STOKE-ON-TRENT'S entry into the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has won a silver award. The Potteries' Transformation Garden,which is set to be auctioned off following the show, was designed to represent the city's industrial heritage along with the ongoing regeneration in the area.
Across Staffordshire the unemployment claimant count has fallen again, down by 2.5 per cent last month. The number of people in work in the West Midlands is now 2.532 million - up by 107,000 over the course of the last year.
North Staffordshire's Alton Towers has unveiled images of its new £18 million 'Smiler' ride, which it claims has more loops than any other roller-coaster. The Smiler ride will open to the public at the end of May 2013.
Newly-discovered items from the Staffordshire Hoard have been secured for the Midlands, just a week after a fundraising campaign was launched. The 81 items of Anglo-Saxon treasure, discovered in a field near Lichfield last November, have been saved by the Court Jewellers Wartski. The London-based firm donated the full £57,395 needed to secure the items today.
Hundreds of JCB employees joined in the celebrations to mark the production of the company’s one millionth machine – enough diggers to stretch from the UK to Australia. The landmark is being marked in vivid style with the whole of the glass frontage of the World HQ in North Staffordshire, UK, being encased in a striking graphic wrap marking the achievement.
A Stoke-on-Trent railway bridge is to be fully repainted under a £1.6m project. The Longton bridge on King Street has been an eyesore for decades, and has long been a point of contention with residents.
Stoke-on-Trent tablewear specialist Steelite International has received the royal seal of approval for its outstanding performance in overseas markets. The ceramics making firm has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category.
Network Rail has confirmed that Stoke-on-Trent train passengers will see "little or no disruption" from 2014-17, when a £250 rail flyover is built for the West Coast Main Line. The work at Norton Bridge should begin in Spring 2014. A spokesman for the company said that there would not be a repeat of the bus replacements that plagued earlier West Coast Main Line work. They said: "passengers will see little or no disruption to services as a result of this work because most of it will be delivered during weekends and midweek nights." Benefits of the work will include one additional train hourly both ways between Manchester and Birmingham, via Stone and Stoke, and faster train speeds.
MATERIALS experts are building a kiln that could cut energy costs for ceramics firms by up to 30 per cent. Testing and analysis business Ceram is building the kiln at its Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent, headquarters after winning about £2.5 million from the Government's Regional Growth Fund last year.
PLANS to transform a former golf course into a community market garden have been given the go-ahead. Stoke-on-Trent City Council has agreed to grant the Urbivore Foundation a 25-year lease at a peppercorn rent on the Hulme Road site in Weston Coyney.
PRE-TAX profits have increased at tableware manufacturer Churchill China despite a slight slip in revenue. The firm's results for the year ended December 31 showed profit before tax increased 15 per cent to £3.1 million, compared to £2.7 million in 2011.
ONE of Stoke-on-Trent's most-iconic buildings is set to be brought back to life after capturing the imagination of Prince Charles. Burslem's historic Wedgwood Institute has been identified by the Prince for his latest Potteries regeneration project.
PRINCE Charles will showcase the work his charities have done in the Potteries as an example of what can be achieved in other towns and cities. The prince's tour will also see him visit Middleport Pottery near Burslem, the Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent, and Burslem's Wedgwood Institute.
ONLINE box office firm Ticketmaster is recruiting up to 10 web developers as a result of growth within the business. The company's Ticketmaster Systems division, based at Riverside [at the Boothen end of Stoke town], provides marketing support, database management, software solutions, access control technology, consultancy, retail and full project management to a range of clients.
CYCLISTS could soon be riding from the Potteries to the Peak District under plans to create a £2.5 million bike trail. The scheme would also have major tourism benefits as visitors could hop off a train at Stoke-on-Trent station and cycle all the way up to The Roaches and the Manifold Valley. Staffordshire County Council has already committed £750,000 to the project.
A technology company in Stoke-on-Trent is expanding and creating new jobs. Ceram, based in Penkhull, is creating a new arm of the company to boost its work in the UK and overseas. The Technology Department Group aims to look at environmentally friendly ways to use its materials such as cement, aggregates, steel and timber.
STOKE-ON-TRENT POTTERY firm Steelite International has reported record sales – for the third year in a row. The ceramics manufacturer broke its turnover record with sales of £70.2 million in 2012, up six per cent from £66.3 million in 2011.
DETECTED CRIME in Staffordshire is continuing to fall, according to new official figures. The number of offences dropped in a year by more than nine per cent, from 65,559 crimes to 59,403, police said. This follows consecutive annual decreases in the past six years.
Staffordshire is becoming an employment hotspot, with firms in both the north and south generating major new job opportunities. The unemployment figures show that between February 2012 and February 2013, Staffordshire saw a 9.2% fall in the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance. The number of jobless also fell last month in Stoke-on-Trent, the Moorlands, and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
INSURANCE firm Autonet has unveiled a £250,000 expansion plan to set up a training centre and create 130 new jobs. The Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, broker is investing £200,000 to turn its former call centre HQ into a training academy.
Cities in the West Midlands are among areas where businesses have reported strong sales growth in recent years, a new study has shown. An Experian analysis of accounts from 150,000 businesses between 2008 and 2011 showed that nine out of 10 areas with the biggest increases in businesses reporting strong sales growth were in the Midlands or North.
Experian found strong evidence of business growth in Stoke, contradicting the doom-mongering of recent years. Max Firth of Experian said: “Places like Stoke-on-Trent, Hull, Wolverhampton and Birmingham are incubating some strong businesses that have demonstrated the ability to grow significantly, even in the tough economic climate that existed between 2010 and 2011."