NFBP fuels economic growth in the New Forest by advancing relations between local business and local government and improving business-to-business relationships.
NFBP does this through the three main aspects of our activity:
• Delivery of the New Forest Economic Development Strategy
• Events and Activities to support local businesses
• Partnership with public authorities and organisations in the New Forest
Key timelines and targets along with actions and responsibilities are agreed by the Chairman and Steering Group before being presented to the Board. These priorities and this strategy document are reviewed and updated at every Board meeting.
There is a close relationship between NFBP and:
• New Forest District Council
• New Forest National Park Authority
• Hampshire County Council
• Go New Forest
Each of these partners is represented on the Board by a member and an officer. NFDC resources our administration and communications and supports our events.
There is strong representation of key sectors, issues and settlements in the New Forest on
the Board. There is a match between the physical makeup of the district, the wide range of
business activity throughout the New Forest and the functions of NFBP, so that NFBP is
truly representative and relevant to all New Forest businesses.
Each Board member leads on at least one sector or settlement and raises issues and
concerns at Board meetings. Whilst it is impossible for all sectors and settlements to be
represented in such a diverse location, currently the following areas are represented:
• Education, Skills & Apprenticeships
• Energy & Renewables
• Environment & Rural Economy
• Financial Services
• Food & Drink
• Housing, Planning & Development
• Legal Services
• Marketing & Creative
• Tourism & Visitor Economy
• Central (Beaulieu, Brockenhurst & Burley)
• East (Waterside)
• North (Lyndhurst)
• North West (Ringwood & Fordingbridge)
• South (Lymington & Milford on Sea)
• South West (New Milton)
• Chairman – Matthew Lawson
• Vice Chairman – Rob Dewing
• Administration & Events – Becky Denby
• Membership – Matthew Lawson
• Website – Rob Dewing
• NFDC Liaison – Bob Jackson & Matt Callaghan
Events & Activities
Access to a comprehensive range of events, support, training and networking is the most
important membership benefit. In addition to fortnightly business briefings, NFBP organises the annual Brilliance in Business Awards and the New Forest Local Business Village at the New Forest Show.
Campaigning on economic issues
Individual businesses find it difficult to lobby on economic and infrastructure matters that
affect both them and the wider business community. A key membership benefit is that NFBP is not only the mouthpiece that highlights the big issues such as skills, broadband, transport and planning but is also the motivator of solutions and positive change for member businesses and the New Forest economy. It is a crucial feature in NFBP’s ability to speak on behalf of all New Forest businesses and deliver local economic development. Board meetings include a detailed presentation and extensive discussion of key issues.
There is an ongoing campaign to grow our membership. This includes the communication
of member benefits with a clear “What’s in it for me?” message for all New Forest
businesses. All Board members play a role in recruiting members, supporting members
and retaining members.
NFBP communicates regularly with the 9000 businesses in the New Forest via regular press releases, print and social media advertising, the weekly e-news, and the website.
NFBP encourages businesses to promote themselves through our communications,
including news, event information and product launches. Every business in the New Forest is a source of interesting articles, previews and news, which ensures that there is something of value in the weekly e-news for every business and creates a rich seam of content for the website, which reflects well on NFBP and the New Forest economy.
The use of social media to promote NFBP and the local economic development strategy is
particularly important and NFBP’s Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn page is updated regularly with relevant and stimulating content as well as advertising events.
Throughout 2018, a communications review took place looking at all NFBP
communications – including key messages and aims as well as our social media output and a refresh of the website and weekly e-news.
New Forest businesses are invited to showcase their successes or services by presenting at business briefings or other events and activities. Members with suitable venues host events, enabling them to promote their own business.
NFBP events and activities are offered to members on an ‘at cost’ basis, with an uplift for
non-members to encourage membership. Finances are managed by a NFDC officer, who
reports to the Steering Group.