Cannock Chase Cannock Chase

Chamber of Commerce


Stands are selling fast for this year’s Let’s Do Business, Staffordshire’s biggest business exhibition, with half gone already. Businesses are now being urged stands as

soon as possible if they wanted to be part of the exclusive networking event which attracts hundreds of delegates from a broad range of sectors. The free to attend event will take place at

Uttoxeter Racecourse on 25 June. Chamber director Chris Plant said:

“Staffordshire is spectacularly successful at breeding and encouraging new, small, exciting firms full of dynamism and promise. There is no shortage of enterprise in this

county but there is a shortage of shouting about it. So full marks to everyone who is planning to exhibit or attend our exhibition. “Exhibition stands sold out three months

prior to the event last year and we have received a huge number of enquiries already. “We expect this year’s event to surpass the

success of 2017, 2018 and 2019, we are confident of attracting over 1000 visitors – making it the biggest business event in the county again.” Sara Williams, CEO of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “Let’s Do Business fully emphasised the Chamber’s culture of connectivity, bringing together businesses from across the region in a vibrant hub of opportunity. It was fantastic to see so many businesses engaging, building new relationships and growing their prospects. “Staffordshire is home to thousands of

thriving businesses and the county is part of the economic engine of growth for the whole of the country. “This is something we will recognise at our

inaugural Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Business Awards being held later this year. The Let’s Do Business exhibition showcases the strength of our business community.”

Staffordshire County Council is hoping to boost apprenticeship numbers in the region. The county – which is already enjoying near

full employment – recorded 7,300 apprenticeships in the 2018/19 financial year, a six per cent increase on the previous 12 months. Philip White, Staffordshire County Council’s

cabinet member for learning and employability, said: “It is good that we are continuing to see near full employment in the county, but our focus remains on ensuring people are able to access better skilled and higher paid jobs. “The local enterprise partnership’s advanced

manufacturing and engineering hub is doing some fantastic work in improving people’s skills in our main industry sectors and we jointly encourage businesses to take on more apprentices as a gateway to work. “Apprentices play an important part in

strengthening the Staffordshire economy. It is hugely encouraging that we have seen a big increase in higher apprenticeships. They are available at a range of levels, from the equivalent of a foundation degree to a bachelor’s degree and even master’s degree level in some sectors.”

46 CHAMBERLINK April 2020

Contact: Chris Plant T: 0845 6036650

Chase Chamber Patrons

MP welcomes timetable changes on troubled line

Campaigning Cannock MP Amanda Milling has welcomed proposed timetable changes on the troubled Chase Line. The Chase Line is a commuter line which

connects the West Coast Main Line at Rugeley with Birmingham, and is operated by West Midlands Trains. Ms Milling says the line has been subject to

‘many months of service disruption, with trains being cancelled, delayed and terminated before completing their full route’. She has been lobbying West Midlands Trains

to address these issues and the operator has come up with a number of plans to deal with the situation.

‘I urge passengers to keep me updated on their experiences travelling on the line’

Although the cancellations and early

termination of services have reduced in their frequency in recent weeks, Ms Milling has continued to put pressure on West Midlands Trains to make the service more reliable. She met with West Midlands Trains, with the

company outlining further measures they are implementing in to address the reliability issues, ahead of major timetable changes next month. Ms Milling said: “There have been many issues

reported to me by passengers that do still include delayed and cancelled trains, as well as staff shortages, anti-social behaviour and fare- dodging on the Chase Line. “I raised all these issues in my meeting with

West Midlands Trains and I impressed on them the need to address these issues.” Among the changes already made is the end of a contentious hourly service that ran from the

Train pain: Amanda Milling with former transport secretary Chris Grayling at Hednesford station, on the Chase Line

Chase Line all the way to London. According to Ms Milling, this was often terminated at Hednesford, in order to turn around early in order to make up time so that it could get to London Euston. The service will now no longer run as far as

Euston, and will terminate at either Birmingham or Coventry, which Ms Milling said should mean a more reliable service on the Chase Line. She said: “I urge passengers to keep me

updated on their experiences travelling on the line, as I will continue to hold West Midlands Trains to account for any failings in the service.”

Graffiti part of town’s new look

Cannock Chase Council’s Cabinet is to spend £94,000 on environmental improvements in Cannock town centre – including spraying graffiti on the roller shutter doors of its own buildings. The graffiti will actually be works of art, and

will adorn the shutters of empty council owned buildings. The town centre improvements will also

include more traditional painting, and this will include all of the street furniture. There will also be enhancements to the

outside of the Prince of Wales Theatre, which will include placing a vinyl wrap around the front and sides of the building. The environmental improvements are to be largely completed to coincide with the opening

of McArthur Glen Designer Outlet West Midlands in September. Town councillor Gordon Alcott said: “We want

to make sure that the existing town centre looks as welcoming as it can, with a predicted growth of 3-4 million visitors per annum, of which some will carry out a dual trip to Cannock town centre. “While the medium to long term ambition is

to redevelop the multi-storey car park, the environmental improvements in the short term will give a more pleasing outlook and improve the image of the town centre.” The council is also spending £89,950 on

improving its pay and display machines, to allow credit card and contactless payments to be made. The council is also looking into a ‘pay by phone’ option for car parking in the town.

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