Business South is proud to be doing its bit to support the hospitality sector across the Central South.

At a meeting held during the last Local Produce Trade Show back in September 2021, we gathered some of the major names in the sector around the table to see what could be done to support hospitality businesses as they came to terms with the pandemic.

We had input via in-depth video content from Kate Nicholls, who heads up UK Hospitality, and joining us around the table was Andrew Stembridge, Executive Director at Iconic Luxury Hotels, Nathan Chart, Chairman of Southampton Hoteliers Association and GM at New Place Hotel, Oliver Weekes, MD at Ideal Collection, Gillian Saieva, Director of Executive Education at the University of Southampton to name but a few.

And the outcome was the decision to set-up a Hospitality Working Group aimed at helping to raise perceptions of the industry and promote the diverse hospitality offer across the Central South.

At the working group meeting this month, we were joined by Jim Cathcart, Policy Director for UK Hospitality who told us about their current campaigns and how we can work together.

As a result, we will be sharing positive case studies from across our region highlighting the great work going on in our patch (for instance the Budding Entrepreneurs scheme run by the Pig Hotels) and we want business leaders to tell us about their Saturday jobs behind the bar or being a waitress during the summer holidays when they were studying. We want to build a picture of how the skills learned working in hospitality helped to shape the person you are today and the additional skills you learned that helped to drive your success in your chosen field.

It’s great to get a couple of projects underway and we will continue to beat the drum for our local hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars that make up such an important sector for the Central South.