Pioneering enterprise work carried out in Herefordshire could be rolled out as examples of best practice to the rest of the West Midlands.
Judges who have nominated the county as one of the most enterprising regions in the UK believe that many examples can be learned.
The Enterprising Britain competition, run by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, aims to identify projects that aid the economy of a particular area.
Herefordshire has been nominated by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands for the work it has done in helping to deliver sustainable prosperity.
David Hooper, an enterprise business development manager for AWM, led the team of regional judges, which included Peter Henderson, managing director of Valve Train Components based in Lichfield and John Rider, a representative of the Institute of Directors, West Midlands.
Mr Rider said: “All the judges felt that the Hereford application demonstrated some excellent partnership working between the public and private sector. Everybody in Hereford should be proud of the way the area has prospered over the least few years.”
Mr Henderson said that as a member of the West Midlands Regional Enterprise Board he would be ensuring that some of the activities that have taken place in Herefordshire are replicated throughout the West Midlands.
In addition, he said he would “ensure that the best practice being demonstrated in this local area is shared across the region”.
Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, cabinet member for Hereford’s Economic Development and Community Services, said: “We are delighted that
Herefordshire’s spirit of enterprise has been recognised. Over the last few years, we have worked hard in the face of many challenges to encourage the growth of a broad spread of businesses in terms of size and specialism, with some now competing effectively on a global scale.”
Projects identified in the county include Pure Clean, a cleaning company run by Binny Evans and Jodie Townsend. The business, based at the Enterprise Centre in Leominster – part of a Rural Regeneration Zone project, benefited from a start-up grant in its early days.
Creative jeweller Sue Lane , based in Hatfield, is another to have benefited from a start-up grant and the support of AWM’s Creative Industries progamme.
Architype architects, which is based south of Hereford, has made its home in a converted barn owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. The conversion was carried out with the help of the Redundant Building Grant scheme.
A judge from Enterprising Britain 2008 and officials from BERR will visit Hereford later in June to decide whether it will be crowned the most enterprising place in Britain.