Yeovil Chamber News Articles Copyright 16th Jul 2018 - 09:33 by Yeovil Chamber <![CDATA[Awarded Best Employer at Business Awards]]>

We are delighted to announce that Milsted Langdon has been named 'Best Employer' at this year's Taunton Deane Business Awards on 28th June!

In our entry, we highlighted the large number of trainees that we help on an annual basis and looked at the success of our staff and how their achievements were recognised across the wider practice.

We also highlighted the fact that our staff achieved a pass rate of more than 90 per cent on their Association of Chartered Certified Accountant exams and the various charity events that our team get involved in through their employment at Milsted Langdon

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat - w/c 26th June]]>

Attendance continues to increase for the regular Yeovil Chamber Business Leaders Breakfasts. On 21st June, Alex Parmley, CEO of South Somerset District Council (SSDC) briefed more than thirty Chamber members and other guest business leaders on his plans to transform SSDC into a commercially-minded organisation, and how his plans for investment and income are being delivered. Alex also told how when many local authorities are pegging back on services, SSDC is pushing forward.

Yeovil Chamber is regularly consulted by SSDC over economic regeneration plans which are about to come to fruition. Alex's ambitious modernisation and inward investment programme is paying dividends, and SSDC is already considered a leading, forward-thinking UK local authority, working in tandem with the business community to create opportunity and prosperity.

If you missed this opportunity for the big-picture insight, Paddy Ashdown will be in town for another Business Leaders Breakfast on Thursday 19th October. Paddy's passion for #Yeovil continues unabated; currently championing Yeovil from the House of Lords. Paddy specifically asked to address the Yeovil business community, and if you would like to book a place, please email me at

Yeovil Chamber Business Leaders Breakfasts are currently sponsored by Albert Goodman Accountants.

Interested in raising your profile via sponsorship of Yeovil Chamber? email

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat - w/c 4th June]]> President’s Heartbeat – 4th June 2018

These are exciting times for Yeovil and the surrounding region.  The indicators are positive, and the business environment continues to expand and develop.  Yeovil Chamber is at the heart of this; widely considered by business people, key stakeholders and local government as the representative body for the business community in and around the Yeovil area; maintaining strong strategic connections and cooperation between education, commerce and government.

On 9th April, my Heartbeat Message announced that we will need to increase your membership fees. Chamber is a not-for-profit body, run entirely by business leaders giving freely of their time and expertise, on a tiny annual budget of around £11,000, consisting mainly of modestly-priced membership fees, with a small amount of sponsorship and patronage.  The Chamber Executive works hard on your behalf and delivers a huge amount from a tiny budget, and the fees have not been increased for nearly a decade.

During 2017 we invested heavily in the website, but we need to make further upgrades to the website to further automate our operation and enhance the member experience. We also want to start promoting Yeovil, to attract out-of-town businesses and more commercial investment into Yeovil.  To enable Chamber to deliver more for you, your business and Yeovil, a membership fee increase is required, to ensure Chamber continues to deliver maximum value for your money; that you have sound reasons to belong, and keep Yeovil Chamber at the leading edge of trade & commerce for Yeovil and its expanding sphere of influence.

Before we increase any fees, you were asked what you thought of us in April via a satisfaction survey, and I thank all those members who took the time to respond.  The results overwhelmingly showed Yeovil Chamber members are increasingly satisfied with the services, and that they would recommend what we do to a friend or colleague.  You also said the main reasons for belonging to Chamber are for making connections and being informed about wider business issues which influence how we do business in Yeovil.  You spoke and we are delivering:  Our new Business Leaders Breakfast began in April, is an instant success, and we have some big-hitting speakers lined up over the next twelve months.  Our bi-monthly Speed Networking continues to flourish and has sold out on the previous two occasions.  Sponsors are beginning to ask Chamber to raise their profile, and we have a patron in Yeovil College, and, we have just taken over the running of the Love Yeovil brand.

