The New Vic Theatre is inviting people to explore behind-the-scenes when it throws open its doors for a fun-packed open day for all the family on Saturday 14 September.

The free event sees the theatre-in-the-round offering an access-all-areas experience for the public, inviting people of all ages to come along and get an insight into how shows are brought to life on their unique stage. A whole host of activities will be on offer throughout the day for people to enjoy and get involved with.

Customers are invited to explore the theatre’s Costume, Design and Workshop departments, discover the technical magic behind some of the special effects seen in productions with the Lighting and Sound teams and learn secret tricks-of-the-trade from the Stage Management team. There will also be the opportunity to take a tour of the building, see inside the theatre Props store, find out what happens inside a rehearsal room, as the New Vic’s Artistic Director works with actors on a forthcoming production, plus much more.

Theresa Heskins, New Vic Artistic Director, said: “The whole team at the New Vic are passionate about the work we do here and we’re really looking forward to inviting audiences to come behind-the-scenes at the theatre and find out more about how we create our productions. There’ll be lots on offer for all the family to enjoy on the day – it’s a chance for people of all ages to find out some stage secrets and explore areas of the theatre that the public don’t normally get to see.”

The New Vic’s free Open Day takes place from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 14 September. Part of this year’s Heritage Open Days, the New Vic’s Open Day also offers audiences the opportunity to find out a bit more about the history of the building from the staff team.

For more information about activities planned for the day and a schedule of events, visit

Come and enjoy breakfast and coffee with the Apprenticeships Team at Leek College. Find out more about Apprenticeships, what Apprenticeships we offer and how they can help your business. We aim to dispel any myths and misnomers about Apprenticeships and their costs as well as answer any questions or queries you may have. There will be a short talk by Tom Malpass, Business Development Manager for Apprenticeships at Buxton and Leek College, as well as Jacqui Burdekin from the Chambers who will be sharing her own experience of employing apprentices.

8-8.45am – Breakfast and registration

8.45-9.30am – Presentation(s) + Q&A

9.30-10am – Networking time

Please RSVP!

N.B Pay and Display Parking can be found at Vicarage Road, Leek, ST13 6AS

Following the success of the March expo we look forward to bringing Your Business Expo back to Tillington Hall Hotel, Stafford on Wednesday 2nd October. We are excited to share that Google Digital Garage will be delivering FREE workshops throughout the day, so if you are looking for some free tips, and some training this is a great opportunity. The expo is FREE to attend for visitors and has so much to offer!
If you have not booked your expo stand yet, we do still have stand spaces available at a special rate for Staffordshire Chamber Members. Book a stand today at £125 (normal rate £195). This is a space only basis with a cover table and two chairs. If you would like to receive further information on booking a stand, please do not hesitate to contact Sheila 07809 635181 or Kate 07725 762152

Leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has expanded its team in Stoke-on-Trent with the appointment of 13 new school leaver and graduate trainees – a 46 per cent increase on last year’s intake. The high level of new recruits reflects a significant uplift in activity and a determination to continue to offer clients the best possible service.

The new trainees will begin their careers within the firm’s, audit, accounting and business advisory, tax and corporate finance faculties and will be based in the firm’s office on Festival Way.

These appointments are part of another record intake of 400 trainees across RSM’s UK office network, up on the 314 who joined the firm last year, as part of its continued bid to strengthen the wider growth of the firm and to become first choice adviser to middle market leaders globally.

The new recruits will start their RSM careers on an intensive training course and will also commence study towards their professional qualifications.

Anne Lakin, RSM’s office managing partner in Stoke-on-Trent said: ‘I am extremely proud to welcome this group of very talented new trainees to the firm – nearly double the intake of last year. This reflects the continued growth of the business and marks an exciting time for RSM in Stoke.

‘Each trainee has the potential to be future leaders, and we are committed to providing our new joiners from school or university with all the support they need to develop throughout their careers.

‘Our trainees need to be committed and prepared to work hard, but if they do the opportunities are there for the taking; from experience of working across our broad range of client services to international secondments, and continuous career progression.’

RSM offers trainees a range of career opportunities from technical development and overseas secondments to participation in key corporate and social responsibility activity, including taking on the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.

For further information on the career opportunities on offer at RSM for students and school leavers please visit

Self-Publishing Made Simple, a local company based at Newcastle-under-Lyme, is organising a one-day masterclass on the 20th September to help successful entrepreneurs, consultants, and visionaries to write, publish, and launch their books on Amazon.

Set in the beautiful Keele Hall in North Staffordshire, this one-day event breaks down the steps to successful best-seller publishing — from doing your market research, to crafting your book outline, to writing and packaging your book, and selling it like a seasoned pro!

We will show you step-by-step on how you can get it done (despite your hectic schedule) and plan out a publishing and marketing strategy so your book hits #1 best-seller on Amazon when you launch.

If you are super busy, you may also send a member of your team to join us. We’ll show them how to get your book ready for the Amazon marketplace — so you won’t have to get a publisher to do it for you.

As a Chamber Member, you also get a 30% discount if you register by Sunday, the 8th September.

Simply use the PROMO code “CHAMBER” at checkout.

To reserve your place or if you’d like to learn more, visit: or email Dr Emee Estacio at

UK Export Finance (UKEF), the Government’s Export Credit Agency, works very closely with the Department For International Trade with a main aim to boost exports for the UK.  Anne Lockett is one of 24 regionally based export finance managers who try to ensure that no viable export contract fails due to lack of finance or insurance. Anne covers Staffordshire, Shropshire and Black Country and explains below how UKEF may be able to offer support to your business.

The best part of my job is engaging with many local businesses in Staffordshire  (either by phone or a visit),  understanding your  financial challenges and helping you to find a solution. The best part for your business is that the advisory element is completely impartial and free of charge.  Ultimately, my primary aim is to ensure that you do not turn an export contract away due to lack of finance or because you fear you might not get paid – I want to help you grow your exports and help you become a more successful international business.

The challenges that businesses face in raising finance to support export activities are many and varied.  It might be that you have won a new, larger than normal contract, or that you have received an influx of orders and you will need more finance to fulfil them all.  You may have negotiated an advance payment for which your buyer requires an advance payment guarantee or performance guarantee.  When exporting, the trade cycle is often elongated whilst you wait for the goods to be shipped across the world before payment is received and this can put a strain on the working capital of your  business.  Part of my role is to help you raise the finance, either by working with your bank or by helping you find another funder.  This can significantly shorten your search to find a solution.

You may be dealing with a new customer in a new overseas market that you are not familiar with and you require some certainty about getting paid.  Again, I can suggest ways to mitigate the  risk of not getting paid  which could include directing you to a credit insurance broker or helping you apply for an export insurance policy offered by the Government.

If you would like to know more or arrange a consultation, please contact me at  I am happy to talk to any size of  business in any sector.