Statement from Gary Woodman, the Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, following the July Budget 2015

Following the Chancellor’s budget in July 2015, Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is reassuring that the Chancellor’s budget shows anticipated economic growth and job creation over the coming years and businesses will welcome measures such as lower Corporate Tax and reduced National Insurance for SMEs. We believe LEPs have a key part in achieving this future growth, creating the environment where businesses continue to flourish and aligning public and private sector activity to ensure delivery of Worcestershire’s 10-year Strategic Economic Plan.”

“We welcome the announcement of devolution of powers to provide responsibility at a local level for decisions which impact the local economy, with the first example being setting Sunday Trading Laws, and now need to understand further exactly how this will work in practice. Some strategic economic issues affect a Midlands-wide geography for example, large infrastructure schemes, and we work closely with neighbouring LEPs. The Midlands Engine for Growth with a relationship with the Northern Powerhouse would build on this to make us stronger together whilst County Deals should provide the Worcestershire solution required for local delivery. We will also be working with our local authority partner organisations to put together a bid for potential enterprise zones in the County.”

“Finally, it is reassuring that businesses are being rewarded for investing in training. Worcestershire now has 10,000 people participating in an apprenticeship scheme, four times the number in 2011, and any mechanism to help companies to increase the amount of excellent schemes available locally is welcomed.”