As always, we are working with local partners to attract investment into the county from those who are looking to locate their business in Worcestershire. Last week we were able to take Worcestershire’s investment message to the international stage at MIPIM 2017, by highlighting the fantastic investment opportunities and productive workforce we have locally. This was ideal timing following our announcement that the county achieved the strongest GVA growth in productivity in England between 2010 and 2015.
Worcestershire LEP is continuing to invest Government’s Growth Deal funds into projects that will create jobs and encourage growth in the local area. Our latest Third Round allocation has provided the county with another £17.5million which we will spend on a number of transport and infrastructure projects including improvements to the A38, a new engineering facility for the Heart of Worcestershire College and improvements to the Pershore Northern Link Road and Churchfields Urban Village Highway. This is in addition to the £54.2million we have already secured in previous Growth Deal rounds, which has been invested in many more projects including the Worcestershire Parkway Station and a development that I will visit later this week, the new Centre of Vocational Excellence in Worcester.
I have already heard that work is progressing well on the Centre of Vocational Excellence’s two new units at the Great Western Business Park in Worcester, and I am looking forward to seeing the £1.5million development open later this year. The Centre will have a significant boost for the local economy, by creating 20 new jobs and providing training for several hundred learners each year at all levels, including Higher Apprenticeships. Worcestershire LEP has invested £950,000 into the project which will provide Worcester with a new state of the art facility for skills development in engineering, manufacturing, processing, finance, legal and service sectors.