SEP sent off in style

Peter Pawsey and Trish Haines  SEP Send Off event 31.3.14Worcestershire LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) was sent off in style on Monday as representatives from Worcestershire County Council, District Councils, and from county wide businesses joined us for a special event held at Worcester University’s Arena.

The SEP outlines Worcestershire’s strategy for growth over the next ten years.  It could attract millions of pounds of investment from Government to bring 25,000 new jobs to the county and deliver ambitions for much needed investment in sites, roads, railways, town centres and skills.

Over 150 organisations from business, councils and the voluntary sector have contributed to developing the plan which, if the bid is successful, will establish Worcestershire as a truly world class inward investment destination.

Monday 31 March was the deadline for all 39 English LEPs to submit their SEPs  to Government.  More than £2 billion is available each year from the Local Growth Fund. Worcestershire has made a bid for £280 million over the next 5-10 years.  This is in addition to the notional allocation of £58 million from European funding sources for the next five years.

At the ‘send-off’ event on Monday,  Worcestershire’s  SEP was driven off towards Westminster in style in a Morgan sports car.

Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:  “The challenge to produce the SEP has meant a mountain of work for the LEP executive team supported strongly by their consultants and by County Council staff.  Everyone has responded brilliantly and I thank them all.  This Plan which outlines the strategic direction for development and the economy of Worcestershire over the next ten years has been a valuable and vital exercise in itself, irrespective of funding requests.  We have managed to marshal just about all the stakeholders and partners into a common theme and set of objectives for Worcestershire, which has been no mean feat.”

Trish Haines, chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council added: “Worcestershire has come a long way since the Worcestershire LEP was set up three years ago.  We are a strong county with partners facing the same way and in agreement on all our key objectives. This comes through in the document and our strong business voice is one of our strengths.

“This is a great opportunity that could lever in millions of pounds of government money and lead to 25,000 extra jobs.  We urge businesses to get behind this now as we don’t believe there will be many more opportunities like this one in the future.”

Mark Garnier, MP (Con) for Wyre Forest, added: “The Worcestershire Strategic Economic Plan is perhaps one of the most important documents to come out of our county for a generation. This document forms the basis of the relationship between our county and the Government: a relationship that sets out the terms of how we see ourselves developing, and how the Government will help. When put into action, the SEP will boost the opportunity for a generation of Worcestershire’s schoolchildren. This is a commitment to improve local skills; to create 25,000 new, higher value jobs; and to provide the solid foundation for greater private sector investment in the county. This transformational proposal represents the bright future of our county, supported by all the county’s MPs committed to make sure it is delivered.”

Worcestershire’s SEP comprises over 200 pages.  A summary document has been produced to highlight key points.  Both documents are available via the WLEP website: