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Times Radio reveals political opinion divides across the UK

Times Radio has unveiled the results of new polling data that underpins the regions in the UK with the highest levels of political knowledge, engagement and ambition.

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South East SMEs losing out on nearly £870m a year in ‘missing interest’

New research from Allica Bank reveals that SMEs across the South East are losing out on nearly £870 million annually as a result of not shopping around for better interest rates on their business savings.

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Thousands of homes and businesses in Kent set to receive 2Gbps broadband for first time

Towns across Kent now have access to 2Gbps (2,000Mbps) internet speeds, the fastest connection many communities have ever experienced.

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Construction News

West Sussex County Council and Lovell Partnerships launch Kinsted Developments

The first in a series of new housing developments has been launched in Southwick, marking the start of a long-term joint venture between West Sussex County Council and Lovell Partnerships.

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Skills deficit damaging productivity, say South East businesses 

The productivity of mid-sized businesses in the South East is being dragged down by a lack of key skills, according to new data from business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP. 

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Get Ahead welcomes new regional director for Kent

Virtual outsourcing agency Get Ahead has welcomed a new regional director to its expanding network. Hazel Hall will lead the Kent region, helping companies in Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Ashford and beyond to get ahead.

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Commercial property News

Thomson Snell & Passmore partners with the Children’s Respite Trust

Kent law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore and the Children’s Respite Trust have set out on a two-year charity partnership.

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Sysco GB sponsors Ashford Pride

Sysco GB will be sponsoring Ashford’s first-ever Pride celebration, taking place on Saturday 22 June.

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Commercial property News

Maidstone’s LOC8 phase one fully let and second phase pre-lets gather momentum 

Clearbell Property Partners III LP, a fund managed by private equity real estate fund management and advisory business Clearbell Capital LLP, has announced that the first phase of its LOC8 development, a multi-let industrial estate in Maidstone, is now fully let. Momentum is also building at the site’s second phase which is already 50% pre-let.  

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2024 Taste of Kent Awards winners announced

Leading Kent food and drink producers, farmers and restaurants were amongst those recognised at this year’s Taste of Kent Awards (TOKA), which took place last night (Thursday 13 June) at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre in Canterbury.

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Foresight supports Lepide on next stage of growth 

Foresight Group, a leading listed private equity and infrastructure investment manager, has announced a growth investment into Kent-headquartered data security firm Lepide.

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News Training

Hospital trust team named apprenticeship champions

The apprenticeship team at East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (EKHFT) have been awarded the highest prize at the East Kent Apprenticeship Awards.

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Discovery Park partners with CCCU to open coworking space for early-stage life science businesses

Discovery Park has opened the doors to CoLab, a new shared lab facility launched in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU).

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Community News

Festival celebrates Ashford’s food and drink offering

It’s the final countdown to the annual Ashford Food and Drink Festival, a month-long celebration of food and drink experiences in and around Ashford town centre, taking place this July.

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Medium-sized UK businesses ‘more optimistic’ than smaller firms

Medium-sized businesses are more optimistic about the future than smaller firms, according to the latest ‘business pulse’ Azets Barometer.

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South East business activity rises for sixth straight month in May

Growth was recorded across the South East private sector for the sixth month in a row in May, according to NatWest’s headline Business Activity Index.

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Canterbury BID looks to build on a decade of success

Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID), the team tasked with creating a vibrant, exciting, well-connected and successful business community, has unveiled its blueprint for the next five years as it looks to continue to champion the city.

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Study reveals best places in UK for workers and job-seekers in 2024

Payroll Prices has unveiled its Employee Location Index 2024, a study ranking 80 UK towns and cities based on critical factors affecting workers and job-seekers.

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South East region in top three for social value delivery

A new data-driven insights report, launched by online measurement and reporting solution Social Value Portal (SVP), has found that while social value has recently gained unprecedented momentum throughout the UK, there are some clear front runners delivering meaningful change to local communities.

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Team Tactics in Kent appoints new event planner

Kent-based corporate events and hospitality company Team Tactics has appointed Julia Johnson as event planner to help deliver bespoke team-building events and manage its growing list of high-profile clients.

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Spa Communications launches podcast studio and digital marketing suite

Kent-based PR, social media and content marketing agency Spa Communications has launched a brand-new, state-of-the-art podcast studio and digital marketing suite.

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Commercial property News

Godalming High Street building sold for £2.52 million

A prominent building at the heart of Surrey market town Godalming has been sold off-market for £2.52 million with property consultancy Vail Williams.

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NatWest to welcome 2,500 entrepreneurs to accelerator programme

Entrepreneurs looking to grow and scale their businesses are being urged to apply to join NatWest’s accelerator programme, as it prepares to welcome a record number of new businesses in September.

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Community News

28-mile cycle event along the Kent coast supports The Evie Dove Foundation

A new cycling event, The Big TEDF Bike Ride, is set to take place on 15 June, featuring a 28-mile off-road route along the Kent coast to support The Evie Dove Foundation (TEDF). The Evie Dove Foundation (TEDF) was established in 2022 by the parents of Evie Dove, a young girl from Folkestone who passed […]

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B2B technology marketing agency Napier celebrates 40 years in business

Chichester-headquartered specialist PR and marketing firm Napier is celebrating its 40th anniversary, cementing the business as one of the longest-standing agencies in the B2B technology sector.

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Community News

Walker Construction sponsors the Green School Awards

Walker Construction is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Green School Awards, an esteemed event celebrating sustainability and innovation in education.

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Sussex-based Smart Monkey unveils new look to support future growth plans

Smart Monkey, an integrated digital marketing agency that specialises in SEO, digital PR and PPC for professional services, B2B, tech and SaaS, has revealed a new look as it heads towards an exciting milestone.

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South East businesses joint most confident in May

Business confidence in the South East was the joint highest of any UK region or nation in May, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. 

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News Training

Cripps apprentice wins at BPP awards

Kent-based top 100 law firm Cripps has announced that its paralegal apprentice Callum Benson has been named BPP Apprentice of the Year (Level 4-5) at the annual BPP Apprentice of the Year Awards.

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Construction News

McGoff Construction appointed principal contractor for new Herne Bay development

McGoff Construction has been formally appointed as principal contractor at a new mixed-use development on Canterbury Road in Herne Bay.

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Asymchem selects Discovery Park as European base

Asymchem Laboratories has announced that it will operate the former Pfizer UK small molecule API pilot plant and part of the development laboratories through a new lease agreement with Discovery Park, establishing Asymchem’s first manufacturing footprint in Europe.

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Legal News

Thackray Williams announces record results

Kent and London law firm Thackray Williams has announced record results for the financial year 2023/2024, positioning the firm for potential inclusion in the ranking of the UK’s top 200 law firms later this year.

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Finance News

Barriers to accessing capital ‘stalling UK business growth’

Against a backdrop of lending to SMEs dropping for a third straight year, medium-sized businesses are facing difficulty securing the capital they need to make the ‘leap’ to large, according to a new report from advisory and accountancy firm Menzies.

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Mayo Wynne Baxter reveals strategic new hires and promotions

East Sussex law firm Mayo Wynne Baxter has expanded its private client team with new hires and several internal promotions.

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Commercial property News

Report reveals confidence in Kent property market grows

A review by Caxtons Property Consultants has shown that confidence and performance within the Kent property market is increasing. This sentiment is echoed by the Investment Property Forum, a leading industry organisation, which is predicting a slight improvement in UK performance this year and stronger performance in 2025.

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News Training

Walker Construction offers Apprenticeship Levy transfer to support local businesses

Walker Construction, based in Kent, has announced a new initiative to support South East businesses through the transfer of up to 50% of its Apprenticeship Levy fund. 

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Community News

Kent businesses back Living Land event

Countrystyle Recycling played its part in celebrating 20 years of fun and interactive learning opportunities centred around food, farming and the countryside when it took part in Living Land.

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News

Overtime epidemic plagues UK workplaces, research reveals

An embedded culture of overwork and unpaid overtime is taking a severe toll on businesses and workers across the UK, according to new research from Protime UK.

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News Training

UVAC warns of threat to region’s skills gap posed by apprenticeship levy reform

A new report by the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) has warned that drastic reform or the abolishment of the government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme will have a hugely detrimental impact on the skills gap across the South East.

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Community News

South East builders merchants join forces to host charity football tournament

Chandlers Building Supplies, in collaboration with Parker Building Supplies and Fairalls Builders Merchants, is hosting a charity five-a-side football tournament, scheduled to kick off on 2 June at Tonbridge Angels FC, in support of Teenage Cancer Trust.

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Legal News

Brachers advises Future Generation Services on sale to Holiday Extras

Brachers’ corporate team has advised the shareholder of Kent-based Future Generation Services (FGS) on its sale to Holiday Extras.

