September 12, 2017

Anticipation is building ahead of the Bucks Skills Show on Thursday October 12th at Adams Park, High Wycombe, and on Saturday October 14th at The Gateway, Aylesbury.

Chiltern Chamber is very excited this year to be organising a stall with Chamber member ChinaAcumen.

ChinaAcumen ( is run by husband and wife Simon Stokes and Lucy Qian. It is a business consultancy putting its extensive on-the-ground Chinese business experience at the disposal of UK and international businesses looking to do business in and with China.

The Bucks Skills Show is organised by Buckinghamshire Skills Hub, part of the Bucks and Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP). It is described as “an experiential careers show designed to give students and young people a chance to speak to real businesses, get a taste of what different industry careers are like and listen to a range of speakers from local, national and international businesses. All with the aim of helping you find the right career and start your journey off!”

Businesses are asked to represent their industry (rather than just themselves), explaining potential opportunities and career paths. At their ‘stands’, the industry representatives are asked to provide information in an engaging and interactive way.

With a fortnight still to go, we understand that more than 800 visitors were booked in for the Saturday, with numbers continuing to climb.

More info and FREE ticket booking

Chiltern Chamber teaming up with China Acumen

Professor Brendan Walker sponsored by Chiltern Chamber at Bucks Skills ShowOne of the key strategic aims of the Chamber is to encourage the workforce of tomorrow via skills and training initiatives. In 2016, the Chamber sponsored one of the keynote speakers, Professor Brendan Walker, to address youngsters on opportunities in engineering (right).

Chiltern Chamber will organise the Chiltern Chamber/ChinaAcumen stand; ChinaAcumen will provide information and advice on the Chinese economy, and doing business in and with China.

We shall focus on the powerhouse that is the Chinese economy, and the potential career and employment benefits for youngsters engaging with China, prepared to learn Chinese languages etc. A number of language and culturally oriented activities are planned, to engage and provide insights to the audience.

We are delighted that Chris Webster, Programme Director of the newly-created Swire Chinese Language Centre for Oxford will be assisting us, and he has been invited to be one of the show’s speakers.

We are also grateful for the assistance of some younger people who have made the journey of studying Chinese, some now starting to apply it in their working lives. Vivienne Goodger (BA Chinese Studies Cambridge 2013), Holly Holdsworth (MA Chinese Studies Edinburgh 2015) and Louis Carmichael (currently at Goldsmith’s College) will be on hand to share their experiences. Their relevant experience – and their age! – will all add to the likelihood of successful engagement with the students visiting the show.

Can You Help?

Though we have made great progress in organising our stand, we remain open to all ideas, assistance and materials, helping us to engage and entertain young people in interactive ways. In particular, if you teach Chinese in Buckinghamshire, your insights as to how young people can get started in learning Chinese locally would be invaluable.

If you would like to help in any way, please contact Robert Gibson on 01494 868932, or

Further contacts:
ChinaAcumen: Simon Stokes: 07388 301732 /
Chiltern Chamber: / 0800 014 9811

Congratulations to all the contestants and winners of Amersham’s Got Talent held at Drakes Hall Community Centre on Sunday 2nd July.

The event was organised by Chiltern Chamber of Commerce, with the goal of helping invigorate Amersham, whilst also giving a platform for local performers – especially younger ones – to show off their talent.

Performers of all ages entertained the audience, including a fashion show, music and comedians.

In the youth talent show there were some amazing talents, with winners as follows:

1st: Natalie Green
2nd: Portia Eaglestone Bowmaker
3rd: Andrew McNaughton
4th: Anna O’Donoghue
5th: Lewis Underwood

We would like also to thank magician Steve Owen-Williams, Magic Ali and Tiny Tina Rock & Blues Band for participating and supporting the event.

The event was opened by Councillor Nigel Shepherd, Chairman of Chiltern District Council. He applauded the hard work and commitment that went into putting on the event.

Vee Bharakda, Chair of Chiltern Chamber of Commerce, commented, “It was a great team effort to put on this event and we were delighted with the wealth of talent that was on show. Our aim as a Chamber is to invigorate Amersham by encouraging an event that showcases the broad and excellent talent in the town. We hope that the format can be used as a template for others to follow.”

The Chamber would like to put on record its a huge THANK YOU to all who helped tirelessly to stage the event. These include:

Alan Bath of Chiltern Youth Projects, Jack Gocher of JGC Marketing, Leah and Karen Waller, Sean O’Farrell, Rolande Merrifield, George Sharman, Edith Strachan, Julia Rodgers, Neil Taylor and Mark Raan.

Julie Church, John Roads and the team at Gatsby & Miller for giving up so much time to prepare the participants for the fashion show.

And especially all the local businesses that supported the event through sponsorship, contributions and publicity: Choice Loans who provided the prizes; Hinch Property Management Services; Jack Nathan Hardware, JGC Marketing, Lennon’s Solicitors, Local Directory, Luker Rowe, Action Coach, Barclays, Cannon Moorcroft, Gatsby & Miller, Wycombe Sound.

Thank you to George Sharman Photography, for taking amazing photos throughout – you can enjoy them (plus one or two of our own snaps) below.

Did you know that £40m-worth of funds are earmarked for local communities to help with the disruption caused by the construction of Phase one of HS2?

  • The Community and Environment Fund has been created to add benefit to communities along the route. There will be two types of CEF grant: CEF Local will focus on quality of life and environment in individual communities; and CEF Strategic will focus on large projects across several communities and address strategic rather than purely local concerns.
  • The Business and Local Economy Fund has been created to support local economies. It will focus on projects or programmes across several business sectors and address employment concerns in an area as opposed to individual businesses.

The objective is to add benefit, over and above committed mitigation and statutory compensation, to communities along the route that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Phase One of HS2. Both funds are managed on behalf of HS2 Ltd by the charity Groundwork.

Learn about how to apply

Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Council are hosting two information events covering the funding available under these schemes, as well as covering general funding advice.

Please attend either event to get new project ideas, firm up existing ideas or gain further knowledge of how they could be funded. Places are limited so please confirm your attendance as soon as possible by emailing

5th July 2017 6.00 – 8.00pm Council Chamber, Chiltern District Council, King George V House, King George V Road, Amersham, HP6 5AW

18th July 2017 6.00-8.00pm South Bucks District Council, Room 6, Capswood, Oxford Road, Denham, Uxbridge, UB9 4LH

The programme will be as follows:

Time Topic Organisation
6.00 Refreshments
6.15 Welcome CDC/SBDC
Context – Overview of HS2 Community and Business funds CDC/SBDC
HS2 Community and Business funds: tips on applying Groundwork
Chilterns Conservation Board Projects and funding Landscape Partnership Scheme
Generic tips on writing funding applications and the support available from Funding4sport Funding 4sport
CIB funding advice services Community Impact Bucks
Heart of Bucks funding advice services Heart of Bucks
Q and A session – panel of above. All
8.00 Close


Useful Links – Community and Environment Fund – Business and Local Economy Fund – HS2 Community and Business Funds

Chiltern Chamber is very proud to team up with local businesses to present Amersham’s Got Talent on Sunday, July 2nd 2017, at the Drake Hall Community Centre.

This is a business-driven and sponsored initiative to provide an afternoon and evening of fun and participatory events. The emphasis is squarely on showcasing local talent, which means you – YES, YOU!

The day will be broken into two main parts:

  • Afternoon – 3pm tp 6pm: fashion, dance, music.
  • Evening – 6.30pm to 8.30pm: comedy, magic and bands.

For everyone who would like to perform or participate in any way, there is a get-together on Friday 23 June at 7pm, at Drakes Hall in Amersham.

The important point is that nothing is yet set in stone: bring us your ideas and help shape the day! Please contact us on Or call Chamber Chairman Vee Bharakda on 07961 116321.

Keep an eye on social media and on our website for updates. With your help and participation, it’s sure to be a memorable day!

Amersham's Got Talent poster

An album of images from Chesham High Street’s St George’s Day celebrations. The dragon, sourced and sponsored by Chiltern Chamber of Commerce, was a great draw for the second year running. Footfall on the High Street seemed pretty busy, aided by good weather and also by free parking at Chiltern District Council’s suspension of charges at the Water Meadow and Albany car parks.

Donations were collected for local charity Chesham Museum. Thanks to all who helped make the day a success.