Didcot Chamber of Commerce was first established in the 1930s, according to the names on the Presidents Chain. This chain of office was first worn in 1937 by Basil Bradley (Bradleys Jewellers – no longer trading) and currently worn by Glyn Hall of CFL.
The Chamber was originally a 'Chamber of Trade' – a body set up to support the high street businesses in a town. However, the changing face of business has seen a changed Chamber membership and the traditional support for business to public trading saw a decline and a new way of working as businesses needed to connect to other businesses – often referred to B2B.
Latterly we have managed to achieve a better balance and have business members who want to conduct B2B deals as well as those whose businesses are directly supplying or serving the public.
Didcot Chamber of Commerce is built on a strong foundation. The way business is conducted in the modern world is profoundly different to that of yesteryear but Didcot Chamber still upholds traditional values and continues to support local businesses as they strive to thrive in tough economic times.
Once upon a time, Didcot consisted of mainly one long shopping street – namely The Broadway.
In recent years we have seen huge growth in and around the town. The Orchard Centre has been developed, and now plans for a second phase are well underway. This has caused shoppers and consumers to concentrate their purchasing in the chain stores rather than the independents – a case championed nationally by Mary Portas the Tsar of the High Street!
Science industries have grown up around the area – The former laboratories of Harwell and Rutherford now form part of 'Science Vale UK' – a major science growth area extending from Harwell Oxford to Culham Science Centre and taking in Wantage/Grove and Didcot towns including the Milton Park Estate.
The influx of the scientific industries brings a wealth of benefits to the area – employment opportunities, additional consumers, skills and B2B opportunities.
Of course, an influx of any sort is not without problems (as can be seen by traffic congestion on our roads!) but where there are problems there are also solutions and business opportunities. At Didcot Chamber of Commerce we believe in grasping those opportunities and turning them to our advantage.