Promotion follows Employee Award

THE award of Employee of the Year 2008 in The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards to Corrine Garbett was popular with the district s business community to which she is well known as spearhead of the council s economic development service. But it al

THE award of Employee of the Year 2008 in The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards to Corrine Garbett was popular with the district's business community to which she is well known as spearhead of the council's economic development service.

But it also did her own career no harm - she was promoted earlier this year to lead HDC's people, performance and partnerships division, which is a role responsible for economic development, communications and marketing, human resources and policy.

She told The Hunts Post: "I was honoured to receive it, and for me and my team to be recognised as having made a contribution to supporting Huntingdonshire's local business community.

"I was also thrilled as a council employee to be acknowledged, because working in the public sector, with changing goal posts and service demands, can be very challenging. People have perceptions of the sector that do not reflect the modern culture we have, to improve services continuously and strive for excellence through creativity and innovation."


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Her new "very dynamic" division is involved in shaping the council's services and future plans.

"During this time of economic downturn we have been working with partners to provide support to local businesses and undertake projects that will promote the vitality of the area," she added. "Our web-based service for business has information and general advice on available commercial property, local businesses, grants and funding opportunities, business networks and demographical information." It is on www.huntsdc.gov.uk/business

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HDC's economic development team is leading on a project with Business Link and Huntingdon Town Partnership to promote and develop general markets as a means of retail 'incubation' or starter-units across the market towns in the district, she said. The project involves training in starting a retail business and providing follow-up support.

"Our first course on setting up in business as a market trader in May went really well, and we have a number of people now interested in trialling their products on the markets

The council has also run a two-day 'employability and workability' course for young people wanting to find work in the creative sector with 16-19 year olds.

Working with The Hunts Post and business partners, the team has organised a best business idea competition where the winner will receive a complete business start-up bursary.

It is also looking to expand the tourism sector with a pilot Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme, currently promoting 17 Huntingdonshire attractions. The attractions have joined the Visit England scheme free for a year.

As part of its support for the Huntingdonshire economy in the economic downturn, it has arranged visits for inward investment specialists, aimed at attracting potential new employers, and is working with local business leaders and advisers on a variety of ideas to underpin recovery from recession.

BUSINESS: Corrine Garbett was too busy to collect her award in person last November. Instead, Collette Nicholls, Anglian Water's media manager, centre, handed it to Corrine's HDC colleague Sue Bedlow during the ceremony comp�red by BBC TV Look East presenter Stewart White, left.

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