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Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire 2018 entries open

INDIVIDUAL entries to Staffordshire’s IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon in 2018 are now officially open. Interest in the race is always high, so competitors are being encouraged to sign up at  as early as possible to avoid missing out on a place. The 2018 edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire will take place Sunday 10 June 2018, and is the first year that the race finishes in Stafford Town Centre. The finish and run course will be in the heart of the town, allowing supporters and spectators to get closer to the action than ever before. Once again, the event will see competitors complete a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile half marathon County Councillor Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said:  “IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire is a fantastic race, and interest is always really high.  Nearly 8000 athletes have competed in the event since 2015, and we expect that even more people will be interested in the new run course and finish line. Because of this, I’d urge people thinking about taking part to sign up as early as possible to secure their place on the starting line. “We’re really pleased to be able to continue this and showcase what a great county Staffordshire is to live, work and visit. By bringing the race to Stafford Town Centre we can ensure even more people will have the opportunity to get involved, and more local businesses will benefit.” Lisa Dent, IRONMAN 70.3 Race Director said:  “There is always tremendous interest in IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire, which has quickly become one of the UK’s biggest and most popular events.  Athletes can look forward to a truly world-class race experience that always produces great support, so it’s well worth taking the plunge and signing up to race in 2018. For more information, and to sign up, visit  Detailed course maps and descriptions will be released at a later date. The post Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire 2018 entries open appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Work on new £1m library for Lichfield to started this week

Work on a major £1.2m project to create a brand new library in Lichfield started this week. The project will see the opening up of the ground floor at St. Mary’s Church in Market Square to accommodate the library and tourist information service.  The first floor will include a permanent museum, exhibition and performance space, as well as an access point for digitised archive collections. The new library will be modelled on Stafford Library which opened in 2015, which includes wifi, touchscreen tables, computer tablets and 3D printing facilities. Work will include exposing the church’s original features, 19th century columns, incorporating etched glass screens into the new layout and retaining the altar, choir stalls and pews at the east end as a study area and IT suite. While one end of the first floor will have a balcony overlooking the level below, its central space will be occupied by a flexible performance and exhibition space. Staffordshire County Council’s Libraries and Archives Chief, Gill Heath said: “These are very exciting times for the City and it’s great to see work on the new library get underway. This will not only ensure that Lichfield has a first-class library for the next 30 years, but will also help safeguard the historic building from closure, boost the heart of the city and support local traders. “The new History Access Point will also give people access to archives and will provide an opportunity to get more people interested in their local and family history.  This will also help strengthen the number of tourists exploring Lichfield’s fascinating past.” A £250,000 fund-raising campaign was launched by The Guild of St. Mary’s to reinvigorate the first floor. Caroline Kerr from St. Mary’s said: “Our vision for St Mary’s is to become an arts and learning venue that is affordable and accessible to all. We want to provide on the first floor a vibrant and engaging heritage and arts experience alongside the relocated library. We will work with Lichfield Library to create a holistic offer that benefits all and knits together our already creative offering in the city.” Simon Baker, Archdeacon of Lichfield added: “The Diocese of Lichfield is delighted that the plans for St Marys will be going ahead and look forward very much to the opening of the new library. “St Mary’s church has stood at the centre of the city of Lichfield for centuries and has served the community as a place of worship as well as a community centre. It will continue to serve the community in the years to come as a place to learn about the past as well as build community relationships in the present. Libraries are changing as society changes and this will be reflected creatively as the old and new come together in the renovated building.” The post Work on new £1m library for Lichfield to started this week appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Touring theatre continues at a community venue near you!