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News

New Locate in Kent CEO appointed

Locate in Kent, the official inward investment promotion agency for the Kent and Medway region, has announced the appointment of Nick Fenton as CEO.

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Sharp Minds Communications rebrands after going national

PR and marketing specialist Sharp Minds Communications has evolved its brand to reflect an “increasingly sophisticated and tactical approach” to communications as the agency bids to go national.

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Chichester campsite claims national title at FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Celebrating Small Business Awards 2024, held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, saw awards host and TV personality Tess Daly crown eco-friendly camping and caravan park Stubcroft Farm Campsite Ltd as the UK’s best sustainable business.

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Six venues in Ashford pass Best Bar None assessment

Six venues in Ashford – The Ashford Club, Cameo, Matches, The County Hotel, Valerie’s, and Ashford Truck Stop – have been awarded ‘Best Bar None’ accreditation, demonstrating their commitment to the highest standards of safety and service. 

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Chapel Down releases limited edition English sparkling wine for Royal Ascot 2024

English winemaker Chapel Down has released a limited edition English sparkling wine to mark its inaugural year as the ‘Official English Sparkling Wine’ of Royal Ascot.

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Community News

CREST Business Awards Charity Golf Day raises £4k for Surrey Wildlife Trust

International explorer Nick Hollis, who has taken on the world’s most challenging feats of endurance to promote environmental responsibility, praised the golfers he joined at the CREST Business Awards Charity Golf Day, who raised £4,000 for Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT).

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Dragon’s Den star teams up with Natwest for small business roadshow

TV Dragon and Small Business Sunday (SBS) creator Theo Paphitis is teaming up with NatWest to host the Small Business Sunday 2024 Regional Business Bootcamps, an event series offering local entrepreneurs the chance to meet and learn from some of the UK’s greatest business minds.

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Construction News

MGAC completes Mithras House student redevelopment project in Brighton 

Brighton and Hove-based building consultant MGAC has completed a teaching facility project in Brighton on behalf of the University of Brighton.

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Construction News

Over 10,000 extra construction workers required in South East by 2028 to meet demand

The annual industry forecast from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) highlights the continuing persistent gap between what the South East needs to keep up with demand and the workforce available to meet the challenge.  

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Commercial property News

South East office market witnesses highest level of average transaction size since Q2 2021

The average transaction size within the South East office market rose to the highest level recorded since Q2 2021 in Q1 of 2024, hitting 17,597 sq ft, demonstrating healthy demand for units in excess of 10,000 sq ft, according to Colliers’ South East Offices snapshot. 

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News

Cantium Business Solutions welcomes new education account director 

Cantium Business Solutions, a public sector IT services specialist based in Kent, has appointed William Asare as its new education account director. 

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Crimson Tide recognised in The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Work 2024 awards

Tunbridge Wells-based business Crimson Tide is pleased to announce its inclusion in The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Work 2024 awards.

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Business activity rises at sharpest pace in nearly a year

Rising demand in the South East of England has led to an increase in business activity for the fifth month in a row, according to the NatWest South East PMI.

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Sussex mum toasts success as small business grows

In just a year, Sussex-based fruit infusions business Fruitology has seen remarkable growth, with owner Michelle Pratt gearing up to showcase the brand at multiple major food and drink shows in 2024.

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Mid Sussex to promote 70 hectares of employment space at UKREiiF

Opportunity Mid Sussex, the inward investment platform of Mid Sussex District Council, will promote 70 hectares of employment space at real estate, investment and infrastructure show UKREiiF.

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Surrey opticians recognised for sustainability efforts

Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists has achieved a sustainability certification after successfully offsetting carbon emissions and minimising its environmental footprint.

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Commercial property News

Panattoni acquires additional development site at Sittingbourne

Confidence in Kent as a location for high-quality warehousing and distribution space has been given a boost after logistics property developer Panattoni acquired a further 10 acres of land in Swale.

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Brachers advises MWA Financial on the acquisition of KFA

Brachers’ corporate team has advised MWA Financial on its acquisition of Kent-based IFA Knighthood Financial Advice (KFA).

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Discovery Park business A4P receives King’s Award for Enterprise

A4P, A LabConnect Company, based at Discovery Park in Sandwich, has been honoured with a King’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade. 

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Carpenter Box announces 16 new promotions

Sussex and South East accountancy firm Carpenter Box has announced 16 new promotions to support the firm’s continuing business success and future growth plans.

