Posted on 22nd February 2017
The latest BHBPA Event took place on Monday this week at The Birch Hotel, where MSDC Leader Garry Wall was the guest speaker. As the distinctive smell of bacon and sausages began to appeal, so the numbers of members increased, and by the time breakfast and the first networking session were over, there were 50 people crowding all spaces trying to hear the message.
The BHBPA Co-ordinator spoke first about the BHBiz Awards event on May 5th and the need to keep those nominations for awards rolling in. He then introduced Garry Wall for the main business of the morning. The audience were not disappointed with the amount of information he imparted about the current situation with regard to Burgess Hill developments, even if some of it was not in everyone’s best interests.
With help and support from Rachel Crisp, the Programme Manager for the Burgess Hill Growth Area, Garry talked through the changes due to come to Burgess HIll over the next 15-20 years. It will be a period of tremendous change for the town, sparked by the desperate need for more houses. 5000 new homes are due to be built here, and some of them are already off the ground. This in turn means that infrastructure has to be upgraded, eg new schools and a sustainable new transport system are needed.
You can see the whole presentation from Mid Sussex District Council here
The plan is to create up to 100,000 sqm of employment space, a £65m new town centre, a Science and Technology Park and over 10,000 jobs. The £65m new town centre will include all new retail units, a Multiplex cinema. family restaurants, a new hotel, 142 new homes and a new library.
Crucially for the town and the business community, new space will be provided for the business sector, including new out of town premises which can potentially be customised to new occupant’s requirements.The Northern Arc includes an employment are of 30 hectares, some of which already has planning permission. Plans for a new secondary school, a Community sports centre and the long overdue delivery of ultra fast broadband to businesses are well advanced.
After 45 minutes had flown by, the audience deeply interested in the developments of course, we had to take a few questions and then call a halt to proceedings. Lots of members stayed behind for more discussion while Garry moved on to his regular day’s work. It had been an intensely interesting and informative meeting, even for those with businesses in the town centre who are still unsure about their future.
Our thanks go to Garry and Rachel for coming and speaking to members and also of course to Patrick and his staff at the hotel for so generously hosting the event. Thanks, too, to all those who worked hard to get there on a Monday morning in February.
"Since joining BHBPA we have found it to be a dynamic and vibrant members’ organisation, with excellent, regular and informative meetings.
Peter Liddell does a first class job in ensuring that members’ interests are aired and addressed.
"The BHBPA is, for us, a valuable conduit to the Burgess Hill business community through advice, information and access to other businesses and resources within the area. It gives us a sense of belonging."
"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"