THEATRE is continuing on tour in Tamworth, bringing a variety of professional productions to community venues across the borough. The project – Touring Theatre – has produced a range of high-quality shows that started from April this year. All performances have been staged in familiar but unusual community locations in a bid to increase opportunities for people to experience the arts. Live & Local – the Midlands’ Rural and Community Touring Network – will continue to work with Tamworth community groups to provide volunteers with the tools they need to bring professional touring theatre companies to the town, including booking, promoting and selling the events. The programme has proven a great success so far this year and has included five touring productions all performed in venues such as churches, a library and the Castle Grounds bandstand, attracting new audiences. Productions have included storytelling and puppetry of ‘The Fabularium – Reynard the Fox’, a particular hit with children and Mambo Jambo a popular acoustic duo. Touring Theatre is part of the two-year Arts in Unusual Spaces project funded in partnership with Arts Council England, Tamworth Borough Council and the local community. It includes a number of exciting initiatives for Tamworth, designed to bring the arts to all corners of the community. More information is available at Details of the next instalment of Touring Theatre is as follows: Theatre Chipping Norton – Sherlock Holmes and the Crimson Cobbles Sacred Heart Church (B77 2EA): Tuesday, October 17, 7.30pm A witty, laugh-a-minute pastiche of Conan Doyle’s great detective sees Holmes stalking Jack the Ripper in the streets of London’s East End. As the evidence builds only one conclusion can be drawn – that the Ripper is actually Sherlock’s trusted partner Dr Watson. But will Holmes believe this shocking revelation? Tickets are priced at £8 adults, £6 concessions and £26 for group of 4 (standard tickets). James Hickman and Dan Cassidy in Concert St Francis Church (B79 8JB): Sunday, November 19, 7.30pm A transatlantic folk and roots duo inspired by the traditions of America and Britain. Dan Cassidy is an exciting and virtuosic fiddler providing the tunes and harmony singing, while James Nathan Hickman brings driving guitar playing and wonderfully unique vocals to their mixture of new and old folk music. A show bursting with humour, heartbreak and excitement. Tickets are priced at £7.50. Noble Jacks in Concert St Francis Church (B79 8JB): Thursday, February 8, 7.30pm This rip-roaring alt-folk band brings warm electro-acoustic interactions to its live shows, fused together with a mixture of lively, folky foot stomping rhythms and engaging lyricism. The band encompasses heartfelt, yet up beat songs, showcasing fiddle, blues harmonica and big anthem songs. Exhilarating and refreshing to hear, this band will be raising the roof in February. Tickets are priced at £7.50. Tantz in Concert Sacred Heart Church (B79 8JB): Friday, February 9, 7.30pm A high spirited and original klezmer dance and gypsy style band. Offering a performance of great global music this remarkable six-piece band will bring joyous jazz infused music with an infectious vibe.  Tickets are priced at £8 adults, £6 concessions and £26 for group of 4 (standard tickets). Tickets are available via the box office: A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings. St Francis Church Tickets: 01827 65926, available from St Francis Vicarage, Masefield Drive. Sacred Heart Church Tickets: 01827 709618, available at the Hub in the Castle Grounds. Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “The Touring Theatre project is working with groups of volunteers to provide them with the skills and confidence they need to bring touring theatre productions to venues in the community on a regular basis. As well as broadening the use of community venues, this will hopefully make it even easier for people to experience and enjoy theatre and the arts.”     The post Touring theatre continues at a community venue near you! appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Tamworth in Bloom strikes gold for the eighth year! 

