Peacehaven & District

Chamber of Commerce

A voice for business and networking at its best


Peacehaven & District Chamber of Commerce is a thriving modern membership organisation and is the responsible voice of business in the local area.

Run by business owners for business owners, the Chamber is the only organisation in Peacehaven, Telscombe Cliffs and East Saltdean committed to promoting the interests of the local business community. By joining the Chamber, your business voice is heard. Find out more.

Vineyard gets ready to sparkle

With Christmas on the horizon we welcome to the Breakfast Club on Tuesday, December 2, Richard James of Rathfinny Wine Estate in Alfriston.

The title of Richard’s fascinating and engaging presentation is Rathfinny Wine Estate – Arable to Sparkling Wine and he will describe what has been done and what is planned for the estate.

Richard, who is on the Rathfinny management team, has 15 years’ experience of working across the South Downs in conservation and land management. The majority of his time was spent with the South Downs National Park Authority and its predecessor organisations.

The background to the Rathfinny Estate is that in 2009 Mark Driver gave up his career in the City to pursue his dream of making sparkling wine in England of comparable quality and finesse to the great sparkling wines of the Champagne region.

He studied viticulture at Plumpton College. Mark and his wife Sarah purchased a 600-acre estate known as the Secret Valley near Alfriston and now known as the Rathfinny Farm.

The conversion from arable to vineyard started in 2012 and Rathfinny expects to produce its first bottles of sparkling wine in 2016, with some still wines now already available. Once finished, this will be one of Europe’s largest vineyards.

Check out Telscombe E-bulletin

Telscombe Town Council, a Chamber member, is now producing an online E-bulletin which offers businesses an opportunity to buy advertising space. Click here to see the latest issue.

Our Christmas drinks

The Chamber’s Christmas drinks evening will be at the Telscombe Tavern, Telscombe Cliffs, on Thursday, December 18, from 7pm.

Everyone is welcome to join us for a festive get-together. No need to book, just turn up. Bring your partner or a guest and come along and celebrate.

Policing in Sussex

Members may remember that Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, was a speaker at our Breakfast Club at the end of last year and she was keen to have feedback from Chambers of Commerce.

We have been asked by her office to canvass opinion about an increase in the police share of council tax for 2015-16. Here is your opportunity to have a say and influence the decision-making process. To complete the survey click here. The survey closes on January 9.

Christmas Gala invitation

Chamber members have been invited to join Newhaven Chamber for a festive evening with ‘bubbly’, music, dancing, a four-course traditional Christmas dinner or vegetarian option and great company. Entertainment will be provided by the Bratpack, Lewes-based kings of swing, who will serenade during dinner.

Afterwards there will be dancing to music from across the decades.

The event will be at Peacehaven Golf Club on Friday, December 12, from 7pm. Tickets are £35 each.

Contact the Chamber office on 01273 517544 or email to secure your place.

Lido pool will reopen next summer

Saltdean Lido is on course to reopen the main pool next June. It is hoped the pool will be open at weekends during term time and throughout the week in the summer holidays.

Rebecca Crook, director of the Lido Community Interest Company (CIC), a Chamber member, said £440,000 from the Government’s Social Investment Business was a big step towards restoring the art-deco site. The lido was built in 1937 but closed in 2010 after falling into disrepair.

Proposals for redevelopment include removing the pool divider to make one larger pool, installing underwater lights and building a paddling pool, volleyball court, sand pit and play area.

Portable cabins and temporary beach huts will serve as changing rooms while money is raised for the main building.

Ms Crook added: “Opening the pool and grounds to the public will massively help build momentum.

“We still have a significant way to go but the funding from SIB will kick start the major refurbishment works to the art-deco gem.”

There will be a pop up café, live music and theatre shows. It is estimated 300,000 people will use the lido next summer.

CIC has also applied for £4.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Work on the main building will include a gym, meeting rooms, a café/restaurant and a library.

MP welcomes Chamber to Westminster

Chamber members with Simon Kirby

Chamber members with Simon Kirby

Members of the Chamber were welcomed to Parliament by their MP.

