Grantham businessman Andrew Hodgson is the new chairman of town’s business club

Andrew Hodgson is the new chairman of Grantham Business Club.
Andrew Hodgson is the new chairman of Grantham Business Club.
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The new chairman of Grantham Business Club took up his post this week.

Andrew Hodgson, who runs Hodgson Wealth Management in Avenue Road, Grantham, will steer the club for the next year with the support of a newly formed committee.

Mr Hodgson told the Journal he wants to build upon the good work that the club has been doing over the years and attract more businesses, and a greater variety. His wife Sue, who runs Flowers from Holland, in St Catherine’s Road, has become vice-chairman of the business club.

With the formation of the committee this week, Mr Hodgson says there is a great deal of enthusiasm for taking the club forward.

He said: “The enthusiasm from people to form the committee was really very strong.

“We have got to make the club appeal to everybody. It cannot just be a shopkeepers’ club or solicitors’ club. The town is not big enough. People need to come to these meetings knowing they will go away with something that they can take back to their business and improve it.”

Mr Hodgson hopes the business club will be able to meet every month instead of every two months. He says it is important that members can go to meetings knowing that they will leave with something of value but also having had some fun.

He said the three important factors to be gained from meetings are lobbying, learning and linking up.

Last year an attempt to launch a Business Improvement District (BID) in Grantham narrowly failed. If successful this would have meant most businesses in the town making a contribution which would be used to benefit the town.

Mr Hodgson says another look at a BID or similar scheme in the future is not unlikely. “I think we have to let the dust settle. But if there is an appetite for it in the future then we can revisit it.

“I was disappointed it did not succeed.”

Mr Hodgson says that local business can hopefully take advantage of some big changes in the town over the coming years with thousands of houses due to be built, a new cinema and plans for a designer shopping village.

Mr Hodgson said: “I want to appeal to every business no matter who they are because we all face the same challenges. We will put on a programme of bi-monthly events based around lobbying, learning and linking upso everyone has the opportunity to get something from it.”

He added: “These are exciting times for Grantham. There is a lot going on with the cinema, the planned shopping village, the garden village and the bypass. These all present a massive opportunity to the town and we have got to find a way to make sure all these extra people come into the town and don’t get on to the bypass to go to Stamford or Newark.”

n For more details on Grantham Business Club go to {http://www.granthambusinessclub.co.uk|www.granthambusinessclub.co.uk