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Chambers Join Forces In United Step Forward


7:19am 26th September 2014

Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce (WPCC) has become officially affiliated to the countywide Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) in the groundbreaking move  - the first in the county to do so.

Bringing the might of the organisations together - some 850 business combined - will give them a more powerful voice to influence decision-makers, funding bodies, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Government.

The closer links will also mean greater business opportunities for members, more joint events and increased benefits in terms of wider services to support growth for members and the local economy.

DCCI chief executive Ian Girling and WPCC president Julie Cleaver signed the agreement at a meeting of WPCC's executive committee.

DCCI chief executive Ian Girling said:  "This affiliation and exciting new relationship is a fundamental step forward for the Chamber movement in Dorset.

"My view is that businesses need a clear voice.  

"Working together in this way, we start to develop a strong framework for both the delivery of services to support business growth and a platform for business engagement with stakeholders.

"This is an important day. Weymouth and Portland are the first to affiliate to DCCI in this way and have showed the vision to build a stronger voice for business

"We will both retain our individuality and specific roles but standing together we are stronger."

DCCI has nearly 700 members representing businesses some 37,000 employees. WPCC maintains its highest ever level of membership at about 150 but has a reach to nearly 1,000 business locally.

Under the new partnership Weymouth and Portland members will be able to give input into the national British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey, which is a major influence in developing Government policy.

The two organisations will also be able to work together in the development of further services to support and help businesses grow.

WPCC president Julie Cleaver said: "WPCC is very excited about this affiliation and is looking forward to a forging a close relationship with DCCI.

"We are one of the most vibrant town chambers in Dorset and this will give us a louder voice across the county.

"It won't cost our members anything and will allow them to tap into the benefits that his affiliation will bring, such as the opportunity to network with a wider group of businesses across the whole county as well as such tangible benefits as access to training and support."

DCCI, which has been modernising and expanding over the past nine months, aims to encourage more town chambers to follow in the footsteps of WPCC to foster more joined up thinking and co-ordination among the business community countywide.

As well holding popular events and activities, WPCC represents the interests of the area's business community and mounts campaigns on local issues of concern, such as car parking.

Its next breakfast meeting is a Bring a Buddy event on October 7 when businesses will hear more about the proposed Jurassica project on Portland.

Visit www.wpchamber.co.uk and www.dcci.co.uk for more about the chambers.

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