Celebrating Herts Limited

Lee Francis from Santander Corporate & Commercial and guests at St Albans Chamber Christmas Ball

Lee Francis from Santander Corporate & Commercial and guests at St Albans Chamber Christmas Ball - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire is a real powerhouse economy, according to Grant Thornton UK LLP. The firm unveiled their latest report on Hertfordshire Ltd, analysing the progress of Hertfordshire’s top independent companies, at a business breakfast in The Old Palace at Hatfield House.

Grant Thornton wanted to understand how the county is performing at a time when business confidence is certainly a lot higher than 12 months ago. They ran the data for the top 200 private companies in Hertfordshire and remain impressed by the dynamism of the business community. There continue to be encouraging trends in terms of employment growth and clear signs companies are investing in anticipation of the upturn.

The county is very well represented in property and construction and in the food, drink and leisure sector. The largest private companies within Hertfordshire are major business by comparison with neighbouring counties – with six companies having a turnover in excess of £500 million.

The very largest companies have experienced mixed fortunes. However, SMEs within the county continue to grow, a particularly positive sign as these represent the “engine room” of the economy. The creative industries are a source of excellence in the county, so it was particularly fitting that Dan Dark, MD of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden was the guest speaker. Dan gave a very interesting overview of the business in Leavesden and the history of the site, previously a factory making Rolls Royce Engines.

The overall picture for the county is that it is well placed for growth. We hope to work with Grant Thornton next year with regard to a similar report for St Albans.

Clydesdale Bank invited clients and business contacts along to their offices in Verulam Point last week for an audience with England Cricket Legend Alec Stewart. Alec is an ambassador for Clydesdale and so was keen to support the winning team in St Albans led by Chamber director, David Clarke.

Sopwell House Hotel impressed the Chamber members with a fantastic menu for our Chamber Ball on Saturday in the St Albans Suite.

Most Read

The event sponsors this year were 51 Pegasus Ltd and Santander Corporate & Commercial, and guests enjoyed a delicious and beautifully presented three-course dinner before dancing the night away to our favourite band The Slaves. The great and good of the business community all looked very glamorous and certainly know how to let their hair down!

Our Mayor Cllr Annie Brewster was in attendance with husband Paul Brewster, and she kindly thanked the Chamber for all the work we do

She told us that she thought St Albans is very lucky to have “the best Chamber of Commerce in the country” which of course we agree with!

Our President Peter Goodman thanked all of our event sponsors including Santander Corporate & Commercial, 51 Pegasus Ltd, Hertfordshire Hoteliers Association, Fourpoints Management, Chequers, Cerco Communications, My Mustard and Amthal Fire & Security.

Peter also thanked those companies and individuals donating raffle prizes in aid of Grove House Hospice: Mikaela Morgan Photography, InACityDeals, Rich Silverman @lifestyledeluxe, Sopwell House Hotel and Taylor Walton Solicitors.

We welcome the following new businesses to the Chamber this month: Assign IT, Ginny Harrison Legal Ltd, Anastasia’s Greek Restaurant, Rosemary Book Keeping, Solid People and Jaw Construction.