As I write this blog, we are in the middle of compiling our 2014/15 annual report for our Annual General Meeting(AGM) on 19 November at the carefully restored Barton Hall Hotel, near Kettering.
The AGM is a fantastic way for Northamptonshire Chamber to reflect on its achievements with its members and 2014/15 proved to be a memorable one for many reasons and not least winning “The Excellence in Membership Services” category in the prestigious Chamber Awards 2014. Northamptonshire Chamber was also immensely proud to be finalists in two further categories: “Excellence in International Trade Services” and “Chamber of the Year.”
‘2014/15 proved to be a memorable one for many reasons and not least winning “The Excellence in Membership Services” category in the prestigious Chamber Awards 2014’
The awards, organised by the British Chambers of Commerce(BCC), recognises and celebrates business excellence and the achievements of its Accredited Chamber membership.
Northamptonshire Chamber won the “Excellence in Membership Services Award” for developing a strategy, based on extensive market research to improve overall customer experience and engagement with members. This resulted in an impressive 20% increase in membership over the last year.
We were also delighted to welcome two new members Northampton College and Knights of Old in April 2015 into our exclusive Business Alliance Group(BAG), a senior level group that brings together some of the well-established and influential companies in the county. As BAG partners, their expertise of the education and logistics sectors will complement the skills and knowledge of our existing Alliance Partners in driving forward initiatives which benefit businesses and support the local economy.
‘One of our priorities for 2014/15 has been enhancing our links with the education sector – as nurturing the talent of the next generation is vital to the nation’s economic success’
One of our priorities for 2014/15 has been enhancing our links with the education sector – as nurturing the talent of the next generation is vital to the nation’s economic success. Since March 2014, our head of operations Tracey Branson has been a governor at Northampton College, meanwhile we employed an intern with the assistance of the University of Northampton to aid our social media presence. In September 2014, the Chamber organised a networking event for the sixth form at Northampton High School for their skills day, whilst in March I judged, for the third year running, the school’s Enterprise Awards.
From a policy perspective, the Chamber has been actively supporting the BCC’s Business Manifesto: ‘A Business Plan for Britain’ which highlights the importance of preparing the business leaders of tomorrow and ensuring there is a smooth transition from school to work as one of seven key strands in helping the UK to fulfil its true economic potential.
This has indeed been a marvellous year for Northamptonshire Chamber and its achievements would not have been possible without the continued support of our members.