Many of you will now know that our team at Northamptonshire Chamber has been selected by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to set up a new Chamber of Commerce in Milton Keynes.
Milton Keynes Chamber officially launched on Monday 8 July and I have been busy travelling between the two offices to ensure that the new Chamber launched seamlessly and that our business commitments in Northamptonshire and service to Northamptonshire Chamber members were not affected.
The new Milton Keynes Chamber has no connection to the previous Milton Keynes & North Bucks Chamber, which closed its doors in February, and will be run by the same, experienced team behind the Northamptonshire Chamber, which was a finalist in the Chamber of Year category in the 2012 National Chamber Awards.
I will carry on as Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Chamber and also take on the role of Chief Executive of Milton Keynes Chamber. The two Chambers, although run by the same team, will be operated as two completely separate Chambers from two different offices, each serving their local business communities.
The creation of the Milton Keynes Chamber, and the fact that they will be run by the same team of people, can only be good news for the businesses of Northamptonshire.
I am hoping that through the two Chambers working closely together, the two business communities will also work more closely and benefit from being part of a bigger business community. We will arrange for members from both Chambers to meet up every now and again at different events and training courses, and our team’s knowledge of both areas and the businesses within them will also be an advantage to our members.
The response we have received so far from both areas has been extremely positive and I hope this will continue.
We will carry on working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and MPs in both areas and there will be some crossover. For example, SEMLEP covers both Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire. Through our links with the BCC, we also have connections to national and European Governments that members of both Chambers could benefit from.
The beauty of Northamptonshire Chamber launching Milton Keynes Chamber is that we are now in a really good position to foster a really strong network, which can work independently at a local level in each area, or joined together as one large regional business community. Add to this our links with national and European Government, we can be a really powerful business force to be reckoned with.