Each year we celebrate Staffordshire Day on 1 May. Across the county, people use the day to show the very best that Staffordshire has to offer. It was therefore a great honour to sponsor, with other local MPs, We Are Staffordshire and Staffordshire County Council, our own celebration of Staffordshire in Parliament, which saw some of the best of our county showcased in Westminster.
There were two parts to the event, a roundtable, exploring how we can exploit all our fantastic attractions and assets, and a marketplace, where MPs and people who work in Parliament could come to see and try our wares. It was also the first major in person event for We Are Staffordshire, which is a partnership charged with promoting the county.
A range of Staffordshire businesses took part in the day, from pottery to beer, textiles and theme parks. I was delighted to welcome local Cheddleton business, Staffordshire Cheese Co and know that everyone enjoyed trying all the cheeses that Mary produces. We were particularly honoured with a visit from Mr Speaker, who said he would fly our county flag at Parliament.
It was also great to see representatives from Trentham Gardens with a beautiful FantasyWire fairy statue on their stand, which of course is one of our local artist’s, Robin Wight’s creations. There are many of Robin’s statues on display at Trentham Gardens and I recently went to see his latest installation, dedicated to the NHS, raising awareness of the importance of organ donation.
I was pleased to help lead this event and have been delighted by how busy the marketplace was and the very many positive comments from colleagues afterwards, who had no idea just how much we have to offer. The event was a real success and really put Staffordshire on the map.