We were pleased to hear the recent news that, subject to European Commission approval, parts of Worcestershire are set to benefit from additional regional aid.
The Government has undertaken an extensive two-stage consultation exercise from July last year until February this to define which areas of the country should be designated ‘Assisted Areas’ for the period 2014-2020.
‘Assisted Areas’ are eligible for higher levels of grant support and have been selected on the basis of a combination of economic need and economic opportunity.
In Worcestershire, parts of Bromsgrove, Redditch, Wyre Forest, Worcester and Wychavon have been designated as ‘Assisted Areas’. This means that local businesses will be eligible to apply for regional aid which will help to deliver growth and jobs to some of the more disadvantaged areas of our county.
What’s perhaps more important is that Worcestershire’s ‘Assisted Areas’ to a great extent coincide with the Gamechanger sites identified in Worcestershire LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan as vital to the county’s future economic development and prosperity. What this means is that we can offer greater incentives for businesses to invest in these parts of the county.
The final ‘Assisted Areas’ map now goes to European Commission for ratification, which the Government hopes will be received later this month.
We will keep you posted of developments.