Sara’s Blog: Receiving the King’s Award, Chamber Council & our Meet the MP events

Sara Williams, being presented the King's Award by Ian Dudson, Lord Lieutenant

It’s been a busy week at Commerce House. On Tuesday, we were presented with the King’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity through social mobility by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Staffordshire, Ian Dudson – one of the proudest moments in the history of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.

The award recognises our unwavering commitment to promoting opportunity and fostering social mobility within our community. It was a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge the incredible efforts of our team and the outstanding initiatives we have undertaken to fulfill this vision – so it was only right that we got together to celebrate!

We were joined by many familiar faces at Commerce House, including our Board, Council, Patrons and invited guests – as well as Councillor Majid Khan, Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent. Guests heard from two speakers; Charlie Beswick from our Boosting Women in Business Programme and Lucy Li from our Positive Pathways programme. Both women serve as an inspiration for anyone wanting to overcome challenges and achieve the goal of setting up a new business, and it was a privilege listening to their stories firsthand.

Congratulations must also be made to the hospitality and catering students from Stoke-on-Trent College who showcased their skills by preparing and serving an afternoon tea-themed buffet for the event. It was delicious!

I joined Staffordshire Chambers some 12 years ago, with a strong belief that business has the power to do good. From empowering individuals, fighting climate change and uplifting communities, we have ensured that Staffordshire Chambers embodies these important values and I am so proud that this work has been nationally, and now royally recognised. While my role may be changing, I have no doubt that these principles that have guided us will remain at the heart of this Chamber.

A full list of images from the presentation can be found here. Please use the password coc2.

Chamber Council

Our Chamber Council met on Wednesday and we received an update regarding the West Midlands Interchange development, which will take shape at Four Ashes in South Staffordshire. The site has been regarded as the UK’s most significant logistics development, offering up to 8 million sq. feet of capacity.  The site is close to junction 12 of the M6, with good connectivity to the UK motorway network, but it will also enjoy additional access to and from the site by rail, with links to the West Coast Mainline.

West Midlands Interchange is being developed with building design to include reduced energy consumption and aspirations to use the extensive rooftop space to house PV cells and effectively generate sufficient energy for the site. We’ll look forward to the ongoing development of this site in the coming years and hope that it will help to attract businesses and jobs into the south of our county, taking advantage of the area’s exceptional road and rail connectivity.

We end the week with our latest ‘Meet the MP’ meeting, when Jonathan Gullis, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, meets with Chamber members to discuss a mix of topics including transport, skills and business premises. This follows our recent ‘Meet the MP’ meetings with Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke on Trent South, and Aaron Bell, MP for Newcastle under Lyme.   Any business can book a 1:1 with an MP but nothing beats coming together to discuss common business issues.  We meet with Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke on Trent Central, on Friday 10th November and if you would like to join the meeting, please contact Declan Riddell:

As you can see – it really has been a busy week at Commerce House – but it’s times like these that demonstrate the breadth and range of the services that we offer as a Chamber. Whether it’s our award-winning flagship programmes or our representation of local businesses through our Meet the MP sessions, I am extremely proud of the support that we continue to offer to the Staffordshire business community.

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, including funding, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222, call the Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

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