Osborn helps Walsall get back in the saddle

Saddler Alf Peakman and apprentice granddaughter Hannah Scoffham with Andy Street

A centre to teach a new generation of saddle, bridle and leather-goods makers has opened its doors to help young people into work in Walsall – with support from Osborn.

The Walsall Leather Skills Centre is offering training to create jobs in the town while supporting the high-quality leather businesses upon which Walsall’s reputation has been based for centuries.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street was among the first visitors to the centre, which he said has his “full support” as the region looks to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The training centre, in The Bridge, is funded by the Saddlers Company Charitable Fund, the principal charity of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, a City of London livery company tracing its roots back to the 11th Century.

Working with Midlands-based training company Performance Through People, whose roots are in Walsall, the Saddlers Company Charitable Fund has converted vacant shop premises to provide a training workshop offering a wide range of saddlery and leather-goods courses.

Osborn Communications provided the centre partners with public affairs, media relations and event support.

As well as local news reports, this support resulted in coverage ranging from an eight minute feature and interview on BBC WM with breakfast show host Daz Hale through to a report in leading equestrian title Horse & Hound and even a story on an Italian website dedicated to the leather industry.

Director Chris Leggett, pictured with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, said: “It was a pleasure working with the team behind the Walsall Leather Skill Centre to reach large audiences through broadcast, digital and print media.

“They have already made a positive difference to a number of young lives by generating new opportunities for skills and training in a heritage industry with a strong reputation.”

To find out more about registering on a PTP course at the Walsall Leather Skills Centre click here