I want to ensure that our business community continues to have a big voice, is able to influence key decision-makers, and receives targeted support when and where it is needed.  I want to ensure the conditions in which we do business are as good as they can be; to continue fighting for change when needed, and to promote success.  We are completely focused on maximising opportunities and maintaining value, with long-term, sound reasons for membership.  To deliver on this promise, we need to develop a manageable budget.

The planned increases are due to be communicated in June, with the aim of implementing the increases before the end of 2018. 

Thank you for your continued support.  If you have any questions, please contact me directly at or 07900-491211

David Woan

President, Yeovil Chamber of Trade & Commerce


Leading South West chartered accountant, tax consultant and financial planning firm Albert Goodman, has announced the success of graduate trainee Claire Machin, who recently achieved joint first in the world, for the March ICAEW tax compliance exam.

Claire joined Albert Goodman in 2016 as a graduate trainee and became a member of the Audit team in the Taunton office. Claire has had consistently high grades in all of her exams and well represents the hardworking members of staff employed at Albert Goodman. Albert Goodman is very proud of Claire’s achievements and is sure she will continue to be a great asset to the workforce. 607 people sat the most recent tax compliance exam globally, with 466 people passing it; out of those 607 people Claire achieved the joint highest grade and due to this has been awarded the prestigious ‘Knox prize’.

Claire comments, “I was very happy to learn that I earned the top grade in the world for the tax compliance exam, it definitely makes all of the hard work worthwhile! Throughout my studies I have been provided with great support from both Albert Goodman and the tutors at First Intuition. I really enjoy working within the Audit team and I look forward to becoming an ACA fully qualified chartered accountant soon.” Sophie Parkhouse, the Technical and Training director at Albert Goodman had this to say about Clair’s success; “The ICAEW examinations are extremely challenging. To gain a pass in any paper is a fantastic result, but to achieve the highest score in the world is absolutely remarkable. The level of dedication and effort that Claire has applied to her studies is truly commendable. She is a real credit to the firm!”

With offices across the region, including Taunton, Chard, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Weston-super-Mare and Weymouth, Albert Goodman prides itself in providing high quality accountancy, tax and financial planning advice to private individuals and small to medium sized enterprises, offering a comprehensive service to local and national clients.

For further information, please visit:, and follow Albert Goodman on social media: Twitter: @AG_LLP Facebook: LinkedIn:

<![CDATA[Team Berry Help Somerset Sparkle]]> The team from Red Berry Recruitment was out in force at the St Margaret's Hospice Glitter Run on Sunday 20th May.

The run was organised by St Margaret’s Hospice, raising funds for the work they do across Somerset. A team of Berries took part in the 5km course with more involved on the gold Glitter Station, which Red Berry Recruitment sponsored. In scorching hot conditions, the racecourse was packed with runners for charity event. The five kilometre course took runners around the racetrack two times. There was four different colour Glitter Stations dotted around the course – meaning runners passed through eight in total. This left every one very sparkly and very colourful! Seven members of Team Berry took part in the run. Sam was the first to cross the line – third overall – soon followed by Lily. The rest finished a short while later. Hennie, Natalie and Vici were all on the station, covering runners with gold glitter as they passed through!

The event was to raise money for the amazing work that St Margaret’s Hospice do. They deliver high quality, responsive and compassionate care to patients and their families facing a life-limiting illness.

There is still time to donate to the cause, which you can do by visiting

<![CDATA[National Technology Awards]]>

Invirt Reality has been shortlisted for the Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Project of the Year award at the Computing Digital Technology Leaders Awards 2018.

Invirt Reality were tasked with providing their client, MTR Crossrail, with a fully immersive virtual reality customer service training package and it is this project that has been recognised for this prestigious industry award.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 4th July at The May Fair Hotel in London.

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat - w/c 12th May]]> President’s Heartbeat - 12th May 2018

Some of you may be aware there is a presence flying the flag for all things happening in Yeovil.  Formed in 2013, Love Yeovil harnesses the ideas and skillsets of business people; mainly town centre retailers, augmented by assistance of other business sectors and key stakeholders, such as The Quedam and the District Council.  This is local authority and business sector cooperation at its very best.  The aim of Love Yeovil is simple – to promote Yeovil as a go-to destination, and give people reasons to visit Yeovil.  Local authority representation on the team is via two officers from SSDC and the Clerk (Manager) of the Town Council.  Local authority presence is crucial to the success of Love Yeovil, delivering ideas, logistic advice; authorising and facilitating road closures, policing, and sorting all the ‘small print’, allowing a seamless turnaround from discussion to delivery.  Love Yeovil is building a successful track record of bring visitors into Yeovil.  Growing interest from retailers and other town centre business sectors, sees engagement with the group steadily increasing. 

