Stoke-on-Trent is to be adorned with new sculpture representing the value of recycling.

Staffordshire-based apprenticeship provider PM Training has announced the impending installation of a new recycling sculpture at the Lichfield Street roundabout in Stoke.

Designed by PM Training’s Artworks department and Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Waste & Recycling team, the ‘hand of recycling’ sculpture is based on the globally recognised arrows which represent recycling. It follows a similar sculpture which has been installed already on the Bottleslow roundabout.

Commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the sculpture stands at eight-feet tall, and it is expected the installation will become a familiar landmark for residents in the area.

Dan Canavan, Training Operations Director at PM Training, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the council on this art installation, which will hopefully encourage people to think differently about recycling.

“The structure itself is made up of hundreds of recycled pieces of steel. Each piece was added by a young person from Stoke-on-Trent, many of whom are PM Training’s learners, colleagues and future engineering apprentices.

“The intention is for the sculpture to not only represent a conscious attitude towards the environment, but to further the promotion of recycling in Stoke and to visitors from around the UK.”

Two Stoke-on-Trent City Council councillors – Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people, and Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for environment – visited PM Training to take part in creating the art sculpture by adding their own piece to the hands of recycling.

Councillor Carl Edwards said: “Stoke-on-Trent City Council was more than delighted to provide the materials for this great piece of art.

“It is clear a lot of hard work and dedication by the PM training apprentices has gone into making the sculpture and I can’t wait to see the sculpture on display in the city made out of recyclable materials.”

Councillor Dave Evans said: “It was a great experience to visit the site and take part in creating the art sculpture.

“Providing education and employment skills in different ways is crucial to building a city that works, and PM training provides crucial vocational training.”

Artworks is part of PM Training, which offers a number of opportunities to school leavers and prospective apprentices, also giving employers the chance to take on talented youngsters who can contribute to the growth of their business. Artworks is responsible for architectural and sculptural metalwork which is specifically designed to be public art enjoyed by the wider community.

MADE Wellness Centre, based at Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat and surrounded by stunning countryside, is Staffordshire’s wellness venue.

There are four bespoke workout zones to appeal to fitness novices and enthusiasts alike. Their boutique gym is packed with a large range of custom-made black fitness equipment. The unique outdoor training terrace, complete with 150m2 of cushioned astro turf, is designed for boot-camp style workouts, stretching, and sunrise yoga sessions. Immerse yourself in their state-of-the art cycling cave, providing a fun and exciting way of exercising. Their functional studio completes the fitness offering with plenty of exciting fitness and wellness classes taking place throughout the day.

This is all brought to you by their experienced in-house team of industry professionals who offer support, advice and a bespoke fitness lifestyle you can trust in, plus the healthy café offering an array of healthy meals, smoothies, take-aways & tasty treats.

Want to hear about MADE’s latest offers, events, nutrition tips, yoga and more? Sign up to their newsletter here: https://www.welcometomade.com/newsletter-signup/

 

EXCLUSIVE CHAMBER FREEBIE! 

Exclusively for Chamber members, MADE are offering you a VIP one week free trial of MADE Wellness Centre (worth £17.50) to be used at any point until the end of February 2020!

Call 01782 969300 or email hello@welcometomade.com. Alternatively, why not pop in? QUOTE: MADE CHAMBER

Your free week includes:

Unlimited SWEAT classes (HIIT, boxing, circuits, indoor cycle)

Unlimited OM classes (yoga, pilates, meditation)

Unlimited use of the boutique gym

Members only “Gym HIIT” group personal training sessions

View the timetable here: (link to https://www.welcometomade.com/class-timetable-2/)

 

MEMBERSHIP DISCOUNTS

For a limited time only, MADE are offering 20% off their 12 month peak, off peak and gym only memberships.

That means that their peak membership, which includes unlimited fitness & yoga classes, gym use, 3D body scans, advice, members wellness talks, discount in their café & retail shop and more, is currently only £60 / month.

Interested in spa and wellness? Talk to them about their all-inclusive Spa and Wellness membership which includes use of facilities at Moddershall Oaks*.

Terms and conditions apply. Free week and memberships subject to availability. Membership discount offer can be withdrawn at any time.

*entry times apply

MADE Wellness Centre, Based @ Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat, Moddershall, Near Stone, ST15 8TG

01782 969300 | Hello@welcometomade.com |Welcometomade.com

Laurels Tech is a complete virtual tour creator, website design, hosting, SEO and content management service that offers everything from a simple single page promotion to a full ecommerce site.

