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Welcome to Staffordshire

As Chair of the We Are Staffordshire Place Board, I couldn’t feel more proud to step back and look at what we have collectively achieved.

Aptly named, Staffordshire truly is a place to celebrate and through the interactive ‘pages’ of this report, there is plenty of opportunity to do just that.

I’d like to thank our partners, Ambassadors and our future funders – for all that we have collectively achieved.

In this three-year review, we’ll be looking back at our impact over the Pilot Phase from March 2021-24 and setting out our vision for this next exciting chapter.

Our journey is only just beginning and we’re so lucky to have you with us.

Hannah Ault DL,
Managing Director, Valentine Clays and
Chair of We Are Staffordshire Place Board

Three Years
in Numbers

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Perception Study

A central part of our mission and purpose is to change perceptions of Staffordshire and promote our county as an unbeatable place to prosper and enjoy a life well lived. We’ve conducted a national and regional perception study, including our 250+ strong Network of Ambassadors – and here are the results!

We’ll repeat the surveys every two years so that we can chart our progress against this long-term vision over the next decade.

What is Staffordshire best known for?

How would you describe Staffordshire Pie Chart One

How would you describe Staffordshire?

How would you describe Staffordshire Pie Chart Two
Alan White

Alan White, Leader
Staffordshire County Council

In 2020, Staffordshire was a drive-through destination; a place jam-packed with assets, brands and history, but with no outward looking story. Staffordshire County Council and the Network Staffordshire group of leaders were committed to changing that, and despite the effects of the pandemic, we were determined to be brave, bold, and put our head and shoulders above the parapet.

Businesses and the public sector came together to develop a new approach to put our county on the map - to ultimately change perceptions – including an inspiring new narrative and fresh brand. Three years later and we’ve made huge strides against our mission; convening roundtables with national brands and changemakers, celebrating Staffordshire at the House of Commons, UKREiiF and around the country to name just a few; recruiting over 250 ambassadors to tell and sell our story beyond our borders, and delivering first class networking and celebration events.

We’ve been recognised as finalists in global place branding awards – against whole countries I might add – and now sit on an Advisory Board with New Zealand, Western Cape and many others. No longer do we see ourselves as a throughfare from a to b. We are looking up, and out, making connections, putting our place firmly on that national and now, global map too.

And we’re only just getting started.

Our vision
for the future

The last three years has seen We Are Staffordshire launch from a standing start to a national example of place marketing at the top of its game.

We’ve been agile, authentic about our story, the opportunities, and the challenges. But above all, we’ve taken risks, tried new things and learned by doing things differently.

In the years ahead, we must hold onto the excitement and energy of the ‘start-up’, whilst also being clear on the long-term projects we want to implement that will really deliver impact for Staffordshire.

Download our 2023-26 strategy

The Next Chapter

Following approval of the 2022 – 2026 vision strategy, We Are Staffordshire has agreed funding to continue its place marketing work beyond our initial three year pilot.

Our Place Board, established in 2021, champions Staffordshire at every turn and will continue to set the strategic direction for all that we do and holding We Are Staffordshire to account.

Made up of an engaged collaboration of the county’s leaders across the private, public and third sectors, our visitor economy, investment and business and learning skills are all represented.

This focused governance group is central to ensuring our approach is on the right path and is representative of our stakeholders and county’s priorities – so that we are always delivering for Staffordshire.

Our Board members are represented below but for more information, please get in touch.
Hannah Ault

Hannah Ault DL

Valentine Clays

Philip White

Philip White

Deputy Chair
Staffordshire County Council

Josie Morris

Josie Morris MBE


Simon Warburton

Simon Warburton

Lichfield Cathedral

Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Place consultant and Academic

Kirsty Rollings

Kirsty Rollings

Keele University

Mary-ann Astle

Mary-ann Astle

Staffordshire University

Louisa Shaw

Louisa Shaw

We Are Staffordshire

Mark Ellis

Mark Ellis

National Memorial Arboretum

Chris Plant

Chris Plant

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

Alistair Budd

Alistair Budd


John Kavanagh

John Kavanagh


John Beaty

John Beaty

Burton & South
Derbyshire College

Craig Hodgson

Craig Hodgson

Newcastle & Stafford
Colleges Group

Our Funders

Hear from just a selection of our Patrons, Partners and Ambassador sponsors on what it means to support and shape our We Are Staffordshire’s work moving forward.



Partner Testimonials

Simon Warburton

Simon Warburton, Executive Director,
Lichfield Cathedral and Place Board member

Three years ago, I was thrilled to receive a request to join this new county-wide place shaping initiative.

