Pinning our hopes on plan for growth

First published in the Worcester News: 11 April 2014

Peter Pawsey and Trish Haines  SEP Send Off event 31.3.14As you will no doubt have heard by now, Worcestershire’s Strategic Economic Plan (or SEP) was duly submitted to Government on deadline, Monday 31 March.

A special ‘send off’ event at Worcester Arena, culminating in me being driven with the Plan towards Westminster in a fantastic Morgan car, marked the conclusion of a period of intense pressure for all of us here at Worcestershire LEP – not to mention our many partners and stakeholders.

We won’t finally hear until late summer how successful our bid has been, although we now move into a period of negotiation with Government to sell our case for £258 million of investment from the Local Growth Fund.  Our proposals, if accepted, should lead to an additional 25,000 jobs for the county and a significant surge in the productivity and economy of Worcestershire.

I had the opportunity to discuss some aspects of our Plan with Prime Minister, David Cameron, at a meeting of LEP Chairs in Manchester on Thursday last.  Since then, Dr Richard Newland’s and Pineau De Re’s fantastic exploits at Aintree last Saturday have certainly served to raise the profile of Worcester and the county even further, which is great.  But we now need any of you who get the chance, to help by ‘selling’ the Worcestershire bid to your contacts in Government.

Neither Local Growth Funding nor the European money will be forthcoming until the end of this year at the earliest.  In the meantime, we in the LEP will be focusing on the here and now, working with businesses to unlock and unravel the barriers they are facing as they seek to grow and invest further in Worcestershire.

Our full SEP and summary version are available under the resources section of this website.