Statement from Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, following the March Budget 2016

Following the Chancellor’s Budget in March 2016, Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are pleased to hear the Chancellor’s vision of continued growth for the national economy, a trend we have seen within Worcestershire. Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown that Worcestershire’s productivity between 2009 – 2014 grew on average by 3.1% in terms of GVA per hour worked, placing the County second of all 39 LEP areas. Worcestershire has also seen the fourth largest economic growth, 4.5%, over the last five years (2009-2014), highlighting the growing strength of our local economy.”

“It is pleasing to see a national commitment to investing in skills to boost the economy. The introduction of a fair national funding formula will benefit our County’s schools greatly and will allow for a greater provision of education and skills. The Worcestershire LEP will continue to work with local businesses to ensure that our younger generations are able to take the first steps on their career paths by ensuring that our future workforce have the skills that they need for business. We are currently working with partners on a Further Education Area Review which will conclude in June 2016 and highlight the areas where we can continue to invest in the skills needed for the development of businesses within the County.”

“We hope that our local businesses will benefit from the announced simplified business taxes, the improved commercial stamp duties for small businesses and lowered corporation tax. Freezing the Fuel Tax duty will also be welcome news for our local businesses as we continue to strengthen our local transport infrastructure by delivering Growth Deal projects. The Chancellor’s Budget report also displayed the £250m investment in the Midlands Engine for small businesses and an announced Local Majors Fund which will enable the County to bid for the development of key routes like the Carrington Bridge.”