Update from Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: September 2015

Sporting fever has taken over the County and while we near the finals of the thrilling European Wheelchair Basketball Championships, the #60DaysOfSport campaign has only just begun.

The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships has drawn visitors from all over Europe and is set to bring a £1.5m economic boost to the county. Meanwhile, the rest of the #60DaysOfSport campaign will continue to see the sporting spotlight firmly on the county and provide many more business opportunities. Worcestershire will host some extraordinary events such as the Worcester 10k run-bike-run on 20 September which will be attended by athletics star Jo Pavey, and the Aviva Tour Ride on 4 October, the official sportive of the Tour of Britain with former World Champion Hugh Porter MBE taking part. These are in addition to the many excellent sporting fixtures at our sporting grounds including the Worcester Warriors’ first game back in the Premiership.

Business events during the 60 Days of Sport include UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) hosting a free session at Sixways Stadium on 28 September for potential exporters looking at ‘Winning sales in global sports projects’. The global sports market is vast – ranging from building construction, security, related infrastructure to, of course, the sporting aspects – do consider the wider opportunities and register early to avoid disappointment.

From sport to support, a new funding opportunity is now available to local businesses and organisations with a new European call for funding now open. All new and existing businesses in rural areas are able to apply for up to £100,000 in EAFRD Business Development funding for expansion and creating jobs. Information on all available funding is available from the Worcestershire LEP’s website at www.wlep.co.uk, via Twitter @WorcsLEP and via the LEP newsletter.

I am pleased to say that the Worcestershire LEP has secured funding of £100,000 for enterprise education in schools with work starting in schools and colleges in September. This finance will provide dedicated Enterprise Co-ordinators and support schemes that promote innovation, such as the Young Enterprise scheme, as well as careers events and preparing young people for the world of work.

This funding is excellent news for skills locally with Worcestershire leading the way in this National scheme as part of the first wave of funding. Businesses can enhance this work by signing up to the Connecting Schools and Business scheme which seeks to give meaningful work experience and careers advice to young people with direct links to companies in Worcestershire. If you haven’t already, why not sign up today at www.worcestershireskillscentral.co.uk.