Christmas Time in the City – Carols on Tuesday 8 December

The city of Lichfield is invited to get ready for Christmas and join us for our favourite Christmas carols on Tuesday 8 December at 6pm.

Round up your colleagues, families and friends, and come and enjoy some carols, rousing singing, wine and panettone in the heart of our wonderful city.

This event is sponsored by Keelys LLP Solicitors and free and open to everyone! A great chance to mingle with local businesses.

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Lichfield BID, Visit Lichfield, the Chamber and city partners are proud to support the Lichfield Festival

Lichfield Christmas Festival

Lichfield Christmas Festival

Celebrate Christmas with two weekends of festive shopping, eating and activities around Lichfield City on 5, 6 and 12 December.

Lichfield City has plenty to get locals and visitors into the festive spirit with this year’s Christmas Festival taking place on Saturday 5, Sunday 6 and Saturday 12 December.

The first weekend’s festivities on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 December will include a Twinkly Market along Minster Pool Walk. This lovely market will offer beautiful designer made, vintage and traditional Christmas gifts. A street food event will also take place on Bird Street, when local restaurants will offer a wonderful selection of delicious food from their menus from the street.
The first festival weekend will see A Johnson Family Christmas take place at Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, which will feature festive music, refreshments and activities.

There will also be a chance to visit Santa in his grotto in Beacon Park on Saturday 5 December, where craft activities will also be on offer.

On Sunday 6 December the Lichfield Chamber of Trade Christmas Fayre will offer visitors the chance to pick up a unique gift and enjoy entertainment on the Market Square. The day will also boast an Artisan and Gift Indoor Fair, the chance to see Santa and fantastic festive craft activities at St Mary’s in the Market Square.

Then on Sunday afternoon, don’t miss Lichfield Cathedral’s To be a Light Lantern Parade, music and lighting of the Christmas tree.

The following weekend, on Saturday 12 December, Erasmus Darwin House and Cathedral Close will host a beautiful Georgian Market featuring festive food and gift stalls, to celebrate Erasmus Darwin’s birthday.

Councillor Helen Fisher, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism & Communications, said: “You can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit at Lichfield Christmas Festival. This year is set to be even bigger and better with a huge array of gift ideas, festive food and drink, the chance to visit Father Christmas, as well as stilt walkers, fire breathers and colourful costumed characters entertaining festival goers.”

Paul Maddox, Chairman of the Lichfield BID, which has helped to fund leaflets and entertainers for this year’s festival, commented: “Christmas is such an important time for local traders and the new Lichfield BID team has been delighted to get involved support the events that are taking place – from booking street entertainers, through to more promotion and co-funding a Touch FM promotion with the Chamber and Town Safe. We’re all looking forward to welcoming hundreds of visitors to our city to enjoy the gifts, food and entertainment on offer and to making Christmas in Lichfield magical for everyone!”

Find out more information, including the times of activities, at or pick up a leaflet from Tourism Information, based at St Mary’s in the Market Square.

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Fantastic LDTA member success at Staffordshire Tourism Award 2015

The 2015 Staffordshire Tourism Awards took place last Monday, 16 November, at Drayton Manor Theme Park and we had several winners from the LDTA membership!

So, many congratulations to all the winners and especially:

Drayton Court Hotel Highly Commended in the Small Hotel of the Year category
Drayton Manor Theme Park Gold in the Access for All Tourism Award; Gold in the Best Tourism Event of the Year Award; Highly Commended in the Business Tourism Award and Highly Commended in the Large Hotel of the Year category
National Forest Adventure Farm Silver in the Best Tourism Experience of the Year Award
Packington Moor Farm Café Silver in the Tea Room / Coffee Shop of the Year category
Colton House Gold in the Sustainable Tourism Award (for the third successive year!) and Gold in the Guest Accommodation of the Year Award

Read full details of the awards.

Well done all, good to have so many winners in the LDTA!

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Introducing Morag Pringle – the new Lichfield BID Manager

Morag Pringle

Morag Pringle

We’re delighted to announce that we have appointed a BID manager to lead the BID, in partnership with the Lichfield BID Board, over the next five years.

Morag has been involved in business support and regeneration for over 15 years. During her career she has been Managing Director of British Business Parks which managed the Cannock Chase BID, which covered five business parks in Cannock Chase and Rugeley. Following the devastating floods of 2007, Morag was brought in by the local council, to help the businesses on Droitwich High Street to pull together and breathe new life into the town centre.

