How sports are helping showcase the county’s investment potential

It’s been another busy week for us with yet another major event for the county.  The big news over the weekend was the huge success of the UK Corporate Games which attracted over 4,000 competitors from around 100 top UK companies.   This gave us a wonderful opportunity to show off Staffordshire’s investment potential. Swimming, running and the Dragon Boat racing at Trentham Gardens were amongst the sports action on Saturday and saw one of our own members take a medal in the swimming -nothing like the home advantage!

Our Make It Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent team met with representatives from top blue chip companies  and talked about our inward investment opportunities and plans for the future.  For many of these it would have seemed that Staffordshire may not have been an obvious choice for them as a business location . However, having seen the county for themselves and seen how we’re prepared to work with business to make things happen, I’m sure Staffordshire will now be much further up the lists for future expansion locations.

Saturday was Armed Forces Day and as part of our commitment to our armed forces and their families we re-signed the Staffordshire Armed Forces Community Covenant.  The declaration aims to build a relationship where the military draws support from the community and in return the Armed Forces offer their skills and expertise to benefit local people.  Joining us in signing the covenant were military leaders, local district and borough councils, the NHS, Police, Fire and representatives from the community and voluntary sectors.

After the original Covenant was signed in May 2011, twelve local organisations shared funding worth £555,000.  The money was used for a range of local projects which are now benefiting both forces personnel and local communities.

This month we saw the opening of the new £1.4m Futures Centre on the Rodbaston campus at South Staffordshire College.  The centre caters for young people with learning disabilities and  provides Post-16 learning, vocational training and independent living skills.

As well as a modern learning and training area and treatment facilities, learners can also access other on-site facilities such as the visitors centre, the farm, equine and horticultural areas.  This all helps to  build the young people’s confidence, broaden their  experiences and increase their independence.  Having a new centre in Staffordshire also means that young people do not have to go out of county to get the support they need.

And finally, we are reviewing our mobile library service and are asking for people’s views and suggestions on some initial proposals.  Demand for this part of the library service has really fallen in recent years and at a time when we are spending millions of pounds more on providing care for the old and vulnerable, we need to look at other innovative ways of delivering the service and save money.

We are looking at prioritising the service for those who need it most. Ideas include maintaining a service for deprived areas and retaining popular stops, which are more than two miles from an existing library building.  The consultation starts on 1 July and I would encourage people to have their say which they can do at the mobile service, at one of 36 drop-in sessions across the county, in their local library or online at<

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