BUSINESS owners and managers in the Devizes area are invited to attend a new forum for networking.

Devizes Professionals will be free and with no obligations to attend. It launches on January 30 at the Castle Hotel, New Park Street, from 6pm to 8.30pm.

Bill Hicks, the organiser and owner of marketing consultancy Upside4 Business, said, “When I moved to the area from Newbury late in 2012 I obviously needed to start making contacts amongst the local business community, but I was surprised by the small number of networking events.

“Devizes has a very broad base of different businesses including retail, service and manufacturing and I could see that there was the potential to set up a vibrant and supportive new forum.”

Mr Hicks tested demand for such an event using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and said there had been a positive response.

John Hume, general manager of the Castle Hotel, is providing the venue and refreshments free of charge.

Mr Hicks, who is a member of Business Over Breakfast networking group in Devizes, said Devizes Professionals would provide something different, with the emphasis on enabling all levels of business owners or managers to meet.

He said: “Over the years I think many business owners have probably attended various breakfast groups or other organisations and frequently found them to work for a while then taper off.

“This is often due to restrictions on numbers or trades or business types that can attend. The new group will be just what it claims: a forum to meet and chat. No cost, no commitment and no formal structures. People can stay for five minutes or an hour an a half.

“I was involved in something similar in Newbury and it worked very well, with between 40 and 50 people attending the meetings.

“The intention is for Devizes Professionals to meet every month on the last Thursday.”

For more information contact Mr Hicks on (01380) 710400 or email bill@ There is also a Facebook Group set up as Devizes Professionals.