Many thanks Shirehampton Golf Club for hosting March’s Business Breakfast and to Business West for supplying the food and drink. The event saw 30+ attendee’s from organisations from across the area come together to discuss the opportunities available from our hosts.


As always, the ’60 second intros’ were very interesting. We also heard that colleagues from Brand51 were running a 24 hour ‘Cycleathon’ for Red Nose Day and Wesport are planning a business football league – stay tuned for more information.


We welcomed two new SevernNet Members – Ambition Lawrence Weston (ALW) and Shirehampton Golf Club. Membership certificates were presented to Joanne Clarkson on behalf of ALW and Jon Palmer, our host, for Shirehampton Golf Club. We were also delighted to present a membership certificate to Principal Joe Docherty on behalf of Oasis Academy Brightstowe.

Composite of Certificate awards


 SevernNet Membership certificates presented to from ltr Joe Docherty, principal Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Jo Clarkson –Ambition Lawrence Weston and Jon Palmer – Shirehampton Park Golf Club by Kate Royston, SevernNet.


Shirehampton Park Golf Club

Jon introduced the Club and the facilities on offer, including corporate fun and coaching days. These are activity days flexible to suit all abilities and tailor made to suit a business’s individual requirements. A key feature is the opportunity to play a full round of nine holes with professional guidance. These activity days facilitate team building and engagement and also promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle!


The club is currently working with Nisbets and Oasis Academy Brightstowe to provide young people with access to golf training.


Jon outlined individual and group membership packages. The club is also available for businesses to hire, with facilities including the restaurant and a board room. With plentiful parking, Shirehampton Park Golf Club provides an excellent venue for business events.


The New Skills West Programme

Barry Tugwood from Business West presented the new ESF/SFA Business skills advice project set against the new landscape of changes in the provision and delivery of apprenticeships and associated funding.


To support the current government’s plan to grant 3 million people apprenticeships by 2020, The Skills West Programme aims to provide employers with impartial skills advice and support to contribute to this objective.


Large businesses who have a £3 million plus salary bill will be required to enter into a new levy system to invest in apprenticeships within their business.


Small and medium size businesses are entitled to a 90% government contribution to their training and apprenticeship programs.


Business West aims to provide a centre for impartial advice and guidance in the sector. Barry stressed that connectivity is key. The program does this through gathering succinct and current labour market information, following a best practice diversity program and listening to and understanding the needs of the employer. This enables the programme to bridge the skills gaps and help a business to grow.


Current stakeholders include local authorities, FE colleges and universities. With a target of 3,200 businesses to engage in skills advice, Barry and his team have the drive and ambition to support businesses of any size in employment related opportunities. Please get in touch with Barry ( if you would like more information about the programme.


You can download the presentation here.


Celebrating SevernNet Working

Partners from the SevernNet Working Partnership spoke briefly of the impact and successes of the Coastal Communities Fund project.


Joanne Clarkson from Ambition Lawrence Weston highlighted the fantastic work achieved by the Employment Hub’s set up in both Lawrence Weston and Avonmouth. The initiative has been key in connecting local residents with jobs in Avonmouth and the surrounding area, and will continue to provide employment support for local people.


Manor Singh and Kate Royston discussed the SevernNet Flyer’s success in providing 600 -700 passenger journeys per week. The Flyer has proved to be a valuable transport link between Avonmouth Station, residential and industrial areas in Avonmouth, Access 18 and Cabot Park. The SevernNet Flyer is operated by Wessex Bus. Funding for the current service comes to an end in June 2017. A stakeholder group including Wessex Bus, Esoterix, SevernNet, South Glos. Council and a number of local businesses are looking at the feasibility of operating an ongoing sustainable, employer led service, that can also serve businesses in Western Approach.


Kate reminded attendees of the need for their employee’s postcode data in order to configure the route to suit the needs of employees.


Resource Efficiency Initiative

Students studying for a Masters Degree in Environmental Policy and Management gave attendees an overview of a research project which they are conducting. The research aims to explore resource management across the area. How are local businesses in the distribution and logistics sector managing their residual resources? Are residual resources being treated locally? Are local resource management businesses e.g. the Energy Recovery Centre treating local materials? Are local residents refuse and recycling being processed locally? How do local residents perceive local resource management businesses?  The students are keen to speak with local businesses and community leaders in regards to this and ask if anyone is interested to please get in touch with project leader Jacqueline Hood, contact number, 07869 483 315.


Travel to Work Survey

Kate encouraged attendees to participate in the Travel to Work Survey. Alongside questions regarding staff happiness and chosen travel mode, the survey also gives employees an opportunity to freely comment on travel and the issues and concerns they have. Every comment will be read by the relevant council, and every organisation will receive a report of how their staff travel to work, their commute satisfaction and issues and concerns. James Tate form Avara reassured attendees that the survey is short and hassle free, with a high level of engagement from his employees.

The overall results of the survey will be shared at a future Business Breakfast.


Other Events

The last Sustainable Transport Forum was held on the 22nd February. A summary will be available soon. The next Transport Forum will be on 17th May 2017. This is a valuable and informative platform bringing stakeholders together to discuss local transport challenges and opportunities.  If you’re interested in attending please email


A date for local health and safety professionals: the next Health and Safety Peer to Peer networking group will take place on April 5th at CHEP.


Thank you for helping to make this month’s event a success. The next Business Breakfast will be hosted by Nisbet’s on April 20th. This will be an opportunity to understand more about Nisbets and their worldwide operation, based in Avonmouth. We look forward to seeing you there.


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