BCTG boss urges Midlands businesses to maintain support for their community roots

The head of one of the Midlands’ leading workforce training and apprenticeship organisations has urged local businesses to keep on supporting their local communities.

Chris Luty, chief executive of Oldbury-based BCTG, said: “With concerns over Covid-19 and the economy in general, it is easy to cut back on areas that don’t appear to contribute immediately to the bottom line.

“And it’s hard not to sympathise with businesses that are facing real hardship.

“But it’s vital that we don’t lose sight of our roots and where possible, we continue to support our local clubs and organisations in our community.”

BCTG is a long-term sponsor of Dudley Town FC (The Robins), which narrowly missed out on promotion and an automatic FA Cup spot due to Covid-19. Now the club is heading into the new season by going back to its roots.

And the club is building up its fan base too, with inquiries even coming from Robins supporters as far away as Australia.

The early shut-down of the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic saw last season’s results wiped from the books. As a result, Dudley Town’s third place – which would have seen it achieve promotion from the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division, and its automatic FA Cup , were all taken away.

Club director Stephen Austin said: “It was soul-destroying after achieving so much in a great season, but we’ve had to put it behind us. It’s taken a lot of work to get ourselves ready for this season but we aim to repeat that success.”

That positive attitude comes alongside a deliberate move to recapture the club’s glory days of the 1970s and ‘80s, with a return to its traditional red and white kit colours and to its historic Robin club badge.

And its Robins’ Supporters Club has also been relaunched after a hiatus of several years.

“We’re aware of a lot of interest in the club from local people who want to show their support, even if they can’t get along to the matches at the moment,” said Steve.

“We’ve even had people from as far away as Queensland in Australia getting in touch in recent weeks to order our new team shirts. Last year we had contact from people in Milan and Paris – there’s not a month that goes past without an overseas inquiry or a kit order.

“We’ve been around since 1888 and have long, deep, roots in our community. We aim to build on that this year as we campaign for promotion.

“We have struck a partnership deal with the Duncan Edwards Foundation that sees Duncan’s signature on our shirts as we promote the foundation’s work, giving talented young sportspeople from the borough the support they need to achieve their dreams.”

The Foundation was set up to commemorate the legacy of the brilliant Dudley footballer, one of the famous Manchester United Busby Babes, who tragically died of his injuries after the Munich air disaster in 1958.

Steve added: “And our new shirt sponsor is the care sector charity the CareTech Foundation, so we will be promoting their Sparkle for Social Care campaign on our first team kit and our new commemorative polo shirts.”

At the same time, the club’s long-term main sponsor, leading workforce training and apprenticeship organisation BCTG, is working to encourage more businesses across the region to join the corporate team backing the Robins.

Chris Luty said: “It’s a real community-based club that spends a lot of time working with kids and young people, using football to engage and motivate.

“We are hoping to encourage more businesses to come on board. There’s a range of corporate sponsorship packages that won’t break the bank but, together, we can make a real difference to both a historic Dudley football club and to the local community.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring the club is asked to get in touch through the club’s social media outlets, on Facebook and Twitter, or e-mail davef.dtfc@blueyonder.co.uk  or Stephen Austin on stephenaustin_43@hotmail.com

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For further information, please contact:

Chris Luty, Chief Executive Officer,

BCTG Group, European Business Park, Taylors Lane, Oldbury, B69 2BN. Tel: 0121 544 6455

Or email

Stephen Austin on stephenaustin_43@hotmail.com

Prepared and issued by Simon Penfold of ASAP PR – 01608 651203.

Note to editors:

BCTG Group is a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and includes PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions, Further Training and The Apprenticeship Works.

The group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.