First published in the Worcester News on 13.01.2017
I would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year.
During 2016, we announced that Worcestershire has in recent years achieved the strongest growth in higher level workforce skills, the second highest growth in productivity and the third highest growth in prosperity of all LEP areas and we must build on this success in 2017.
I am pleased to say that I will be meeting with the Government Minister, Margot James MP, this morning when she visits Worcestershire in her role as Minister for Small Business. I look forward to joining Margot to discuss the work of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and to talk with a number of local companies about growth in the County’s economy and the challenges for its businesses after Brexit.
I will also be able to show Margot some of the investments Worcestershire LEP is making to boost the County’s economy further. This includes a visit to the market-leading business in Malvern, Optimec, who have recently benefitted from our capital investment scheme, the Worcestershire Growth Fund. Margot’s visit will be a great opportunity to celebrate the success of our local small businesses and highlight our ambition for the County.
The recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Worcestershire and China’s Huizhou City is a fantastic example of this ambition and the progress the County is making on an international level. The Memorandum represents an agreement between two rapidly growing areas and will lead to a significant increase in inward investment for Worcestershire. The collaboration between Worcestershire and Huizhou will help to strengthen our economic, cultural and educational links and is fantastic news for the County.
Looking ahead, it is important that we all continue to celebrate the success of our County and I look forward to recognising these achievements at our 2017 Annual Conference on 1 December, please do save the date.