Businesses have a ball at charity soiree

Joseph Bulmer

Firms come together to celebrate business milestone at centenary charity ball

BARNSTAPLE businesses have come together to celebrate a century of local commerce and to raise money for a new chemotherapy unit in the town.

Around 200 people representing more than 40 North Devon businesses – including the North Devon Gazette – attended the Barnstaple and District Chamber of Commerce centenary summer ball at Barnstaple Rugby Club on Saturday night.

The black tie event, held in partnership with Barnstaple Town Centre Management, was held to mark 100 years of the local chamber, established in 1911.

Although the final total has yet to be counted, it is estimated that the event has raised thousands of pounds for the North Devon Chemotherapy Appeal.

Phil Byers, Barnstaple and District Chamber of Commerce president, and project director at Project (SW), thanked all those who supported the event and donated auction lots and draw prizes.

“So many North Devon businesses supported the event in so many different ways and from the feedback I’ve had, I’m sure it will go down as one to remember,” said Mr Byers.

“The event went really well and the bands were excellent. It was great to have such a large group of diverse people together in one place and I know that a lot of good networking was done as well.

“We are having a debriefing meeting next Tuesday and we should then be in a position to know how much money was raised for the Chemotherapy Appeal.”

Martin Masters, chairman of Barnstaple Town Centre Management and managing director of M & E Alarms, added: “It was nice to see businesses from all over North Devon coming together for such a special evening and supporting such a worthy cause.”

Barnstaple Mayor Ian Roome, who is also the Chemotherapy Appeal’s fundraising manager, said: “We are grateful to so many people who but together such a fantastic evening in aid of a very special cause.

“The centenary summer ball was a fine example of how the business community can come together to get behind such a worthwhile cause.

“Every step we take is a step towards making the dream of a new chemotherapy unit in Barnstaple a reality.”