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Huge success of Gatwick Diamond’s ‘Meet the Buyers’ leads to 2018 return

Last year 128 local businesses and 21 big businesses took part in over 500 formal meetings and many more informal ones too.

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Following the success of the Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers event in 2017, plans are well under way for the Meet the Buyers Programme 2018, with the main event on 21st November 2018 at the Arora Hotel.

Rosemary French, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, said:

“The 2017 Programme has generated in the region of £700,000 in orders placed or planned from suppliers, with an average spend of around £5,000.  Furthermore, one of our Buyers has added every one of the suppliers they have met to their tender list, so who knows how much more could be generated?”

More news: Crawley’s weekend events bring hundreds to summertime fun

The 2018 Programme will deliver Free Workshops for businesses across the region to learn how to grow their business with topics including (but not limited to):

  • Breaking New Markets in a Post-Brexit Britain
  • Digital & Social Media Marketing
  • Effective Sales Processes and Practices
  • Networking for Real Business Growth
  • Presentation & Public Speaking Skills
  • Using Innovation and Sustainability in your Business

Rosemary continued:

“The Free Workshops are a key part of any business journey in engaging with new Buyers.   Alongside being in the room on the 21st November to meet Buyers, Suppliers need to develop their skills as well as make sure they follow up with those they have met.”

Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said:

“After the success of the 2017 Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers programme, I would urge all suppliers to sign up to the 2018 programme to benefit from the range of expertise on offer as well as use the opportunity to network and build your client base.”

Alison Addy, Head of Gatwick Airport Community Engagement, said:

“We’ve been partners with the Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers since 2002, and are pleased to see the programme developing from strength to strength. Gatwick is a major economic driver for the SouthEast region and we are committed to working with our partners to support a strong local supply chain, while also boosting local business opportunities.”

For 2018 there will be an on-line matching service which will allow Buyers to state their needs and Suppliers to put forward the products and services they can provide.  Buyers will then select appointments with potential Suppliers that match their needs.

Further information can be found at www.GatwickDiamondMeettheBuyers.com or call 01293 813889

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EXCLUSIVE: Post Office WILL CLOSE whatever consultation says

A source within the Post Office has revealed that despite a public consulation coming up, the decision to close the current location has already been made.

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Despite press releases and statements from the head office of the Post Office asking residents to express their views over the ‘proposed’ closure, it now appears that whatever views come through, a decision of whether to close the site has already been determined.

A source says the consultation is nothing more than lip service to residents.

Speaking to CN24, the source said that all the consultation will look at is ‘how’ the change of venue will work, not ‘if’ or ‘should’ it happen.

“it is an utter betrayal” – Leader of Crawley Council

This will come as a shock to many in the area who rely heavily on the services that are currently offered and will put in doubt any faith over public consultations.

In a letter aimed at the management of the Post Office and sent to CN24, one resident,  Mrs Elmer from Tilgate has expressed her views over the proposed closure.

She writes:

“I am extremely concerned about the possible closure of Crawley Post Office.

I find it very worrying that in a town with a population of over 106,000 the management is considering popping it into a shop in the shopping mall.

The fact that one always has to queue to be served because it is so busy, even though it has at least five stations of service as well as several self service positions, a parcel counter, an external parcel collection office plus a fully trained staff, how is all of that going to fit into WH Smith’s in the Mall?

To park in the Mall you have to pay.

It is not an easy shop to get to, you have to walk half the length of the Mall to get there.
It is not a very large shop and it has a quite dismal atmosphere.

Disabled people would not be able to reach it very easily.

To carry out all the functions the current post office does it would have to enlarge the premises half as much again.

Working on the assumption that it would work on the same premise that the local one in Tilgate does, it will take a month of Sundays to carry out the same amount of work the real post office does.

Will all the staff move over to continue the secure work they carry out?

Please have a serious look at the situation before making a huge mistake.

J Elmer”

But it now seems that this will fall on deaf ears.  CN24 contacted the Post Office press team where a member verbally confirmed that the consultation would be about access to the new site.

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb said:

“It is clear now that this was only ever a public relations exercise.  For the thousands of people who will be disadvantaged by this it is an utter betrayal.”

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“The planned post office DOWNGRADE which their PR department is marketing as a move, is bad for the staff, bad for the customers and bad for the town in general.

Our main post office will no longer be able to offer Crown Services going forward and nobody I’ve spoken to is ok with it. I would strongly urge the post office not to go ahead with this.”

A Post Office spokesperson said:

“We would really value and welcome any feedback and comments from you, our customers that can help inform our plans to make changes to Crawley Post Office, particularly on issues like accessibility. And are there any wider other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed move? Please do let us know.

However, the element of our plans that we not seeking feedback is the principle of franchising a branch. This is because the change of management at Crawley Post Office to one that is operated by a retail partner rather than Post Office directly is a commercial decision, and we believe it is the right one in order to sustain Post Office services in communities – not just today, but for the long term too.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“I’ve got accessibility concerns with the Post Office’s proposals to move their current Boulevard counters to WHSmith’s in County mall and have written to its management to raise these.

If it turns our their consultation – officially still open – is a sham then I will be raising the issue in Parliament.”

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