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The West Sussex Recover & Rise SME Digital Accelerator programme.

This Autumn & Winter 2021, West Sussex County Council launches a FREE online workshop series designed to maximise the impact and accessibility of digital technologies for West Sussex Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The SME Digital Accelerator programme is a 4 part series consisting of over 25 online workshops:

Series 1: Getting Online

Series 2: Customers & Marketing

Series 3: Systems & Productivity

Series 4: Growth Expansion & New Products.

These workshop sessions have been put together by local digital experts Freedom Works, Always Possible & Creative Bloom in partnership with the County Council & boroughs to help small and medium businesses utilise digital tools and gain expert knowledge and advice in how best to grow their online presence and attract and retain new customers.

Workshops will be run online and will take place at 12pm on Tuesdays & Thursdays starting on 9th September.

September 2021

Introducing Chichester at Real Estate Live UK


 A spotlight will be on Chichester this October, with the district being promoted to investors and developers as part of a week-long programme of events at Real Estate Live UK.

Introducing Chichester, in partnership with Invest Chichester, takes place at 10.30am on Wednesday 6 October and will give attendees insight into the district’s commercial market, its strong growth sectors, the support on offer and how the council can help those interested in the district to locate, grow, and thrive.

In what will be its fifth week of virtual events since launching in June 2020, Real Estate Live UK has fast become a crucial platform for regeneration professionals, property experts and local authorities alike – replacing the more traditional physical events taking place before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Completely free to attend, its third week of events takes place from 4-8 October, keeping the property sectors talking, tackling the issues facing the industry and promoting live opportunities for investment.

Chichester District Council is putting the district on the map thanks to its new inward investment brand, Invest Chichester – focusing on its strengths, which include location, cultural offer and a well-supported business network – to drive new growth to complement the array of varied employers and industries that call it home.

To register for the session, visit https://realestatelive.co.uk/events/introducing-chichester-in-partnership-with-invest-chichester/

To find out more about Real Estate Live UK’s October programme, visit https://realestatelive.co.uk/programme/

August 2021


For further information on any of the events or to view further events later on in the year, please go directly to the events page on the CCCI website

CCCI/First Friday networking collaboration - 3rd December

We are delighted that the Nags Head will kindly host this event for us again.

So grab and drink from the bar and join us in the room to the right of the entrance for some informal networking.

Very friendly and open to all.

Booking preferred so that we have an idea of numbers.

The Business Breakfast with Chichester College - 8th December

We are delighted to collaborate with the Chichester College for our Monthly Breakfast.

This monthly breakfast provides a friendly, relaxed and informative environment for local businesses to network and improve your business profile locally and there will be a guest speaker.

Includes full English breakfast with a vegetarian or vegan option too

CCCI Member – £13.50

Non Member £15.00

The Business Hothouse offers free support to pre-start and established businesses in the Coast-to-Capital area. From workshops to grant funding, they can provide the expert guidance to get your business growing. For more inforamtion, please go to their website

How to Start a Start-up for Pre-Start & Early-Stage Businesses - 30th November


Six, two hour expert-led sessions that build to give you all the knowledge you need to get that business idea going or start-up growing.

How to Start a Start-up for Pre-Start & Early-Stage Businesses - 30th November


Six, two hour expert-led sessions that build to give you all the knowledge you need to get that business idea going or start-up growing.

How to Write an Effective Business Plan - 14th December

Online Workshop
Designed for start-ups, this 2 hour session will guide you through the key component parts of a good business plan. Includes a Q&A session.
Delivered by our business expert, Paul Dallibar, this remote, interactive workshop will ensure that you have the ability to write a business plan that covers all the bases and enables you to apply for business funding or grant funding.
FSB Logo

Established over 45 years ago, FSB are a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by members, for members.

FSB is also the UK’s leading business campaigner, focused on delivering change which supports smaller business to grow and succeed

Lighting the Motivation inside your people and customers - 3rd December

FSB is delighted to join forces with Clemorton Training and Development’s Stuart Maddocks for a series of support events on leading more effectively emerging from lockdown, boosting staff morale, productivity and sales.