TAMWORTH has gold fever following another successful year in the Heart of England in Bloom competition – striking GOLD for the eighth year in a row. The borough’s accolade in the ‘Small City’ category was revealed at a ceremony at Warwick Castle on the evening of September 14.  Representatives from Tamworth Borough Council’s Assets and Environment team attended the ceremony to collect the awards where Tamworth also picked up two additional special awards for the community cabinet, a complete surprise. The first was a special award for the grounds maintenance at Cheatle Court sheltered housing scheme in Dosthill, who took part in the sheltered housing gardening competition. The grounds have been completely transformed with new fencing, planters and flower bed areas. This has been a successful make-over and created an amazing space for the residents to enjoy. The second was the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Greening Grey Britain’ award for the Arts in Unusual Spaces project, which includes a community initiative called ‘Catch Art’, involving local artists and school children in decorating and brightening up a selection of bus shelters across the town. Catch Art is just one of a number of fantastic projects being delivered by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team, thanks to lottery funding from Arts Council England, to bring art to new and unusual spaces during the refurbishment of Tamworth Assembly Rooms. Months of hard work by council staff, community groups, sheltered housing schemes, businesses and green-fingered residents across the borough ensured it was the incredible eighth year for the gold medal by helping to maintain the town’s high standard for fabulous floral displays, impressive community projects and thriving wildlife habitats. This year’s competition organisers teamed up with the Mercian Regiment to celebrate its 10th anniversary, with the special theme ‘Mercian 10 – the Heart of England’s Infantry’. The theme has been reflected all over Tamworth with beautiful floral displays and the Mercian Regiment crest proudly presented on Moor Street Island. Judges Nicola Clarke and Roger Tait from Heart of England in Bloom were impressed with what they saw during their tour of Tamworth; they commented: “The high standard of grass cutting and street cleansing, complemented the outstanding work of the Tamworth in Bloom community at projects like Cheatle Court and Belgrave allotments. “The gardens at Cheatle Court have been transformed with a huge amount of work being carried out by resident Keith Hall. He has reclaimed the area around the side of the scheme into a ‘secret garden’ – complete with bird feeders and post of plants. Other residents at the scheme also contribute to the upkeep of the gardens and the overall standard of maintenance is immaculate. The award given for Grounds Maintenance is something that the residents should be very proud of. “Partnerships and community spirit continue to thrive in Tamworth, with the spirit of Bloom truly embedded in service delivery. “Wild about Tamworth also continues to impress at Broad Meadow LNR with the increase in fritillary cover.   “The grey and bland corners of Tamworth have been enlivened by the Catch Art project which has seen beautiful images of wildlife painted onto bus shelters, a WW1 mural painted onto the gable end of a pub, a derelict building given a facelift by the probation team and empty shops having colourful vinyl inserts installed. This project is a true demonstration of bringing art to unusual spaces and rightly deserved the special Greening Grey Britain award. “Stunning hanging baskets around the town and barrier planters on the bridges to their full effect, displayed an array of wonderful colours, complemented by the Mercian Regiment carpet flower bed on Moor Street roundabout.  The Castle Grounds bedding with the introduction of some perennial planting has certainly contributed to keeping standards high.” Tamworth in Bloom Champion, Cllr Joy Goodall, said: “Our continued success in this competition is incredible, because staying on top of the game, year after year, means extreme hard work and planning. “Securing gold again and winning these two special awards really serves to demonstrate the importance of the partnership approach to Tamworth in Bloom. It’s a great team effort across the council, community and business sector and our continued success reflects that. “The Cheatle Court special grounds maintenance award and the Greening Grey Britain award are a real testament to the creativity and dedication of the sheltered accommodation schemes and members of the Arts and Events team who have worked so hard to develop another great scheme. “The displays have looked amazing this year thanks to the hard work on the ground by members of the Street Scene team, who work tirelessly all year round to keep the town looking nice with some fantastic floral display

Firefighters take part in multi-agency terrorism exercise

FIREFIGHTERS and staff have been involved in a multi-agency exercise to test emergency response and resilience plans for terrorism related incidents within Staffordshire. For several months exercise co-ordinators from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been formulating a sequence of scenarios designed to test the Service and partners across the board. On Thursday September 14, 190 firefighters along with 50 support staff were all called to action, 27 fire appliances were involved in the day. The exercise included a range of terrorist related ‘incidents’ which unfolded within Staffordshire and communities may have noticed the presence of firefighters, fire appliances, and other emergency services in the Rugeley, Burton-upon-Trent and Alrewas areas. The Service used social media to reassure the public about the increased activity. Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant said: “Firstly, we would like to acknowledge the awful incident that took place in London on Friday morning, our thoughts are very much with those involved and the emergency responders who attended. “This terrible event really emphasises the importance of exercises such as the one we carried out last week. It is essential that we are prepared and equipped to act quickly and effectively with our partners to keep the community of Staffordshire safe. “The exercise has been months in the making and has been well and truly kept under wraps so that firefighters, staff and partners could respond as spontaneously as possible. It proved to be a valuable day, with some exceptional team work but also some real development opportunities identified. Of course I hope that we never have to put our well-laid emergency plans into practice for real and I want to stress that there is absolutely nothing to indicate that there is a specific threat to Staffordshire. “However, with the UK threat level remaining at severe it is important we and our partners are prepared as we possibly can be. Our communities can be reassured that we work closely with our colleagues at the police and ambulance service to ensure that our staff are appropriately trained and prepared to respond in the event of a localised incident. “The recent events in London are an important reminder to remain alert but not alarmed, and to remember the important run, hide, tell advice. If you’re concerned about anything suspicious please report it via the anti-terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321 or ring 999 and ask for the Police.” The post Firefighters take part in multi-agency terrorism exercise appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Stay & Play morning to kick off Ankerside’s Macmillan fundraising

