Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: 15 January 2016

First published in the Worcester News on 15 January 2016

During 2015 there were many successes across Worcestershire which were outlined in our Annual Report and I am confident in the year ahead that we will see a wealth of other achievements.

Congratulations to those shortlisted this week in the Wonderful Worcestershire Women awards which recognise inspirational women and their contribution to the County. Worcestershire LEP is sponsoring the awards and I would encourage everyone to vote via www.wonderfulworcestershirewomen.co.uk before the 26 February 2016 and to secure your place early for the awards ceremony on 29 April 2016.

We also continue to hear about the successes of local companies including those who have recently won regional and national awards. Please do continue to publicise your successes as this will benefit your business and help to raise the profile of the County as we continue to promote Worcestershire as a business location regionally, nationally and internationally.

If you are looking to raise your own company’s national profile, I would really encourage you to complete a survey regarding the potential for a Worcestershire Business Gateway Service which could provide SMEs with flexible office and meeting space in London. The survey is to gauge interest and so interested parties should complete this by 22 January 2016 at www.wlep.co.uk

Finally, I am pleased to say that our Worcestershire Growth Deal allocation of £24m has been confirmed for 2016/17 which will fund a range of programmes to support businesses. This includes: starting work at Worcestershire Parkway Station that will add significant capacity to the rail network, continuing flood alleviation projects to reduce the impact on businesses, completion of vital highways schemes such as Kidderminster’s Hoobrook Link Road as well as continuing the roll-out of Superfast Broadband.

We will continue to keep businesses updated on delivery of the schemes that have received funding and remain ambitious to achieve more so that in next year’s Annual Report we are able to include as many success stories as possible for local businesses and organisations.