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Council Leader and Anne Milton MP Pledge Support for Local Businesses

Published on: 16 May, 2013
Updated on: 17 May, 2013
The Guildford Business forum logo

The Guildford Business Forum logo

by Gill Perkins

Council Leader Stephen Mansbridge and Guildford’s MP Anne Milton have spoken about the importance of businesses to Guildford’s economy and growth.

They were speaking at a meeting of the Guildford Business Forum, held at the Guildford Means Business Exhibition at G Live on Wednesday, May 15. They also outlined the support they could offer.

Council considering measures to reduce congestion

Council Leader Stephen Mansbridge

Council Leader Stephen Mansbridge

Cllr Mansbridge talked of Guildford Borough Council’s awareness of key issues in the town, including congestion around the gyratory and on the A3, which often causes business people to be late for meetings when coming into the town, or when heading out to see other businesses, or to catch flights from any of the hub airports.

Taking some time to focus on retailers, he also talked about the potential for good development on North Street and the growing success of Experience Guildford, set up after the town became a Business Improvement District in 2012.

This led to a mention of tourism, something that Cllr Mansbridge said was vital to Guildford and that the council was dedicated to making the most of all the tourism opportunities Guildford has to offer, attracting more visitors to the town and, in turn, providing more opportunities for businesses.

Talk to your MP as soon as you have a concern

Anne Milton MP

Anne Milton MP

Anne Milton spoke about the success Guildford already has as a business area across all sectors, including retail, tourism, SME businesses and large operations. She asked businesses to come and talk to her as soon as they had a problem to face or issues that concerned them, so that she could start conversations with the appropriate people and help to make a difference.

She also spoke briefly about housing, recognising that attracting more businesses to the area meant that good quality, affordable housing must be available.

How can we make Guildford more appealing to business?

The questions that followed focused on transport links to Guildford from the major airports, a lack of which could deter new businesses from setting up in the town; the government’s position on membership of the EU. Simon de Kretser, of Foster de Kretser Graphic Design, pointing out that most of the audience was from smaller businesses, asked what the council is doing for them. They are, he said, the regular users of Guildford’s pot-holed roads and potentially expensive car parking but did not appear to receive answers.

The Cubiks success story

The main presentation, given by Barry Spence, CEO of Cubiks Group Ltd, was entertaining and interesting. Cubiks, winner of the Toast of Surrey Award for companies with turnover of £5 million plus, is based at Ranger House, next to Guildford railway station and is an international company specialising in business psychology services.

The company moved from central London to Guildford in a staged move between 2007 and 2012 which Mr Spence said was the best move it had ever made. The location, facilities, transport links and support within the town has made it the best place to headquarter Cubiks and the company is planning to expand its operation further here.

Keith Churchouse

Keith Churchouse – Photo Best of Guildford

The meeting was opened and closed by Keith Churchouse, the chairman of the Guildford Business Forum, who reminded us how much is happening in Guildford, from key national events like the Tour of Britain cycling race, to outstanding institutions like the University of Surrey.

The consensus among the speakers appeared to be that Guildford has a buzz about it in many ways, and the role of the council, our MP and our business support groups is to ensure that things can only get better.

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