Statement from Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, following the March Budget 2017

Following the Chancellor’s Budget in March 2017, Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is great to hear the Chancellor’s vision for continued growth for the national economy and commitment to investing in transport and digital infrastructure through projects such as 5G connectivity, Fibre Broadband and tackling national road pinch points. While the Chancellor highlighted the issue of low productivity on a national level, we are investing in a number of local projects that will help the county’s businesses to innovate and we have recently opened the Worcestershire Growth Fund Fourth Round for expanding businesses that are looking to create jobs.

“We are also pleased to hear the Government’s commitment to technical qualifications. The introduction of new ‘T Levels’ has the opportunity to benefit Worcestershire, as our key sector of Advanced Manufacturing thrives on a highly skilled technical workforce. We are investing heavily into technical skills locally, with our Government Growth Deal investments recently opening the North Worcestershire Engineering Centre of Excellence in Redditch and set to open the Centre of Vocational Excellence in Worcester later this summer.

“I would like to remind local businesses of the changes to the National Living Wage which is rising to £7.50 in April and we will await tomorrow’s announcement of the Midlands Engine Strategy on Economic Prosperity, as we continue to work with local businesses to ensure that we are boosting economic prosperity.”