One of the most common questions asked by SME founders and leaders is: how do I motivate people as part of my role?

The answer is both complex and simple all at once.  Find out more on this online workshop

Maximise Your Membership - 8th December


We are pleased to invite you to this webinar which will give you the tools to maximise your FSB membership. This will be an hour worth spending to ensure you’re getting all the help you can, when you need it most.

This “Maximise Your Membership” session is a free online event open to all new joiners to FSB and for any existing members that want to refresh their memories regarding the available benefits.

Big Small Business Networking UK - 15th December

Network with hundreds of small businesses from across the UK as part of FSB’s biggest networking event, ever!

On 15 December something very special is taking place. The largest small business networking event in the FSB’s history, ever! We’re looking to set an FSB record and we would love you to be part of it.

News Archive

Invest Chichester logo

Automotive sector identified as driver of growth in Chichester district

With opportunities for businesses in the automotive industry readily available, and the chance to hire local talent trained by the district’s education providers, Chichester’s long-running association with the automotive sector is only set to grow in the coming years.

Already home to established, world-renowned, companies including Rolls-Royce and the iconic Goodwood Estate, the district is also where a number of car dealerships – both national and independent – and specialist workshops for repair and customisation are located.

Employers are supported by the skills provision from the district’s educational institutions, with Chichester College’s Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle courses allowing students the opportunity to specialise before moving into the workplace. The University of Chichester also offers engineering courses.

Iconic Land Rovers and Range Rovers are being customised within the district, as they are carefully crafted and transformed into bespoke vehicles by luxury designers and engineers Kingsmen Editions and their sister company, Chichester Cars.

Across the UK more than 864,000 people are employed by the automotive sector, which generated more than £100billion in 2019, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Location is likely to be a key decider in where automotive businesses base themselves with an estimated 4,100 cars and 6,100 engines exported worldwide every day – and 1,000 cars distributed to UK dealers and 3,600 engines delivered to UK factories. Chichester, with its close proximity to two major port cities in Portsmouth and Southampton, stands out against other UK locations.

Councillor Tony Dignum, Chichester District Council’s Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration, said: “Some of the UK’s most iconic cars have been – and continue to be – developed, tested and manufactured in Chichester, and we have a legendary race track right on our doorstep – and the opportunity is there for anyone in the sector to become a part of our district’s motoring story.

“Plans are underway to increase availability of space for the sector and our University and College are teaching the next generation of technicians, designers, specialists and experts – not to mention our location to two of the UK’s biggest ports putting you in front of the world.

“We’re open for business and ready to put you in the fast lane.”

Chichester College plays a key role in training tomorrow’s experts and on average trains hundreds of students every year across various automotive trades, including motor vehicle and motorcycle.

The college is also working in collaboration with a consortium of Sussex-based colleges to establish hybrid and Electric Vehicle technology training centres across the region. This project has taken a step forward thanks to the awarding of multi-million-pound funding from the Department for Education as part of the Strategic Development Fund.

Julie Kapsalis, Managing Director of the Chichester College Group, said: “We are extremely proud of our motor vehicle offer at Chichester College.

“Year on year we are training hundreds of students in important automotive trades, teaching them the skills they need to succeed in the industry.

“We build close links with employers, such as Rolls-Royce, to ensure our courses are meeting their requirements, including developing our apprenticeship programmes to improve the skills of their workforce across a diverse range of disciplines – something that Ofsted highlighted in our Outstanding Ofsted report last year.

“Looking forward, we are very proud to be working with colleagues at colleges across Sussex to be building new centres which will provide skills training to support the future of the industry, such as across electric vehicle and other emerging sustainable transport technologies.

“It is an exciting time for the industry and for those looking to work within it.”

The final jewel in Chichester’s crown is the Goodwood Motor Circuit, which coordinates a busy schedule of track days and driving experiences, attracting both business and customers all year round. The Estate hosts three annual headline motorsport events – the Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard and Goodwood Revival – attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area. The Festival of Speed is an essential part of the automotive event calendar and, at the 2021 event, Goodwood launched ‘Electric Avenue – The Road To 2030’ presented by Sky Zero, the home of electric mobility at the Festival of Speed. Proving to be one of the most popular exhibits over the weekend, the exhibition showcased an extensive collection of the latest Electric Vehicles, from the diminutive Citroën AMI to the elegant Pininfarina Battista hypercar, enabling visitors to explore the electric transition coming in 2030.

