17 October 2018

Guildford Borough Council Economic Development - Business Bulletin

Welcome to the Business Bulletin from the Economic Development Team at Guildford Borough Council

Guildford Innovation Awards – Supported by Kyan

Are you an innovative, forward thinking business?  Do you aim to inspire others with your products or technologies?  Then the Guildford Innovation Awards have been designed to recognise you!

Now well established as an annual event, the Guildford Innovation Awards celebrate inspirational innovation across a spectrum of sectors in the borough - building upon the theme of supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects. They are open to individuals, social enterprises and businesses located in Guildford Borough with eight categories open for entries and the ninth, a special award for 'Most outstanding innovation', whose winner will be drawn from all the category entries.

The deadline for submissions is noon on the 31st October 2018 so enter now by visiting


Innovate Guildford 2019

Innovate Guildford is a free one-day festival held at G Live in Guildford showcasing existing and emerging technologies, giving the public an insight into the amazing innovations in our region. The festival is now in its fourth year and has attracted up to 8000 visitors in one day.

Visitors get the chance to explore and interact with exhibits, performances, workshops and activities, and to see how creativity and imagination are central to innovation. By interacting with exhibitors and practitioners, they learn about the pathways into diverse careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths).  The theme for 2019 will be Future Living.

We are keen to hear from companies who would be interested in taking part in Innovate Guildford to explore Future Living themes. These may be in a number of areas, such as: transport and infrastructure; sustainability and farming; energy and environment; health and social care; telecommunications and digital media; education and training.

If you would like to find out more about getting involved in Innovate Guildford 2019, please email


Guildford Business Growth – Free Business Support Service

Guildford Borough council are delighted to announce that they are launching a new free support service for existing and start-up businesses.   The service will run in partnership with BE Group and is open to businesses no matter how big or small. 

The service is called Guildford Business Growth and launches in October. It includes telephone advice, face-to-face monthly clinics and a number of workshops on specific topics tailored to a variety of business needs.   For more information, please email

Disability Confident

The Disability Confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace.

Why should you become Disability Confident?

  • Being Disability Confident could help you discover someone your business just can’t do without.
  • Whether an employee has become disabled during their working life, or you’re looking for new recruits, being Disability Confident can help your people fulfil their potential and contribute fully to the team’s success.
  • By being Disability Confident, you’ll also be seen as leading the way in your business sector and beyond, helping to positively change attitudes, behaviours and cultures.

For more information on how to become a Disability Confident Employer and to be seen as a positive employer for disabilities either select the link:

Or call Alison Linington on 01483 442513 for more information.


Future-proofing Guildford’s rural communities

Funding has been agreed by the Council’s Executive for a community project that will provide full 'fibre to the premises' (FTTP) broadband for Guildford's rural communities.

An initial investment of £10,000 will go to 'Broadband for Surrey Hills Limited'(B4SH), a local community benefit group which aims to install 'hyperfast' broadband networks with 1 Gigabit (1000Mb/sec) download and upload symmetrical speeds throughout the Surrey Hills. The project is being facilitated by a number of local landowners and farmers who will grant free right of way or 'wayleaves' across their land for the FTTP.

The move supports the Council's Corporate Plan and Rural Economic Strategy 2017-2022 priorities which see FTTP as the enabling technology for a range of applications in rural and urban areas such as town centre WiFi, 5G and LoRa (long range) networks.  Further information will be shared over the coming months, or for further details please visit:   (


Amazon helps drive rural innovation

The focus of this year’s Rural Services Network’s conference in Cheltenham was on Delivering Services Differently, a theme supported by online retailer Amazon whose Head of UK Seller Services, Simon Donegan, was one of the guest speakers. His presentation – Unlocking the digital potential of rural business across the UK – identified SMEs as Amazon’s key base, with around 50% of Amazon orders going through third party businesses. There are currently 10,000 rural sellers on Amazon and recent research has shown that in terms of digital usage over 60% of rural businesses use cloud computing. About one quarter of rural businesses are also exporters and of these 80% do so using e-commerce.  

Amazon estimates that the benefit of digital connectivity to the rural economy will equate to an extra £26 billion p.a. GVA (Gross Value Added). This highlights the opportunities for Guildford’s rural economy, especially as the reach of full fibre broadband extends to communities that could be boosted by business innovation and new enterprises. The Council’s Economic Development team is currently assessing a range of new Government funding opportunities to accelerate the roll-out of other broadband and related infrastructure technologies – the project proposals that emerge will require us to work with a range of private- and public-sector partners. For further information about the Council’s strategies on digital connectivity, enterprise and innovation please email


Visit Guildford Destination Guide 2019

Calling all leisure tourism businesses (Places to stay, places to go and places to eat – as well as transport) – the 2019 Visit Guildford Destination Guide is now in production. Email  if your business would like to be involved.


Business Training and Events


Guildford Environmental Forum’s 25th Anniversary Event

Thursday 11 October 6.30 pm – Guildford Borough Council Chamber, Millmead House.

Guildford Borough Council is delighted to host the annual meeting once again, this year to celebrate GEF’s quarter-century of action on behalf of the environment.  So far over 100 guests have registered for this important and timely event which includes a keynote talk by James Smith, former Chair of the Carbon Trust and Shell UK: "Can we and Will we Avoid Dangerous Climate Change?". 

To book one of the few remaining places please email  .  On arrival guests will receive pre-printed name labels and are therefore advised to allow 15 minutes for registration. Parking outside the Council Chamber (entrance from Millmead) is limited but after 6 pm there will be spaces in the rear car park, accessed from the A3100 (Portsmouth Rd) and Lawn Rd (GU2 4BB).


 We are Surrey 2018 Social Value Exhibition

Wednesday 31st October, 2.00 – 5.00 pm, Egham

This will be the third annual Surrey Social Value Exhibition, helping businesses and communities work together to make Surrey a better place to live and work, closing with a drinks reception.

Register for your place here.  


 First Steps to Successful Networking

Tuesday 6th November, 5.30pm – 7.45pm

Successful networking is essential for business development and personal growth. This introductory event will provide an opportunity for individuals to meet with similar, like-minded professionals in a structured but friendly and informal environment. 

Cost:  Free (limited spaces, so book early)

Further information and booking and be found at :


 Christmas Lights Sponsorship Opportunity

Advertising opportunities on Christmas Lights switch-on evening: 20 sq metre screen at junction of High Street and Quarry Street – contact

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