Upcoming Events


Member's Offers

Chichester Escape Rooms
Expires: 09-Apr-2019

Chichester Chamber Blog

In My View... The A27

Office Chichester Chamber - Thursday, March 30, 2017

On 22 March, I attended a community stakeholder workshop about the A27 improvements in Chichester as a representative of the Chamber, and a local resident.  It was locally organised by West Sussex County Council, hosted at Chichester College in response to the news that the proposed £28m scheme has been scrapped by transport secretary Chris Grayling because of a lack of local consensus.  The workshop’s purpose was to locally start afresh with the A27 plans.

I’m not surprised the previous scheme was scrapped. The options handed down to Chichester and district by Highways England were all flawed because of the way they were conceived.  Highways England ran the consultation through an appointed non-local agent and effectively drew up the options with them, with minimal local consultation. This meant they were always going to be what Highways England preferred as part of a national infrastructure strategy, rather than a locally conceived and popularly supported plan.  Plus, the options were always going to be about just changing the A27: the clue is in the name.

Whether a future improvement scheme is ever going to be funded remains unclear. What we do know is something needs to be done about improving the infrastructure in and around Chichester, of which the bypass is a major factor

We have a fantastic opportunity to produce a compelling locally-driven and visionary plan that considers all forms of transport. One that works for both locals and through-traffic, now and into the future. It needs to go beyond just the bypass by also considering how to reduce the need for local journeys by car in and around Chichester

At the workshop, there was a remarkable sense of unified local purpose. We will never achieve 100% consensus about any plan.  But instead of going down the same old route of allowing those with the loudest voices who are able to attend forums and workshops to influence direction, to me it has to be a much broader local consensus that should be sought

Life is distracting. Getting a lot of people engaged in local issues is a massive challenge, but by achieving broader local engagement from both businesses and residents, I believe we will produce a more visionary and substantiated plan. One that is based on public representation will more likely inspire decision makers and attract the funding.

This is a call to action. Local businesses and residents alike should get involved.

Email: buildabettera27@westsussex.gov.uk to find out more.

Jason Miller, Director of Chichester Chamber of Commerce & Industry and SteadyGo

In My View... The A27

Thursday, March 30, 2017
On 22 March, I attended a community stakeholder workshop about the A27 improvements in Chichester as a representative of the Chamber, and a local resident. It was locally organised by West Sussex County Council, hosted at Chichester College in response to the news that the proposed £28m s ..

Read More

A27? It’s about time

Office Chichester Chamber - Thursday, March 06, 2014

It’s good to see a commitment stated in the media for a feasibility study on A27 improvements.  It’s about time – but it’s not new and it’s not the first. We all know another feasibility study will show that improvements are needed. The impact of this road extends further than just Chichester or even West Sussex.

Organisations across the south and south east of England use this road; for haulage, agriculture, horticulture, manufacturing, tourism and commuting. As an arterial route, its impact is huge. Users of the road know better than out-of-area consultants where the key pinch points are, so as a Chamber representing business views, we sincerely hope the consultation is carried out among the right stakeholders and the use of theory can be complimented by empirical research. This is an opportunity for West Sussex County Council to liaise and consult with organisations in Hampshire as well as cross-county and not just with the usual suspects…

Looking at the bigger picture, we also need to consider how attractive our enclave of West Sussex is for inward investment – now and in the future. We can’t keep building homes without considering the impact on the economy. Chichester will only be a desirable place for people to live, if it offers the right elements and residents of these new homes need employment – we don’t want to risk Chichester becoming a dormitory town. We need areas earmarked for employment and enterprise development – for local companies to be able to expand and stay in our area, employing more local people - but also to encourage organisations to move into this area. Infrastructure is one thing that will improve our inward investment appeal, but we can’t stop there. We also need employment and enterprise zones – then we need to house the people.

From Hampshire to Brighton and beyond, business organisations have been lobbying for A27 improvements for decades, so the fact that there is movement of sorts is good news. What we hope is new about this announcement is that this feasibility study won’t just be filed away on a dusty shelf. We hope the momentum is picked up and maintained and we actually see money being spent on the roads, rather than on paperwork. But we want the bigger picture in mind.

A27? It’s about time

Thursday, March 06, 2014
It’s good to see a commitment stated in the media for a feasibility study on A27 improvements. It’s about time – but it’s not new and it’s not the first. We all know another feasibility study will show that improvements are needed. The impact of this road extends f ..

Read More

The Importance of Tourism

Office Chichester Chamber - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

At one time or another we’re all tourists! Whether an annual holiday, a weekend away, a day out or a business trip, when you or I take a break, we’re contributing to the ‘visitor economy’.

The tourism industry is the country’s third largest employer, employing in excess of two million people, generating £97billion each year, and supporting thousands of businesses. In Chichester District, tourism is big business. There are over 9,100 jobs directly involved in tourism and leisure, plus numerous ‘support’ jobs.

But tourism also adds much more to all our lives. It has a strong interdependent relationship with transport, retailing, heritage assets, farming and the countryside, coastal activities, sport, the arts and much more. In simple terms there is much that our community benefits from in terms of infrastructure, amenities, cultural assets and the environment that the local population are able to enjoy, that simply wouldn’t exist without ‘Tourism’.

Chichester District is fortunate in attracting a wide variety of visitors – from families enjoying a seaside holiday to couples taking short breaks. There are also visitors to events such as the Goodwood Revival, the Petworth Festival or Blues on the Farm, plus those visiting the theatre, or here for sailing, windsurfing, walking and sightseeing, and the thousands of business visitors, who support, stimulate and enhance other economic sectors.

There’s a role for all us in supporting tourism. Many of our local businesses - and not just those directly involved in tourism - can help ensure our patch fully exploits every opportunity to grow the visitor economy. The ‘tourist pound’ is vital to our economy, to employment, and to the quality of all our lives so, for each of us as individuals, it makes sense to be as welcoming as possible to our visitors. At the end of the day we’re all tourists!

Stephen Oates, Non-exec Director, CCCI, Economic Development Manager, CDC

The Importance of Tourism

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
At one time or another we’re all tourists! Whether an annual holiday, a weekend away, a day out or a business trip, when you or I take a break, we’re contributing to the ‘visitor economy’. The tourism industry is the country’s third largest employer, employing i ..

Read More

Chichester Business Magazine