President's Blog - 13/03/2015

13th March, 2015


Thank you to everybody who attended the March general business meeting at the ever hospitable North Lakes Hotel. Thank you also for the many people who have stopped me in the street or emailed me to say that they had heard great feedback about the meeting and intend to come to the next one. More about the April business meeting later.

At the meeting, we went around the table as usual and we picked on the theme of “celebration” from the Chamber of Trade vision document which is available in the documents section of this website. We each spoke about something good that had happened in our businesses or that we had seen in other businesses since the start of 2015. Celebration is one of the Chamber’s focus areas under the heading of “Celebrate, market collaborate and export” and is all about celebrating good news coming out of the town. It’s about exporting to the rest of the UK and beyond all the good things we have in Penrith from the Annual Stars of Business Awards, the Winter Festival, Winter Droving, Penrith on a Plate, Penrith Show, even Kendal Calling (!) Just try and see how many more you can name just off the top of your head. You will be amazed that we have a readymade Penrith Festival Calendar already. As Chamber members, we do not need to invent all the events, we just need to know they are happening, take part in them, encourage footfall and be an inevitable place for people to revisit.

In my last blog, I mentioned that I was being interviewed by Tim Backshall from ITV Border for an election special to be broadcast in early April (I will send out a reminder prior to broadcast). It was a cold morning in the New Squares and Tim was well wrapped up as he was off camera. I was not warm in my suit as we did tracking shots, head to camera and even shots reflected off some of the empty shops. There was a steady stream of people walking up and down and evidence that we could have a rich diversity of outlets both new and established throughout the town catering for that footfall. I was asked about the economy and I talked about the ways that politicians could help to create conditions for businesses to thrive in Penrith. 45 minutes later and with a very blue nose, I felt that I had outlined some of the best ways that I felt of boosting the economy locally by encouraging start-ups, simplifying taxation and funding streams and creating a leadership structure that encouraged businesses to collaborate and present Penrith as a unique town with huge potential.

So next meeting is again at North Lakes Hotel on 7th April. Our guest speaker will be Nicola Meredith who works at the CN Group who will give a fascinating insight about the tremendous amount of detail that goes into delivering the Disney Experience which is often cited as the epitome of customer service. Nicola and her colleague will also talk about social media from a practical perspective and will help you to get started with very little fuss.

Other events happening in the next two weeks:

Friday 20 March 2015 7.00pm Penrith Old Fire Station.

On August 18th 2011, in response to the UK riots and after a chance encounter in a post office, Bernadette Russell embarked on a mission to be kind to a stranger every single day for a year. The show, part stand up, part storytelling, part live documentary, charts this amazing year, which began with burning buildings, and ended with the flame of the Olympic torch. Featuring a dinner party with the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama and Princess Di, it attempts to answer the question: “is it possible to change the world just by being kind?”

Monday 23 March 7.30pm Penrith Music Club Penrith Methodist Church  

Endymion was formed in 1979 and has maintained an international reputation ever since for repertoire ranging from Bach to Birtwistle. They have given over 150 world premieres, performed at major venues and festivals throughout Europe and made acclaimed recordings.

Krysia Osostowicz and Clara Biss (violins), Asdis Valdimarsdottir (viola), Jane Salmon (cello) and Matt Hunt (clarinet) bring a wealth of experience to their Viennese programme of Schubert, Mozart and Brahms. The final concert of our season promises a box of special delights.

Tuesday 24 March 6-8pm at Stoneybeck Inn, Bowscar, Penrith, CA11 8RP

Find out about offers and opportunities from Eden

District Council and others to grow your business. Penrith Chamber of Trade will be there as will Kate and yours truly.

Have a great one.


Amyn Fazal



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