Adam Waterworth, Goodwood’s Events Managing Director, said: “This year the Festival of Speed returned to the Goodwood Estate for the first time since 2019 and played a big part in providing a platform for our automotive partners to get in front of customers, whether at the event or joining us online from around the world. We continue to attract the biggest global names from the automotive sector and Goodwood is proud to be playing a part in driving growth in the Chichester district.”

August 2021

Government award £7million funding to colleges across Sussex region for skills training

A consortium of Sussex colleges is to receive more than £7million funding, as part of the Department for Education’s Strategic Development Fund.
Comprised of eight college groups, further education colleges and sixth form colleges across East and West Sussex and Brighton & Hove, led by Chichester College Group (CCG), the consortium will be working collaboratively to boost skills training in sustainable industries.

Bexhill College, BHASVIC, College of Richard Collyer, East Sussex College Group, Greater Brighton Metropolitan Group (GB Met), Plumpton College and Varndean College are working with CCG to deliver five projects:

  • Alternative Energy & Hydrogen Technologies (led by CCG)
  • Land Management Strategies and Practices for Environmental Land Management Schemes (led by Plumpton College, with Brinsbury College)
  • Electric Vehicle Training Centres (led by GB Met)
  • Decarbonisation Academies in Sussex (led by East Sussex College Group)
  • Establishing Carbon Literacy and Sustainability Awareness (led by BHASVIC)

Shelagh Legrave CBE, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, said: “This is a fantastic boost for skills training and development across the whole Sussex region.

“Businesses have been struggling to recruit people with the right skills, and while colleges do a fantastic job in skills training, there are some industry gaps where the right equipment or expertise may not be available to deliver the best training.

“Working collaboratively with partners at other colleges across the whole of the Sussex region reflects the need to develop a region-wide approach to improving skills-training and will hugely benefit young people and employers in our local areas.”

Development, writing and submission of the bid was co-ordinated by Dr Tim Strickland, Consultant Chief Executive of FE Sussex, the consortia company of the post-16 colleges in Sussex. He added: “All our member colleges are proud to have been selected to be part of this large scale multi-faceted project, the development of which shows the advantages of working together for the benefit of students and employers.

“It will enable Sussex colleges to place the Green agenda at the heart of today’s teaching and learning and give students and employers the knowledge and skills of tomorrow.”

The funding has been awarded by Government for Local Skills Improvement Plans and development fund pilots. It is part of a £65million fund which is being distributed across the country and

The funding will support the curriculum offered by colleges with a focus on long-term skills priorities of local areas.

July 2021

Chichester District Council logo
Chichester City Waterstones and the Cross

Independent retailers in Chichester District invited to access free online training

 Independent retail businesses across Chichester District are being invited to take up free online training which will cover ten key subjects.

The training has been made available thanks to a joint project between all the district and borough councils in West Sussex, and is being led by Horsham District Council. The training has been developed by the company Digital Islands under the West Sussex Retail Hub banner, and has been paid for thanks to a joint bid to the West Sussex Business Rates Pool.

 In the past, Chichester District Council has organised face-to-face training for independent retailers, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this has had to be changed and delivered remotely instead.

Independent retailers will be able to access the following pre-recorded modules, each presented by a specialist expert:

Measuring sales, tracking profitability

  • Key steps for creating a marketing plan
  • The importance of business planning
  • Employing staff: an introduction to HR for small businesses
  • Using social media for business outcomes
  • Card payments and electronic point of sale
  • Understanding today’s customer
  • Creating an exceptional customer experience
  • Developing a quality customer experience for the modern independent retailer; and
  • Developing new business models that work effectively and efficiently.

Businesses will be able to access the training from Monday 12 July at their own convenience by going to https://www.westsussexretailhub.co.uk/ and completing the required registration details. Businesses will be free to pick and choose the modules of most use to them. The modules will be available for the next two years and there will also be downloads and useful resources for businesses to keep.