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Taste of Kent Awards reveals 2024 food and drink product shortlist  

Produced in Kent has announced the food and drink product shortlist for the highly anticipated Taste of Kent Awards 2024, which celebrate and showcase the tastiest food and drink that Kent has to offer. 

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UK housebuilders back in the market for land as outlook brightens 

Britain’s housebuilders are seeing a recovery in buyer interest and land purchasing activity in early 2024, according to the latest Knight Frank Land Index & Housebuilder Survey. 

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Legal News

Lewis Denley partners with Lantern Legal

West Sussex-based law firm Lewis Denley has partnered with Lantern Legal, an Australian law firm which provides cyber and corporate/commercial legal advice.

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The Channel Tunnel celebrates its 30th anniversary

It is 30 years this week since Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Channel Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel, connecting Folkestone, Kent to Calais, France.

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FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards South East winners gear up for UK grand final

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) recognised the brightest and best entrepreneurs from the South East at the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2024. The next stop for this year’s regional winners is the UK grand final at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on 9 May.

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Employers expect talent retention to be challenging this year, survey shows

Some of the biggest challenges for UK organisations right now include retaining skilled talent, meeting pay expectations, providing a good work-life balance and supporting employees’ wellbeing, according to new research by HR software provider Ciphr.

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Kent law firm Brachers announces nine promotions in 2024

Brachers, a law firm with offices in Maidstone and Canterbury, has shown its commitment to supporting staff to develop in their career by making nine promotions.

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Weybridge charcuterie company Tempus Foods announces merger with Rare & Pasture 

Weybridge charcuterie company Tempus Foods, owned by Masterchef finalists Tom Whitaker and Dhruv Baker, is merging its business with South Devon-based charcuterie and smoked meat brand Rare & Pasture to expand production and sales of both award-winning products. 

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Commercial property News

Accountancy firm Carleys relocates to Medway after 74 years

Carleys, a leading firm of chartered accountants and business advisors first established 1950, is pleased to announce the successful relocation of its primary office to the Historic Dockyard in Medway Maritime, after 74 years of operating in Gravesend.

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Community News

Brighton Fringe 2024 launches

Brighton Fringe is back for 2024 from 3 May to 2 June, with a massive 750 events being staged in over 120 venues across Brighton, Hove and beyond.

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News

No 9 Restaurant at Chapel House Estate named Made in Kent’s 2024 ‘Best Restaurant’

No 9 Restaurant at Chapel House Estate in Minster has been awarded Gold for ‘Best Restaurant’ in Kent at the prestigious Made in Kent Food and Drink Awards 2024.

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Kingsmead Leisure Centre seeks operators to run café, childcare and therapies

Active Life, the charity behind the multi-million-pound transformation of Kingsmead Leisure Centre in Canterbury, Kent, is inviting expressions of interest from providers who would like the opportunity to run the cutting-edge café, childcare provision and therapies ahead of the flagship centre’s grand reopening later in 2024.

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Cantium Business Solutions supports KCC’s large-scale device rollout for hybrid working 

Kent County Council (KCC) has partnered with Cantium Business Solutions, a public sector IT services specialist, to deliver 9,000 Microsoft Surface Devices to its hybrid-working workforce.

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Mitchell & Cooper achieves ISO 14001 certification

Uckfield, Sussex-based catering supplier Mitchell & Cooper has announced its recent achievement of ISO 14001 certification, marking a significant milestone in the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

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News

CT Travel Group celebrates 35 years in business 

This month marks a milestone for Tunbridge Wells-based CT Travel Group, which is celebrating 35 years in business within the travel industry. 

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News

Surrey producer competes for spot on Adli’s shelves in Channel 4 series

Entrepreneur Roni Bandong-McSorley from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey will appear on Channel 4’s ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ on 30 April alongside husband Steve McSorley. 

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Finance News

Half of Brits fear a fall in standard of living

Nearly half (46%) of UK adults are worried that their standard of living will fall over the next 12 months, reveals research conducted on behalf of Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management.

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Friends who turned £5k into £4m expand loft boarding business to Kent

Three friends who started a loft boarding and insulation business with a rented van, storage unit and £5,000 of their own money have expanded their operation, Amazing Lofts, into Kent.

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More than 41,900 new homes needed in Brighton and Hove by 2040

Brighton and Hove needs to build more than 41,900 new homes in less than two decades to meet the needs of the city’s 2040 population, research by socio-economic experts at Marrons has revealed.