Its 360 degree virtual tours are a perfect way to promote museums, theatres, galleries, exhibition centres, stately homes, sports facilities, real estate, hotels, serviced apartments, commercial properties and resorts and spas.

Here are eight reasons why your business should be using 360 degree virtual tours:

 

  1. Increase visibility and rank higher on Google

 

Businesses that feature a virtual tour rank higher than their local competitors in Google listings.

 

By adding a virtual tour to a listing, you’re helping your visitors understand your shop, restaurant, business or products. In some sectors businesses with a 360 degree virtual tour have seen an increase of 85% in their online bookings.

 

By posting a virtual tour on your Facebook or LinkedIn page, your social media audiences will get a better feel for your business too. Any engagement or social sharing will also send positive signals to Google about the importance of your business in the community.

 

  1. Shows your business personality

 

One key feature of a 360 degree virtual tour is that it provides a great representation of your brand at a glance. The majority of direct searches looking for your business will be greeted with a virtual tour that immediately shows off your company’s personality.

 

  1. Increase transparency and trust

 

You’re not just telling people about your business or products, you’re showing them. They’re free to wander (virtually) wherever they want within the tour we create. This demonstrates that your company is open, honest and transparent about its space without just saying so.

 

This is particularly effective for event spaces, like theatres, galleries and meeting rooms. A full 360 tour of the venue and the amazing 3D view let’s potential customers get a real feel for your event space and whether it’s suitable for them. People know exactly what they’re getting by choosing your business.

 

  1. Providing people with what they need

 

In today’s world, everybody has busy lives and a short attention span. The visual impact of your virtual tour makes it possible to grab their attention.

 

Internet users are more receptive to content that allows them to interact. People are attracted to content they can touch, visualise and quickly understand. A virtual tour addresses these needs, so you’ll see stronger results in your digital marketing.

5.       Let non-local prospects experience your business

One key thing that your virtual tour can do, (especially if it’s linked to Google StreetView) is to give non-local prospects the ability to tour your property or business space. This is also true for people who may have mobility issues.

 

  1. Double interest in your business

 

According to Google, virtual tours on listings increase interest by 100%. Who wouldn’t want to double interest in their business by publishing a virtual tour to Google just one time?

 

  1. Help customers make informed decisions

 

A virtual tour is a key research tool for users. It allows them to refine their search more easily and make an informed decision about your business.

 

If you own a restaurant, users can very quickly understand the atmosphere you have. Or if you own a wedding venue, the bride and groom may be browsing your space to get a feel for the size and layout of the reception hall.

 

As an Estate agent imagine the time you can save by not having to show people around properties that they’ve decided they don’t like within five minutes of arriving. With a virtual tour, they’re already warm leads. They’ve seen the property already, so their buying intent is there.

 

  1. Attract more customers

 

Nearly everyone searches for a business online before making a decision. If they have a virtual tour at their disposal, you’re more likely to attract them to your business.

 

There are no barriers for people who are immobile or across the country. You offer a connection that reaches even more customers than just those people in your town, city or county.

 

Why choose Laurels Tech Web Design

 

Virtual 360 tours don’t have to cost a fortune.

You decide what spaces and features you want to include in the tour. Options include floorplans, embedded videos or photographs, information hotspots, 360 photographs, a video recording of a virtual tour and integration with Google StreetView.

Their virtual tours come with YOUR branding and contact details so no matter where potential customers see the tour, they know who to come back to.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Phil Tester at Laurels Tech Web Design on 01538 702629, email phil@laurelstech.co.uk or visit https://laurelstech.co.uk/

 

Raising money for our 26 charities is an important part of our work at Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce. We were thrilled to celebrate this week with representatives from the Chamber charities over a festive glass of fizz and a mince pie. Chief Executive Sara Williams presented cheques to the charities from the total we’ve raised so far to support the life changing work of these great causes we have in Staffordshire.

Our Christmas raffle is currently raising more funds for these charities, with prizes ranging from a festive boozy tipple to a bright pink wheelbarrow. Tickets are available for £5 from the Chamber office until 19th December.