Currently, Love Yeovil delivers three ‘flagship’ events: The Half Marathon, Super Saturday and the Christmas Lantern Parade (pictured*), with more events on the way.  Love Yeovil also assists with promotion of other events such as the Literary Festival, and Yeovil Show, and just about anything which comes to our notice.  A website,, is ready to launch later this year, with the aim of being the go-to guide for everything happening in Yeovil.

Get on board!  If you want to deliver an event in Yeovil, take part in Love Yeovil, or would like to sponsor an event, please email me at
*2018 Half Marathon picture credit Len Copland

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat - w/c 25th April]]> President’s Heartbeat - 25th April 2018

Thursday 19th April saw the first outing for our new Business Leaders’ Breakfast on a beautiful clear spring morning at Yeovil Golf Club.  Business Leaders Breakfast (BLB) is devised to attract those of our members who want the big picture overview, and want input and to influence key figures from stakeholders in the business community.  I was especially grateful to Gregg Morrison and Amy Joynes; respectively, heads of Preston and Stanchester Academies, who gave of their time during the busiest part of the school day to attend, such was the draw of our inaugural speaker, the visionary John Evans, principal of Yeovil College.  John did not disappoint.

John has, since his arrival in January 2014, transformed Yeovil College from what he described as a ‘coasting’ College, and just another education establishment, into a vital part of the fabric of the Yeovil business community hub, and John spoke about how industry & education are working as one; shaping the curriculum to meet the demands of local & regional employment, and equipping students with life skills.

I took the opportunity to speak during the Q&A session, and told the attendees: Industry and education working together is critical to the success of Yeovil.  I urged those in attendance to drop me a line to register support for our new school mentoring scheme, allowing schools to call up classroom support from amongst our 110 Chamber member businesses.

The calibre of our future BLB speakers and their desire to speak, is clear evidence of Chamber contacts, outreach and influence.  So far confirmed for 2018 BLB are Alex Parmley (CEO SSDC, 21st June), and Paddy Ashdown (19th October), with other regional/national figures being lined up to come in and talk to us about how what they do links directly into, and supports the Yeovil Business community.

Thank you for your continued support for Yeovil Chamber.  If you have any issues, questions, or ideas, please contact me on 07900-491211 or

<![CDATA[Stokes Partners Sponsor Crewkerne Road Race]]> For a number of years, Stokes Partners LLP have sponsored the annual Crewkerne road race, organised by Crewkerne Running Club. The main race is 10k. There is also a 5k fun run and junior race on traffic free roads.

This year’s event takes place on Sunday 3 June at 10am.

We are inviting teams of three (men, ladies or mixed) from local businesses to take part in the 5k fun run and to compete for the “Business Challenge Trophy”.  Businesses can raise their profile by competing in corporate T shirts.

All proceeds will go to School in a Bag.

Please click the links below to access the 10K Entry Form 2018 and the Business Challenge Entry Form




<![CDATA[Windrush Inspired Immigration Expert, Tamara Rundle, Joins Battens Solicitors ]]> Immigration specialist, Tamara Rundle, is joining Battens Solicitors as a consultant to help with a growing demand for advice on visa, ancestry and EEA applications.

Ms Rundle, who has set up immigration departments in several law firms and has a 100 per cent success rate in entrepreneur and partner visas, was inspired to specialise in immigration law after meeting Bristol-based anti-racism campaigner, Hilary Brown. “I was working as a teacher on the adolescent unit of Bristol Priory when I met Hilary Brown,” explains Tamara. “I had already done my CPE to change my communications degree to law, but was so inspired by her work with Bristol’s Jamaican community - the Windrush Generation - that I decided to focus on criminal and immigration law.” Tamara completed her legal studies at Bristol UWE and Cardiff before qualifying, and then worked across a number of fields including litigation and employment, before specialising solely on immigration. “Immigration is a tremendously positive area of law. It is all about growth, new ventures, opportunity, excellence and people starting new chapters in their lives.”

