This week I have been discussing Worcestershire’s connectivity and I’m pleased to see the progress we have made in improving our road, rail and digital infrastructure to support local businesses. This can be seen with Superfast Broadband which can modernise any business and boost productivity with download speeds of up to 80mbps. The Superfast Worcestershire programme has already achieved coverage for over 90% of local business parks, trading estates and industrial estates including Hartlebury Trading Estate, Park Farm North and South Industrial Estates, Top Barn Business Centre and Vale Park. Through the Government’s Growth Deal and other funding, 95% of premises will be able to access fibre broadband by Spring 2017 and so I would urge you to find out if you can sign up to superfast broadband.
On a site visit last week, I saw the great progress being made on another of our Growth Deal projects, Worcester Six. The business park will create thousands of jobs and provide employment in technology, manufacturing, industrial and warehousing. We’ve invested Growth Deal funds to upgrade Pershore Lane and improve traffic flow to junction 6 of the M5, and provide access to Worcester Six.
I have also been meeting with the Department for International Trade regarding a return visit from Maryland businesses, following our Midlands Engine mission. This is part of creating long-term partnerships and business opportunities with American companies and educational establishments. The Midlands delegates also took part in the prestigious CyberMaryland Conference 2016 which attracted some of the world’s largest IT and cyber-security firms Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Marches LEP and Hereford Enterprise Zone, in partnership with Department for International Trade and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, are now developing a programme over the next three years with a return visit from Maryland to the Midlands being planned for Spring 2017.
This is my last blog for 2016 and so I would like to wish you all a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.