Business Basics Fund

The Business Basics Fund was launched in June. There’s just over one month to go to get your bid in before the first call closes at noon on 4 September.

The fund will help improve the productivity and performance of small and medium businesses in England. We’re looking for ideas from within your communities to test ways of encouraging small, medium enterprises (SMEs) to take up existing technology and business practices that we know can improve productivity.

A share of £2 million is available in this first call to develop and trial ideas. You could:

  • Bid into the fund yourself 
  • Encourage groups and delivery partners in your network to bid into the fund
  • Or, even better, bring together a collaboration of different partners.

To find out more and apply, please go to the application pages on the Innovation Funding Service website:

Over 100 people joined us for the first Business Basics webinar on 12 July. You can listen to the webinar here. Alternatively, join us on 9 August for a live webinar – register here. If you would like to discuss your ideas ahead of the next webinar, please contact or

We would welcome ideas from different groups, so please feel free to share this message through your networks to raise awareness of the Business Basics Fund and encourage bids.

Consultation on charging points for electric cars launched

Green Shropshire Xchange (GSX) has launched a draft strategy towards a cohesive, widespread, and reliable electric vehicle charging network across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.  It is often assumed that most electric vehicle users will charge up at home, but around 43% of existing car owners do not have access to off street parking.

This initiative has the support of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce; Shropshire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Federation of Small Businesses; Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce; BESST (Business Environmental Support Scheme for Telford) and the Telford Business Board.

The draft strategy and associated documents are available at:

The closing date for responses is 5.00pm, Monday 17 September 2018 to enable as many individuals, organisations, businesses, town and parish councils to respond.

Contact: Robert Saunders

Green Shropshire Xchange

01952 253705    07976 697931

Shrewsbury Model Railway Show

Chantilly Grey will be hosting Shrewsbury Model Railway Show on Saturday 20th October 2018 from 10am until 4pm at the United Reformed Church, Coleham Head.

This is the first show of its kind in Shrewsbury in many a year and is already very eagerly anticipated by local enthusiasts and those new to the hobby who want to pop along and hopefully catch the model railway bug! We are billing the event as a very family friendly orientated show.

Admissions will be £4 for adults, £2 for children and under 5’s free! We will be offering guests the chance to win tickets leading up to the event, so please check our Facebook Page for details.

We have secured a variety of layouts in various gauges and are calling them our ‘Fabulous Fifteen!’ We have been overwhelmed with enquires from Exhibitors who want to take part and if we could physically fit anymore in we would have done! Complimenting the layouts we have a number of excellent traders offering a wide choice of stock

The “Whistle Stop” Café will also be on hand to serve refreshments and a selection of breakfast and lunchtime faire.

It will be a fabulous day out for all, a number of activities will be available for the young model train fan to  entertain and our show guide programme will full of interesting articles and will make for a great read following the event.

Guests will also get chance to enter our prize raffle and take part in voting for the ‘best in show’ layout.

A brief history of Model Railways!

The history of model railways is almost as old as railways themselves!

Some of the most early ‘models’ of locomotives were made first as sales promotional tools for the  railways, and it was only later that they became ‘playthings’

Early models of the late 1800s and early 1900s were usually made from metal and as many homes did not have electricity at that time they were often powered by steam or clockwork mechanisms. We are lucky enough to be able to show you a tinplate clockwork layout at the show in October courtesy of Mick Woodman, a local model enthusiast. Some of the locomotives that you will see on his display date back to the 1930’s.


In the early days of model railways, model trains were relatively expensive and only the wealthy, or at best, the moderately well off could afford them. Model railways for the masses became more common from the 1920’s with more affordable mass produced models being made available.

It wasn’t until 1891 when German company Marklin launched the first complete system of trains, that we see the introduction of standard track gauges, ready to use track, and range of locomotives, rolling stock and accessories to compliment. This was a defining moment, as now users could have an initial train set, but could now continually add to it!!!

This was of course good for the toy manufacturer, indeed this is possibly the first example of the expanding range, with items at various price points for Christmas, birthdays, parents and relations and pocket money sized, which is one of the basic features of most successful toys since. The model railway as we know it today was born and continues to be one of the most popular hobbies worldwide.

Types of model railways

Lots of people get confused between scale and gauge when modelling model railways.

The words scale and gauge seem at first interchangeable but their meanings are different. Scale is the model’s measurement as a proportion to the original, while gauge is the measurement between the rails. Scale is the relationship between its size and the size of an actual train. Usually measured as a ratio or as a millimetre to inch conversion.

