Supporting local business

I’m glad to see that our Business Loan Fund in partnership with BCRS (Black Country Reinvestment Society ) is continuing to help many of our local companies. Since 2009 we have supported well over one hundred Staffordshire companies which has helped to safeguard and create many more jobs.

Healthcare Licensing Support is one company who have benefited from the scheme to help develop and expand their business. The Cannock based company provides appraisal, and revalidation services within the health sector and GP’s. Thanks to the support from the fund the company is now looking to further growth and to help the local economy through potential employment opportunities.

The fund supports Staffordshire based businesses that are unable to obtain finance from mainstream lenders. It is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and loans of £10,000 to £50,000 are made available to viable businesses. Businesses can find out more by visiting or by calling 0845 3138410.

I’m sure most people will agree with me that the Shugborough Estate is a wonderful attraction with stunning grounds that gives visitors a great day out. Not so well known though is the important work going on down there behind the scene on the farm to preserve some very rare breeds of sheep and goats.

Last year the Estate was recognised for its work in protecting some of the world’s rarest breeds of livestock while building on the County’s farming economy. This spring the Estate is expecting its biggest baby boom of rare breeds ever and for the first time people are being given the chance to come along and see the new arrivals being born.

Lambing will take place in The Granary, where visitors can keep warm and sit on hay bales in front of an arched pen area; and The Stackyard, outside. A series of other activities – including bedtime bottle feeding and a rare breed’s talk – will also be lined-up, to fill the gaps in between lambs are being born. The stars of the nights will include some of the rare breed sheep including the Southdown, Soay and Boreray sheep. You can find out more at

To the world of sport now! I was pleased to hear about another top sporting event making it’s way to the county. UEFA announced that they will be holding their under 17s Football Championship finals in St. George’s Park in 2018. This is exciting news and proves again that the county is fast becoming a location for top national and international sporting events.

St. George’s Park has already hosted a number of high-profile events since it opened and this summer will also be hosting the World Championship for Cerebral Palsy which will see teams from across the globe battle it out.

This year we have a packed calendar of international sporting events including Staffordshire Ironman 70.3 and The UK Corporate Games both in June. I’m confident that our network of clubs and volunteers will all use this opportunity to inspire a new generation of sportsmen and women.


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