Morag commented: “I’m really looking forward to taking on the role of Lichfield BID Manager and helping to deliver the Lichfield BID Business Plan which is set to make such a difference to the city. For me, the BID Business Plan is just the start of things, and with the help and support of businesses and partners across the city, I strongly believe we can use our collective voice as a magnet for better promotion, more funding and projects that will deliver real change to the city, and more footfall to city businesses.

“I can’t wait to get out and meet everyone and if anyone wants me to pop and see them, please email me at I’ll be based at the new offices in Sandford Street, so do feel free to pop by and say hello!”

Morag Pringle will formally take up the post on Monday 30 November 2015.

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Promote your business at Lichfield Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Festival

Lichfield Cathedral’s magnificent Christmas Tree Festival is set to return this year and will be even bigger and better!

The Christmas Tree Festival runs from Monday 7 – Sunday 20 December and will see the cathedral’s aisles and transepts filled with trees, beautifully embellished by our local schools, groups and businesses. Thousands of visitors walk through the festival and vote for their favourite tree!

If you’d like your organisation to have a tree at the Christmas Tree Festival this year, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact or call 01543 306100 for more information.

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Great LDTA networking meeting – thanks for coming!

Great networking meeting

Great networking meeting

A clear evening, a bright moon and the Cathedral bells ringing, added to the atmosphere of our ghost tour on Monday 26th October. Sue Baird, our knowledgeable Green Badge Guide regaled LDTA members with spooky tales of restless spirits who were dying for us to hear their stories. Even the modern three spires shopping precinct held a macabre secret and the normally quaint Cathedral Close took on a completely different identity in the shadows.

Sue took us to the Guildhall cells where we heard about previous unfortunate occupants, their reason for being there and the outcome of their fate. Prison, flogging, transportation or burned at the stake were accepted forms of punishment in bygone times of Lichfield. As we left the old prison we walked the same path that convicts condemned to be publicly hanged at the gallows took. Waiting outside the cells a cart took the criminals on their final journey to the place of execution, which today we know as the London Road/Tamworth Road junction.

We heard about the sightings of many lingering spirits, including mischievous poltergeist Benjie, tragic Dorothy, trapped in the cellar beneath her home and the refined Lady who is reluctant to leave her beloved house. Everyone seemed a little disappointed when our search for spooks ended!

After the excellent tour we were more than ready for refreshments to warm us and a welcome sit down in Malt Bar & Restaurant. On arrival we were greeted with delicious sandwiches, sausage rolls and chips plus hot drinks of our choice. LDTA members certainly enjoyed a feast in comfortable surroundings.

All the food at Malt is freshly prepared using finest quality, locally sourced ingredients and if you prefer something stronger than a hot drink the establishment offers a delicious range of cask ales. The bar is situated opposite the Garrick Theatre, so centrally located for a meal before seeing a show. During December the chef will be serving a 3 course Christmas dinner, so if your business is looking for a venue to celebrate the festive season Malt could be the place. For bookings and further information call 01543 415524 or visit

If you would like to purchase tickets for a public tour please contact Lichfield Tourist Information 01543 256611 or email, the dates for all tours can be found at

A bespoke group tour (more than 8 people) can be arranged, perhaps for your office party or a group of friends or relatives, give Jonathan a call on 01543 308210 or email

Many thanks to our guide Sue Baird, Paul and the staff at Malt, with a special mention to John who served us on the evening.

Please join us at our next LDTA meeting at Cruck House, which will be our Christmas get-together on Wednesday 16th December, this is an informal drop in between 5pm and 7pm. Comfortin’ Food will once again be providing the scrumptious food for this event. Hope to see you there!

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Pilgrimage to Launch Two Saints Way Guidebook

The Two Saints Way Book

The Two Saints Way Book

A full colour guidebook to the revived Two Saints Way will be launched in the first week of November in seven venues along the ancient pilgrimage route between the cathedral cities of Chester and Lichfield.

The author, David Pott, who re-opened the 92-mile Two Saints Way in 2012, will be walking the route to each venue in a special pilgrimage to mark the launch.

“I don’t know if a book has been launched by pilgrimage before but it seemed a good way of doing it. It gives me an opportunity to check how things are along the route, and I’ll see if I can also sell a few copies to anyone I meet as I go!”

“It’s exciting that The Two Saints Way is part of a significant pilgrimage revival these days. Spiritual or faith based tourism is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry and here is a major trail right on our doorstep. The Two Saints Way will bring economic benefits to the region and this new guidebook is a big step on the journey.”

