BUSINESSES in Whitchurch kicked off a new era of co-operation this month with an evening of networking.

The newly relaunched Whitchurch Business Group met in the grounds of Dodington Lodge on Wednesday, June 30 for an 'enthusiastic' evening.

The group is a rebrand of the former Whitchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce and has renewed its efforts to work with the town's businesses as well as the town council.

Hilary Seward, from Whitchurch Business Group, said the event was a success and allowed business owners – old and new – to get to know one another.

She said: "Whitchurch Business Group met last night at the Dodington Lodge Hotel and enjoyed a beautiful summer's evening of networking in the large garden.

"The atmosphere was full of energy and enthusiasm to drive the businesses of Whitchurch forwards together after what has been a very challenging time for many.

"At the heart of the group is the desire to make friends with fellow business owners and operators in and around Whitchurch, to have fun and socialise while benefitting their businesses and building lasting relationships.

"There was a brilliant mixture of older established businesses and the newly open retailers some of whom only moved to Whitchurch during the pandemic.

"Molli Ball came to represent Victoria Garage as the fourth generation of the family in the business, who incidentally also won one of the prizes in the draw.

"She also donated a free valet, which was won by Emma Griffiths at The 1:1 Diet.

"Newer business were represented by Rob Chapman from IMeditate offering Hypnotherapy and Meditation and Maria MacNae from Refill Your Boots to name but two.

"The diversity of businesses was absolutely amazing.

"The new council was represented by Andy Hall, Gregory Ebbs and Peter Lea.

"We all agreed the way forwards for Whitchurch is to be positive and work together for the benefit of Whitchurch."

The next meeting is at 6pm on Wednesday, July 14 at The Dodington Lodge.

New member enquiries should email or find the group on Facebook.