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Black Country LEP receives inaugural special recognition award  at the 4th Annual FSB Local Authority and LEP Awards

On Friday 9 October 2015, the Black Country LEP was awarded the first Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Recognition Award at the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) 4th Annual Local Authority Small Business Friendly Awards. The LEP Recognition Award was incorporated for the first time to highlight the great work of LEPs for small businesses across the region.

The FSB invited the LEPs across Staffordshire and the West Midlands region to submit up to 3 projects which had been specifically designed and implemented to assist small businesses. The Black Country LEP put forward: the Black Country Skills Factory, the Skills Factory's UK Futures Management and Leadership Programme; and the Black Country Growth Hub: Access to Finance projects. It was for these projects that the LEP was awarded the Recognition Award.

Paul Linton, Chairman of the Black Country LEP Employment and Skills Board said: "The Black Country LEP is delighted to have been awarded the inaugural Local Enterprise Partnership Recognition Award for our work with small businesses. Many of our programmes and projects are designed to make the most of our expertise in supporting small businesses to grow their businesses and the skills of their workforce. 

The Black Country LEP has a number of long term objectives in line with its vision to improve education and skills within the Black Country and reduce the existing skills barriers to business growth, and it’s fantastic to be recognised for our work in this area.”

Karen Woolley, Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) held its 4th Annual Local Authority Small Business Friendly Awards on 9 October 2015.  This year we incorporated a Local Enterprise Partnership Recognition Award.  This Award process was instigated by the Staffordshire & West Midlands region of the FSB to recognise and celebrate the great, and often unsung, work delivered by our crucial partners for our members and other small businesses. 

We were put through our paces this year in judging the entries, such was the outstanding nature of the projects and campaigns put forward! We are delighted that The Black Country LEP has won our LEP Recognition Award for the outstanding work the LEP has delivered on Business Support to assist our members and other small businesses.

What has become clear through this awards process is that, even though public sector budgets are being squeezed and resources are diminishing, the FSB’s engagement with the its partners across the region continues to go from strength to strength.  The commitment and drive to help small businesses to survive and prosper has never been more evident than through this awards process. 

It gave us immense pleasure to recognise the incredible hard work of the Black Country LEP and we can’t wait to see what they submit next year!”.

The FSB Awards were instigated by the Staffordshire and West Midlands region of the FSB to recognise and celebrate the great and often unsung work delivered by the 15 Local Authorities across the region on behalf of FSB members and other small businesses.

For more information on the FSB awards visit

Picture caption: Employment and Skills Board Chairman, Paul Linton, and Black Country Skills Factory Director, Colin Parker, accepting the Award on behalf of the Black Country LEP.

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