The Nothe Fort was the setting for the monthly Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting and what a fabulous opportunity to visit this iconic feature of the coastline. President of the Chamber, Andrew Knowles welcomed all the members and businesses who had gathered for the regular opportunity to chat, with new and old business contacts.
Louise Baker, General Manager at Nothe Fort gave a brief update on business at the Fort this year, proudly announcing how they had received a remarkable 50,000 visitors this season. Louise said “The Fort has been experiencing a 25% year on year increase in visitors which is quite astounding for any type of visitor attraction and though the weather this summer was very much one for the beach, we still increased numbers by a good 5%.”
Louise went on to tell everyone, “After our very popular Halloween events, the Fort now welcomed many private parties, weddings and so many schools for educational visits that we are having to turn some away”.
Each Chamber meeting is kindly sponsored by a local business and this time Albert Goodman Accountants had taken on that role. The Chamber were delighted that their Managing Partner, Richard Bugler, volunteered to give his annual take on the recent Government Budget and as ever Richard gave his breakdown of the real points of interest for business with a touch of humour thrown in, at the expense of one member from the Commercial Estate Agency business! Richard said “The budget overall was a fairly neutral affair for business with equal positives and negatives”. He continued “The Budget comes along and causes huge momentary interest and is then forgotten by most, but for many, especially an accountant, it is vital for making changes to business accounting”.
Richard finished on a positive note saying how Albert Goodman were seeing good business growth in those that sought the export market,no matter how small they were. He said “Businesses can and do succeed with efficiency, timing any major spending and being confident”. All those present took note!
President Andrew stepped forward to thank both speakers and reminded Chamber members and emphasising that “We welcome all local businesses to come along and attend the networking meetings just to give it a try”. The next being on the 4th of December at SafeWise in Weymouth with a presentation from Paul Appleby from EXO IT Services, the meeting sponsors. Before that on the 30th November the Chamber have a very special Christmas Lunch at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy with MP Richard Drax and a presentation from Alison Smith, deputy director of the new MEMO/Jurassica/Eden project on Portland.
At the close of the meeting attendees had the opportunity to have a brief but fascinating guided tour of the Nothe Fort with general manager, Louise Baker, who pointed out that what you see of the Fort above ground is only one third of the whole!