Tamara, who is based in Battens’ Bath office and will travel or connect with clients wherever they are based, will advise on a range of issues including work visas, visit visas, and EEA and ancestry applications. She will also work with graduate entrepreneurs in Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Bournemouth, and with large service-based sectors such as Telecoms, Equine, and HM Forces. Keith Fullman, CEO of Battens, said: “There are few immigration specialists, particularly in this part of the country, so we are very pleased to be able to offer this as a service to our clients. We look forward to working with her.

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat - w/c 9th April]]> President’s Heartbeat - 9th April 2018

A membership survey is about to hit your screens, and Chamber is seeking your valued input.  Yeovil Chamber is seeking to develop a manageable budget to enhance member services and experience; to become the leading representative body for the business sector in the expanding sphere of influence in and around Yeovil.  We are focused on maximising opportunities and maintaining value for your money, with long-term, sound reasons for membership.

Bold words?  Wind the clock back five years.  All we had was a (large) wish-list, and a town beating itself up.  Now, fast forward to today; joined-up thinking, openness and cooperation is prevailing.  Public and private-sector investment, and the promise of a bright future beckons.  Strong local and regional strategic connections and cooperation between the private and public sector requires Chamber to deliver greater support for our members.

Yeovil Chamber currently runs on a tiny annual budget of around £11,500.  Sponsorship and patronage campaigns are beginning to bring additional revenue, but we are (for the first time since 2013) having to review our membership fees.  During 2017 we invested heavily in website upgrades, adding new features, such mobile-friendly format, a self-load news and events facility, and online Member 2 Member discount scheme, plus more communications to keep members informed.  We also want to start promoting Yeovil, to attract more out-of-town businesses and commercial investment into Yeovil.

To enable Chamber to deliver more for you, your business and Yeovil, a membership fee increase is inevitable, but Chamber needs your input and support before we make any change.  I want to ensure Chamber continues to deliver maximum value for your money; that you have sound reasons to belong, and keep Yeovil Chamber at the leading edge of trade & commerce for Yeovil and its expanding sphere of influence.

Thank you for your continued support for Yeovil Chamber.  If you have any issues, questions, or ideas, please contact me on 07900-491211 or

<![CDATA[Rebecca Bevins HR Consultancy has ‘teamed up’ with another local business i2i Development Solutions ]]> Rebecca Bevins started her Somerset based business in 2005 and has grown the business by listening to the needs of the local business community to adapt and develop services and support that align with business need. The team went on to achieve a Somerset Business Award in 2012 for Business of the Year, 2-5 Employees, a proud moment and a marker of strong sustained growth in those early years. Following the trend of employers investing more into training and development to address both difficulties recruiting and skill gaps, the RBHR team have seen greater demand for accredited training programmes from businesses of all sizes.

Over the past 18 months RBHR has teamed up with both Bridgwater & Taunton College and Yeovil College to offer accredited HR qualifications and Apprenticeships which are now growing in popularity. The decision to add an accreditation to and develop the existing Management Development Programme was born out of listening to feedback from both existing clients and the business community and what they needed from Management training and development solutions.

The RBHR team set off on an accreditation journey that started many months back and had achieved very limited progress, but in more recent times a chance meeting at a Chamber networking event brought the two businesses together, and we went off in a different direction covering ground quickly. Several meetings later, the two teams have worked closely together to map the existing RBHR Management Development Programme against the ILM structure to provide a gap analysis where the RBHR team could develop additional materials and devise a combination of practical and written assessment methods to provide practical management and leadership skills, underpinned by theory, good and best practice.

