New chairman wants to carry on ‘excellent’ work of Diss Business Forum

Diss Business Forum AGM 2017 at the Park Hotel, Diss. From left: Kerry Kirby, Leigh Thurston, Harold Rackham, Edward Nottingham, Rachel Hillier from Diss First Responders, Chris Billson, Brian Bale, Leon Zaal and Annette Buzza. Photo: Wendy Aiken Photography.

Diss Business Forum AGM 2017 at the Park Hotel, Diss. From left: Kerry Kirby, Leigh Thurston, Harold Rackham, Edward Nottingham, Rachel Hillier from Diss First Responders, Chris Billson, Brian Bale, Leon Zaal and Annette Buzza. Photo: Wendy Aiken Photography.

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The newly-appointed chairman of the Diss Business Forum hopes to continue the “excellent” work of the group after taking on the role this month.

Brian Bale, of Dickleburgh, was unanimously elected at the forum’s AGM at the Park Hotel, Diss, last week.

I am really looking forward to continuing the excellent work of the Forum over recent years in providing informative events along with friendly networking opportunities

Brian Bale

Mr Bale has been a committee member for nine years and is a partner at Lovewell Blake accountants. He has also previously been chair of Halesworth Business Connections, and is well known to the Diss community, in particular for his work as treasurer at the town’s rugby club.

He will replace the outgoing Kerry Kirby, who is stepping down after two years as chair.

“I am really looking forward to continuing the excellent work of the Forum over recent years in providing informative events along with friendly networking opportunities,” he said.

He believes incentives for trading between businesses in the town is helping to attract more interest to the Forum.

“A members discount scheme continues to be popular and we hope to expand the range of member benefits available,” he added.

Mrs Kirby, from Diss-based marketing company Splice Creative, paid tribute to her successor.

“Brian was a popular choice to lead the Forum,” she said.

“ With his experience on the Forum and many connections within the local business community, he has a finger on the pulse in the area and is a perfect representative for us in the wider community.”

Around 35 people attended the AGM, which included a cheque presentation for £200 to Rachel Hillier from Diss First Responders raised from events throughout the last 12 months, and long-standing member Harold Rackham announced his retirement from the committee.

With more than 100 members, the Diss Business Forum helps facilitate business-to-business relationships in and around the area. They organise regular business breakfasts and networking events to allow the growth of business relationships between members. Non-members are welcome to attend events.

The forum holds regular events and meetings in a bid to grow business relationships and increase commerce opportunities, and work closely with the Diss Town Team, Diss Town Council, South Norfolk Council and other local organisations.

Next month, the Forum will be holding a Breakfast digesting measures announced in the forthcoming Budget. Members will also be visiting the Houses of Parliament where they will be meeting with South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

For more on Diss Business Forum, visit www.dbf.org.uk