Business News for Wells – Spring 2021

Chamber of Commerce AGM – via Zoom, Monday April 26th, 6.00pm

Chamber members and other local businesses are cordially invited to a “Zoom” AGM.

Jonathan Orchard (Acting Treasurer) and Judith Ludovino (Acting Vice Chair) will be discussing and seeking approval for a plan to support a wide range of events in 2021 and to bringing back “in person” meetings from July.

For a full list of events planned for Wells view our Events calendar

Upcoming Events

  • BUNTING PROJECT “Sew Buntiful Wells” to bring COLOUR and JOY – Sew Buntiful Wells will be on display from 17th May for a fortnight, with a preview display at the Bishop’s Palace over Easter. Hundreds of metres of bunting have been made so far. We’d love to see some bunting made by our gentlemen of Wells, who want to channel their inner George Clooney.

  • Wells Theatre Festival – going ahead for 8th – 11th July – We are delighted to report that the Wells Theatre Festival is being planned for 8th – 11th July.

  • Wells Community “Big Picnic” Saturday 24th July – The team at the Project Factory are planning a family event for Saturday 24th July, more detail to follow.

  • THIS AUTUMN – BRITAIN’S BEST KNOW SCULPTOR to make loan to Wells – This August Bank Holiday renowned sculptor Sir Antony Gormley is to loan Wells a sculpture (for 18 months) which he is making especially for the corner niche of the West Front of the Cathedral.  This will be a huge draw for visitors and residents alike.  We hope this project will be something that will boost the recovery of business in Wells in terms of footfall and visitors. A little further down the line there will be much more detail, and sponsorship opportunities.

Mendip & Somerset – Business Support

  • FREE SUPPORT SERVICES for the Visitor Economy – The Somerset-wide Visitor Economy Support Programme has £500K to fund FREE support services to accommodation, retail, high street, food & drink, creative industries, heritage, visitor attractions, activity providers and outside visitor spaces.  Help with marketing communications and digital advice is available.  To sign up visit:  www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/trade/vesp-somerset-business-support

  • FREE “Help to Grow” programme for SMEs – Take your business to the next level with the government’s new Help to Grow programme. The programme will help small and medium sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. Through this national programme you could get an Executive Development programme that could help you improve business performance and growth potential through Help to Grow: Management as well as free online advice and money off software that could help you save time and cut costs through Help to Grow: Digital. Register your interest at Help to Grow – Take your business to the next level (campaign.gov.uk)

  • FREE Pre-Start and Start-Up Support (OPEN NOW) – https://www.businesswest.co.uk/start-up-support-package

  • FREE Export Clinics for Somerset Businesses (OPEN NOW) – International Trade Matters – Unlock Your Export Potential

Proposals for Local Government Reorganisation

At the moment, local services are provided by two tiers of local government: Somerset County Council, and the four districts of South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Sedgemoor and Mendip.

There is consensus among all councils that this arrangement is not working well. Somerset lags behind other parts of the UK in a number of areas and some local services, such as social care, are unsustainable.

There is now a proposal in place for two unitary authorities, covering the east and west of Somerset, to replace the current four districts and one county council..

Every Somerset resident will have one council responsible for services, one set of councillors, and one council tax bill. These new councils would work closely with each other to coordinate policy and share back office services where it makes sense. We also propose an ambitious programme of reform to local services to ensure they are responsive and efficient and can improve the places and quality of life in Somerset.