finest celebrates a decade of growth for professional services in North Staffordshire

A unique organisation credited with raising the profile of many of North Staffordshire’s most successful business professionals is celebrating its 10th anniversary. 

A Black Tie Ball will be held at Keele Hall on Friday, 28 June to mark 10 years of finest North Staffordshire. 

Set up in 2004 with the help of public funding, finest has grown into a self funding body representing more than 90 professional service businesses in North Staffordshire. 

finest was born out of a recognition that many of the area’s best business professionals were leaving the area for careers in Birmingham, Manchester and London. 

By building business relationships and promoting professional development, finest has been successful in supporting talent retention in North Staffordshire and has promoted professional development through a programme of innovative events and training opportunities. 

“An awful lot has been achieved over the last 10 years,” said Richard Lashmore of Knights Solicitors LLP, the founding Chair of finest. “When we first discussed setting up finest there was limited awareness of the extent of the professional sector in North Staffordshire or of how people could work collaboratively to create new opportunities and to benefit the economy of the area. 

“I am delighted to say that finest has gone from strength to strength. Many partnerships have been forged among members and our extensive programme of networking meetings and professional development opportunities has supported business growth. 

“At the beginning, finest received support from Advantage West Midlands and the fact that it is now self funding and is thriving is a major achievement and a credit to the many active members which make finest such a worthwhile organisation.”  

finest initially provided a meeting place for professionals by hosting events at venues across North Staffordshire at which professionals could exchange ideas and foster new  business leads. 

The organisation has evolved to offer innovative opportunities which form an important part of members’ Continuing Professional Development. 

futurefinest was established in 2006 and has around 100 members. It offers networking, development and social opportunities for young professionals, giving them encouragement to remain in North Staffordshire and to contribute to the area’s growth. 

Over 200 people from the North Staffordshire business community will gather at Keele Hall for the 10th anniversary event at Keele Hall. 

Main sponsors for the night include Knights LLP, Mitten Clarke, Make it Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, Bowcock & Pursaill and Keele Science and Business Park. 

ENDS 

For media enquiries contact Nigel Howle on 0776 3043436, email nigelhowle@o2.co.uk 

Notes to Editors: 

finest is the region’s leading professional services network representing around 100 of the most dynamic and successful businesses in the local professional sector. Members range from multi nationals to specialist providers. 

The organisation also encompasses futurefinest, which provides networking, social and career development opportunities to the leaders of the future. 

finest operates as a trade section of the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and is run by, and for, the benefit of its members.