An online launch event using Zoom will also be taking place on Monday 12 July at 6pm which businesses are welcome to attend. There will be the opportunity to hear from Mark Smith, Operations Director of sportswear company Sweaty Betty as well as an overview of the different training modules from each of the experts.  There will also be a question and answer session for businesses to take part in.

To attend the launch event businesses should go to

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84939047888?pwd=bmhHSG91ZHdxM3Z4aUlZR0ZlVGVVUT09 and use the following details: Meeting ID: 849 3904 7888 and Passcode: 138701

“This training is being provided as part of our council’s ongoing support for our district’s independent retailers and has been made available following extremely positive feedback from those who have completed similar face-to-face training that we have organised in the past,” explains Councillor Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Business, Growth and Regeneration at Chichester District Council.

“Collectively, independent businesses are a major employer and are vital to the economy and to our high streets. We are keen to keep supporting businesses following the pandemic, and we hope that businesses will find this high-quality training package extremely relevant and valuable. We hope it will give businesses lots of practical information which they can use to enhance and boost their business for the future.

“As well as providing access to training opportunities our council also offers a range of support for independent businesses in the district including information and advice about grants and networking opportunities.”

People can find out more about Chichester District Council’s business support by visiting http://www.chichester.gov.uk/businesssupportandadvice

6 July 2021

Quality of life message at heart of Invest Chichester launch

A new inward investment campaign has been launched by Chichester District Council targeting employers looking to put a work-life balance at the heart of their business.

The launch of Invest Chichester coincides with a return to the workplace for many employees who had been working remotely for the past 15 months and responded to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic by putting increased importance on both mental and physical health as they prioritise quality of life.

Many employers have recognised the shift in emphasis, providing increased wellbeing opportunities to support, retain and recruit talented staff – moving social events online, delivering more regular catch ups and activities to improve mental health – from mindfulness and yoga to company-wide timeouts from the screen over lunch.

And Invest Chichester is looking to attract those who are placing a greater importance on wellbeing and leisure time – by showcasing the district’s rich culture and heritage which, alongside its open spaces across the South Downs and Chichester Harbour and coastal towns, offer an unrivalled quality of life.

Chichester can provide more space for those who have moved, or are consider moving, out of smaller accommodation in urban centres and heading for more affordable properties outside of major hubs.

It also boasts impressive connectivity – central London is around an hour and a half away and there are three international airports within 90 minutes away – Heathrow, Gatwick and Southampton. Looking to the coast, Portsmouth and Southampton, two of Britain’s largest port towns are 20 and 45 minutes away respectively. The district is also home to major, well-established, employers including Goodwood, Natures Way Foods and Rolls Royce.

The Council has identified opportunities for businesses across numerous sectors including industrial and logistics, creative and digital, as well as tourism and leisure. Across its new campaign, Chichester District Council will be showcasing the space and assets on offer, as well as supporting businesses in moving to the district.

And there’s benefits for employees too – the opportunity to be part of a growing economy with outstanding schools, providing an unrivalled work/life blend.

Cllr Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council, said: “We want businesses that are new to the district to discover what it has to offer, and we want those already living and working in this wonderful part of the world to benefit from the investment that we hope to attract.

“Chichester District has so much to offer and our doors are open to businesses looking to make a change for the better and locate here, grow, and thrive.

“There’s no better time than now to get in touch and start a conversation and enjoy the benefits those of us lucky enough to be here already do.”

Stephanie Jones, Head of Communications at Natures Way Foods, said: “We’re lucky enough to have a long history of working in the district and have the best of town, country and seaside living on the doorstep of our four sites.”

Mark Minchell, Director, Fludes, said: “Chichester has a strong commercial offer across all subsectors and has been remarkably resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The district’s appeal largely lies in the work-life balance it affords businesses and their employees and a core strength lies in its industrial and logistics hubs where requirements remain consistent in an ever-growing market.”

For more information on Invest Chichester and if you’d like an introduction to the district, email krollings@chichester.gov.uk

25th June 2021