Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: 1 January 2016

First published in the Worcester News on 1 January 2016

The New Year is a natural time to consider how you can do things differently at home, but also in the business environment with the financial end of year in sight.

For businesses looking to grow in the year ahead it is worth remembering the wealth of business support and networking opportunities, for example, through Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, via UKTI for those looking to explore overseas markets and export, and do remember that Worcestershire.Business.Central., which has been supported through our Growth Deal funding and is now co-located with both UKTI and the Chamber of Commerce, can help with all your business needs all in one place. Visit their website today at www.business-central.co.uk to find out more.

Looking back at recent years, Worcestershire’s successes and journey are clear as we grow the economy and position Worcestershire as a modern, forward thinking and economically successful place to live and work. 

Looking ahead at 2016 and beyond we are not complacent and are working to ensure that Worcestershire’s current Growth Deal allocation of £54.2m and EU funding of €68m benefits local people and businesses. We must deliver the schemes we have funding for and work together with all partner organisations to remain ambitious and outward facing, securing additional funding for the pipeline of programmes and helping to drive the Midlands Engine to the benefit of the region and Worcestershire. 

I look forward to meeting many more of you in the year ahead. Some dates already for your diary are the 13 April for a consultation workshop on the WLEP Business Plan for 2016-19 – please take this opportunity to get involved in future plans. Please also save the date of 4 November for the Worcestershire LEP’s 2016 Annual Conference. The 2015 event welcomed more than 400 delegates and we hope to see many more of you at this year’s event to celebrate a prosperous 2016.