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Missed the meeting? Here's what we talked about...

The room and the agenda were packed with over 30 members at the latest ABA breakfast meeting. Chair, Sally Ogden, opened by thanking all who have donated towards the town's Christmas decorations, then gave an overview of the activities on Saturday 7 December and asked that any remaining businesses who do plan to take part let her know as soon as possible so they can be included in the marketing.

There has been some confusion about the funding of the Christmas event. The ABA are only dealing with payment for the large Christmas trees, lights at the roundabout and lights on the lampposts. This year a community fund has been set up for other costs, including the event on 7 December, Aldeburgh Christmas Festivities.

Sarah Stevens, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Snape Maltings gave an overview of one of the world’s leading centres of music with independent shops, cafes and galleries. Every year Snape has over 500,000 visitors to the site and distributes 132,000 printed brochures and programmes. She thanked Aldeburgh businesses who already sponsor their activities and both Sara Fox (Aldeburgh Market) and Sally Ogden (Aldeburgh Fish and Chips) talked of their positive experiences. Sarah went on to talk about sponsorship opportunities for businesses who don’t have big budgets. She welcomes any enquiries by email or phone 01728 687144.

Sharon Cuthbert, Project Manager for a locally-based Dementia project, spoke about working in partnership to develop dementia-friendly communities and support networks to help people remain active and address the needs of family carers. Local businesses are an important link to this community, free training is available to help businesses improve customer care and have a positive impact on their business. Following training, businesses will be given a window sticker which will help carers and family know that the business is dementia-friendly. Please contact Sharon for more information or call 07739 989473.

Annie Willey, Brand Manager, The Suffolk Coast DMO (the marketing organisation for this area) explained that it is an industry-led, not for profit membership organisation working to boost the visitor economy, develop the tourism infrastructure and support businesses along our coast. Annie went through the findings from a recent survey commissioned by The Suffolk Coast in light of the planned works proposed by EDF at Sizewell and Scottish Power. An executive summary and full report can be found via this link. Highlights from the presentation included economic projections if both projects go ahead (a loss of £24m to tourism). Annie can be contacted here for more information about the report or to find out about DMO membership options.

Alison Andrews, Alde and Ore Estuary Trust, gave an overview of fundraising events this year. She thanked sponsors of the Aldeburgh to Orford Flotilla which raised over £26,000 and updated members on the Save Our Suffolk Estuary Pub Quiz on 22 November, now sold out in Aldeburgh but places are still available elsewhere. Charity Christmas cards designed by artists Annabel Gault and Henrietta Villiers are available to buy at Aldeburgh Bookshop and Snape Maltings and on the 27 December there will be a gala performance of the Snow Queen at Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall. Tickets can be bought online.

Fiona Lewington, Aldeburgh Museum, encouraged businesses to explore dressing up opportunities as part of the ‘Dickensian’ theme for the Christmas event on the 7 December. She has a list of suppliers so please contact her on 01728 454666. The museum and library will be fully dressed up and if you are not able to hire or buy (Vintage Angels have a selection) then men should try a flat cap, waistcoat and trousers tucked into knee-high socks while women can wear a long skirt, frilly shirt and wide belt to look the part. Fiona also gave us an update on the museum which is open 1-4pm Saturday and Sunday. Admissions are: Adult £3, Child £1, Under 5 free and Family Ticket £7.

The next ABA breakfast meeting will be on Wednesday 8 January 2020. In the New Year we will need to start recruiting for two new committee members, if you want to have fun, get to know other businesses and influence the future of the town, let us know! Until then, have a great Christmas and New Year.

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