Weekly Chamber News & Events
20th September 2021
Fellow Members,

Last week saw the first of our face to face networking events and it was great to have received such positive feedback from it. It was also a great chance for people to learn more about the work of the recently opened Mole Valley employment and skills hub.

It's a fairly lengthy read this week, with initiatives from the local council, the launch of Arts Alive and the approval of the draft local plan were approved.

We are also sadly beginning to see the longer term effects Covid is having on some of our local charities and community projects as appeals for assistance come in. There are two incredibly worthwhile appeals this week from our members, please take a moment to read and help where you can.

Mole Valley Chamber
Reminder if you've not registered for the AGM, you can do so HERE. The event is being held ONLINE via zoom at 6pm and is not expected to last more than 1 hour.
Over this last year AllSaints has struggled to gain key funding to support their coffee shop and as a social enterprise certain funds aren't available that would be for registered charities. 
They rely on the generous donations from individuals and businesses to help continue to support local young people in Leatherhead. 
During Covid they were able to support six young people, providing them with valuable employment and life skills that are beneficial for their future. 
AllSaints is a huge part of North Leatherhead and they urgently need your support to help them continue employing local young people and providing a welcome space for the local community to meet together. Without your support they will be unable to continue and so anything you are able to give will make a world of difference. 
To donate to AllSaints please follow the link to our PayPal Giving page here – thank you! 
The Leatherhead Theatre has been a pillar of the local community for many years, and close to their hearts, as well as those of performers, staff and all who enjoy experiencing live shows, events and film screenings there.

When they ran their Crowdfunder campaign last year, they could not have anticipated being unable to offer our annual pantomime or the other shows we had planned to welcome you all back to the theatre with. Had the pandemic restrictions been shorter, the generous funds raised would have been enough. So they are turning to you for a little more help. 

They were overwhelmed not just by the immense generosity of the community, but also by the hundreds of messages of support and the many special memories people shared with them. These kind words inspire them to continue working to secure the future of our wonderful theatre.

This fund is essential to help them cover the annual costs of running and maintaining the Grade II listed venue and continue offering not just cinema and live theatre but also a performance space for the many local schools, dance and drama groups in the community it serves.

Please take a moment to visit their crowdfunding page HERE.
Arts Alive 2021 Cabaret Launch
Award-winning Mole Valley arts festival Arts Alive launches on Saturday 25 September with musical cabaret from 10.30am-12.30pm outside Dorking Sports Centre.
Supported by Mole Valley District Council and on throughout October, Arts Alive is the biggest festival of its kind in the South East.
The free launch event features traditional Surrey music from fiddlers and cabaret acts, as well as a face painter and balloons for children.

Arts Alive is a month-long celebration of music, literature, theatre, comedy, modern and traditional crafting, film and performance, with something for everyone. This year there are 70 events, both online and in-person, including arts, crafts and photography exhibitions, artisan markets, walks, workshops, international cultural tours and children’s storytelling.

Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, Councillor David Draper, said: “Thank you to all the local artists, arts groups, organisations and Arts Alive committee for creating such an exciting festival. Now in its 25th year, Arts Alive is an inclusive event with national appeal. Events are free or low-cost, making them accessible to as many people as possible.”

Earlier this year Arts Alive won ‘Best Arts Project’ in the National Campaign for the Arts’ (NCA) Hearts for the Arts Awards 2021 for running a hugely successful event in 2020 mostly online, with an audience of around 7,000 people. The awards celebrate those in local authorities who champion arts against all the odds. 

To see this year’s full line-up of events, visit www.arts-alive.co.uk

For all the latest news, follow Arts Alive on Instagram: @mole_valley_arts_alive, Twitter: @ArtsAliveMV and Facebook @molevalleyartsalive
Mole Valley District Council has agreed to publish its Regulation 19 draft Local Plan from 20 September to 7 November 2021.  
Following discussion at an extraordinary Council meeting on Wednesday 15 September 2021, the Council agreed to publish its draft Local Plan. This version of Mole Valley District Council’s (MVDC) draft Local Plan, Future Mole Valley, has been updated to incorporate feedback received during a comprehensive public consultation from residents and key stakeholders in early 2020 in the Regulation 18 stage of the Local Plan process.

Changes to this iteration of the draft Local Plan include, but are not limited to, working to a lower overall housing target in the district and almost halving the amount of Green Belt, while in turn increasing the amount of brownfield land allocated for development. The publication of its draft Local Plan at the Regulation 19 stage is the next step in MVDC’s ambition to adopt a sound Local Plan that sets out how development in Mole Valley will be planned over the next 15 years and identifies locations for new homes and other development, whilst continuing to protect the countryside.

The seven-week publication of the draft Local Plan is not a formal public consultation, but still presents the opportunity for anyone to view and comment on the Plan and supporting documents. The Plan is available to view on futuremolevalley.org, as will instructions about how to submit a comment from Monday 20 September 2021. Hardcopies will be available at MVDC’s offices in Dorking, the HelpShop in Leatherhead and libraries in the district. For more information, please call 01306 885001 or email planning.policy@molevalley.gov.uk.

Following the seven-week publication period, the next stage will see MVDC make a final decision early next year whether to submit the Plan, supporting documents and comments received to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.      
Councillor Margaret Cooksey, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “I cannot stress the importance of agreeing and adopting a Local Plan for Mole Valley. Without one, we risk losing control of where and how much development takes place in the future; the government will take away our responsibility. It is vital that we are able to dictate development and protecting our countryside on our terms. Do take a look at the Regulation 19 draft Plan and supplementary documents. Any comments you make will be reviewed, together with the Plan, by the Planning Inspectorate. You have until 7 November 2021.”
Mole Valley District Council sponsors popular face-to-face weekend boot camps for budding entrepreneurs
Due to popular demand a Mole Valley District Council (MVDC)-sponsored two-day in-person course for future entrepreneurs (run by The Business Hothouse) has just a few available spaces remaining, with bookings now open for a repeat course in January 2022.
The intensive weekend boot camp courses are FREE to attend (thanks to funding from MVDC and the European Regional Development Fund) and aim to help provide Mole Valley residents with the knowledge they need to get a business idea up and running, or to grow their existing start-up.
The first boot camp will take place on 25 and 26 September, at Federation House in Leatherhead, with limited availability remaining for these dates. As an alternative, residents can now sign up for the later course, taking place on 15 and 16 January 2022 at Dorking Halls.
Both courses are open to MVDC residents aged 18 years or over and take place across two six-hour sessions.
The two sets of dates will cover the same content; topics on day one will include defining the purpose of your business, creating effective vision and mission statements, market research and building customer personas. The second day will focus on the financial aspects of running your own company with sessions on pricing, cash flow, income tax, VAT, corporation tax, intellectual property and finally how to successfully market your business.
Councillor Clayton Wellman, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy and Security, said: “For the past 18 months the Business Hothouse has delivered a successful programme of online boot camps. With social distancing restrictions now lifted, we are excited to support the first of the in-person courses, to deliver an even stronger learning experience for the future entrepreneurs of Mole Valley.”