Busy and buzzing festival comes to a close
The Black Country Business Festival comes to a close today after a busy 12 days that have seen more than 100 events staged by businesses of all sizes and has created a real buzz across the region's companies.
Yesterday focused on topics including environmental challenges such as improving recycling; finding fresh funding; utilising digital technology and training.
The Black Country Environmental Challenge was held at Wolverhampton Racecourse in the afternoon by the EnTRESS (Environmental Technologies and Resource Efficiency Support Scheme) project at the University of Wolverhampton..
Small and medium-sized businesses exhibited innovative green solutions to environmental challenges the racecourse had identified including replacing plastic cups and dealing with organic waste such as horse manure and food waste.
There were also presentations from EnTRESS's Dr Paul Hampton and racecourse general manager Tom Mills.
The Sandwell Business Solutions Centre in West Bromwich hosted a breakfast meet the experts event offering advice on finding and securing funds to take businesses forward from small grants to significant capital assistance from the European Regional Development Fund.
Access to Business and Dudley Business First hosted Meet the Professionals at The Village Hotel, Dudley.
The event was aimed at anyone wishing to explore self employment with guest speakers Chris Pearce, director of Jubilee Fireworks, Dudley, and Julie Evans, owner of Gamervan – an idea that came about from her son wanting a ‘different’ birthday party. Julie re-adapted a van to contain seating and Playstations and Xboxes.
There was a chance to tour the National Foundry Training Centre in Tipton as the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills hosted an event looking at how the training landscape has changed for manufacturing and cast metal companies.
Wolverhampton's Grand Station was the venue for an event looking at using digital technology to unlock brownfield sites, which was run by the University of Wolverhampton It was aimed at remediation and construction companies, land and property developers and land owners.
The festival is the idea of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and is run by Associate Events.
Chamber chief executive Corin Crane said: "Overall its been a remarkable success. We are really pleased with how things have gone with attendances up between 10 and 15 per cent on last year which relfects that the quality of events has vastly improved on the first festival last year with lkots of unusual things taking place as well."
The finale of the festival takes place at lunchtime today with the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley hosting the closing celebration and festival awards.