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After another highly successful year, the members of the Burgess Hill Business Parks Association (BHBPA) are giving themselves a well-deserved pat on the back. This forward-thinking, inclusive networking organisation goes from strength to strength and 2018 has certainly lived up to that trend.
The Association, launched in June 2004 by local MP the Rt. Hon. Sir Nicholas Soames, works with companies based in and around the Burgess Hill area. During the past 14 years BHBPA has flourished with meetings and memberships increasing year on year.
BHBPA is run by a chairman, three directors, coordinator and a steering group made up of key business leaders, public sector representatives and sponsor organisations.
Former Burgess Hill school teacher, Peter Liddell, is the BHBPA co-ordinator, who oversees all the events as well as the popular weekly e-newsletter, with a readership of many hundreds of business people.
The most recent appointment is the new chairman, Burgess Hill businesswoman Susan Fleet. Susan, who has run her own PR, marketing and entertainment agency Lea Graham Associates for more than thirty years, has been a director of the BHBPA as well as a member of the Steering Group for more than a decade. She replaced Paul Shearing, who stepped down in January after three years at the helm.
The aim of the group is to unite Burgess Hill´s businesses so that members can benefit from an unrivalled network of influential people who drive those businesses. The group meets monthly at a different local venue each time, such as Ockenden Manor, The Birch Hotel or Hickstead Hotel. Not only are the meetings fruitful and informative, but usually a lot of fun too, and a great way to experience and network with different venues in Mid-Sussex.
The BHBPA remit reaches far wider than simply the Victoria Business Park. As well as lots of members in the towns and villages of Mid Sussex, It also has members on the Sheddingdean, Bolney, Ditchling and Mid Sussex Business Parks. Peter Liddell said, “we are very outward looking and accept membership applications from all companies who wish to do business in Burgess Hill”. BHBPA has regular contact with GDB, the influential Gatwick Diamond business organisation, which works on behalf of commerce from Redhill to Brighton, and also works closely with business associations in Haywards Heath (HHDBA) and East Grinstead (EGBA).
This year saw the eighth Burgess Hill Means Business exhibition. More than 100 businesses attended the biennial event, which was organised by the Burgess Hill Business Parks Association as an opportunity for member organisations to network and promote their services and products to potential clients, customers and associates. This year, exhibitors ranged from national organisations like Barclays Bank and Travail Employment Group to more local concerns such as PVL/Preview and St Peter & St James Hospice.
The BHBiz Awards launched at the Brighton Amex Community Stadium in 2017. This award ceremony with a difference wasn’t just about profits and order books – but the people behind them. Across eight categories, judges recognised the achievements of employees from the top to the bottom of organisations for their contribution to the workplace and their community. The awards will alternate with the BHBPA’s Burgess Hill Means Business, so will next take place on 10 May 2019 with four brand new categories.
Forever looking forward, BHBPA’s expanding membership now stands at more than 170 and plans for next year include lots more excellent networking events. The future is looking very bright for BHBPA.