Suffolk Chamber announces inaugural Central Suffolk chair

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, the county’s leading business organisation, has achieved a key milestone in delivering improved business support and representation across the Babergh and Mid Suffolk areas of the county with the appointment of Dr. Peter Funnell, one of the county’s most experienced business leaders and a past president of Suffolk Chamber, as the inaugural chair of Suffolk Chamber in Central Suffolk.

Suffolk Chamber, the voice of business in the county, kicked off its initiative to establish a new subsidiary in central Suffolk earlier this year. It is designed to complement its root and branch approach to lobbying, representation and business support that is already reflected across east and west Suffolk.

As a grassroots member-led body, Suffolk Chamber is organised into a number of ‘branches’ that offer a localised or thematic focus. There are geographical branches in the west of the county: Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill & District, and Newmarket & District, and in the east: Lowestoft & Waveney and Greater Ipswich, plus three sectoral groups: Suffolk Chamber Business Women, Suffolk International Trade and the Suffolk Transport & Infrastructure Group.

Welcoming Peter’s appointment, Suffolk Chamber president Graham Abbey said: “We are delighted that Peter has accepted our invitation to become the founder chair of Suffolk Chamber in Central Suffolk.

“As President of the Suffolk Chamber between 2010 – 2014, Peter led a significant development of Chamber governance which has supported our sustainable growth in recent years. He will bring that experience, and his track record of success, most recently with his Central Suffolk-based consultancy Oakmere Solutions Ltd, to the role.”

Commenting on the appointment, Dr Peter Funnell said: “Suffolk Chamber has become a national leader in recent years. Suffolk’s diverse economy is well represented by the Chamber and its network, but more can be done to ensure that the views of businesses in the heart of our county are heard and actioned.

“A strong Central Suffolk voice will complement and add significant value to existing arrangements: an important development given current uncertainties.”

The next few months will see a local business board created and a manifesto crafted that will drive direction to its long term local campaigning and business support efforts, with this manifesto formally being launched towards the end of 2019.

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