September 2021 Meeting Shorts

Chairman, Kevin Guthrie, welcomed members to the September NBC breakfast meeting after ten months of on-line meetings. And as you might have expected the Everyday Champions Centre was buzzing with enthusiasm.

Back, Face To Face, by popular demand

First up to take the stage, Kerry Lacey of Lace Boutique and Laura Cook of Kingsman Interiors (pictured above). Kerry and Laura are two of Newark’s independent retailers behind #ShopNewark and they came to the club ahead of Newark Open Day on Saturday 4th September.

Newark has a very wide network of independent retailers but they are only as good as the customers that support them. The retailers are offering discounts during the day for customers that take to the streets and there is even a competition to enter on Facebook worth over £500.

Let’s all get behind out local businesses and #ShopNewark.

Our round table networking gave members a chance to see and meet some new faces and during the break, Cox Events was back serving fresh breakfast pastries, fruit pots and bacon cobs for our hungry members.

Future prospects are good…

After the break, this month’s sponsor, Simon Gabbitas of Future Prospects Group, shared their story.

Simon’s wife, Katie, started Future Prospects Group she opted for a more modern approach to recruitment, moving away from the more traditional high street approach to offer a tech based service whilst still retaining that personal touch.

Their business, based in Balderton Hall, has developed over the years to offer staff training and HR services in addition to the recruitment. The training, which can be remote or classroom based, has recently gone through a rebranding and Purple Path has been launched.

For information on recruitment or training for your business, contact

Before leaving the stage, Simon picked out two business cards from the pots. The new member, Caroline Evans, Industry Placement Co-ordinator at Lincoln College and Aliki Allen from BeanBlock Café.


Business issues of the day…

Next up was Michael Hardy, Chairman of the Action Group. The Action Group meets on the 4th Monday of the month and tackles the issues that may affect businesses in Newark and the surrounding area. They are particularly looking for experts to support in the planning and road industries.

The recent focus has been on the rail network and specifically the emergency timetable on the Lincoln to Nottingham line. There have also been consultations on the East Coast timetable and Northgate station ticket office hours. Both of these could have big impacts for Newark businesses. If you wish to provide feedback on the proposed Northgate station ticket office hours please email before 13th September.

Another project the Action Group are working on is the Net Zero Carbon group. The group meets to discuss ways to reduce a business’s carbon footprint with the goal of becoming a net zero carbon business. Their next meeting is 13th September at 6pm.

Newark & Sherwood DC have a pot of money to be spent delivering a Business Resilience and Growth programme across 4 sectors; retail and food & beverage, accommodation, health & social care and construction & manufacturing. All participants are eligible for a grant up to £2,000 to support recovery and growth.

For more details visit

For more information about the Action Group, email

Newark Town Investment plan

Our final speaker was Matt Lamb from Newark & Sherwood DC who was updating the members on the progress of the Newark Town Investment Plan. The various schemes are currently outlining the business case for the projects ahead of the investment decision point in spring 2022.

One of the first projects to be completed is the new plumbing & gas fitting training centre on Magnus street for the construction college.

Newark lorry park and the old cattle market site will be the new IASTI site and plans should be being submitted in October. Phase II of the site will see the gateway site become a smart innovation, supply chain and logistics enterprise zone.

The YMCA community and activity village continues to make progress and is on course to be open in spring 2022.

32 Stodman Street (the old M&S building) should have plans submitted in October to turn that into a mixed use site with commercial units on the ground floor and residential units on the upper floors.

The Economic Growth Conference takes place on 15th October and you can book a ticket here

The Newark Future First Expo takes place on 3rd November and contact for details.

Kevin finished the meeting to thank all those that attended. Our next meeting will be on Friday 1st October again back in the Everyday Champions Centre and a reminder that first time visitors can attend for free.

Spotlight on Bean Block Cafe

Located in St Marks Place, BeanBlock is Newark’s first Family Hub. A place that is perfect for the whole family with imaginative play opportunities, a very child friendly menu, great coffee, delicious cake, nutritious food and sharing platters.

BeanBlock was founded by Aliki Allen and Cate Martin, both mothers of young children, after frustrations of not being able to find a suitable place in Newark to dine with their children. A place truly “Designed by parents, for parents”.

A function room upstairs offers a variety of family classes such as baby massage, music and dance classes, children’s yoga, messy play sessions, adult exercise classes and much more.

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am till 5pm, with Sundays dedicated to exclusive use events such as children’s parties, christening celebrations and baby showers.

School holidays are party time for all at BeanBlock with special guests such as Queen Elsa, Spiderman, Minnie and Mickey and lots of other characters attending the themed parties to dance and play with all the little customers. Next big event is Halloween with a friendly witch visiting, tickets for all events can be purchased at

What makes BeanBlock even better is that it is a not for profit organisation with profits going back to support family projects in the community. To date BeanBlock has provided meals to 162 families in need over lockdown and frequently provide free places to parties and classes to families in need or isolated from the community.

BeanBlock has also been helped by the community it operates in, with a number of local businesses sponsoring the cafe.

Next Meeting

Kevin signed off to say that we are hoping to be back in the Everyday Champions Centre fn Friday 1st October and encouraged members to pre-book to avoid crowds at the door.


For sponsorship opportunities, contact