Businesses took the opportunity to network at the launch of a new group called Devizes Professionals.

The group met at the Castle Hotel, New Park Street, Devizes, last Thursday and was attended by 37 people, a mixture of business owners and employees of firms.

Organiser Bill Hicks, who owns marketing consultancy Upside 4Business, said: “The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone was very positive.

"There is no doubt we have a winning formula and that this will become a regular event for the last Thursday of each month from 6pm to 8.30pm.

"I’m confident that we will get between 30 and 50 people attending on a regular basis.”

One of the attendees, Malcolm Shipp, co-director of The Vaults micro pub in Devizes, said: “I had never been to anything like that before and I made some interesting and fascinating contacts. I am looking forward to the next one.”

Devizes mayor Pete Smith went along to lend his support for the new group and a raffle in aid of Wiltshire Air Ambulance raised £91.67.

The meetings are free and more information is on a Facebook page at groups/DevizesProfessionals/