Lichfield & Tamworth Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber Patrons

Contact: Chris Brewerton T: 0845 6036650


Tamworth Borough Council’s successful start-up business grant scheme is set to carry on into a fourth year, offering help to individuals wanting to set up new businesses in the locality. The scheme is now encouraging

entrepreneurs and small businesses to apply for the new round of grants of between £500 and £1,000, before the application closing date of 29 May. Businesses benefiting from the grant

scheme during the last 12 months have included a repair services, music tutor, barber and a driving instructor. A total of 58 businesses have so far been

supported to the value of nearly £47,400 over the three years it has been running. To receive the grants, individuals are

required to meet some basic criteria. This includes attending the Enterprise for

Success programme, which provides 12 hours of one-to-one advice and support delivered from Tamworth Enterprise Centre at Philip Dix House in Corporation Street. The Enterprise for Success programme

ensures people have the right skills they need to run their business and results in the creation of a business plan. An annual budget of £20,000 has been

allocated to the scheme, with around £5,000 being distributed per quarter. This is subject to annual budget reviews and agreements up to 31 March 2023.

The Community Foundation for Staffordshire has launched an appeal to raise funds to support vulnerable, isolated people and communities across the county who have been affected by coronavirus. The appeal has already raised over £65,000

in its first 24 hours. Every single pound donated to the appeal

will go to help and support those who have been forced to isolate and do not have or have lost access to support services. To donate, visit Every pound raised will be distributed to

affected people. The fund aims to support those organisations and ensure that vital services for vulnerable and isolated people remain in place. The Community Foundation for

Staffordshire is a team of professional local community fund and grant managers, which gives away over £1million every year to voluntary organisations and charities. Steve Adams, chief executive of the

Community Foundation for Staffordshire said: “We are experiencing a national emergency and our local vulnerable and isolated people need help. This fund will help them. The more money donated; the more help can be given. We want to raise £100,000 within one week to trigger targeted payments across the county. “If you want to donate visit our Just Giving

page. If you wish to apply for funding call us now on 01785 339540 and we will look at everything on a case by case basis.”

48 CHAMBERLINK April 2020

Town’s council houses to get major overhaul

Meeting local housing needs (from left): Justin Catton and Paul Bingham (both ENGIE), Cllr Michelle Cook, and Tom Langley from Wates Living Space

Tamworth Borough Council has awarded contracts worth more than £100million for the improvement, repair and maintenance of the town’s 4,200 council houses during the next decade. The contract has been split into two, and has

replaced a single agreement with Wates Living Space. Wates, which has an office in Birmingham, is

being kept on, and will be responsible for improvement projects, including new kitchens and bathrooms. This contract is worth around £50m. The other contract is for day-to-day and out

of hours emergency repairs, as well as repairs to empty properties, aids and adaptations, planned maintenance, annual gas servicing and repairs to other council property, and this has been given to French multinational utility giant ENGIE. ENGIE’s contract is worth around £67million.

The company recently won a contract to design a new zero carbon smart energy system for nearby Rugeley. As well as the new contracts, Tamworth

Borough Council will be bringing the repairs call centre in-house, in a bid to improve the way it works. From this month, a dedicated repairs line will be managed by specialist call handlers at the council during working hours. The out-of-hours service will be provided by

ENGIE for an initial period of 12 months while the new contracts are bedded in. Tamworth councillor Michelle Cook said:

“Providing decent affordable homes is one of our main priorities and represents a significant proportion of council spending. “This means we have to achieve the best value

for money possible, while ensuring our housing is of a high standard and that the service we provide to tenants is a good one. “Wates Living Space and ENGIE were selected after a robust, two-stage procurement process

which included external legal and consultative support, interviews involving tenants and detailed assessments of all elements of the bids submitted. “We were also keen to take control of the

housing repairs call centre, so that future calls will be received and dealt with by Tamworth Borough Council. “We’ll be extending the team to facilitate this so

we can drive improvements in call handling, repair diagnostics, and scheduling and importantly, follow up after repairs have been carried out.

‘Providing decent affordable homes is one of our main priorities’

Martin Smithurst, ENGIE’s chief operating

officer, places and communities, said: “The ten year scheme will deliver significant support to Tamworth residents, providing safe and desirable accommodation, as well as demonstrating the capability and experience of our team and supply chain to respond to projects of this nature.” David Morgan, managing director of Wates

Property Services, said: “Having worked with Tamworth Borough Council as their repairs and maintenance service provider for the past three years, our team is extremely proficient in providing a service that is tailored to the needs of residents. “This has given us a solid foundation for the

coming decade, throughout which we will continue to deliver a high quality and efficient service that helps to improve quality of life for local people. “The longevity of the contract provides us

with an invaluable opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the local community and we look forward to working with our neighbours to provide many opportunities for training and employment within our team.”

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