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Home / News & Opportunities / Blog / May 2016 / MIKE ASHTON – THE MONTH IN FOCUS

Date: 05/05/2016

As many of you will be aware, the countdown has now begun to the Chamber Business Awards, taking place on Thursday 9 June at the University of Worcester Arena.

We received a record number of award entries - over 100 - for 11 award categories and the standard this year has been extremely high. Businesses have now been shortlisted and tickets are now on sale - we expect these to sell out soon. We eagerly await this opportunity to celebrate the success of local businesses, to network with the business community and to enjoy a fantastic evening of entertainment, including hearing from our speaker Olympic Silver Medallist, World Record Holder and TV personality, Colin Jackson.

Continuing with the theme of success, I was delighted to congratulate the five Worcestershire businesses who were awarded Queen’s Awards for Enterprise
two weeks ago - Kudos Blends, Orchard Valley Foods and Winsted Ltd received an Award for International Trade and PCA Predict and Greenlighting were awarded in the Innovation category.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the UK’s most prestigious Business Awards, given only to those who are outstanding in their field. This year, the West Midlands received the fifth highest amount of Awards from all the regions in the UK and we are keen that our businesses continue to be recognised in this way. On Thursday 16 June, we are holding a Queen’s Award promotion event at drp in Hartlebury, in collaboration with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Andrew Grant. We hope that this event will inform and encourage businesses to apply – contact Deborah if you are interested.

Although it may not seem obvious amid some recent interesting weather, we are now entering a Summer of Sport in the two counties. March brought the fantastic news that Hereford FC are going to Wembley in the FA Vase on Sunday 22 May and I wish them the best of luck. We look forward to the first Race Meeting at Worcester Racecourse on Wednesday 11 May and are excited to welcome back racing to Hereford Racecourse this autumn. As some readers may be aware, I am a keen golfer; the first Chamber Golf event took place at the end of April and there are two further events taking place in June. The Warriors have stayed up in the premiership and the Worcestershire Cricket team have started their 2016 campaign; we hope that they will go one step further in the Blast 2020 competition this season.

To end on a more serious note, the Chamber has been heavily involved in providing information to businesses about the upcoming EU Referendum to help them make an informed choice. A Brexit Panel debate will take place on Thursday 12 May at mfg Solicitors in Kidderminster. This is a free event and we welcome businesses to hear from a panel of speakers, including Johnnie Arkwright, Chair of Britain for Business West Midlands, Malcolm Harbour CBE representing Britain Stronger in Europe and Mark Garnier, MP for the Wyre Forest.

Enjoy the weather!

All the best,


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Mike Ashton

Chief Executive

Mike began his career in his native North-West, where he was Head of Enterprise at Liverpool John Moores University from 1994-2001. The extensive business engagement experience he gained in that role was enough to earn him the Chief Executive’s position at Greater Manchester BusinessLink (Chamberlink), a company that offered business support across the 10 council authorities that form the Greater Manchester umbrella. In May 2007 Mike was appointed Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. 

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