Chairman leads business visits across the district

Mendip District Council's Chairman has spent time visiting businesses across the district with representatives from Mendip's town councils and neighbouring authorities.

Cllr Dick Skidmore, Chairman of Mendip District Council and his wife Mrs Jean Skidmore invited council officials to join them on a tour of some Mendip's local businesses, they were joined on the day by the following council representatives:

  • Cllr Catherine Herbert, Mayor of Taunton Deane

  • Cllr Nina Swift, Street Parish Council Chair

  • Cllr Bryan Beha, Vice-Chair of Mendip District Council

  • Cllr Celia Wride, Mayor of the City of Wells

  • Cllr Steve Hall, Mayor of Bruton

  • Cllr Mark Dorrington, Deputy Mayor of Frome Town Council

During his term as Chairman, Cllr Skidmore is planning to use his role to support the promotion of the district and these tours of local business were planned by Cllr Skidmore to showcase enterprise across the district.

Cllr Skidmore, Chairman of Mendip District Council, said: "Visiting local businesses across Mendip was a great opportunity to showcase what is happening every day in our district.

"There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in the business across the district which is a benefit to the local economy and for the district as a whole.

"We should be very proud that Mendip is home to several major, high-profile and successful companies, as well as many entrepreneurial and creative small and start-up businesses."

The group started the day at the Shape Mendip offices in Shepton Mallet, where the district council are based and were greeted by the council's Chief Executive, Stuart Brown.

The first stop of the tour led the group to the Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, where they were given a tour and talk by the Director Chester Barnes. The centre is run by Care UK and delivers NHS treatments, approximately 8,000 operations a year are carried out and a number of the group had visited the centre as a patient over the years. The group enjoyed the opportunity to hear more about the good service the centre has delivered over its 13 year history.

Chester Barnes, Hospital Director at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, said: "We are grateful to Dick for arranging this visit and we are delighted that so many local dignitaries came to find out more about what we do. We are grateful to them for going back out into their communities to spread the word about the quality of care at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre."

Following on from the treatment centre the group visited Jon Thorner's in Pylle, where they were met by Jon Thorner. The business now employs 150 people after starting over 40 years ago from their farm, with an annual turnover of £10million.

The third stop of the day took the group to Westcombe Dairy in Lower Westcombe near Evercreech, Tom Calver Director of Westcombe Dairy met the group to give them a tour of the cheese cave on site and talked about the recent successes of the business. The company now exports from Mendip to France, Italy and America. He also explained that their filter for business decisions is 'will it make the cheese taste better'.

Following on from the cheese the group had a chance to sample some local beer as they visited The Wild Beer Company. Andrew Cooper explained how the company that started 6 years ago now exports to 30 countries and will start work later in the year on their new site at the Bath and West Showground. Their philosophy is to keep the quality curve ahead of the growth curve.

To find out more about businesses in Mendip and the support available from the district council, visit: