The Membury Business Group – January 2023 update

The once tranquil village of Membury has, over the last 80 years, changed a great deal more than have many of its neighbours. 

An airfield was built there during the Second World War, parts of which remain. In 1971, the stretch of the M4 between junction 8/9 and 18 was opened and with it a service station about four miles west of junction 14. Since then, an industrial estate has grown up to the south of the motorway and the east of the services. The name “Membury” thus means a lot more than just the original village: and yet people live there still, as they do in larger numbers in the Woodlands villages along the B4000 between Membury and junction 14 of the M4. 

The residents and the businesses are both essential components of this area: however, as with any neighbourly relationship, frictions can occur. Some residents have set up the Woodlanders Protection Group, which has recently had its profile raised as a result of its response to two high-speed accidents on the B4000 in November 2022. We’re delighted to announce that several of the businesses in the Membury Industrial Estate have recently also set up an organisation so that they too may also speak with a common voice. It’s to be hoped that these groups, along with Lambourn Parish Council and West Berkshire Council (as directly represented by the Lambourn ward member) will be able to discuss the issues that affect them all and to arrive at mutually satisfactory solutions.

The text below was supplied to Penny Post on 11 January 2023 by the recently-formed Membury Business Group. This post will be updated to reflect any further developments. Comments can be made either by using the “leave a reply” box at the foot of this post or by emailing brian@pennypost.org.uk

We urge any companies in the Membury Industrial Estate that have not already done so to join the MBG, as this seems currently to represent the best way for your views to be expressed.

In late 2022, ten companies from the old Membury Airfield area met and agreed to set up the Membury Business Group (MBG) with the aims of collaborating and helping to improve the local area. The MBG’s founding members celebrated the success of the thriving Membury business community whilst identifying challenges their diverse models of operation and business growth had created for nearby residents.

“It was good to sit down and share our experiences of working here,” a spokesperson for MBG said. “Along with other local businesses – which we hope will join MBG – collectively, we provide two key elements for the economy: employment and business rates, both of which help sustain this rural community. We know, however, our close proximity with neighbouring residents causes frictions, such as from traffic and noise generated from our day-to-day activities. We would like to tackle these issues by working together.”

As the MBG becomes more established, it envisages setting up a website providing links to all the businesses, making it easier for residents, Lambourn Parish Council and West Berkshire Council to communicate with it

Membury businesses interested in joining are invited to email info@memburybusinessgroup.co.uk in the first instance. The first meeting of 2023 will take place on Tuesday 24 January with the agenda set to agree next steps progressing improvement ideas. At future meetings the MBG will invite local residents, the Lambourn Parish Council and District Councillor to bring all parties around the table.

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