David will also be delivering copies of the guide to schools along the route, funded through the Staffordshire Community Foundation. As High Sheriff of Staffordshire, Ann Fisher journeyed with others along The Two Saints Way last year to raise funds and she is enthusiastic about the guidebook and the Two Saints Way.

“There is a wealth of information in this new guide. On our pilgrimage, I learnt a great deal about areas which have been familiar to me for many years, but I had no idea of their rich history. Our group had a real sense of walking in the footsteps of St Chad and I would highly recommend both The Two Saints Way and the guidebook.”

‘The Two Saints Way’ costs £12.99 and is available at launches in the following locations:

  • Sunday Nov 1 @ 2:30pm St John’s Church Vicar’s Lane CHESTER CH1 1SN
  • Monday Nov 2 @ 6:30pm Nantwich Bookshop, 46 High St, NANTWICH CW5 5AS
  • Tuesday Nov 3 @ 4:00pm, Englesea Brook Chapel & Museum, Brook Lane, Englesea Brook, CREWE CW5 5QW
  • Wednesday Nov 4 @ 3:30pm Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Bethesda Street, STOKE-ON-TRENT ST1 3D
  • Thursday Nov 5 @ 7:30pm Christ Church Hall, Christ Church Way STONE ST15 8ZB
  • Friday Nov 6 @ 3:00pm Mayor’s Parlour, Civic Centre, Riverside, STAFFORD ST16
  • Saturday Nov 7 @ 2:30pm Lichfield Cathedral LICHFIELD WS13 7LD, followed by refreshments at St Chad’s Church, St Chad’s Rd, LICHFIELD WS13 7ND
  • There is a charge of £5 for the launch at Nantwich Bookshop which requires prior booking by
    phoning 01270 611665. All events other launches are free but please email by October 22 to confirm attendance so hosts can have an idea of numbers expected.

After the launch, guidebooks will be available through The Northumbria Community online
shop or by calling 01670 787645.

It will also be available via bookshops and the Lichfield Tourist Information Centre at St Mary’s in the Marekt Square.

Contact: David Pott Tel: 01770 830317 Mob 07932 790525

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Growth Hub launched as one-stop-shop of support for Tamworth and Lichfield businesses

Companies across Tamworth and Lichfield have been urged to take advantage of the Greater Birmingham Growth Hub, which launched on 7th October at an event attended by over 300 entrepreneurs, business leaders and stakeholders.

Run by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), the Growth Hub comprises a web portal, phoneline and one-to-one specialist advice. It is the new home for all business advice, funding and support in the area – providing a route for businesses to local organisations offering business support or funding.

Though particularly focused on small and medium sized businesses within the GBSLEP area, the Growth Hub is designed to assist companies along the region’s supply chains and across all sectors.

Mark Sayers, Deputy Director of Business Productivity and Growth Programmes at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and Saqib Bhatti, GBSLEP Director and president of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, both spoke at the launch event, which was held at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Mark Sayers outlined the importance of the Growth Hub during his speech, stating:

“SMEs are pumping £1.3 trillion into the economy and are responsible for 50% of private sector employment. Encouraging these businesses to scale up, innovate, secure funding, export and access new markets is key to unlocking growth. 

“Combining all the local and national services available in Greater Birmingham will provide the greatest benefits? to businesses. The Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP and its Growth Hub will have a strong role to play in this.”

A further 18 companies and organisations exhibiting at the event – including national bodies UK Trade & Investment and the Manufacturing Advisory Service – provided free advice to delegates.

During the next 12 months, the Growth Hub will help with 7,200 business enquiries and contribute to creating 500 new jobs. The Hub is progressing strongly already, with its site – – receiving over 5,000 unique visitors and handling more than 300 enquiries and requests for support.

The Growth Hub’s webs portal enables business owners to access information and advice about how to start, grow, run and finance their company effectively. Its tailored information directs users to the most appropriate information and support for them. Downloadable step by step guides, films and free event listings are also available online.

To date, the website’s sections about starting a business have become the most popular; reflecting Greater Birmingham’s strength as a start-up hotspot. In Birmingham alone, more than 18,000 firms were set up in 2014, more than any other UK city outside London, according to StartUp Britain.

Local businesses are also continuing to boost employment across the region. The GBSLEP area created 40,800 private jobs during 2014, according to the Office of National Statistics – growing at 6%, well above the national growth rate of 4.3%.

Growth Hub Manager Ian Mclaughlan said:“Greater Birmingham’s economy is going from strength to strength – and our local companies deserve first class advice and support so they can grow, and recruit, even further. The growth of Greater Birmingham’s businesses, large and small, is crucial to its economic success, which is why the Growth Hub is such an important initiative for the GBSLEP.

