Statement from Gary Woodman, the Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, following the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015

Following the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am pleased to say that I can see how Worcestershire has contributed to the UK being the fastest-growing economy in the G7, alongside the US, since 2010. In addition to the County having the third fastest growing economy in recent years, the latest data shows that Worcestershire’s productivity grew by 2.7% in 2012-13, the fastest rate in England.

“We welcome the chancellor’s emphasis on further supporting long term economic growth including the continued commitment to the Local Growth Deal, with Worcestershire’s current allocation standing at £54.2m, the national increase in the investment in transport projects and further schemes to support businesses. These include the extension for Small Business Rate Relief as well as the support for science and technology through Innovate UK.

“The focus on skills will also help businesses – with Further Education budgets being protected, support for apprenticeships that will further increase the number of excellent placements locally with Worcestershire having seen a four-fold increase in apprenticeship programmes in recent years and the importance placed on University Technical Colleges, which is in line with Worcestershire’s ambition to bid.”

“Worcestershire is an important part of the Midlands Engine, which brings together all 11 LEPs across the region, and we will continue to work across boundaries as well as with partners within the County to bring further economic growth.”