Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Knowsley Hall, we welcomed 140 members to our Annual General Meeting.
Courtesy of Tony Simpson, MD of Seacon www.seacon.uk.com, “The Flying Dog” rally car was parked outside. The Flying Dog set the tone for the content of Lesley Martin-Wright’s speech as CEO of Knowsley Chamber.
“You may be wondering why Tony and I thought it was a great idea to bring the Flying Dog to our annual meeting? Well I put this down to the driving spirit that is very much at the heart of running a business. Mario Andretti a great American racing driver said “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough”.
“Racing car drivers might seem like daredevils, but the best ones are obsessively focused on preparation. The car must be perfect. The driver must be in shape and focused to endure the challenges of a race. If either the car or the driver is even 5% off, the results won’t be there.
In the same way our successful companies prepare every day so that they can push the envelope. They plan; they measure; they analyse; they recruit, train, and empower their employees”.
Lesley reflected on the success of the Chamber of Commerce and acknowledged that this was the 30th anniversary of the trading as a member organisation. During the last financial year membership has grown and income has increased. This is reflective of the growth experienced within the local business community and Knowsley “the borough”. The Office of National Statistics recently reported that Knowsley has the highest rate of growth in productivity out of more than 350 places across the country – it’s up 140% since 1997. Per head of the population, Knowsley actually had the highest economic boost in the whole of the United Kingdom!
Lesley thanked the many new members that were attending their first AGM, but also the very loyal companies that have been in membership for many years, in particular Actuation Valve, B&M Digital, Beesley & Fildes, Bomac Electrical, Clarke Energy, Britannia Fleet Removals, Sterling Services, Glen Dimplex, Halewood International, Khakhi Blues and 2s, Newsprinters, QVC, SFM Couriers, Temos, Kingfisher, Knowsley Council, Jaguar Land Rover, Precision Pneumatics, Suites Hotel, and Oldham Brothers.
Lesley commented “Supporting Knowsley’s economic growth, jobs and enterprise, the Chamber and Growth Hub are working with companies helping to drive commercial success, to attract major initiatives and investment, and develop an unrivalled climate for the private sector to grow.
“I can report that the Knowsley Growth Hub is on target to deliver the Business Growth Programme. 80 of our businesses have completed the programme and 73 businesses are part way through.
“I am delighted to advise that since January 2017, 244 of our businesses have reported growth; 1040 new jobs have been created, and the value of the private sector investment/growth is £169 million.
“The Chamber is performing well. We are in good financial health. We are delivering successfully on several service level agreements, and generating valuable income. Our membership base has grown, as has membership income.
“Over the last 12 months we have improved our management information systems, and have more control on subjects such as data management, business planning and risk. We have successfully restructured the Knowsley Growth Hub.
“We’ve delivered 45 successful events, networking meetings, seminars and workshops and some 1500 people have attended. May I thank the businesses that have supported our events, those that have hosted seminars, facilitated workshops, and the companies that have generously sponsored events. Our network meetings such as Environment, HR Forum, Flash Business Breakfasts, Women in Business Network and the Visitor Economy network continue to add value to businesses.
“Special thanks to Chief Inspector Tami Garvey Jones and Sergeant Julian Hanley from Merseyside Police, and Frank Kelly and Mark Thomas Mersey Fire and Rescue Services for their support for our Knowsley Business Watch, and for their proactive response for issues that arise in the business community.
“Thank you Weightmans Solicitors, who volunteered their time to work with a local group and helped to paint a community centre, and thank you Morgan Ryder for donating gifts for the lunch for the 45 young people who were leaving care this week here in Knowsley.
“Thank you to the 65 companies who have come forward to say that they would like to offer work experience and to the 74 companies that have indicated that they wish to know more about taking on local apprentices.
“Thank you to the 30 business who have offered to help by employing people with learning difficulties/disabilities, and to the 44 companies that have said they want to know more about signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant.
“Thank you to Rod Wah of Beverston Engineering for continuing to Chair the Manufacturing Network which goes from strength to strength.
“I am delighted to announce today that in the Spring of 2018, we will be launching a new Construction & Development Forum.
“Turning to the people that give unfaltering support to me, the Chamber staff, and to our members. May I give sincere thanks to our President, Lord Derby, and Alan Seeley, the Chairman. The energy and devotion that you both bring to these roles ensures that the Chamber is on a strong footing.
“Thank you to all the Board Directors who have given their time freely and for trust and confidence that you have invested in me.
“May I extend a warm welcome to the following who are attending their first AGM as Board Directors:-
Joseph Mulrooney, Mediate Legal;
Ian Holohan, JLR;
Michelle Dow, All About Stem;
Rod Wah, Beverston Engineering;
Lynsey Merryweather, Clarke Energy;
If you have read this update and are interested in joining Knowsley Chamber then please don’t hesitate to contact us 0151 477 1356