The Gauge is the difference between the inner edges of the two rails that it runs on.

You will be able to see a variety of these on the day.

All Exhibitors are very accommodating and will be delighted to talk to you about the layouts and also offer advise on building your own!

We very much look forward to seeing you all there!

Shropshire Highways – Risk Based Approach Consultation

Shropshire Council Highways is consulting on its proposals in response to the UK Roads Liaison Group’s publication of the Code of Practice ‘Well Managed Highway Infrastructure’, Delivery of a safe and well maintained highway network relies on good evidence and sound engineering judgement. The intention of this Code is that Authorities will develop their own levels of service when reviewing their approach in accordance with local needs, priorities and affordability.

Changing from reliance on specific guidance and recommendations in the previous Codes to a risk-based approach determined by each Highway Authority will involve appropriate analysis, development and gaining of approval through authorities’ executive processes, and thus those key changes are explained and detailed in the consultation information.

Shropshire Council is therefore seeking views on its proposals to review its approach to its Risk Based Approach via the adoption of a:-

  • Risk Based Approach
  • Managing risks for all types of users
  • Response Categories
  • Definition of defects

This consultation is designed for identified stakeholders, organisations and members of the public to complete. The information you provide will help to better align their management of the highway network with risk and usage levels, and respond to the requirements of the Well Managed Infra Structure publication ( link to the document below )

The conclusions of the consultation on Shropshire Highways proposals will inform a Cabinet Paper in September 2018, the consultation period Thursday 26th July until Thursday 23rd August 2018 ( four weeks ).The consultation information and response form is located on the Shropshire Council Consultation portal:-

Defibrillator Training

Whittington Parish Council have recently installed a Defibrillator in Whittington, on the Senior Citizen’s Hall wall. This is for the benefit of the local community and anyone who may be visiting the parish. The defibrillator is in an UNLOCKED cabinet so can be accessed 24/7.

It is very important to train as many people as possible to use the Defibrillator, should a situation arise where it is required to help save someone’s life.

The Parish Council has facilitated two training sessions (Defibrillator Awareness Courses) which are organised in conjunction with the Oswestry Cambrian Rotary Club and will be delivered by a Heart Start Tutor and Community First Responder. The courses will take place on:

Saturday 4th August at 10am in The Senior Citizens Hall, Station Road, Whittington

Saturday 25th August at 10am in The Senior Citizens Hall, Station Road, Whittington

The sessions will last approximately 2 hours and there is no charge to attend. The trainers just ask for donations at the end to support the life-saving work they do.

If you would like to attend one of the sessions, please book onto the course with the parish clerk – 01691 829571 or email

Queens Award for Voluntary service

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK, and to date, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin have enjoyed a greater than average success rate for groups that have been nominated. Winners get a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden party.
Do you know of any groups in your Parish which are worthy of such an award? If so, NOW is the time to be thinking about a nomination.  You must nominate a group for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service online. Nominees are considered for an award the year after they’re nominated.
Any group of 2 or more people doing volunteering work can be nominated for the award, and the majority of the group must be volunteers.
To be nominated they should do work that:
  • provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
  • is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
  • is run locally
Volunteer groups should have been running for 3 years or more to be nominated. Submit your nomination by midnight on 14 September 2018 to make sure your group is considered for the 2019 awards. You must be independent of the group you’re nominating. Read the guidance notes before making your nomination.
Support for your nomination
When you nominate a group you also need letters from 2 people who support your nomination and are independent from the group you’re nominating – for example:
  1. someone who benefits from the group’s work
  2. someone who’s aware of the group’s work
The letters must include:
  1. how the group helps the local community
  2. how you know the group
Contact  Shelley Davies at Shropshire Council if you would like to know more or for help with your nomination

GDPR Business Event

Please see the below event available to support local business in the area, organised by the Growth Hub. This event aims to helps businesses prepare for the realities of the new laws and the measures they can take in the weeks ahead of the GDPR May 25th deadline. It provides an overview of the legislation, and a ‘hands-on’ approach to Data Protection, dispelling the myths and emphasising the immediate steps to align and adjust to the new era.
This will be held on  Thursday the 10th of May 2018 9.30am at the Sweeney Hall Country House Hotel.
Registration &Tea/Coffee on arrival: 9:30am – presentation followed by a question and answer session.
Facilitator, Neil Hambley has over 25 years’ experience in data management, CRM and data protection, working across some of the UK’s biggest brands (Halfords, Aga, Land Rover, Time Warner, Capita and more).
Free to eligible businesses located within the Marches area.