Culture, Sport and the Economy – Peter Pawsey Executive Chairman

First published in the Worcester News on 27.02.2015

Culture, Sport and the Economy

Culture and sport have vital roles in boosting the local economy. Evidence of this was seen last year when the Tour of Britain brought almost £1m to Worcestershire’s businesses in one day.

This year Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership will be hosting the prestigious Friends Life Tour Ride on 4th October which will give amateur riders the chance to experience elements of that Tour of Britain route. Three route options and distances will be available to suit a range of abilities and will no doubt attract visitors from far and wide.

Registrations will open shortly for both individuals and businesses or other groups who may wish to enter teams and receive sponsorship.  There will be many commercial opportunities available this year as an extremely full, varied and high profile sporting programme is planned which will provide a focus on Worcestershire regionally, nationally and internationally.

In addition to the Tour Ride, the Tour Series cycling event is once again returning to Redditch in May and the Worcester City 10k, Run-Bike-Run and Young Athletes Run has been  announced recently by Worcester City Council for September. Another highlight will be the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships in August for which we are supporting the University of Worcester and others.  Then there are the exciting fixture lists at Sixways, New Road, the Racecourse and elsewhere across the county.

The recent workshop which considered a potential bid for the City of Culture 2021 also showed the passion and pride for our heritage, history, arts, cultural and sporting attractions. We know for any bid to be successful it will require the full commitment of many organisations and we are currently analysing the feedback.

The Office of National Statistics has also published figures this week showing that Worcestershire’s economy was the third fastest growing LEP-area in the UK between 2008 and 2013 after Oxfordshire and London.  Sport and cultural activities will support further growth.

Peter Pawsey
Executive Chair
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership