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Newark Business Club September meeting report

Posted onPosted on 8th Sep

Kerri McGarrigle, chairman of Newark Business Club, opened its September virtual meeting from a home of the future by Gusto Homes.

Seasoned Insights & Solutions sponsored the meeting and director, Ant Durrant, ran through a case study of a business he helped in the past couple of years.

The long-established family business had a good reputation but found sales declining, so Ant mapped out the journey Seasoned Insights & Solutions took the business on.

He reviewed the customer base and categorised each one into one of three groups. They analysed competitors, reviewed customer engagement, developed their social media strategy, streamlined the services offered, developed the brand, innovated with Covid-19 related products and an online shop. Now the business is continuing to grow.

Following the first break out room, Andrew Pettit, headteacher of The Suthers School, introduced members to Newark’s newest secondary school. The school has been running from a temporary site since 2017 and moved into its new building in the past month on Fernwood Business Park.

The school’s mission is to: ‘Empower our young people to be compassionate, self-respecting, independent thinkers with the academic, social and character strengths necessary to thrive in modern society.’

Helen Wroe invited Newark businesses to engage with The Suthers School and help students develop real world experiences. For further information you can contact Helen on email

Guest speaker Colin Bentwood, from Strategic Development Network, continued the education theme, talking about the new T-Levels that are being launched.

T-Levels are a two-year technical programme where a student spends 80% of time in the classroom and 20% of time on an industry placement. The first three courses are just starting in construction, digital production, and childcare. Further courses are planned for the coming years in different sectors.

Industry placements are time (around 45 days per year) spent by a 16-19 year old student, learning and working in an organisation. Unlike an apprenticeship, there is no charge to the employer and payment to the student is optional.

There are great benefits for the employer and if you wish to find out more about how it could benefit you, contact Colin on email

Coun David Lloyd, of Newark and Sherwood District Council, highlighted the upcoming ‘Supporting Businesses in Newark & Sherwood’ event and updating members on the Towns Investment Plan.

Neil Cuttell briefly spoke to state that he is working with Jill Brown, from Totally Locally, on a campaign for the town centre and measuring the footfall of Newark Town centre.

The next meeting is on 2nd October.