Update from Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: July 2015

We continue to raise the profile of the County as a World Class place to work, invest and do business and I am glad to say that last week we were able to announce that during 2014/5 over 1,000 jobs were created in Worcestershire due to investment from overseas. A delegation was welcomed on Tuesday of this week (30 June) from Hezhou, China and activity will continue over the coming months to build on this momentum both for investment across the UK and from abroad.

Businesses can help raise the profile of the County by promoting your own business achievements and we will continue to advise on other ways you can be involved to raise the profile of Worcestershire at the same time as your own company.

At the Worcestershire LEP we are very much focused on delivery with Growth Deal funding now becoming available. The Worcestershire Growth Deal is £54.2m to be spent between 2015 and 2021 on agreed economic projects to develop infrastructure and skills as outlined in the 10-year Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).  Programmes are progressing well, for example, earlier this month work began to provide greater access and improve traffic flow on Pershore Lane for the Worcester Six site. Worcester Six has been described as one of the best undeveloped sites between Birmingham and Bristol and once completed will provide over 5,000 jobs.

At the same time, Worcestershire LEP is contributing £1.8m of Growing Places funding for Redditch Eastern Gateway which is ideally located close to the M40 and M42 and will create up to 1,500 jobs. Development partner Stoford will use the funding to support the planning, infrastructure design and construction process at the 70 acre employment site.  Redditch Eastern Gateway and Worcester Six are two of the County’s key employment sites, also known as gamechangers, which will significantly boost the local economy and so it is good news that both are progressing well.

Feedback from businesses is so important to ensure that organisations across Worcestershire set priorities depending on business needs – this was absolutely vital when creating the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and I want to make sure this continues to be the case. So please remember to have your say on services and business support in the Worcestershire Business Viewpoint Survey by Sunday 5 July 2015. The survey can be completed here. Also, please contact the Worcestershire LEP directly by emailing enquiries@wlep.co.uk, with any ideas on how we can drive the Worcestershire economy to even more success.

I look forward to meeting with more of you over the coming months and please make sure you have our Annual Conference in your diary – it is the 13 November 2015. More details will be in the next newsletter and we hope to see more of you there on the day.