Update from Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: April 2016

Worcestershire is continuing to excel as a result of the growing innovation and productivity of our County’s businesses and we are certainly seeing the results.

Last month we heard the news that our local economy has continued to go from strength to strength. Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show 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 success of our local economy.

Plans have recently been approved for the Worcestershire LEP to invest an additional £4 million into Malvern Hills Science Park. This key employment site is already home to a significant cluster of IT and cyber security companies and we continue to work to promote innovation in the County. This phase 5 development will provide an additional 16,000 sq.ft. of floor space to new companies or existing tenants seeking to grow their businesses and the expansion will help to further boost enterprise, supporting business growth and employment opportunities.

My congratulations go to Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) who won a national innovation award at the Better Business For All awards for helping curry houses and takeaways improve in areas like food composition, food safety and health and safety. As a result, the Bangladesh Caterers Association UK and the Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateurs have made WRS their ‘Primary Authority’ nationwide, establishing WRS as the “go-to” authority for some 30,000 business members nationwide.

I would encourage all businesses to apply for awards as a way of boosting your profile. Nominations are now open for this year’s Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards which are set to once again attract an audience of over 300 people. Training providers, employers and apprentices are now being urged to submit entries by the 30 June deadline, with tables and sponsorship opportunities now available for the awards on 17 November 2016. Also, do enter the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards before the Friday 15 April deadline. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 9 June at the University of Worcester Arena with over 500 businesses in attendance and good luck to you all.