THE town’s shopping centre will be showing support for Macmillan next week as Stay & Play returns for free mug decorating. Ankerside Shopping Centre’s monthly Stay & Play morning will return on Thursday, 28 September, where little ones will have the chance to decorate mugs to take home and donate to the centre’s Macmillan fundraising day on Saturday, 30 September. Alongside all the drawing fun, children along with mums, dads and grandparents will also be able to enjoy inflatables, a bubble machine and a visit from Ankerside’s colourful monster between 9.30am and 11.30am. Jeff Wigley, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said he is looking forward to starting the fundraising fun early at the centre’s monthly Stay & Play. “The response to our Macmillan fundraising day is fantastic each year, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to create something extra special to mark the annual event. “Throughout the morning, little ones will be decorating mugs with their very own drawings,” he said. “These will then be donated and sold at our Macmillan fundraiser the following Saturday. “Thursday is also a chance for children to fill in their learning books that they bring along to each event and it’s a great little memento for parents. “We hope everyone has a lovely time at our Stay & Play morning next week and we can’t wait to see the children’s fabulous mug creations.” The Stay & Play fun takes place from 9.30am to 11.30am in Druckers Café on the last Thursday of each month and is free for anyone looking after children to attend with the little ones. The post Stay & Play morning to kick off Ankerside’s Macmillan fundraising appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Police to continue with ‘visible presence’ after threat level downgraded

FOLLOWING the Home Secretary’s announcement Yesterday, that the UK threat level has been downgraded from critical to severe, Staffordshire Police want to reassure residents that they will still be visible. They have sad that throughout Staffordshire they will continue to be visible at transport hubs and busy town centres, as well as popular tourist spots in order to keep you feeling safe and reassured. Assistant Chief Constable, Emma Barnett, said: “As a result of the downgrade in terror threat, Operation Temperer is being withdrawn but we are continuing to provide a visible presence within our communities. “I would like to reiterate that a Severe threat level still means an attack is highly likely. You should not be alarmed, but continue to be vigilant and do not hesitate to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or dial 999 if you see or hear anything suspicious.” The post Police to continue with ‘visible presence’ after threat level downgraded appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Tamworth businesses can get cyber savvy for free

TAMWORTH businesses have a chance to get cyber savvy and stay one step ahead of online fraudsters at a free event hosted by the OPCC. Last year, online fraud was estimated to have cost £10 billion pounds and fraudsters are increasingly targeting businesses large and small. The event on the 29 November features speakers from the cyber security industry, law enforcement and intelligence services and even a reformed hacker. The conference will attract senior managers from the private, public and charitable sectors all of which are at risk from ever more sophisticated scams. Sue Arnold, Deputy Police and Crimes Commissioner for Staffordshire chairs an online fraud forum of local businesses and public sector organisations and leads on cyber-crime for the OPCC. Speaking about the event, Sue Arnold said: “It’s all too easy to fall foul of online fraud, and the consequences can be devastating. We all have to become smarter if we’re going to reduce the impact of this kind of crime.” “I would encourage managers across Staffordshire to attend the conference and get cyber savvy.” The event is free and any managers or directors wishing to attend can book tickets via the OPCC Eventbrite page at The post Tamworth businesses can get cyber savvy for free appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Live your childhood dream at Drayton Manor and become a Zoo Keeper for the day!

