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New Vision for Borough Chamber

Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce 2014

7:21am 20th February 2014

The newly elected female president of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce is setting out her priorities for the year ahead.

Julie Cleaver of Popcorn Marketing has her sights set on helping young people getting into work, and is holding an apprenticeship fair at Weymouth College on the 28th March.  She's been working on the project with South Dorset MP Richard Drax.

She also wants to tackle parking charges in the Borough. Julie has invited Chris Greaves from the local authority to one of the Chamber's Business Breakfast's on the 4th March, where he'll talk about parking savings that are coming to Weymouth and Portland from the 1st April.

She said: "2014 will again be a challenging year for us all. However, we can say that business is improving. We now have a Business Improvement District which is working very hard on attracting more visitors to the area. We have welcomed many new national businesses to the borough such as Sainsbury's, Beefeater, and Screwfix, and continue to see many new businesses choosing Weymouth and Portland as a great place to invest and create new jobs."

Julie thanked outgoing President, Mark Blunden, for all his hard work. She also thanked members of the Executive Committee who were stepping down after years of service: Mark Franklin of Franklin & Co, Fiona Penny of Sunflowers Floral Design and Alison Cocks, who has been awarded honorary membership of the Chamber.

In his final address as retiring President, Mark Blunden looked back on a year of successful events including the President's Dinner, Summer BBQ and Bollywood Charity Ball, which raised over £1700 for the RNLI.

He said: "2013 business-wise has been a challenging year for us all, but there are some signs that a long overdue recovery is on the way. That said, I don't think we are out of the woods yet and patience and diligence is needed as much now as ever. It is crucial that the councils in their united form seek to invest in projects and look for intelligent ways to bring business and growth into the area. Their long-term plans are welcome, but some quick wins are still needed along with people in these key positions with the will and determination to make changes and make them soon, including progress at North Quay, Brewers Quay and of course the Pavilion Peninsular."

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