The Surrey branch of Arriva, the third largest bus operator in the UK, has signed up as a Premier Member of Surrey Hills Enterprises, helping to promote sustainable public transport linking venues and businesses in the countryside.
Surrey Hills Enterprises is a Community Interest Company (CIC) incorporated in June this year to support the management and enhancement of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, develop the distinctive Surrey Hills brand and promote sustainable businesses within the rural economy.
Its on-line directory is open to businesses and organisations providing products and services based in the Surrey Hills that recognise the heritage, provenance and distinctiveness of this beautiful wooded landscape. The theme is Surrey Hills Love Local and the directory includes farms and food producers, pubs and restaurants as well as a wide range of service providers such as Arriva.
The Surrey fleet of Arriva buses will be able to use the Surrey Hills Love Local mark on its vehicles and timetables. Businesses in the directory will be able to link to Arriva timetables to encourage people to travel on public transport and help create a partnership between venues and transport links.
Chris Burley, Arriva Manager for Guildford Depot said: “We were keen to join the Surrey Hills Partnership as a key provider of public transport in the area.
“Although we are part of a massive organisation, the services we operate are for the local people and are operated by a local team who are keen to provide a great service for our customers. By joining the partnership we are able to demonstrate our commitment to the local area and support an extremely worthwhile organisation.
“There are a number of local attractions on the route and we have some money off vouchers in our new timetable. Why not pick up a timetable and see where you can go.”
Surrey Hills Enterprises is based at Birtley Courtyard in Bramley. Founding directors include its chairman, Simon Whalley, of Birtley House Group Ltd, and the chairman of the Surrey Hills Board, Michael Sydney.
Businesses can join the directory as an Associate Member from £75 per annum, Standard Member from £150 or Premium from £250. There is an offer currently running for 16 months membership for the price of 12. The aim is for surplus income to go towards supporting the aims of the Surrey Hills Board management plan.
SHE members benefit from exposure to the 1,000-plus membership of the Surrey Hills Society and members of the general public accessing the Surrey Hills website. They can use the distinctive seed pod inspired Surrey Hills brand linked to the Love Local theme to indicate their local provenance and a passion for the rural environment, and get involved in social networking via Facebook and Twitter.
The directory has only been live for a few weeks but membership has already begun to snowball. “Anyone who appreciates the Surrey Hills, ethical work practices and sustainability and is based in the area can join SHE,” said Surrey Hills Enterprises Development Officer, Carrie White. “We include car mechanics, wood fuel providers and accountancy firms. It is an inclusive, all embracing brand.”
Surrey Hills Enterprises CIC, will be officially launched later this year. For more information contact [email protected]