At the invitation of Simon Kirby, they were taken on a guided tour of the Palace of Westminster which included the historic Great Hall, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The tour culminated in a 334-step climb to the top of one of the most iconic buildings in the country, the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the Big Ben clock bell.

Chamber vice-chairman Phil Merry said: “The tour was brilliant. To actually set foot inside both chambers and be at the heart of our government and then to be there when Big Ben struck midday, standing only five feet or so away from probably the most famous bell in the world, was truly inspirational.”

The tour finished with an hour and half in the company of Mr Kirby, who explained his work as an MP at Westminster and in his Kemptown and Peacehaven constituency. He fielded a variety of questions from Chamber members covering topics as diverse as the possible improvement of the A27, immigration, proposals to microchip all dogs, the National Health Service and the national debt.

Mr Merry concluded: “I’d like to thank Simon and his office for making the arrangements for our visit which gave us all the opportunity to get a better understanding of how our government works and a greater insight into the work which Simon does for our community.”

Mr Kirby said: “It was great to welcome the members of the Peacehaven Chamber to Parliament and I am pleased that they found the tour interesting.  I would like to thank them for their informed, intelligent, questions on a range of issues. I really enjoyed our discussion.”

The Shed opens!

Open for business Picture by Aniseed Photography

Open for business. Picture by Aniseed Photography

The Flower Shed now officially has a shed.

The grand opening was performed by the mayor of Telscombe, Wayne Botting.

The Shed, a converted garage, is at the home of The Flower Shed’s owners, Sheila and Peter Knight, at 7 Ambleside Avenue, Telscombe Cliffs, and will be open every Friday from 8am to 8pm.

Peter said: “We’re delighted to finally have a permanent base to trade from. We can be seen around the town at various markets and events and, of course, customers can find us on the internet. Each Friday we will have a good selection of fresh flowers, gifts, accessories and quirky gardening items available for sale.”

The Flower Shed started trading in June 2011 and has enjoyed steady growth and recognition in the local community since then. It has also been a member of the Chamber since it was formed.

Find out more at or call 01273 434143.

A27 campaign – take the survey

Peacehaven Chamber is a member of ACES — Alliance of Chambers of East Sussex — which is campaigning for improvements to the A27. Please add your voice by taking its survey.

The A27 from Polegate to Lewes has successfully reached Stage 2 of the Department for Transport’s Strategic Routes Review. Have a look at the ACES blog for more information from Cllr Caroline Ansell.

ACES is urging as many people as possible to complete the short survey. There have been 872 responses so far but ACES wants more voices from greater East Sussex. Access the survey at

Hotel VAT

ACES is also campaigning on the subject of VAT paid by hotels. Many East Sussex Chamber members are hotels and guest houses and their success plays a huge part in the success of the coastal and rural economy of East Sussex.

In Europe hotels receive VAT concessions which means their VAT ranges between five per cent and ten per cent while our hotels are on the full rate of 20 per cent. ACES is now lobbying the Minister for Tourism, Helen Grant, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to reduce this VAT.  

Peacehaven are Sussex champions

Shaun Saunders was full of praise for his Peacehaven & Telscombe side after watching them lift the Sussex Senior Cup for the first time in their history against Bognor Regis Town at the Amex Stadium in front of more than 2,000 fans.

The club, who are Chamber members, had made only two previous final appearances, the first a 1-0 defeat by Bognor in 1982 and in 1994 when they lost by the same score to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Tom Lawley gave Peacehaven, who are also the Ryman South League champions, the lead in a closely fought first half before man of the match Tom Burton doubled the lead on the hour. Josh Jones then went on to score a great solo goal in stoppage time to complete a remarkable season for a side who have risen through the depths of the Sussex County League and now into the Ryman Premier League in the last decade.

To view the highlights of the game go to

Find out more and how you can get involved with the club at

We are the champions! Peacehaven celebrate a cup and league double

We are the champions! Peacehaven celebrate a cup and league double

“We have made great contacts and found that Chamber membership has become a great support to our business.
We would urge local businesses to sign up and get involved.”