Economic Development Team's events

Find out about events organised by our Economic Development Team that aim to help local businesses thrive.

Past business events

Economic briefing and Council Tax consultation with business for 2019-2020 event

On Thursday 17 January we hosted an economic briefing for local businesses at the Guildford Harbour Hotel.

The meeting included our budget for 2019-2020 and a Council Tax consultation with business.

Representatives from local businesses and business support organisations were invited to attend.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Claire Morris, Director of Finance, Guildford Borough Council: 'Guildford Borough Council's budget for 2019-2020 and Council Tax consultation with business.'

  • Tim Metson, Coverwood Lakes, Gardens and Farm: 'How to build a successful business in a rural environment.'

  • Mark Berrisford-Smith, Head of Economics for HSBC UK: 'The outlook for the economy and financial markets for 2019.'

Celebrating Guildford's Gaming Industry

We hosted a free breakfast event on Wednesday 13 June at Surrey Sports Park, which was open to all businesses based in the Guildford area.

Guildford is one of the UK's most important hubs for the video games industry, with over 60 companies based in the borough. This conference brought together the leading lights in the sector to explain both current successes and future opportunities.

Speakers at the event included: 

  • James Brooksby - CEO Edge Case Games

"What is the Games Industry?"

Edge Case Games are leading innovators in space combat games. This Guildford based company is currently developing its latest game, Fractured Space.

  • John Collomosse - Reader, Associate Professor and co-founder of G3, University of Surrey

"G3: Galvanising Guildford Games - How the University of Surrey is supporting the games sector through innovation, business engagement, and wider technology applications in the economy"

  • Peter Molyneux OBE - Founder 22 Cans

"The future of the video games industry - opportunities and challenges"

Peter is an industry legend and creator of the God Game genre. 22 Cans is an independent company, passionate about creating the next generation of innovative digital entertainment.

European Union. European Regional Development Fund


Local businesses attend economic briefing by our Economic Development Team 

Over fifty local businesses attended an economic briefing for business at our Millmead offices on Thursday 11 January. The briefing also included the Council Tax consultation for business for 2018-19.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of Guildford Borough Council, opened the event with a summary of Guildford's economic performance, including the fact that the borough's economy is now worth well over £5bn per annum. He highlighted to the attendees that the ICT, digital, gaming and professional services sectors were driving  economic growth. The borough's many start-up businesses are more likely to survive, and grow faster, than in competitor economies. Cllr Spooner also reported that the retail and tourism sectors are also performing well, frequently bucking regional and national trends.

Claire Morris, Head of Financial Services for the Council, presented details of our budget for 2018-19. Her presentation highlighted the strength of the borough's balance sheet and the need for the Council to become effectively self-funding with no future government revenue support. Claire described a number of strategic projects, including Guildford West Station and the Sustainable Transport Corridor between the university and the town centre, which are expected to have a positive impact on congestion and mobility.

Also in attendance was Bill Biddell, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Surrey. He highlighted the benefits of securing a Queen's Award for Enterprise. He showcased a number of Surrey companies that have won an award, and the marked impact this has had on their sales and export performance. Bill explained that categories covered by the awards are international trade, innovation and sustainable development. Companies interested in the Queen's Awards for Enterprise have until September 2018 to apply for the next round. Details of the awards can be seen on the Queen's Awards for Enterprise page of the GOV.UK website.

Rhys Herbert, Senior Economist from Lloyds Commercial Banking, presented a cautiously optimistic overview of the domestic and international economic outlook, adding historical context and looking forward to the challenges ahead for business in 2018 and beyond. He described a mixed picture of economic optimism balanced by uncertainties over Brexit, skills and gradually rising interest rates.

Cllr David Bilbe commented "We as a Council are very focused on our business community in Guildford. Meetings like this give us a great opportunity to express all the work done by the Economic Development team for the borough and to hear views from the companies that attend. We anticipate organising more business briefings this year."

To find out about other events of interest to local businesses, email or call the business team on 01483 444313 for more information.

Breakfast briefing event 2018

Photo, from left to right: Bill Biddell, Cllr Paul Spooner and Rhys Herbert.


Business Growth Event

Successful entrepreneurs Jerry Horwood, Ian James and Shad Bernard shared their expert knowledge of managing an organisation's growth at our Business Growth Event on Thursday 9 November, which was held in The Guildhall, Guildford.

The event was aimed at companies that have been trading for 12 to 18 months and are ready for the next stage of growth.

Our speakers discussed the risks involved, as well as the opportunities for development and growth.

The presentations included:

  • Managing growth to sustain your business by Jerry Horwood from Enterprise First.

  • The benefits of business incubation by Ian James from The Set Squared Partnership.

  • Shad Bernard of Prospect Networks on the growth and development of his business.

European Union logo

Procurement/Meet the Buyer Event at Surrey Business Expo

Over 70 business delegates attended a free procurement event at Surrey Business Expo, Surrey Sports Park on Wednesday 14 June 2017.

Organised by the Council, in conjunction with the University of Surrey, the networking breakfast looked at best practice bidding and procurement opportunities in relation to the two organisations.

Discussions recognised that increasing the amount of procurement into the local supply chains is part of the Government's industrial strategy, and both organisations have significant purchasing power.

Leader of the Council, Paul Spooner, launched the event and presentations were given by Steve White, Director of Resources; Nathaniel Burrows, Procurement Officer; and Colin Davies, Director of Procurement at the University of Surrey.

Guildford Borough Council and the University of Surrey join forces to talk procurement

Pictured above, from left to right, Nathaniel Burrows (Procurement Officer), Steve White (Director of Resources), Cllr Paul Spooner (Leader of Guildford Borough Council), Colin Davies (Director of Procurement at the University of Surrey), Cllr David Bilbe (Lead Cllr for Economic Development and Tourism).