Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has expressed its pride and delight after seeing the boss of a county events business pick up a national accolade.

Chief executive Richard Sheehan and deputy Ruth Ross travelled to the London Stock Exchange to see Beth Heath of Shropshire Festivals collect the ‘Game Changer’ trophy at the British Chambers of Commerce’s annual awards.

Beth outshone hundreds of nominees to win one of just eight national awards which were handed out this year.

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, told her: “You have transformed your idea in to a successful, sustainable business by understanding your market’s key challenges, customers and competitive landscape.”

Shropshire Festivals runs a string of top Shropshire events, including Shrewsbury Food Festival, Shropshire Oktoberfest, Shropshire Tasty Trail, and Shropshire Kids Festival. Collectively, they attract around 90,000 visitors to the region each year.

Mr Sheehan said: “Ruth and I were delighted to be able to attend the London event to see Beth receive the award for her outstanding success.

“We have some fantastic businesses in Shropshire which, in spite of the current economic challenges, are doing incredible things.”

The British Chambers of Commerce’s annual awards highlight the role of firms in delivering growth and prosperity for the UK and local communities.

Judges said it was the ‘entrepreneurial drive and community spirit’ of Beth and her Shropshire Festivals team that helped to win the award.

The Game Changer category is reserved for an individual who has transformed an idea into a successful, sustainable business by understanding their market’s key challenges, customers and the competitive landscape.  

The BCC praised the way Beth had turned her love of food and festivals into a hugely successful events business, providing community-based days out at price points accessible to all ages and backgrounds.

“Beth’s business has a hugely positive impact on Shropshire tourism,” the BCC said.

The business faced a significant challenge when the pandemic hit, but Beth overcame many hurdles and pivoted the business to ensure its survival.

She launched a series of drive-in events, as well as a new hamper business, an online marketplace for local businesses and a national campaign to unite isolated communities.

Sarah Howard, chair of the British Chambers of Commerce, added: “Beth’s company highlights the positive ripple effects successful businesses can have on their local economies.

“By going above and beyond to ensure her customers enjoy unforgettable experiences, people flock from far and wide to attend Beth’s events. Not only is Beth passionate about her local area, she is also raising its profile.”


Caption: Beth and Sid Heath, from Shropshire Festivals, receiving the award in London from Shevaun Haviland (right) and Jasmine King of award sponsor Meta.