We Are Staffordshire has become an increasingly important part of the county’s economic development landscape, helping to bridge the gap between the diverse offerings of the area. Whether to live, work or play, Staffordshire really does have it all. From excellent road and rail connections, outstanding higher education institutions, major global HQs, investment opportunities, internationally recognised brands, and an outstanding quality of life.

Lichfield Cathedral is proud to support We Are Staffordshire, and we would encourage other businesses to get involved.

Delivery Plan
2024 - 25

With a bold vision to build upon the foundations we’ve built between 2020-2023, our 2024-25 Delivery Plan strikes a balance between a pace delivery of events and activities, and longer-term impact programmes such as the Staffordshire Film Office, Young People activity and greater alignment in the way we market services under the ‘We Are Staffordshire’ brand.

With a diversified funding stream in place, our 2024-25 Delivery Plan reflects the priorities of our tourism, skills, investment partners as always, as well as, for the first time, our District & Borough partners and our Patrons.

View our plan, annual budget allocation and associated KPIs for the 2024-25 delivery period.

Members of We Are Staffodshire

The Year Ahead
in Numbers

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Activity Timeline

Activity Timeline
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Funding Breakdown

Finding Pie chart
Staffordshire County Council £150k Supporting place marketing resource plus marketing contribution
Districts and Boroughs £40k Supporting specific place-led activity set out on an annual basis
Private Sector £50k Investment via a tiered funding structure of patrons, partners and ambassadors, with funders split across the Live, Work, Visit study offer
Total £240k

2024-25 Budget Allocation

2024-25 Budget Allocation Pie Chart
Activity Pillar Budget Allocation Activity
We Are Staffordshire Resource £140k
  • We Are Staffordshire resource
Collaborative Activity £15k
  • Place Exchange partnership and CNP Advisory Board
  • Governance and collaborative campaigns
  • ‘Brand Staffordshire’ work
Staffordshire Activity*

*An additional £300,000 has been secured for the Film Office - representing £100,000 budget for 2024-2025
  • Launch of Staffordshire File Office (3 year pilot, separate budget line)
  • Delivery of a long-term programme of activity supporting and retaining young people in Staffordshire
  • Ambassador Network activity / events
External Activity £60k
  • UKREiiF attendance
  • House of Commons event(s)
  • Support for wider investment/tourism/culture/skills activity and wider external campaigns
Total £240k

Our Priorities

We started with focus groups of key leaders, stakeholders and decision makers within – and beyond – our county. They told us in clear terms what needed to change, how we could and should promote our place, and what success might look like for them.

Measuring progress against the original mission and objectives that came directly out of that feedback, we held a pulse check with key decision makers outside the county, as well as the focus group of over 50 originally approached at the outset of We Are Staffordshire.

Q&A at conference

Feedback has been summarised into 4 key areas of focus:


Enhanced relationships – especially with Birmingham and Manchester


Collaboration and enhanced activity between Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire


A single outward facing place marketing ‘front door’ encompassing tourism, investment, skills and culture


Utilising alumni/profile raisers to tell our place story

We have defined the following as priorities, or ‘big ticket items’ in our Delivery Plan for the coming year, though many are long term programs that will appear in perpetuity:

Creation of a Staffordshire Film Office to capture the benefits of filming across our visitor economy, cultural offer and place perception

Return to House of Commons to showcase all our county has to offer to the nation’s MPs and key decision makers

Continuation of ‘Brand Staffordshire’ profile building at UKREiiF and supporting investment service activity

External brand alignment -
We Are Staffordshire

Launch of a programme dedicated to supporting and retaining young people here in Staffordshire, and changing young people’s perceptions of the place

Place Exchange –
City Nation Place Advisory Board work

In Summary

Thank you for being with us on the journey over the last three years – we wouldn’t be here without your engagement, support and collaboration.

Staffordshire is a county of significance, and narrative that echoes out of our Storybook still stands today:

We are a place of national gems, captivating countryside, attractions at every turn, flourishing businesses, successful market towns, at the heart of the UK.

Staffordshire surprises, with national destinations, global brands, a great value and quality of life, fantastically connected, rurally resplendent, a footballing focal point, a place where we remember, with space to breathe in landscapes for living.

It’s a place of innovation that designs, creates and makes; that applies knowledge and pushes boundaries; that opens your mind in landscapes that inspire and always calls you back to a place you care for as home.

It is location, landscape and liveability; it is affably affordable; it is health and well-being; it is innovative and ingenious; it is valued and valuable; it is and we are Staffordshire.

Philip White
Deputy Leader, Staffordshire County Council and
Deputy Place Board Chair, We Are Staffordshire

with Us

With an Ambassador Network that is now 250+ strong and growing, we’d love to connect with you, collaborate, and work together to put our great county on the map.

Connect on socials

Access our toolkit of materials


Download our Storybook