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  • Writer's pictureElise Garner

April Newsletter

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

The new season has brought us some new members! Welcome to...

Good to have you on board!

This month on our blog we feature The Rye Retreat and also Chapmans – so take a look and get to know them better!

The new season has also brought us new directors for the board! Please welcome...

We’re very pleased to say that this April two of our members have stepped forward to become directors on our board; Ian Bowden and Mark Hart – you can read more about them here. Their respective skills, experience and enthusiasm will undoubtedly benefit the Chamber as we continue to grow.

That’s a great start, but we still need more of you to raise a hand and say yes! We appreciate that no one has masses of extra time to dedicate to voluntary roles like these, but we know that the more of us there are the more we can achieve. So don’t be shy we need volunteers to become directors and officers and we need those who want to become Champions for different aspects of business and commerce in town.

Can you contribute to the Chamber? We want to hear from you! Get in touch –


Chamber Meets With The Mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer To Discuss Potential For Town Twinning

Meeting with the Mayor of Montreuil

The Chamber met with the Mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer, Pierre Ducrocq today, 28th April, to discuss the opportunity for and benefits of business links between our two towns. This was a positive first step towards a formal twinning of Rye with Montreuil-sur-Mer in the future.

The meeting was part of a two-day itinerary organised by Rye’s Mayor Andi Rivett and Councillor Rebekah Gilbert reciprocating the hospitality extended to them by Mayor Ducrocq in Montreuil-sur-Mer last October.

The potential for forging closer ties with Montreuil-sur-Mer is clear. Both towns are small, historic and picturesque, and tourism-driven, with many independently owned shops, excellent restaurants and a strong arts and sporting community.

It’s clear that we could generate some valuable alliances for tourism and businesses. We discussed the potential for skills exchanges and training for the hospitality sector with chefs and front-of-house staff spending time in France and vice versa. Without cost to the town council, individual businesses could work directly with partners in Montreuil-sur-Mer to explore opportunities of mutual benefit. Both towns have well-recognised annual festivals and events which have growth potential in order to help drive business during the quieter months of the year.

We look forward to being introduced to the Chamber-equivalent in Montreuil-sur-Mer to explore the next steps!


Rye Roundup: your at-a-glance digest of Chamber news for the last month...

  • The Chamber took part in the #GBSpringClean campaign with a litter pick around town on Sunday 2nd April. We collected ten bags of rubbish and were treated to a drink at Rye Waterworks Micropub as a reward for our hard work afterwards for which we were very grateful! Thank you David Rhoder.

  • Sara Nixon our Cardboard Coordinator has successfully negotiated the continuation of our free cardboard recycling scheme which is brilliant news for members.

  • Sarah and Jane took to the streets on the 12th April to meet members and have a chat. Thanks in particular to Louise at Chapmans for her time (do take a moment to read the spotlight feature on Chapman’s this month) and to Tabby at Rye Pottery. We’ll be out and about again on the 10th May so if there’s something you want to talk to us about drop us an email and we’ll be sure to call in.

  • The Chamber subsidised hanging baskets to brighten up members' premises again this spring. Many of you took advantage of the offer which has now ended and the baskets are ready to collect from Garden Gems. We look forward to seeing these fabulous floral displays across town.

  • The Chamber facilitated an introduction between Sophie Judge the new Festival Director for Christmas in Rye, Ian Bowden of Rye Jazz and John Bryant of On Stage with a view to generating new plans for Christmas 2023.

  • The Chamber informed members of the forthcoming International Trade Conference being organised by local MPs Sally-Ann Hart and Huw Merriman in collaboration with the Department for Business and Trade, and UK Export Finance. It’s a free event being held at the Woodland Enterprise Centre in Flimwell on Friday 12th May but you must register for a place. The conference will highlight opportunities for businesses wanting to grow internationally and will include information on support services, advice and potential market opportunities.

  • The Chamber continues to seek engagement from Hospitality members! We have worked hard to develop ideas for a training and recruitment pathway which would help member businesses and ease the administrative burden of recruitment. We know these issues are important to you – because you’ve told us but to date there has been no response by anyone to engage in next steps. We really would welcome your input so that we can shape and adapt plans – if they aren’t right / helpful / useful you need to tell us!

  • The Chamber met with New Editior or Rye News, Nick Forman to discuss greater collaboration on business news and information and to consider ideas that might help to expand the reach and readership of the paper.

  • The Chamber is pleased to report a growing portfolio of benefits generously being extended by our member businesses to other members. Our 'Member 2 Member Offers' can be found on the Chamber’s Facebook Page, FB Group and on the Chamber’s website.

  • Our next quarterly survey will be issued very soon. Please keep an eye out for it! We really want to hear your opinion so we can continue to shape our work for you going forward. We promise to keep it short!


The Administrative Burdens Advisory Board Annual Survey

The annual ABAB survey was issued just this week. You will have probably already received your email from HRMC. Commissioned by an independent body, the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board, the survey gives crucial insight on the big issues faced by small businesses. The ABAB is passionate about listening to and understanding the needs of the small business community. Its goal is to make the tax system quicker and simpler.

The ABAB challenges HMRC on its performance, providing robust scrutiny against key initiatives. The survey data is reported directly to Treasury Ministers and reviews HMRC’s progress against ABAB’s priorities.

As one of the 5.7 million small businesses in the UK, the survey is your chance to provide ABAB with insight on the tax system which they can then use to support you. Tax agents also play a crucial role in the success of the survey – in 2022, 32% of respondents identified as tax agents.

The survey takes ten minutes to complete and is open until 2 May 2023. Results will be published on GOV.UK in the summer. You can access the survey here:


The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth 1

Commemorating Queen Elizabeth 1st's Visit

Simon Parsons Manager the Rye Heritage Centre says," We hope some of you may be interested in supporting/getting involved/helping organise/promoting a town wide event to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth 1st’s visit to Rye when she bestowed the title of Rye Royal on the Town.

The idea was first raised by Paul Goring, the Town Crier and our current joint ambitious thoughts are for a day ( 12th August) with the following suggested programme :

Starting at the foot of Conduit Hill (site of the Postern Gate where it is recorded the queen and her entourage entered the town) - a procession of re-enactors provided by Rye players accompanied by representatives of various organisations e.g. Ryebellion drummers, bonfire boys, scouts, cubs, guides, schools, sea cadets and anyone who fancies dressing up ! ( Elizabethan style) - continuing up to the High Street and then;

Along the High Street and the Mint to the Heritage Centre where a re-enactment of the presentation of bloaters from the fishing community would take place;

Continuing then on to Mermaid Street, pausing for a brief re-enactment of the arrival for luncheon of the Queen’s party at the Mermaid Inn;

On then to the Town Hall to re-enact the presentation of coin by the Mayor;

The final part of the day would end with an early evening event (with the help of Ian Bowden from Rye jazz Festival) of music, poetry readings, Elizabethan dance demonstrations etc. at St Mary’s Church ( a ticketed event to cover costs with any surplus providing funds for the Heritage Centre, Friends of St Mary’s, local food bank or other nominees)

Throughout the event, there could be musicians, jesters, and other performers recreating a medieval atmosphere accompanying the procession. A meeting has already been held between initial interested parties where there was a definite will to make this happen so if you’d like to join us, or just stay in touch with developments, please get in touch with “


Member 2 Member offers have landed!

We've just launched a new page on our website where you can find all our active member 2 member offers, and also submit your own!


Dates for your diary:

Cardboard Recycling - Every Thursday 5.15 - 5.45pm

As always please pack your cardboard as tightly as possible when you stack it in

the container.

Council Elections - May 4th

Don’t forget photo ID will be required!

Walkabout Wednesday - May 10th

Jane and Sarah will be out and about in town to chat and catch up with your news. If there’s anything you particularly want to catch up about – send us an email and we’ll make sure we drop in!

Chamber Meeting & Networking - June 14th

A summer BBQ with Live Music hosted by Little Gate Farm in Beckley. Get tickets now!


Check out our Spotlight issues this month and follow us on Instagram to watch their accompanying rapid-fire reels!

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