Chamber presidents share what’s to love about Staffordshire

Business leaders across Staffordshire were full of pride as they reflected on the plethora of plans taking place to level up Staffordshire’s offering across Lichfield, Tamworth, Burton and Cannock Chase in celebration of Staffordshire Day which took place on May 1.

Staffordshire Day takes place every year on 1 May and celebrates everything there is to love about Staffordshire’s local regions, including the people, scenery, camaraderie and resilient business community.

May 1 is also the anniversary of the most famous son, Josiah Wedgwood, who set up his pottery company in 1759 and helped to transform Staffordshire into the centre of the world’s ceramics industry.

This year’s Staffordshire Day theme was ‘The Great Outdoors’.

Jason Challoner, president of the Lichfield and Tamworth Chamber, said:

“In regards to Lichfield, I’m looking forward to the return of the festivals, which will boost tourism and local business after an uncertain couple of years. The ongoing expansion of Fradley Park industrial estates with new sites being built and businesses moving in will definitely have a positive impact on employment opportunities for local residents.

“Lichfield Council have launched exciting plans for the Birmingham Road project, likely to be progressing over the coming 12 months. In Tamworth, South Staffs College have recently announced relocating into the town centre to compliment the millions of pounds of investment won in 2020 by Tamworth Council. In addition, there are an extensive housebuilding program around the Tamworth area and ongoing growth and investment in key businesses such as Drayton Manor Park.”

Chris Wheeler, vice president of Cannock Chase Chamber, said:

“Over the past few months, there has been growing confidence in the industrial sector, with pent-up demand for units in Burntwood Business Park making it a diverse estate for ambitious businesses. Burntwood is also a popular location because it is close to the M6 Toll, with all 68 industrial units in zones two, three and four of the business park now fully occupied.

“Chasetown Football Club saw a record-breaking capacity crowd supporting the Scholars in their last Match– an excellent run for our regional team.”

Cllr Sue Woodward, chairwoman of Burntwood City Council, stated she was happy to see the district council decide on the long-awaited funding and welcomed a £116,000 funding for a neighbourhood park in Elder Lane.

“Cannock Town Centre is to be transformed and reverse decline with a New Cultural hub, cinema, enhanced theatre, office space, café/restaurants, improved public realm and connectivity to be finished in the next 3 years.

“Rugeley Power Station is to be re-developed with 2,300 new homes and an all-through school, open by September 2023, as well as providing employment, land and community facilities, Riverside Park and Zero Carbon ambitions.

“An expected 10,000 visitors at the Commonwealth Games Mountain Biking event at Birches Valley, with legacy events planned following the games.

“What a great recent addition to our region the McArthur Glen retail village has been. With the continued expansion taking place, it will continue to provide for the locals and draw many others into our fabulous area. You have got to Love Staffordshire.”

Shaun Gray, president of Burton and District Chamber, said:

“Momentum continues with the exciting programme to regenerate Burton town centre as part of the multi-million-pound Towns Fund Programme and the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce is hugely committed to playing a role in the programme’s development and building a bright future for local businesses and residents.

“Burton College’s plans for launching the Government’s new pioneering qualification, T Levels – and its exciting Stronger Towns Funds proposal in new education and technology infrastructure will deliver improved skills in a range of subject areas as part of the Government’s levelling up agenda. This initiative will really open up exciting educational opportunities in Burton and South Derbyshire which are aligned to the skills required by local businesses – this is very exciting for everyone in Burton and surrounding areas.

“It’s the skills initiatives at the college and the prospect of building a better Burton that helps me to feel optimistic about business and life in general during these difficult times.”

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