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Capital Compactors and Balers bolsters field service network

Bognor Regis-based Capital Compactors and Balers (CCL), part of the Impact Environmental Group (IEG), has considerably expanded its field service engineer network with the addition of two new mobile service vehicles in the South East.

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Folkestone Harbour opens first-ever standalone retail outlet

Folkestone Harbour, a popular seaside destination and hub for independent food and drink brands in Kent, has entered the world of retail with its first-ever, permanent, standalone retail space.

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Community News

Kings Hill welcomes public art project celebrating Kent’s agricultural heritage

A five-metre high, multi-coloured artwork celebrating Kent’s agricultural heritage has been unveiled in Kings Hill, near West Malling.

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News

Business activity growth sustained across the South East, but at softer pace

There was a further improvement in the business environment across the South East region in March, with the latest NatWest South East PMI® data continuing to signal demand and activity growth.

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Elham’s The King’s Arms crowned best pub in Kent

For the third year in a row, Contemporary Pubs has seen one of its gastropubs and freehouses crowned the ‘Kent pub of the year’ in a major national awards scheme.

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News

Produced in Kent’s Future Food Forum is back for 2024

Following a hugely successful event last year, Produced in Kent will once again be hosting its Future Food Forum at the University of Kent in Canterbury on 3 May 2024. 

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News

Family team launches SureCare home care service in Sittingbourne

Husband and wife team Lisa and Rejue Khalique, as well as Lisa’s cousin Stephanie Kew, who will be the registered manager, have launched their SureCare franchise in Sittingbourne to provide a broad range of regulated and non-regulated care services.

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Community News

Martin Tolhurst Solicitors partners with Kent Wildlife Trust

Kent law firm Martin Tolhurst Solicitors has announced a new partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust, a respected wildlife charity dedicated to preserving the county’s natural heritage.

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News

‘Music-driven’ restaurant launches in Brighton

This April, Rob Shenton and Charlie Bunn – the respective owners of Riddle and Finn’s and Hickstead Estate – are launching Drifter, a new music-driven restaurant concept for Brighton.

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Legal News

Moore Barlow advises New Path Fire and Security on latest acquisition

Moore Barlow has advised regional fire safety and security firm New Path Fire and Security on the acquisition of Kent-based Electrifire Limited for an undisclosed sum.

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News

Smaller payroll firms risk being left behind by automation

New research from people management and payroll platform Employment Hero suggests that smaller payroll providers in the UK risk being left behind thanks to a distrust of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

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News

IoD Surrey welcomes new student and future director ambassadors

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has appointed two new ambassadors to its Surrey branch committee to represent the student community and future directors.

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Construction News

Moat secures £100m funding to accelerate sustainability ambitions 

Moat, one of the South East’s largest housing associations, has secured a £100 million sustainability-linked loan facility from Lloyds Bank to retrofit its existing stock and boost housebuilding across the region.

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News

What is the new Flexible Working Bill?

New flexible working regulations will come into effect on 6 April 2024. Antonio Fletcher, head of employment at Canterbury-based law firm Whitehead Monckton, outlines what the new bill is and what it will mean for businesses and employees. 

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News

Azets acquires RSM UK’s specialist medical accounting team

Azets, the international advisory, outsourcing and compliance group with 21 regional offices across the South East of England, has announced the acquisition of RSM UK’s specialist medical accounting team.

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News

UK Growth Coach wins FSB ‘Micro Business of the Year’ award

Sussex-based specialist business coaching firm UK Growth Coach has recently been honoured with the title of ‘Micro Business of the Year’ for the South East by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

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National living wage expansion among ‘significant’ new employment laws coming into force this spring

A host of new employment legislation comes into force this spring, with changes to the National Living Wage, flexible working and holiday pay all contributing to the most significant changes for years, according to employment law specialist Furley Page.

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News

Setfords named top hirer of all UK law firms

Platform law firm Setfords, headquartered in London, Guildford and Horsham, has emerged as the foremost hirer among all law firms in the UK, according to research conducted by Codex Edge.

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News

South East business confidence climbs in February

Companies in the South East reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month – up two points to 49% – according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

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News

Work begins on £7.5m restoration of Newhaven Fort

Construction workers have arrived on site to begin a milestone restoration project to transform Newhaven Fort, including opening hidden areas never seen by the public before.

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