On 22 January, Department for Transport’s Director of Local Transport, Graham Pendlebury, visited the County.
Mr Pendlebury, who is Central Government’s ‘sponsor’ for the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, met with Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair of WLEP, members of the WLEP executive team and David Crook, from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). During the visit, Mr Pendlebury was able to see first-hand the progress being made against the County’s ten year Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).
The visit included the locations of the proposed Worcester Technology Park, Worcestershire Parkway Station and the recently commenced expansion of Malvern Hills Science Park, each of which will progress with monies secured from Central Government by WLEP under its Growth Deal for Worcestershire. Current construction works on the Worcester Southern Link Road were observed together with an explanation relating to further phases of the proposed improvements including the aspiration to duplicate Carrington Bridge across the River Severn flood plain.
As the County’s major growth sectors include Agri-Tech, the visit also included the cutting edge technologies being employed by Evesham Vale Growers at their Anaerobic Digester Plant in Fladbury. He witnessed first-hand their innovation in biotechnology and the production of green energy (gas and electricity). Mr Pendlebury was also shown the major redevelopment and extensions to Pershore College which will further enhance and support business and training connections with the fruit and vegetable growing industries of the county, and some of the recent developments in Worcester City including The Hive and the University Arena.
Graham Pendlebury, Director for Local Transport at the Department for Transport, said: “This was my first visit to WLEP, and I was impressed that business leaders, local authorities and the LEP staff were working together with a clear vision, realistic priorities, and a great brand. I’m looking forward to regular return visits to see progress on the ground, and helping the LEP to develop its relationship with Central Government.”
Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to introduce Graham to some of the key development locations in Worcestershire whilst discussing the progress being made, and needing to be made, across the county to benefit our economy.”
“The Local Enterprise Partnership is currently focusing on delivering the strategic infrastructure and training schemes within the Growth Deal which will benefit the long-term prosperity of Worcestershire. We look forward to welcoming Graham back regularly during the year to see further projects and the progress that will have been made.”