A New Class of Entrepreneur ; Elated: James Capper, Whose Team Devised a Scheme to Revive the Potteries

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Byline: KATIE TAYLOR

A Staffordshire project that has turned The Potteries from 'the worstplace in the country to start a business' into an economic hub of enterpriseactivity has won the coveted title Enterprising Britain 2007.

North Staffordshire Regeneration Zone, which covers the deprived urban core ofStoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, beat 11 other finalists to win thenational award last Thursday.

James Capper, a senior managerforNSRZ,says:'We launched a strategy in 2004 to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs,focusing on the area's young people, from primary school age up, and it isalready creating a fresh tangible culture of enterprise.

'We are elated at winning this award, which recognises what has been achievedand provides a platform on which to continue building for the future of theregion.' Enterprising Britain 2007, run by the Mark Your Mark campaign onbehalf of the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, is acompetition that recognises the most enterprising places in the UK.

NorthStaffordshirewas once home to great innovators and entrepreneurs such as Josiah Wedgwood,but over the past 30 years the area has suffered a massive decline in itstraditional industries. In 2003, with over 38,000 unemployed and 2,000businesses short of the national average, Barclays branded north Staffordshire'the worst place in the country to start a business'. …