Small Business Saturday

In Portishead today to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Round table of exporters joined be Dr.Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade. Fantastic to hear how the South West is leading the export growth agenda.


James Monk and Dr Liam Fox Secretary of State for International Trade on Small Business Saturday

International Trade Centre

The Enterprising Britain Award for export has been won by Business West’s International Trade Centre for helping businesses to export in the South West.
The UK government set an objective in 2015 to increase the value and number of UK companies exporting. Business West recognised an opportunity to maximise its international trade services to benefit business in the South West of England.
The International Trade Centre project was born. Now employing over 100 trade advisers, providing digital solutions through eBooks, virtual trade fairs and award-winning documentation fulfilment, combined with Government online resources and globally enabled portals from banking partners – it supports thousands of businesses to embark on their export journey.
To date the International Trade Centre has engaged with 5,800 exporters, assisting 2010 companies with overseas sales to the value of £430 million and the creation of 3,800 FTE jobs.
With only 2.8% of businesses in the South West exporting in 2013, the area lagged behind the rest of the UK. By the end of 2016 it was the fastest growing UK region for international trade – a resounding success for Business West’s International Trade Centre.
The International Trade Centre’s huge impact has led to many intermediaries including local councils, plus major banks and PLCs to engage in discussions to get involved, with the potential to reach an even bigger audience.
Business West continues to champion international trade, already working with Chambers of Commerce world-wide, envisioning a network of ‘Trusted Trading Partners’ and collaborating with fellow City Chambers in the UK and Europe to explore further national and global opportunities.

James Monk, Commercial Director at Business West says “we are delighted to be selected for the Enterprising Britain Award for Export which recognises that we have transformed international trade services in the region.
“To make it easier for businesses to know what support is available, we combined regional, national and international expertise, funding and resources. Aligning our Chamber of Commerce objectives with UK and Pan European policy, combining private sector expertise from third party providers and the banking sector, all adds up to benefiting businesses and boosting export sales in the South West.
The International Trade Centre has also been selected to represent the UK in a prestigious European enterprise competition, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. Winners will be announced in November, so watch this space!


As part of a nationwide bee preservation project in cooperation with the British Beekeepers Association, we have bees at Leigh Court.

“Build the Buzz” is a national scientific project using hive monitoring equipment to provide a greater understanding of life within the hive.

Through the use of sensitive technology they will be able to monitor honey bee activity 24/7, 365 days a year to have a better understanding life within the hive. This is a British Beekeepers Association initiative & technology partner Arnia Ltd. For more information please have a look at their website:

The hives are located at the far end of the grounds, and will be fenced off to avoid people getting too close. The beekeeper will be visiting regularly to maintain the hives, and sharing information and the findings of the research with us.

I’ve always fancied the idea of a hive, add a spot of innovative technology and how could I resist! 

New website and new name!

After winning International acclaim in 2013, Acorn Interactive has gone from strength to strength.

We have spent the last year work with users and some very clever web designers and IT implementors, resulting in an even better and simpler user experience.

In parallel with the greatly improved site and functionality, are new name seemed appropriate, hence Acorn International.

Have a look for yourself at