“The Growth Hub is designed to make it much easier for firms to find the right support for them. From setting up a company to exporting, recruiting, securing funding or developing new products – there is information and guidance available for business owners based right across Greater Birmingham. Any business that wants to grow, or needs any kind of help, should contact the Growth Hub team as a one-stop-shop for advice.”

The initiative is part of the Government’s Small Business Strategy, with all 39 LEPs in the UK setting up a Growth Hub for local business advice. The Greater Birmingham Growth Hub will be serving one of the largest business communities in the country.


Picture caption: (left-right) Growth Hub manager Ian Mclaughlan, GBSLEP director Saqib Bhatti, deputy director of Business Productivity and Growth Programmes at BIS Mark Sayers, and GBSLEP programme delivery director Mike Carr.

Media contact

For local case studies, please contact Rebecca Bannister, Communications Manager at Marketing Birmingham: 0121 202 5112 / 07903 924 896 /

Notes to editors

For more information on the Growth Hub or to register, please call the local helpline on 0800 032 3488 visit or email

The key partners supporting the Growth Hub comprise:

  • Aston Business School
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Birmingham City University
  • Business Growth Services
  • Cannock Chase Council
  • Digital Birmingham
  • East Staffordshire Borough Council
  • Finance Birmingham
  • The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
  • Innovation Birmingham Campus
  • North Worcestershire EDR and Worcestershire Business Central
  • Marketing Birmingham
  • Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Stoke on Trend and Staffordshire Growth Hub
  • Tamworth and Lichfield for Business
  • University of Birmingham Business School

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Happy Birthday and Congratulations to Comfortin’ Food

Sue at Comfortin Food

Sue at Comfortin Food

Comfortin’ Food celebrated its 9th birthday on the 6th October 2015 and at the same time had its Environmental Hygiene Inspection and retained its level 5 award for the 3rd time.

Congratulations to the team from all at Visit Lichfield – what a fantastic achievement.

Sue of Comfortin’ Food commented: “We are looking forward to many more years of homemade food and cakes! Come along and we’d love to serve you!”

Visit the Visit Lichfield website to find out more about Comfortin’ Food and its great special offer ‘any bowl of homemade soup with a cheese toastie for only £3.95′ which runs until 31 December 2015.

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The Cheese & Ale Barn to win ‘Cheesemonger of the Year’ in the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2016

Local Cheesemonger The Cheese & Ale Barn from Middleton, Tamworth are entered into the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2016, with founding partner Olives Et Al, to recognise excellence in independent speciality retailers and need your help to win!

The Awards recognise the very best standards in specialist retail and to celebrate the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement. The aim is to highlight our highly driven and passionate local businesses like The Cheese & Ale Barn , to generate the coverage they deserve. Winning this Award would help build them as a destination, putting them on the map both regionally and nationally and in turn, bringing interest to Middleton, Tamworth.

Nigel Barden, chair of judges and BBC Radio 2 Gastronome commented: “There are some very focused, driven and talented food retailers in Britain, who deserve to be nourished and encouraged. It’s marvellous that these awards can bring them to much wider attention. The 2015 Awards revealed some truly brilliant winners, many of whom source produce locally and it’s marvellous to see that there’s a good spread of outstanding retailers in both urban and rural settings. The British food and drink offer has never been better, as richly illustrated by the Farm Shop & Deli Awards.”

Louise Sharpe, Owner at local Cheesemonger The Cheese & Ale Barn said “We want to offer our customers true British produce by people who are as passionate about what they do as we are. Offering them 1-2-1 customer service, I want our customers to know how important they are to us and seeing the smile on their faces when we deliver that interesting and unique experiance.

The Awards recognise excellence within the specialist retail market, focusing on independent speciality retailers who sell regional fresh/farm produce or have a delicatessen counter offering twelve categories to enter under and win including Cheesemonger of the Year.

Entrants will also have the opportunity to win as a Regional Winner. The Regional Winners will progress through to have the opportunity to win the overall coveted title of ‘Farm Shop & Deli Awards Retailer of the Year’ announced at the Farm Shop & Deli Show, Tuesday 19th April 2016 at Birmingham’s NEC.

Vote online at: or visit The Cheese & Ale Barn at Unit 11 Middleton Hall Courtyard, Middleton, Tamworth, The Cheese & Ale Barn to pick up a voting form. Voting closes on Saturday 31st October 2015.

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