A SPORTS stadium in Bromsgrove is the venue for a new business group in North Worcestershire.

The Victoria Ground, home of the Bromsgrove Sporting Football Club, will host monthly "coffee and natter" meetings where the emphasis will be on informality. For Mike Gardner, the man behind the group in Bromsgrove, it marks the latest stage in a recovery to health.

Mr Gardner, aged 53, served in the RAF, worked in the Middle East and is still an RAF reservist alongside running his training business, but he is on his way back from three heart attacks and a stroke in the space of just a few weeks at the end of 2015 and into early 2016.

Now largely recovered, he is pioneering a new concept in business networking that hopes to go nationwide having already been successfully launched in Birmingham and London.

He said: "People know that the best way to do business is to meet with like-minded people but often feel intimidated and find networking events too formal and pressurised. Coffee and Natter is completely different. It is entirely free and people turn up, have a coffee and a biscuit and chat. There is an opportunity to make a short presentation about your business but this is entirely optional. We also have a guest speaker to talk about an aspect of business and there is also a short review of a business related book. People come to the meetings as and when they can and there is no subscription or requirement to sign-up.”

The Coffee and Natter events in Bromsgrove will be normally be held on the first Thursday of each month at the Victoria Ground starting at 1pm, but the January event is on Thursday, January 12 when the speaker will be Tony Brassington a leading authority on setting the mind for achievement, for business people and private individuals alike.