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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.

More business: New board members for Coast to Capital will help deliver its Gatwick 360 strategy

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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Business

Crawley jobs at risk as DW Sports goes into administration

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Jobs at DW Sports in Crawley town centre are at risk along with 1,700 hundred jobs across the country as the company announced it is to wind down the business.

The sports website has also been closed with immediate effect.

According to reports closing down sales are due to begin at the remaining stores as the business comes to an end.

Fitness First, a sister company of DW is to continue to operate as a separate company and its 43 clubs are not to be affected by the news.

Chief executive Martin Long said:

“As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by Government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.

“Like many other retail businesses, the consequences of this extremely challenging operating market have created inevitable profitability issues for DW Sports.

“The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.

“It is a difficult model for any business to manage through without long-term damage, and with the limited support which we have been able to gain.

“Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members, and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”

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

“This is terrible news for the staff of DW Sports; I sympathise with them and hope that they are able to secure other employment quickly. Our Employ Crawley service is currently providing free one-to-one employability and training support to jobseekers by phone, email and text.”

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