Shropshire Star

Jay Blades set to be guest speaker at Shropshire business awards

Furniture up-cycler and television presenter Jay Blades MBE is to be the guest speaker as Shropshire Chamber of Commerce holds its business awards this summer.

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Jay Blades

Jay, who hosts BBC’s prime-time show The Repair Shop, will be taking to the stage at Telford’s International Centre on June 23.

In addition to his presenting work, Jay spends a large amount of time working on furniture projects for commercial and individual clients, running workshops and motivating disadvantaged people in the community.

Jay, who has a workshop in the Ironbridge Gorge, inspires individuals, companies and charities to transform old furniture into works of contemporary design.

“We’re delighted to have Jay as our speaker this year,” said Chamber chief executive Richard Sheehan. “I know that the inspirational story of his own business journey will really resonate with our audience.”

There is just over a month left to submit entries for the 2023 Shropshire Chamber Business Awards, which look set to be one of the biggest in the event’s 23-year history with around 500 seats already reserved.

The event, which is now in its 23rd year, celebrates the stars of the Shropshire business community across 12 different categories.

The competition is free to enter, and open to all businesses with an operational base in the county of Shropshire or Telford & Wrekin – whether or not they are a Chamber member.

It includes the return of long-running categories including Company of the Year, Best New Business, and Best Small Business.

There are also new-look categories this year for Global Business recognising international trade, Commitment To People, and a return of the Business In The Community award.

Entries are now open at

The closing date for applications is April 14.

Kelly Riedel, Shropshire Chamber’s events manager, said: “There is a real appetite to celebrate success across our business community this year, and the event is on target to be the biggest yet.

“We know that Shropshire businesses are going to be facing significant challenges over the coming year, so it’s more important than ever to celebrate and recognise our success stories.”