Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors – Looking ahead to the future at a historic local landmark

The Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors gathered at the historic Grade II listed Shendish Manor on Thursday 27th July for their latest meeting, to find out about and debate the latest developments and investments into the Dacorum area.

Shendish Manor has a long and varied history. The origins of the Shendish name date back to Norman times, when William the Conqueror’s brother is believed to have sub-let the original farmhouse to one Ralf de Chenduit, whose surname evolved over time to the current Shendish.  The current Manor house was built in 1853, was home to some 20,000 British Army soldiers in World War 1, and acted as a sports and social club until 1994 when the current owners, Regency Homes transformed the building into one of Dacorum’s leading hotel and conference centres. The venue is looking ahead to an exciting future, with a significant spa and conference centre development at the venue having recently been approved by Dacorum Borough Council.

The event was introduced by Gary Stringer, the Place Manager, for Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors who discussed recent significant developments into the area, and reiterated the success of a recent Investment Showcase.  Held on Thursday 13 July, Dacorum Borough Council and the Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors hosted a unique event at the House of Commons – ‘Hemel Hempstead – Your Platinum Investment’ – showcasing exactly why Hemel Hempstead is the prime location for investment. Directors and senior managers of leading national and local businesses attended this event, and were asked in a post event survey “are you are more likely to invest in Hemel Hempstead as a result of attending the event?” Over 80% of the specially invited attendees, which included institutional investors, relocating companies, house builders, developers and architects said that yes they would be more likely to invest in this rapidly evolving Hertfordshire town.

James Doe, Assistant Director for Planning, Development and Regeneration at Dacorum Borough Council also presented at the event, outlining how the council has developed and demonstrates an “open for business” approach, and explained that the Council will work positively with investors to help secure economic growth for the Borough.

Discussing the planning application for the Shendish development, James explained the need for sensitivity and economic justification due to the listed nature of the building which is situated in the green belt. The opportunity to create a new generation building to complement the listed Manor, the creation of jobs, the tourism benefits and the prestige of the scheme all contributed to the successful application.

Next, Stephen Hung, Managing Director of Regency Homes outlined the ambitious vision for the new building, featuring new spa and gym facilities, plus impressive plans for a 900 plus delegate conference suite, which will make it the largest in Dacorum.

The final speaker of the event was Will HobHouse, the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to represent her in the County of Hertfordshire in all matters relating to law and order. Will, a retailer by profession having been CEO at Tie Rack and Whittard of Chelsea, discussed his role as High Sheriff and his work with HACRO, the Herts Association for the Care & Resettlement Of Offenders.  Working with HMP the Mount, a category C+ training prison located in Dacorum, HACRO work to secure employment opportunities for ex-offenders, and thus help prevent re-offenses. With a staggering cost to the tax payer of re-offending standing between £9.5 and £13 billion per year, and with 46% of adult prisoners re-offending within a year of release this work is invaluable in providing a much needed second chance to ex-offenders and previously unthought-of opportunities to local employers.

For further information on the Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors visit www.investhemel.co.uk or contact Gary Stringer, Ambassador Place Manager, on tel: 01442 228808.

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