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News and events

Various projects and events run and supported by Cherwell District Council contribute to the development of the local economy: please see below and also the downloads to the right hand side of this page for further details and information.

We believe great things happen when people work together.

Bicester is growing and as well as being a destination of choice to live it is a great place to do business. To support the growing economy we think dedicated co-working space would provide a place where great things will happen. Do you work on your own and would benefit from the buzz of a busy office; a place where home and mobile workers can share ideas and a sense of community? We believe great things happen when people work together, sharing ideas and solving problems. Let us know what you think through this short survey:

Banbury runner-up in Great British High Street awards 2016

Banbury was in the group of three finalists in the Town Centre category of Great British High Street competition 2016. Independent retailers in the town got behind a well-supported campaign and encouraged the public to vote for Banbury.  Although the town was not the overall category winner, losing out to Blackburn in Lancashire, Banbury seized the opportunity to showcase the independent retail offer and community spirit which gives the town a unique sense of place. Judge Deborah Owen-Ellis Clark, British Land's Head of Retail Marketing recognised the strength of the application, commenting "Although Banbury didn't win, they should be extremely proud of being finalists in this year's Great British High Street competition. We were very impressed with the work being done by Cherwell District Council and they deserve their runner's up prize and the knowledge that they're amongst the best high streets in Britain."

Banbury was also represented in the competition by the Artery, an independent art shop from  Banbury's Old Town which was selected as one of three finalists in the Twitter category of the competition, recognised for their creative use of Twitter to communicate with their customer base.

You Tube Videos from the Banbury Town Centre and Artery campaigns can be viewed here.

Job Fairs 2017

Local businesses looking to recruit staff are invited to attend the next Spring 2017 Job Fairs in Banbury and Bicester.

Banbury Job Fair will be on Thursday 2 March at Banbury Town Hall. Bridge Street, Banbury 4pm - 7pm  and Bicester Job Fair will be on Thursday 6 April 4pm - 7pm at Bicester Library, Franklins House, Wesley Lane, Bicester.

For more information and to book a free stand please email or call the Economic Growth Team on 01295 221863

Cherwell Business Awards 2017 launch

Businesses recently attended the launch of the 2017 Cherwell Business Awards to find out more about celebrating the achievements of employees and companies across the district.

On Tuesday, 1 November the launch took place at Norbar Torque Tools in Banbury for businesses and representatives to find out more about the annual event.  

The awards, which are entering their fifth year, are being supported by Cherwell District Council which has signed up to be the event's headline sponsor along with numerous other businesses who share the council's aim of encouraging further growth across the district.

Cllr Lynn Pratt, Cherwell's lead member for estates and the economy, said: "We are proud to be offering our support to the Cherwell Business Awards which have become a key date in the diaries of businesses across the district. We can never underestimate the importance of having a strong and thriving economy; by encouraging companies to invest in Cherwell we not only create the jobs but the business variety that makes the area a great place to live in and visit.

"Businesses would not survive without the people within them so these awards not only recognise the successes of companies but the employees behind the scenes who make that happen. Anyone who wants to know more about the awards, nomination process or categories should join us at the launch in November."

The launch event began with general networking and was followed by a welcome message from Neill Brodey, managing director of Norbar which also sponsors the event.

Last year's overall winner Michael Schofield from British Bakels Limited in Bicester discussed what impact winning the award has had upon him before the event closed with questions and answers.

The 2017 awards will take place at Heythrop Park on Friday, 5 May 2017 and will include 11 different award categories including the charity and community award, new business award and apprenticeship of the year.

Nominations are now open and can be made through the Cherwell Business award website at where you can also watch this short film about the launch

Support for Cherwell businesses 

Cherwell businesses are eligible for support from both the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

Services provided by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership include Oxfordshire Business Support, with free advice for starting and expanding businesses. They have specialist advisors for different employment sectors.

Services provided by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership include the Velocity Growth Hub with free one-to-one advice; business development grants of up to £50,000; and local workshops on key growth issues. For more details, download the Velocity leaflet on the right, or call the Velocity Helpline on 0300 4563565.

Potential new town trading partnership for Banbury

Cherwell has appointed advisors to investigate the possibility of creating a Business Improvement District (BID) in Banbury town centre. The move follows an appeal from local business leaders. Press release

In a Business Improvement District, businesses pool funds to back projects which stimulate their local high street. Advisors from Heartflood will soon begin investigating how popular the idea is with Banbury's business people; their support would be needed to establish a BID.

Cllr Lynn Pratt, Cherwell District Council's Lead Member for Estates and the Economy, said: "Our ambition is to make Banbury the best it can be for shoppers and businesses alike. A Business Improvement District is one way of boosting retail in the town centre.

"Cherwell is committed to investigating ways in which it can support the long-term growth and vitality of our town centres, so we are keen to gauge the community's response to the idea of establishing a Business Development District."

The move to commission the feasibility study was a response by Cherwell to a direct request from Banbury Chamber of Commerce. South-midlands-based company Heartflood won the contract following a competitive tendering process.

Heartflood's Chris Gregory said: "We are delighted to have been selected to carry out the feasibility study for Banbury and are looking forward to talking to as many town centre businesses as possible in the coming weeks to understand their thoughts and aspirations for the town."

The BID would be run as an independent legal entity by business people, who would decide how to spend the money levied from them. BIDs are empowered to support the local economy in ways that local authorities are not. Although local authorities collect BID levies along with existing business rates, legislation prevents BIDs from duplicating or replacing local authority services.

The feasibility study considered the activities a BID might undertake and how they would benefit Banbury. It ran from 20 June 2016 through to September 2016.

Heartflood's Chris Gregory is seeking the views of Banbury town centre businesses. Interested parties can contact him on 07854 027080 or

The very latest information, including a comprehensive Feasibility Study document, are available to view and download on the right-hand side of this page.

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