The UK’s largest transatlantic tour operator, Virgin Holidays, is bringing its range of holiday packages to intu Potteries just in time for Christmas, perfect for those looking to book a getaway to escape the January blues.

intu Potteries announced the new store this week and the shop fit is now underway, ahead of the new store opening on the upper mall by Next. The new travel shop will offer customers the chance to book once-in-a-lifetime holidays across the globe – from the USA to the Caribbean, from the Far East to Mauritius with plenty of other sought-after destinations in-between, as well as its well-established ski programme.

Virgin Holidays is the latest brand to invest in the Stoke-on-Trent shopping destination, joining Superdry, which recently opened in the centre.

Rachael Jackson, general manager at intu Potteries, said: “Virgin Holidays is the perfect addition to our expanding range of stores. The new travel shop is set to be a hit with families, couples and solo-travellers alike, with packages to suit all interests and budgets. We’re committed to bringing a wide range of brands and experiences to our shoppers, and the new Virgin Holidays store will help us do just that.”

Building on its extensive catalogue, Klarius has added a new exhaust system to fit the trailblazing Toyota Prius Plus 1.8 hybrid to the range. BMW saloons have also been an area of focus, with new Klarius systems now available to fit the 318, 320 and 2009-2016 520 2.0. Reflecting the upward trajectory of the South Korean brand, new replacement exhausts have been introduced for the distinctive 2011-2015 Hyundai I30 1.6 and the I20 1.2 from 2014 onwards. Other notable exhaust applications include the dependable 2006-2011 Skoda Octavia, the 2006-2011 Honda CR-V 2.2 and the Citroen C3 Picasso 1.6.

New to range Klarius emission control components include DPFs for the latest version of Ford’s iconic Transit. All-new aftermarket exhausts have also been developed for popular Hyundai hatchbacks, BMW saloons, compact MPVs from Citroen, a Honda SUV and Toyota hybrid – all available with next-morning delivery in the UK.

Klarius’ range development program is demand driven, so is responsive to market needs. In-house capabilities include research and development, testing and manufacturing, so time to market for new products is relatively short.

The full manufacturing cycle and a major focus on quality means the business also supplies products into the OES market, another sign of superior product performance and market confidence. Legislative compliance on all applicable components is standard, while all customers benefit from a 2-year warranty and Fit First Time guarantee on all parts.

Klarius develops new aftermarket components to support both niche and popular vehicle applications, offering a wide choice to distribution customers. This is balanced with dynamic stocking procedures, ensuring maximum availability for both popular and slow-moving components. With deliveries taken care of by in-house logistics partner, Autologistiks, customers can specify any component in the 11,000+ range and expect next morning delivery as standard.

To stay up to date with the latest parts and news, email cs.team@klarius.eu.

Sales soar for Staffordshire-based plumbing business, PlumbGas, as their website climbs to the top of search engines in a matter of just 4 months.

PlumbGas, who provide plumbing and heating services to Stafford and the surrounding areas, have increased their online visibility in the local area by over 800% in just 4 months using local search engine optimisation techniques alone.

To achieve their latest success, PlumbGas teamed up with fellow Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce members, Kanuka Digital, who deployed technical, on-page and off-page local SEO activities.

Whilst small businesses within the area continue to shy away from SEO and PPC practices, the results are now impossible to ignore. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and local SEO is now the key driver for conversion and brand awareness both online and offline.

Katrina, Office Manager at PlumbGas said: “We met Joe from Kanuka at a Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce event earlier this year and we are glad we did. The work they have done for us in a short period of time has made such a difference and we have noticed much more work coming through thanks to the massive improvement of our SEO.”

The digital marketing agency, who have also worked with the likes of Tile Giant and Clink Hostels since fruition in 2018, are determined to help businesses in Staffordshire to tackle the uncertain future and unstable economy.

Joe Tuner, Digital Marketing Manager at Kanuka Digital, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to contribute to the growth of a local business. PlumbGas are a great company who provide a consistently excellent service to their customers, they just needed a lift to get them up the search rankings to boost awareness. Local SEO is something many SMEs tend to overlook, but this just demonstrates the results that are achievable.”

To find out more about local SEO and how it can help your business, visit http://www.kanukadigital.com

Thursday 21st November 2019, a cold morning in the heart of the picturesque Derbyshire countryside – the perfect day to plant some trees.

