|A wide portfolio.|
With a packed agenda to bring the councillor up to speed, we touched on a range of initiatives that we have been discussing in the steering committee meetings.
Better Business Broadband Campaign
The focus of our campaign is to collect interest and flush out demand for better business broadband.
As a small business your current supplier may be Virgin, BT or other, and while you may have looked at getting a better broadband package, with faster speeds, you have worried about price, reliability and service levels.
For many micro businesses working on the Sheddingdean and Victoria Business Parks there is little or no opportunity to hook up to FTTP (Fibre to the Premises). That is because the cost of installing the equipment for just one new customer in a particular street or area is prohibitive.
If there are several of you in your neighbourhood looking at this then the investment becomes viable. We have several excellent local telecom and ISP providers we are working with.
If we can generate enough demand then the possibilities of these local providers offering not only competitive rates but possibly some form of free trial period to compare side by side with an improved service could be made available – But we need to aggregate demand. Working collectively we can get the speeds you crave at competitive rates.
In essence, you won’t get better broadband deals unless you put your hand up and say you’re interested in finding out more. The association is independently collecting interest and defining any hotspots of demand. We will not be sharing that information but we can assist in informing your business decision. We will subsequently follow up your interest giving you information on local vetted providers.
We have identified 11 sites around Victoria Business Park and we are in the process of putting together the necessary documentation. The sites will be tackled according to priority. Almost all sites have been proposed due to safety concerns.
Some of our newer members have come on board specifically to be involved in our programmes of local school outreach. Support for STEM education is part of the ‘dna’ of some of our high-tech members in aviation, manufacturing, engineering and in R&D generally.
We discussed the opportunities for possible funding from the council at both county and district level. This would enable us to kick start a Local Energy Community, attracting early adopters of large-scale arrays of solar panels, selling energy to each other, with help in the funding of energy surveys to promote better thermal insulation, battery storage and EV charging. If you’d like to be part of BHBPA’s Energy Futures Working Group – sign up here
Equality Diversity & Inclusivity
As announced in the newsletter last week, we have a Working Group that meets regularly and will be sharing the best practice and policy that has come out of a series of workshops and focus groups. We are planning a special ‘People’ event early next year.
Currently discussing additional signage, subject to obtaining permissions, including wayfinding tools at the rail stations to promote a good ‘welcome to Burgess Hill’ experience.
Also proposed at this week’s meeting: A review of possibilities for improved road signage across the business parks, enabling better wayfinding, a branded BHBPA aesthetic and signs that are high enough to be easily and quickly read by truck and van drivers in their cabs.
We also had the opportunity to thank MSDC for their fast and detailed response to the repeated flooding issue around the Albert Drive area. This is an issue of land ownership around the stream that sides onto Pepper Park on Albert Drive. It is overgrown.
Regarding this problem area MSDC reported back last month (excerpt):Our investigation confirmed that there is a culvert in this location; however, this is not a MSDC maintained culvert, and MSDC has no land ownership in this location.
We need to establsh who owns this land. Any one with any knowledge of this, please get in contact with Richard Cox
Very early discussions of what could be achieved on Victoria Business Park and elsewhere. A small park with vandal proof seating, possibly tree cover, perhaps at a cyclepath or footpath entrance, a five minutes walk from a good density of workers. We are investigating opportunities for Art Council funding with some public art, to improve the local business area generally.
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