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Press Release - Alderney Economic Summit

Media Release
Date: 3rd May 2024

Business community and Economic Development Committee discuss key strategies for Alderney

Alderney's Economic Development Committee (EDC) and the Chamber of Commerce combined forces on May 1st to begin formulating an Economic Development Strategy.

Attended by around 30 business owners and operators alongside States Members and Chamber officials, the joint workshop meeting discussed issues ranging from Island marketing and promotion to housing and commercial taxation before agreeing to continue the co-operation on a regular basis.

The Chamber of Commerce was represented by its President Andrew Eggleston and Council Member Nicky Burland. Businesses represented included Chamber members and non-members, with five States of Alderney elected Members in attendance.

Both Chamber and EDC have already collaborated with the Island's hospitality sector and have now stimulated further planning in the business and commerce sector. Among the topics discussed were:

•Creating a separate Locate Alderney website in addition to the Visit Alderney website to encourage digital entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals and corporate businesses seeking back-office provision to the Island.

•Developing a robust marketing campaign emphasising the benefits of Alderney as an appealing place to live and work in a tax-benign jurisdiction.•Seeking solutions to Alderney's ageing demographic by attracting more economically active people of working age and young families who will contribute to the Island's school, skills base, economy and community.

•Resolving the housing needs of an incoming workforce by freeing up more suitable housing through flexibility of property tax, making use of empty properties,
achieving more housing for rent, disincentivising empty second homes, and adjusting the law to permit mortgages to be raised on leasehold flats and apartrmnents.

•Working with the school and the States of Guernsey to continue advancing education on the Island to attract more young families to Alderney.

•Seeking ways of making Victoria Street more appealing to visitors and residents, including improved traffic management, and consideration of various pedestrianisation proposals.
Examples of how the co-operation is already working included two Chamber initiatives - drive-time commercial radio advertisements promoting Alderney in Guernsey and the successful arrangement with a qualified gas fitter in the UK to fill a much-needed gap for the Island's hospitality sector.

EDC Member Derwent Smithurst, who chaired the meeting, said: "It was a pleasure to welcome the business sector and listen to their ideas and expectations. The mood was to maintain this spirit of co-operation and take forward the issues raised to the benefit of Island."

Andrew Eggleston, President of the Chamber of Commerce, said: "I was pleased to see a full Anne French Room for the first joint Chamber/States business workshop. The relationship between the States and the Chamber continues in a pro-active way which is such a positive avenue to continue down. "It was satisfying to see all points on the agenda being discussed in a manner that showed we are all working together for the prime purpose of bettering our Island. I trust that this was the first of what will become regular meetings between our two bodies whether as an open forum discussion or on a one-to-one basis."

Minutes of the meeting will be made available to those who attended in the next few weeks.