JG Fenn Ltd took part in the Carbon Capture tree planting day with the Woodland Trust and Premier Paper in Derbyshire. Joined by TV’s Julia Bradbury and the Outdoor Guide, the 300 plus tree planters included staff from Michelin, Currys PC World and The PDSA. The event even attracted staff from the global forestry organisation the PEFC (Program for Enforcement of Forestry Certification). The volunteers met at the Woodland Trust’s Heanor site in Derbyshire and were greeted with fresh breakfast sandwiches, hot coffees and teas. After a series of brief introductions, the intrepid eco-warriors took to the fields armed with spade, wellies and determination, despite the bitterly cold November air.

The tree planting took place near Heanor in Derbyshire, previously the site of a former opencast mine the area has been transformed into a haven for wildlife and people. The Woodland Trust plan to develop the site further, creating the Young People’s Forest – a giant classroom for children and young people aged 10-20. They’ll be planting trees, learning about nature as well as designing, delivering and taking in part in activities.

As the day came to an end the final number of trees that had been planted totalled an impressive 13,000. Amongst the saplings that were planted were maple, oak and silver birch, hawthorn and hazel – all of which are broadleaf trees native to the UK.

JG Fenn’s Managing Director Louise Harris said: “This one-day event has meant that these 13,000 trees will grow to capture 3,250 tonnes of CO2. That’s the equivalent weight to 722 female African elephants! We are extremely grateful to all our customers who have taken part to support us”.

Carbon Capture is the market leading environmental initiative. Through the Carbon Capture programme J G Fenn offer their clients the opportunity to mitigate the CO2 emissions from their product purchases by planting new native woodland in the UK with the Woodland Trust and the Woodland Carbon scheme.

Lightning fast fibre-optic connectivity with Gigabolt has now landed at Beacon Business Park in Stafford, making it the first full-fibre business park to offer the next generation of broadband technology in Staffordshire.

Beacon Business Park has always embraced technology at the forefront of its vision to provide diverse and innovative manufacturing and working spaces for business in the area.

In this latest stage of development, the park created a set of 16 new office suites in a range of sizes, most of which have already been let. Recognising that the current internet speeds in the area were unimpressive, they teamed up with Internet Central to offer the Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) fibre in conjunction with the government’s gigabit voucher scheme.

Scott James, Enterprise Solutions Manager at Internet Central, commended the owners of the business park, ISE Estates Ltd, on their forward planning to meet the needs of local business:

‘ISE are bringing this park into the future to enable faster growth, valuing the internet as a vital asset to the success of every business.’

Businesses on the park will be able to enjoy full end-to-end fibre connectivity, providing the stable higher-speed internet needed to support cloud-based applications, along with next generations telephony, ultra HD video and conferencing facilities.

Gigabolt promises an average speed of 900Mb/s compared to the UK average of 48Mb/s (Ofcom data May 2018). This completely new infrastructure is perfect for use with the latest generation of WiFi with an IC core network uptime of 99.997% in the last five years.

For more information about commercial property in Staffordshire, contact ISE Estates on 01785 256098 or email info@espleys.co.uk.

Business Showcase Open Days

Businesses tell us that they are struggling to attract and retain homegrown talent, and that school and college leavers aren’t aware of the job prospects in local firms across Staffordshire. That’s why we’re excited to be part of the British Chambers of Commerce new national initiative, Business Showcase Open Days.

Running in February 2020 these Showcase Open Days will see businesses across the country open their doors, providing a chance for local schools, colleges and universities to see first-hand the range of different career paths on offer in local businesses.

As a business you could provide, for example, a tour of your shop floor, warehouse or factory or give a presentation on site about how your business works. Maybe you could run a Meet our Staff event in your office to show young people the range of career opportunities on offer.

The hope is that it will inspire the next generation of Staffordshire’s workforce to understand the range of sectors and industries in the region and for businesses to attract and identify talent.

The Showcase Open Days will also allow businesses and schools to develop connections to help to bridge the gap between business and education.

Participation by businesses is entirely flexible – you can choose what days/times you can open your doors, what type of education provider you would like to support and how many students you could comfortably accommodate. Staffordshire Chambers will then promote your opportunities to schools across the county and will support in matching up schools and businesses based on the requirements of both.

If you would like to get involved in this national initiative, please complete the following form and return to Tom Nadin: Business Showcase Open Days Form

This information will be compiled for all businesses and a booking form will be sent to schools. Schools will then be able to choose on a first come, first serve basis which Business Showcase Open Day they would like to attend. We will then provide your details to the school for them to make contact and organise the visit.

For more information please contact tom.nadin@staffordshirechambers.co.uk