The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire July 2014 Edition - Page 15

SPOTLIGHT ON MALMESBURY THRIVING BUSINESS NETWORK AT MALMESBURY & DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Malmesbury Living History Weekend - A Success! Malmesbury & District Chamber of Commerce - part of Wessex Chambers, represents 70 member businesses in the town covering all sectors of industry from tailors to florists, auctioneers, food outlets, dentists and communications companies. During the weekend of Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 June 1,000‘s of people flocked to Malmesbury for a living history weekend showcasing daily life in the 17th Century. More than 200 professional re-enactors ‘took over the town’ dressed in costume of the day and presented true to life activities including 17th Century market stalls, ‘guards’ posted at the High Street gates and muster and drill demonstrations in the Cloister Gardens. The highlight of the weekend was a re-enactment of the 1644 skirmish, performed by the Civil War Society’s regiment of Colonel Devereux’s Regiment of Foote. The date of the weekend was chosen to coincide with 14 June 1644, 370 years ago, when Colonel Nicholas Devereux took up residence in Abbey House and garrisoned his Regiment of Foote in the town. The project was the town’s first community project that pooled together resources from the Althestan Museum, local schools, the Warden & Freemen, Malmesbury Town Council, Malmesbury Civic Trust and the Malmesbury & District Chamber of Commerce. Support from local businesses in the town made the event possible with sponsors such as Hilditch Group, Blount & Maslin Estate Agents and Valuers, The Front Room Marketing & Design and the James Dyson Foundation. BBC History Magazine and the Heritage Lottery Fund also funded the event. The event managed to attract the interest of the BSKYB network with videographers in attendance filming for a special documentary to be aired in the future, the scheduled date is yet to be confirmed. Sue Poole, the Mayor of Malmesbury said: “I would like to thank the army of volunteers who helped over the weekend and all of the people of the town and visitors who turned out to watch, listen and interact with the re-enactors. It made us all feel so very proud of our town”. Aimee Frankham is Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and is also owner of small business Amano Tailors, based in the town. Aimee said: “The Chamber of Commerce is very active working with local businesses and retailers to boost trade, identifying things such as shopping trends.” Malmesbury Festival takes places for a whole month from 30 July- 31 August with an eclectic mix of events planned. The festival culminates with the Malmesbury Carnival Procession on 30 August. The Chamber of Commerce is involved with the carnival programme engaging with the organisers and helping to maximise the profit for potential traders. Another project being organised is an event to bring Wiltshire Business Support Services to the town to do a presentation on their services and how they can help the local area. Malmesbury & District Chamber of Commerce is also currently involved in the neighbourhood planning process. They are part of a core team involved with developing the town team which will be responsible for the spend of town funding gained from planning payments. They are also working with other towns in looking at innovative ways of making shopping an experience rather than a chore and entertaining the town’s visitors with interactive treasure trails. Malmesbury Chamber is spear heading this project and has met with rural businesses and periphery businesses in Malmesbury developing relationships and finding out their needs. This includes attracting new business to the area and one idea is to work with a Portsmouth based company to develop a regional centre in Malmesbury for their communications arm, this is in the early stages but very positive. The current aim is to support and sustain what Malmesbury has whilst attracting more diverse and exciting business to the area. For more about Malmesbury & District Chamber of Commerce visit: www.malmesburychamber.org.uk For more about Malmesbury Festival and Carnival visit: www.malmesburycarnival.wordpress.com Malmesbury & District Chamber of Commerce THE BUSINESS EXCHANGE 2014 15