In some regards the past 3 weeks have been a quieter period for the LEP, at least on the surface, but I can assure you all that much good work has been carried out by Gary and Claire in drafting the LEP’s Business Plan and in corporate governance issues. The combined LEP and Business Boards are meeting on Thursday this week to consider the drafts and to add their thoughts as we bring the documents together, hopefully for full sign off in July. Meanwhile I guess we have all been a little distracted by the Olympic Torch relay through parts of the county (to return to other parts on July 1st) and by the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, both of which have lifted the spirits and reminded us all that we do live together in important communities. They have also further publicised many of the attractions of Worcestershire.
Visit of John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism
On Thursday 24th May, whilst the Torch was in the Wyre Forest area, the Destination Worcestershire team hosted a luncheon meeting with John Penrose MP at Bewdley Safari Park. Views and opportunities for developing Worcestershire’s tourism offer were discussed, including both the need for much more visibility and the need for a wider range and choice of hotels across the county, not only for tourism but for business needs as well.
Halford’s Cycle Tour Race – Redditch Town Centre
Also that same day, 24th May, and not to be distracted by Torch events in Worcester that evening, Redditch hosted Stage 4 of this round Britain professional cycling event which some of you may have seen on TV. How appropriate that Redditch should host such an event when the main sponsor, Halfords, has its headquarters in the town and it is one of its key employers. However, this was Redditch’s first such event and it was a spectacular triumph, so much so that they have been invited to host a stage again next year. Also sponsored by the County Council as publicity for its ‘Choose How You Travel’ campaign, the event attracted mass crowds all the way around the town centre road track and it was a great showcase for Redditch. Well done to all – such exposure in Worcestershire can only be good for our prosperity.
South Worcestershire Development Plan
A sub group of the Business Board recently met with the team of officers from Worcester City, Wychavon and Malvern Hills Councils who are finalising the draft plan following a very heavily ‘subscribed’ consultation period. The group reviewed current proposals and fed current key considerations into the process. The LEP’s interests are primarily around transport, housing and most importantly, employment land availability, especially in areas where inward or indigenous investors would consider developing and operating from. The exercise is ongoing.
Future Events and dates
Tuesday 12th June Place Shaping Group, Redditch
Thursday 14th June LEP Board Meeting, 2.30pm, Coombers
Combined LEP and Business Boards, 4.00pm, Coombers
Wednesday 27th June Worcestershire Day at the House of Commons, tba.
Thursday 28th June Visit of Eric Pickles MP, CLG Secretary, Kidderminster EZ
Monday 9th July Business Plan presentation to Leaders Board, County Hall
Tuesday 10th July Finditinworcestershire.com breakfast with Mervyn King, Sixways
Wednesday 18th July Planned sign off of Business Plan and Corp Gov docs by Boards