Landmarc Support Services has announced the appointment of Sheryl Anderson as its new Rural Business Connector for Northumberland. The selection was made in conjunction with Business In the Community (BITC), a responsible business charity which aims to help build resilient communities, diverse workplaces, and a sustainable future. The Business Connectors programme, which has been backed by HRH the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister David Cameron is run by BITC. The scheme puts full time business resource and time into communities of greatest need, in the form of professionals on secondment from businesses who are trained to connect the resource of local businesses to meet the needs of a local community.

Today’s announcement coincides with the one year anniversary of the Business Connector programme which is being celebrated at ‘The Big Connect’ in London on 12 July, where HRH the Prince of Wales will speak to and meet Business Connectors from all over the country.

Sheryl was chosen by Landmarc from a shortlist of applicants, and will be hoping to replicate the impressive achievements of the 71 Business Connectors who have already been placed in 55 of England’s communities of greatest need, delivering co-ordinated action on the ground that helps to address issues of community cohesion, education, enterprise and employment.

With a vast knowledge of the area, and a wide understanding of the local people and the meaning of community within a rural area, Sheryl says: “My whole life has centred around the rural community, the importance of employment and finding ways to sustain the rural community for our future families.”

Steve Johnson, Regional Operations Manager (North) for Landmarc Support Services says: “We are pleased to announce Sheryl as our first ever Rural Business Connector, and are eager to see the great work we know she will do in building and maintaining relationships between businesses and communities in Northumberland.

“We look forward to strengthening our ties with BITC through our involvement in the Business Connectors Programme, and continuing our commitment to sustainability and social value.”

Landmarc has been an active member of BITC since 2012 and is vitally aware that thriving rural communities depend on a thriving rural economy and are vital to the sustainability of our countryside. Issues such as the provision of services and employment opportunities for young people all affect the viability of rural communities in the long term, which is why Landmarc is supporting this programme.

Stephen Howard, Business in the Community Chief Executive said: “Business Connectors is based on the proven impact of taking business resource, skills and time into the heart of communities where vital community services are under pressure to do more with less.  We’re delighted that Landmarc is placing Sheryl to work full-time in this community. We look forward to working with her and seeing the valuable connections we know she will make in Northumberland.”

The appointment of Sheryl as Rural Business Connector follows the launch of the Rural Enterprise Hub, a new touchdown office facility in Netheravon, Wiltshire, provided free of charge by Landmarc. The Rural Enterprise Hub offers local business entrepreneurs support and advice as well as office facilities with internet connectivity.

Landmarc also recently launched Landmarc100, a ground-breaking innovation scheme to provide financial support and advice for business entrepreneurs in rural communities.