Tougher than leather: training centre in spotlight

A training centre set up to develop heritage leather skills has been featured in the bumper Christmas edition of leading country magazine The Field – thanks to Osborn Communications.

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

After its October opening, Osborn Communications secured a prominent news story for the centre in the 184-page Christmas special edition of The Field, published by Future Publishing on Friday.

The news story meets the brief set by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers and their training partner Performance Through People to reach the widest, engaged audience through PR and communications.

Director Chris Leggett said: “The Walsall Leather Skills Centre has been a welcome addition to the training landscape in the Black Country. It will help bring fresh talent into local businesses, securing the living heritage of the region’s respected saddlery and leather industry.

“It was a pleasure to help the partners reach such an informed audience, who will understand the quality offered by Walsall leather. As well as delivering digital PR for the partners, it is rewarding to see their centre featured in a 184-page Christmas special print publication given the challenging media environment.

“The Field have shown an interest in Walsall and its leather businesses over time so it was a fantastic endorsement for the new centre to be featured in such a respected publication.”

As well as local news reports, Osborn’s 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.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street was among the first visitors to the centre last month, which he said has his “full support”  following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first students have already begun their courses at the training centre, in The Bridge, which 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.

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

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