LEP in major 2013 promotional push

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership has outlined a New Year push to “sell” the County across the UK and abroad.

The drive comes on the back of its recently released new Business Plan which highlights its hopes for job creation and economic growth.

LEP chairman Peter Pawsey said: “Worcestershire is a magnificent business location.

“It is home to a flourishing business community with world class companies successfully competing in diverse markets at home and abroad.  It offers a high-quality workforce who are breaking new ground in industry sectors such as cyber security and manufacturing. And it has fantastic sporting and cultural attractions – all set in breathtaking landscape and areas of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of England.

“We have set out our strategic vision; now we intend to make it happen. 2013 is going to be a big year for us and, with the UK picture beginning to improve, we are determined to take Worcestershire to the next level.”

Worcestershire will be marketed in three main ways:

• Showcasing – maximise the County’s exposure at key business and commercial events to raise its profile on the national stage and to highlight the best of what it does.

• Promotion – utilising networks and relationships to increase the visibility of Worcestershire in both established and emerging markets.

• Positioning – increasing Worcestershire’s presence and relevance in key decision-making arenas.

Initiatives are likely to include the hosting of an annual Worcestershire Day at Westminster; the establishment of a new Worcestershire Expo event targeting specific industry buyers and investors; and a presence at top European property showcase MIPIM and other significant development and investment events.

Jobs for young people is a top priority in the light of pockets of high youth unemployment.

Mr Pawsey said:  “An essential element of the approach will be to establish better mechanisms for identifying job opportunities and facilitating local recruitment through supporting small businesses to identify potential candidates.

“We want to increase the intake of apprenticeships in the engineering and manufacturing sector, and raise awareness and exposure to the world of work.”

And he added: “The LEP will continuously lobby Government to improve funding opportunities for Worcestershire initiatives while preparing infrastructure and development proposals which can take advantage of rolling funding initiatives such as Growing Places and opportunities coming from Europe.”

The LEP will primarily focus on the manufacturing, cyber security and defence, tourism, horticulture and food production and environmental technology sectors.

It has identified a limited number of key strategic ‘game-changing’ employment locations across the County, some overlapping other authorities – Bromsgrove Town Centre; Longbridge; Malvern Hills Science Park; Redditch Eastern Gateway; South Kidderminster Enterprise Park; Worcester City East; Worcester Tech Park and the M5 J6/7 Corridor; and Bromsgrove Food & Logistics Park.

Key infrastructure improvements being sought are Junctions 4 and 6 on the M5; the Worcester Southern Link road; connecting Kidderminster to the wider motorway network; Bromsgrove Railway Station; a new Worcestershire Parkway station; and better access to Birmingham Airport and the future HS2 high speed rail terminal.