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Have your say on the South Western Railway timetable consultation

17th November 2017

Timetable Consultation

A consultation by South Western Railways opened on 29th September 2017 and will close on 22nd December 2017.

South Western Railway will be making some major changes to train services in the December 2018 timetable. The proposals have been developed with extensive input from customers and stakeholders; who asked for added peak capacity and faster services, earlier and later trains and more Sunday services. These are just some of the benefits you will see when the timetable begins on 9th December 2018.

Provide your own feedback here.




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New Amazon Development Centre

17th November 2017

Amazon has reiterated its commitment to the UK by opening a new so-called Development Centre in the heart of Cambridge – three storeys of premium office space housing 400 employees dedicated to research for products from Amazon’s AI-assistant Alexa to the brave new field of Prime Air drone deliveries.

The new development joins Amazon’s original Castle Park building in Cambridge to house an interdisciplinary team of engineers, scientists and researchers – dubbed Amazon Research Cambridge – dedicated to “pure innovation”, according to Amazon’s UK boss, Doug Gurr.

Full article here.

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Jobs From Gumtree

17th November 2017


The UK’s largest online classifieds platform has launched its new jobs portal in a bid to provide a more sophisticated service and better suit applicants with employers.

While Gumtree’s existing jobs platform has been a popular resource, feedback from recruiters has shown that many are overwhelmed by large amounts of unsuitable candidates.

Another flaw for potential employers was Gumtree’s time-based listings model which meant that job-seekers were not always seeing the true breadth of opportunities available as more prominent roles could be bumped up the list.

Find our more about the new app here 

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Do you have a domestic abuse policy?

17th November 2017

As the Government considers a possible domestic abuse bill in the Spring it is important for businesses to consider their own policies on this to support their staff should they be suffering at home.

Surrey Against Domestic Abuse is an organisation which is happy to work with businesses to help write this and to educate them to know what signs to look out for.

For more information please contact North Surrey Outreach and they will be happy to help.


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Do you have carers working for you?

17th November 2017

Juggling work with a career can be extremely challenging. Making a commitment to support the well being and health of your staff who do this is a key responsibility as an employer. The ideal objective is to encourage a culture where staff carers feel free to disclose their status in a safe environment and have opportunities to access support to help them to achieve a work life balance which will not negatively impact on their future career opportunities.

Surrey County Council has teamed up with Carers UK to give carers in our area access to a wide range of digital tools and essential resources that may make their caring situation easier.

These can be accessed at by entering the access code DGTL3562.

Carers UK are also offering free membership to SMEs of their “Employers for Carers Services.” This provides support for employers who wish to help their staff carers.

For more information please contact Maria Lewis, SCC Carers Development Officer,


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Collaborating with the University of Surrey

16th November 2017

The University of Surrey, a major driver of innovation, is actively seeking businesses to partner with. Collaborating with the University offers businesses the opportunity to develop new technologies and processes, or to gain critical insights into business challenges. We are proud of our strong partnerships with companies of all sizes; from spin-outs and start-ups; growing SMEs; charities and public sector organisations; to well-known global brands. We are experienced in engaging with businesses in numerous ways including Innovate UK funding, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Consultancy, student projects and placements, to name a few.

If you are interested in exploring potential opportunities to work with the University of Surrey, contact our Business Development Team who will be happy to discuss your specific business needs and, drawing on the expertise of our world-class academics and research facilities, help create novel solutions.



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How is the UK Classified?

15th November 2017

For the past few decades, satellites have been taking high definition pictures of the United Kingdom from space. The images are analysed and compared to detailed maps.

Every small area is then given one of dozens of different classifications – from airports to vineyards, glaciers to rubbish dumps.

The work is part of an EU project keeping an eye on changing land use. Is urban sprawl eating into our precious green landscape? Are forests being felled? Are grasslands and wetlands under threat?

Now, using this data treasure trove, we can get a clearer picture of what every corner of the United Kingdom really looks like.

And the results may come as a surprise.

More here

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Starting an Online Business

15th November 2017

Consumer habits have changed dramatically. By 2020, some experts predict that 90% of transactions will take place online or be internet-influenced

Many businesses have long used their websites to generate additional revenue, yet in recent years there has also been significant growth in businesses that start up exclusively online, which can involve less risk, cost and effort.

Creating an online business

As with any small business, the first steps to starting to trade online involves conducting market research to identify your target market, assess demand, competition and reaction to your prices from potential customers. You also need to produce a business plan.

If sales are likely to exceed the annual threshold (£85,000 in 2017/18), you must become VAT-registered. You’ll also need to pay tax, in accordance with your status as a sole trader, limited company, etc. Online traders must also observe data protection legislation, of course, when storing important information about customers.

Marketing will largely determine your business website’s success and search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial to this. Basically, it means using words on your website that ensure high placing in lists on search engine (eg Google) results pages. You could also use paid-for advertising services such as Google Adwords, for which you’re charged on a pay-per-click basis.

Getting your site up and running

You must decide whether to create your own business website or get someone else to do it for you. Doing it yourself can save money, but the results might not be great. Another option is to use one of the many online marketplaces to sell your goods such as Amazon, ebay, notonthehighstreet and etsy. These online platforms can allow you to bring your goods to, and test, the market for your goods before committing to a fully-fledged ecommerce site.

If you decide that setting up your own online shop is the way forward, there are many ready-made online solutions that allow people with little experience to create their own website.


More here

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Two in Three UK Small Businesses Have Plans to Grow

15th November 2017

UK small businesses need to build partnerships in order to achieve their growth ambitions, according to a new report.

Pivoting your Products, a new study conducted by Enterprise Nation for RB, has found that 78% of UK businesses plan to scale and grow – both domestically and internationally – over the next two years; and 63% of British companies are “confident” or ‘”very confident” about developing a new purpose for their product or expanding it to a new audience segment.

However, significant barriers are stopping business owners from moving forward. Nearly half (41%) say they can’t find the right partner. There are also concerns over lack of expertise (25%), knowledge of how to market to a new audience (23%) and understanding of process (21%).

The findings show that UK businesses are looking for support to expand, with 66% saying they would partner with a multinational organisation to scale their business or take it in a new direction. UK SMEs with growth plans are looking for partners that can inject market expertise (43%), marketing and PR (36%) and product development (19%) as well as direct funding (57%).

However, while small business owners often consult peers (52%), online business networks (50%) and friends and family (44%), only 4% say they have approached large corporates.

More here

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