The first cohort of the ILM accredited programme starts on 19th April 2018 and will offer a host of benefits to both delegates and the businesses they work for. The Institute of Leadership and Management is a world-renowned professional body, and so the programme offers delegates the opportunity to gain professional membership and be part of more than 30,000 leaders, managers and coaches who are all passionate about the transformational power of great leadership. Professional membership of the Institute means that learning and development doesn’t just stop when the taught programme is completed, through ongoing support and continuous professional development, hosted events, webinars, news and updates through the Institutes quarterly magazine, skills are kept up to date as managers are continually exposed to new ideas and concepts. Course completion also enables delegates to gain professional recognition with the Institute of Leadership and Management’s prestigious post-nominal letters as a mark and demonstration of professional management experience and competence.

Once the first cohort is up and running, there are more developments in the pipeline from this collaboration with i2i Development Solutions, which will include an Apprenticeship option to allow employers to take advantage of Levy funding, accredited Awards for short courses and stand-alone units and a top up option for those who have previously completed the RBHR non-accredited MDP. RBHR have the Chamber team to thank for introducing our businesses to each other – the power of Chamber networking in action!

<![CDATA[Prize Draw - Hospitality Suite at Yeovil Town FC]]> Chamber member business Invirt Reality is offering a fabulous football prize as part of the launch of their Predict10 project.

Predict10 is sponsoring the match-day programme for the Saturday 7th April 2018 home game for Yeovil Town FC against table-topping Luton Town, and up for grabs is a Huish Park Stadium hospitality match-day box for up to ten guests at that game.  The prize also includes: 2-course meal, reserved car parking, and seats for the game.

All you have to do to be in with a chance to win this fabulous prize, is visit, complete the Contact from Website form at the bottom of the website, and in the 'message' section, enter your predicted score for Yeovil Town FC's 30th March home game against Forest Green Rovers (e.g. YT 4-3 FGR).

The winner will be chosen from whoever correctly predicted (or closest to) the Yeovil Town v Forest Green Rovers match score.

Only one entry per person, multiple entries will be disqualified.

<![CDATA[Invirt Reality contract with MTR Crossrail]]> Invirt Reality has recently delivered Stage 2 of a Virtual Reality (VR) training Simulator to MTR Crossrail. The simulator allows platform staff to train for various HOT, KPI and safety scenarios.

MTR Corporation based in Hong Kong, is one of the world's leading railway operators. MTR Crossrail is a fully owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation and has the concession for operating the Elizabeth Line across London.

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat - w/c 18th March]]>

President’s Heartbeat - w/c 18th March 2018

Monday 12th March, marked my third AGM as President.  2017 saw increased value for our members; Yeovil Chamber is bringing business people together and delivering prosperity; not just for individual members, but for the whole of Yeovil and South Somerset.  Solid, mutually beneficial relationships with other key stakeholders and local/regional government, also delivers insight and knowledge, to further empower members.

A web-hub and SM pages drives our proposition and communicates, with regular press releases, and NEW features, such as your DIY news & events pages, now seen by over 2k other business people across the South Somerset region.  Our new Patronage upgrade (ASK ME!) allows you to design your membership package, and Chamber assistance with delivery of your campaigns and projects.  Love Yeovil, bringing local government and town centre businesses together, is now the town centre brand for Yeovil Chamber, delivering & promoting activities and events, bringing more visitors into town; with a regular Love Yeovil town centre retail forum about to launch.  Our regular Speed-Networking breakfasts (pictured) continue to create inter-member opportunities.  To kick-off a new bi-monthly Business Leaders Breakfast; on 19th April, guest speaker Alex Parmley, visionary CEO of South Somerset District Council, will brief members on his role within the business community.

I am now confident that whatever the size or sector of your business; if you have any issues, Yeovil Chamber has the capability to deliver direct advice, or bring a solution to you, usually within the cost of your membership.

Additional activity & investment enhances value for members, but increases costs, requiring a review of membership fees, to allow Yeovil Chamber to maintain current service levels, and help take the Yeovil business community to the next level.  A survey will shortly hit your screens, asking for your input over issues such as value and services and your input, to drive greater value in your member experience.

Thank you for your continued faith in Yeovil Chamber.  If you have any issues, questions, or ideas, please contact me on 07900 491211 or