Lancaster Chamber of Commerce set to return to former office

Chamber manager Vicky Lofthouse outside the new Chamber of Commerce office on Marton Street in Lancaster.
Chamber manager Vicky Lofthouse outside the new Chamber of Commerce office on Marton Street in Lancaster.

Companies are being offered a unique opportunity to work closely with Lancaster Chamber of Commerce ahead of its relocation next year.

The body - charged with helping the district’s businesses grow - is leaving its Fenton Street headquarters and moving to four-storey Marton House, near the magistrates’ court, in January.

And manager Vicky Lofthouse said the switch to bigger offices would mean new or existing enterprises could occupy one of four other units at the building for a six-month period, with full access to chamber staff.

“We’re going to be really looking after them for six months - they will have the chamber right there on tap, whenever they need them,” Vicky explained. “They can be brand new or five-years-old; if they need a helping hand then we want to give them a boost.

“We aim to help businesses grow and prosper and then set them off out into the world.”

The chamber, which employs four people, was based at Marton House for 12 years, having bought it in 1990.

Lancashire County Council acquired the site around ten years ago to house the Probation Service, prompting the chamber’s move to Fenton Street.

Vicky continued: “The probation service handed in their notice three months ago and, as of November 19, it’s ours again and we are going back home! It’s a fresh start for the chamber and gives us the scope and aspiration for us to grow, not only in terms of membership, but also our staff. There’s lots of potential. The chamber will occupy the ground floor and the first floor will be rented out on different contracts.” The remainder of the building consists of offices and a training room, from where digital technology will be installed for members to host video conferences and meetings.

Vicky said the relocation should be completed by the end of January.