RESEARCH suggests that being a Zoo Keeper is in the top five list of dream jobs for boys, girls and grown-ups in the UK* and now animal lovers have the chance to make that dream come true as Drayton Manor Park launches its brand new ‘Zoo Keeper for the Day’ experience**. At the 15-acre zoo in Staffordshire, visitors can see over 750 animals of 130 different species from all over the world. Rare and endangered species are able to thrive and breed safely, including newest additions Obie the baby Tapir, Kit and Leo, twin Cotton-Top Tamarins, and two baby Pygmy Marmosets, born in June. The zoo is actively involved in a number of conservation projects both locally and internationally and also provides educational workshops for children, plus research opportunities and work experience for students. Joining the experts, lucky novice Zoo Keepers will don their boots and overalls before getting stuck into the day-to-day tasks of maintaining the welfare of the animals they care for, including monkeys, reptiles and cheeky meerkats. Chris Mitchell, Head of Zoo Operations, explains: “It’s a real privilege to care for such amazing creatures and I know for many people it will be a dream come true to shadow our team for the day and play a real part in caring for these animals. We’re really looking forward to welcoming our first keeper!” Learning all about the different species and their needs, as well as the amazing conservation work at Drayton Manor Zoo, rookie keepers will be given a rare, behind the scenes opportunity to get up close with the animals and will be involved in creating enrichment activities, feeding and cleaning out the enclosures. Chris continues: “This is a dream job for me and people are always really keen to find out more when they discover what I do. Keepers will often be the first point of contact for visitors to the zoo too, so we get asked a lot of questions throughout the day and it’s great to see the excitement and enthusiasm of children and adults alike when they’re learning about the work that we’re doing, particularly our important conservation work and breeding programmes.” Those who become a ‘Zoo Keeper for the Day’ are expected to be really hands on to allow a very real insight into what it takes to maintain a clean, engaging and happy environment for the zoo’s precious animals. Mucking out is an essential part of the job so those with a sensitive nose might want to think twice before applying! To book a ‘Zoo Keeper for the Day’ experience, visit or call 0844 472 1950. *The research was conducted by FlyResearch between July 7 and 14, 2016 amongst 1,013 parents and 1,013 children aged 3 to 12 years old in the UK.  **T&Cs apply. Zoo Keeper for the Day experience is open to over 18s only. See website for full T&Cs –   The post Live your childhood dream at Drayton Manor and become a Zoo Keeper for the day! appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Free carbon monoxide detectors available for Gas Safety Week

TAMWORTH Borough Council has pledged its support for Gas Safety Week 2017 (18th – 24th September) and has a number of carbon monoxide detectors to give away as part of the campaign to raise awareness of gas safety. The seventh annual Gas Safety Week campaign is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register which sees a number of organisations working together to encourage people to take care of their gas appliances and arrange a yearly safety check. Poorly maintained gas appliances can cause leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. Although you can’t see it, taste it, or smell it, carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas and can kill quickly without warning. Tamworth Borough Council is supporting the campaign by making dozens of potentially life-saving carbon monoxide detectors available free of charge to households which need them. Cllr Michelle Thurgood, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Housing Services, said: “Helping to promote the health and wellbeing of the town’s residents is one of our priorities as a council and we are happy to be supporting Gas Safety Week to spread the message about gas safety. “By taking care of your gas appliances properly, you are taking care of your home and your loved ones, and to that end we are giving away a limited number of carbon monoxide detectors to provide households with that extra level of protection that could mean the difference between life and death.” Anyone who would like a free carbon monoxide detector is asked to contact the Housing Conditions and Supply Team on 01827 709486/286 to check availability. People can also follow these simple checks to improve safety in the home. Check gas appliances every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Tenants need to make sure their landlords arrange this. Reminders can be set at Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. Engineers can be found and checked at or by calling 0800 408 5500. Check your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure your engineer is qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card. Check for warning signs that appliances aren’t working correctly. These include lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue flames, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room. Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This has the added feature of alerting you audibly if there is carbon monoxide in the home. For more gas safety advice, or to find and check an engineer, visit the Gas Safe Register website at The post Free carbon monoxide detectors available for Gas Safety Week appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]


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