New Staffordshire business award recognises company’s role in boosting county profile

A Staffordshire business has been recognised for its role in promoting the county as a great place to live, work and invest through an inaugural award.

The Staffordshire Ambassador of the Year trophy forms part of the wider Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Awards which took place last night. It recognises businesses or individuals who have gone above and beyond to tell the Staffordshire story – taking part in events and working hard to promote the county wherever possible.

This year’s award was presented to Best of British Beer – spearheaded by Gill and Will Sherwin from their base at Silverdale Enterprise Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The company showcases independent breweries whose products may be harder to find through a range of gift boxes and promotions. It now works with top national retailers as well as selling directly to the public.

There are now over 160 Staffordshire Ambassadors, coordinated by We Are Staffordshire – a partnership organisation made up of business, education and public sector bodies to promote and market the county across the UK and beyond.

Gill and Will Sherwin recently created an employee ownership trust, worth over £650,000, making the eight-strong Best of British Beer team majority shareholders.

Will Sherwin said: “I was born in Staffordshire, so I’m bound to be a little bit biased, but though Gill is from Scotland, she was as proud as I was to have been given this award.”

Gill added: “We started Best of British Beer 11 years ago from a small Borough Council owned business unit and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from both the public and private sectors on our journey. It’s a brilliant county to live and work in and one of the Company’s principles is to keep it local wherever possible. All our major suppliers are based in Staffordshire, from key brewery partners to designers and all our cardboard boxes are made in Stoke.”

For this year’s Staffordshire Day celebrations, We Are Staffordshire hosted an event at the House of Commons, showcasing a broad range of county businesses and products. Best of British Beer brought a specially branded We Are Staffordshire beer to the event, showcasing its offer as generations of brewers, potters, makers and creators to MPs across the nation.

Hundreds of business owners and leaders attended this year’s Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce awards at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent.

In the county council-sponsored Most Promising Start-Up Award, South Staffordshire-based Rokholt Acquisitions was recognised for the massive growth of its electronic automation parts business. It has increased the number of employees from three to nine in a year, expanded into Europe and is expecting turnover to increase to £3.3million in 2022 from £680,000 last year.

Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said: “It’s fantastic to see the Staffordshire Ambassador category added to the wider Chambers of Commerce Business Awards this year. We want to raise awareness of our ambassadors and all the work they do in promoting Staffordshire as a great place to live, work and invest.

“There over 160 ambassadors now registered, providing amazing support, engagement and donations for our events and activities. Best of British Beer was part of our House of Commons event and thoroughly deserves this recognition.

“I’d like to commend all this year’s award winners, including Rokholt Acquisitions as Most Promising Start-up for a phenomenal year and its rapid growth.”

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