Looking ahead to the future at a historic local landmark

Senior business executives across Dacorum gathered for the latest Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors meeting at the historic Grade II Listed Shendish Manor last week, on Thursday 27 July, to hear speakers Stephen Hung, Managing Director of Regency Homes Ltd and Will Hobhouse, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, and to learn about the latest developments and investments into the Dacorum area.

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.

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 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 discussed his role as High Sheriff and his work with HACRO, the Herts Association for the Care and 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-offences. 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.

During the event, Gary Stringer, the Place Manager, for Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors reiterated the success of the 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. Over 80% of the specially invited attendees, which included institutional investors, relocating companies, house builders, developers and architects confirmed they would be “more likely to invest” in this rapidly evolving Hertfordshire town, as part of the post event survey.

Gary Stringer said: “The success of our recent Investment Showcase and today’s presentations really demonstrate the ongoing commitment to develop Dacorum into a place we will all want to invest, play and work in for the foreseeable future.”

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

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