New chairman for Diss Business Forum

The Diss Business Forum committee. From left to right, Kerry Kirby, Leigh Thurston, Harold Rackham,

The Diss Business Forum committee. From left to right, Kerry Kirby, Leigh Thurston, Harold Rackham, Edward Nottingham, Rachel Hillier from Diss First Responders, Chris Billson, Brian Bale, Leon Zaal and Annette Buzza. Picture: WENDY AIKEN PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

A new chairman has been chosen for a market town's business forum.

Brian Bale was unanimously elected to lead the Diss Business Forum at its annual general meeting held at The Park Hotel, Diss.

Mr Bale, from Dickleburgh, succeeds Kerry Kirby, who has decided to step down after two years in the role.

Mr Bale is a partner at Lovewell Blake accountants and is well known in the Diss community, in particular for his work as treasurer at Diss Rugby Club. He has also previously been chairman of Halesworth Business Connections.

Having been on the committee of the forum for the last nine years, Mr Bale said: 'I am really looking forward to continuing the excellent work of the forum over recent years in providing informative events along with friendly networking opportunities.'

Mr Bale believes incentives for trading between businesses in the town is helping to attract more interest to the forum.

He said: 'A members discount scheme continues to be popular and we hope to expand the range of member benefits available.'

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Outgoing chairman Kerry Kirby, from Diss-based marketing company Splice Creative, paid tribute to her successor.

She said: 'Brian was a popular choice to lead the forum.

'With his experience on the forum and many connections within the local business community, he has a finger on the pulse in the area and is a perfect representative for us in the wider community.'

Around 35 people attended the AGM, which included a cheque presentation for £200 to Rachel Hillier from Diss First Responders raised from events throughout the last 12 months.

Long-standing member Harold Rackham announced his retirement from the committee and his service to the forum was warmly recognised.

With more than 100 members, the Diss Business Forum helps facilitate business-to-business relationships in and around the area.

It organises regular business breakfasts and networking events to allow the growth of business relationships between members. Non-members are welcome to attend events.

Members are due to visit the Houses of Parliament where they will be meeting with South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

For further information about the Diss Business Forum, visit