07801 250 668secretary@uckfieldchamber.co.uk

First of all, it was great to see everyone at our Chamber’s virtual AGM on the evening of Thursday 18th March.

It’s hard to believe that our last annual general meeting was back in March 2019 and that taking over from Chris Lawson as President has been delayed by a year because of Covid. Chris has done a brilliant job as your President over the last few years and I thank him for staying on for the last twelve months while we got through this pandemic.

Although the pandemic hasn’t quite finished, hopefully we will see some improvements to the way we do things over the coming months.  When we were told to stay at home last March, did we really expect to be still doing this a year on ? I think many of us, including me, thought it would only be for a few months at the very most.

However, we have all had to change the way we do things. A year or so ago, I’d never really heard of Zoom and Microsoft Teams, now it’s something I’m using on a regular basis and it’s the easiest way to keep in contact with everyone.

For many businesses though, this has been a struggle, especially those in the beauty and services industry who have pretty much had to stop all their work while we’ve been in lockdown. Our hospitality industry has been severely disrupted too but many of our restaurants and pubs have adapted and kept going with delivery and takeaway services.

The Chamber is the business voice of our community and we encourage all businesses, big or small, to be involved and share your experiences. Ian has done a sterling job with organising regular networking meetings and we’ve heard from many people about how they have struggled and also how some are flourishing. With lockdown, it’s given the chamber the ability to hold regular bi-weekly online meetings at different times of day, meaning that members can still be involved and hear about what the chamber and more importantly what our local businesses are doing. If you’ve not been on a Chamber Zoom meeting before, or for a while at least, then please do get in touch and join in on one!

A little bit about me …. For those who don’t know.

I’m an outsider, I don’t live in Uckfield but the town is my second home.

In 2002, I was part of a group of four people who stood on Luxford Field at the third Uckfield Festival Big Day. It was part of our involvement with the local Hospital Radio Station in Haywards Heath and one of us (I think it was me) said that “this town could do with a radio station for the festival”. Twelve month’s later, we were on air with a make shift studio from the popcorn room at The Picture House Cinema, but it worked!. The first thing  we did before going on air, was to join the Uckfield Chamber of Commerce. As a new business it was important for us to get involved with the local business community. Nearly 20 years on, Uckfield FM has been on air across the town full time since 2010 and is still an active part of the community. Although we’ve not been out and about like we usually are over the last year, we are still very much committed to the town providing the area with it’s own local radio service.

So I live in Burgess Hill (across the border where we have to pay for car parking in the town … boo!!) , I’m married to Belinda and we have two boys. My eldest Thomas is 22 and is studying Zoological Science at University in Cambridge and my youngest Daniel whose nearly 20 is studying music performance at University here in Sussex.

Radio has been part of my life since I was 15 years old when I joined Hospital Radio at the old Cuckfield Hospital and as well as Uckfield FM, I also present travel news bulletins on other local & national radio stations from time to time including Greatest Hits Radio, LBC News and Planet Rock.

Oh and I’ll be hitting the big 5 0 in July! – Eeeek!! 😊

I’ve been on the Chamber committee since 2013 I believe, following being involved with the first Business Awards which were organised the year before by Neil Edwards and Adrian Corbin and have been on the organising team and co-host of the awards since. It’s my hope that we’ll be able to organise an awards night to celebrate the achievements of our local businesses again in 2022.

There you go, a little bit about me for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of my company in the past and I hope to meet up with you in person at an event as the year goes on.

It’s an honour to become the president of YOUR local Chamber of Commerce and I hope along with the whole of YOUR new committee, we will continue to serve the business community of Uckfield.


Gary King, President, Uckfield Chamber of Commerce

Tel : 01825 598698 / 07980 774980, Email : gary.king@uckfieldfm.co.uk