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EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Taylor reveals his new enterprise

In a CN24 exclusive, Jeremy Taylor reveals his plans for the future.

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It’s been just over two weeks since Jeremy Taylor’s final day as Chief Executive for Gatwick Diamond Business (GDB), and there has been widespread speculation about his future plans.

In an exclusive with CN24, Mr Taylor has revealed his next projects and what’s in store for him now he’s left GDB.

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After 14 years in the organisation, Jeremy decided it was time to move his attention onto other projects. However, leaving his position is not as simple as just walking away. Jeremy explains:

“I finished at the end of July, and I’ve still been doing some work with GDB. There’s a bit of introducing to do for Anya Ledwith, who is interim Chief Executive while the successor is found, and that process is ongoing.”

Jeremy indicated that although a successor has not yet been decided on, there was a good selection of nine candidates in the first instance, adding: “It’s a good pool of people coming forward”.

He continues to support GDB through this big change in leadership: “I’ve created particularly complex finance function which needs reengineering, only I understand it.”  Jeremy also helps the organisation manage its relationships with existing contacts as well as ‘getting a few people in place for Meet the Buyers, which is being delivered in November’.

But his support won’t simply stop once a new CE is found. He’s offered to help support his successor with introductions to help maintain some continuity.

Outside of the Gatwick Diamond, Jeremy has some ongoing work in Newhaven.

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“Coast to Capital have put in place an ‘Enterprise Zone’, a government tool that means, over the next 25 years, any increase in business rates generated in Newhaven is retained by Newhaven.

“Newhaven can then use that to borrow now, against future growth to fund infrastructure. That’s a very, very simplistic example. So by investing future income today, Newhaven can be opened up for business to grow, for business to look at, for it to become a more cohesive environment and to make more of the port and more of the history.”

“So, my work there is around linking the business community with the local authority, with the LEP, with the various people behind the Enterprise Zone and people like Rampion – the wind farm, as they’ve got their tech centres there.”

So what’s next for Jeremy Taylor?

‘The Company Connector’ is a new company formed by Jeremy. “The ambition,” Jeremy says, “is to bring people together commercially so that they can work together and grow their business or contribute to the environment.”

“In September, I want to pilot the idea of connecting North America – where we’ve got really, really fantastic connectivity – into the Gatwick Diamond, and into the UK from the Gatwick Diamond. Or, we can hold their hand, and with a common language and a shared-ish culture, hold their hand going into Europe, depending on what happens with everything else that’s going on.”

Jeremy believes that the Americans and the Canadians will ‘probably see the UK as a natural stepping stone’ into the EU even though there could be obstacles and difficulties along the way – “We have to hope that trading is agreed and sorted,” he said.

This new venture will take him to locations such as Austin in Texas, Oakland in California, Denver in Colorado and Boston; places that people don’t naturally think of going to. But he believes that Gatwick’s strength possibly lies in some of these, what he calls, ‘next level cities’.

“I’m still very keen to lobby and support Gatwick Airport, still very keen that we bring a second runway”

As for Gatwick, Jeremy recognises the importance of the airport, and will continue to push for its expansion, including the controversial second runway.

“I’m still very keen to lobby and support Gatwick Airport, still very keen that we bring a second runway and capacity here so it’ll be fascinating to watch what happens with the masterplan that comes out this year and what that means for the region.

“But the whole point of the work I want to do, the connecting, whether it’s businesses, whether it’s academic institutions. If it’s international connectivity then we need the routes and we need the flights.

“If capacity comes, then places like Austin can go from being 3 times a week to 7 times a week and that’s really what the business community wants and needs – a daily connection into those cities where we want to grow our market.”

Jeremy recommends that if anyone wants help with introductions then the main thing to do is to belong to an association or an organisation. “After 14 years at Gatwick Diamond Business, I’m still very keen that people are involved and engage with that organisation, I think it brings fantastic things.”

Those who want to can find Jeremy on LinkedIn, and he adds: “If there’s a connection question that they’ve got about ‘who can they talk to’, then I’m very happy to work with people and see what we can do to help them find new opportunities.

“Those that know me hopefully recognise that I’ve got an ability to identify, possibly the unusual approach which they may not have thought of, or a different way of working and give them a new commercial opportunity on the back of what they’re doing. Or, if I can help people by diving into my address book and seeing where we can take them then that’s what I’m looking to do.”

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Crawley Borough Council award grants to two local businesses

Two business start-ups have got a leg up through Crawley Borough Council’s Small Business Grants Scheme.

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The Company Connector Ltd and Haus of FLVR are the latest companies to benefit from a council grant, which awards small businesses with up £2,000.

Manor Royal-based business, The Company Connector Ltd, will support local businesses with finding new clients and opportunities as well as encouraging inward investment from overseas. The company has already supported a number of Crawley businesses on a consultancy basis and helped to generate new business.

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The council awarded The Company Connector Ltd with the maximum amount of £2,000, assisting the start-up and first year costs. The financial boost has helped to establish the brand, website and social media, along with the necessary furniture and computer equipment.

Jeremy Taylor, Managing Director of The Company Connector Ltd, said:

“I am delighted to have been awarded this grant, it will contribute towards the set up and immediate development plans of the business including our first mission to Austin, Texas.

“In addition, the grant will enable us to support local businesses reach overseas markets as well as encouraging inward investment from other business centres. I applaud the council for recognising it costs a lot to establish a business that creates new jobs; this assistance is well received”

Haus of FLVR, a company that produces high quality alcohol infused frozen goods, received £2,000 from the Small Business Grant Scheme. The businesses main aims are to create an exciting, affordable and aesthetically pleasing product that brings a fresh and fashionable approach to ice lollies and canapés.

Samara Gidden, Director of Haus of FLVR, said:

“We are thrilled to receive funding to help produce a creative packaging solution that is luxurious and eco-friendly – both prerequisites will work in cohesion.

“We look forward to developing our packaging further and drive our business forward.”

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “I’m pleased that we can offer two start-up businesses a £2,000 grant.

“It’s important to support businesses in the initial stages; it helps them to get off the ground and positively contributes towards the town’s economic climate.”

The grants scheme is for small businesses with less than 50 employees who operate in the Crawley area.

All Small Business Support Grants projects must be match-funded at least 50 per cent by the small business. Apprenticeship grants up to £1,500 are also available and don’t need to be match-funded.

For more information about business grants and funding visit www.crawley.gov.uk/business

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