d also like to thank all the judges for giving up their time. It was great to have Surrey Heath business owners and previous winners of the awards on the panel this year.’ The short list is:

Business Innovation

  • Consentricare
  • Planet Ocean Ltd
  • Glo Hair Salon

Developing Talent

  • Places for People
  • Platinum Care Solutions
  • Stewart and Co

Community Action

  • Specsavers Camberley
  • Frimley Business Association
  • Sebastian  Action Trust

Kevin Cantlon Award for Best Small/Medium Sized Business

  • Betty & Claude
  • Knights Ceremonies
  • Legacy Performance Sports Wear
  • Frequency Design Ltd
  • Fins Swimming Club

This year sees a new award, The Star of The Year, which is voted for by the public and is open until noon on Friday 23rd February. To see the nominees and place your vote, or to register to attend or exhibit, please visit:

The Best Small / Medium Sized Business Award is newly named in honour of Kevin Cantlon, SHBC Economic Development Officer, who sadly passed away in 2017. Renaming the award is our tribute to his work within local business and a reflection of the respect that our business community had for Kevin. This award in particular was very close to his heart.

There is also an award for Outstanding Achievement.  This award is selected by the judging panel, it will celebrate a company, organisation or individual who has significantly contributed to the growth and success of the Surrey Heath business community over a number of years.

The winners will be announced and presented with their awards at the Business Breakfast Business Awards taking place at Camberley Theatre on March 9th.

Please contact  01276 707308 for more details.

The energetic committee of the Lightwater Business Association

Good to see the energies of the team running the Lightwater Business Association develop a revitalised social media presence. They’ve a new website, and a new Facebook page.

They say about themselves

We now feature a NEW! Facebook page, a NEW! Website. We’re actively involved in supporting important community initiatives such as the “Lightwater Improvement Project” and the “Village Centre Christmas Lights”. We’re pleased to host our, well attended, Business Networking Evenings, and, of course, the two Fayre in the Square events – which themselves are all going from strength to strength.