Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: 25 March 2016

First published in the Worcester News on 25 March 2016

Worcestershire’s local economy is thriving as a result of the continued innovation and growing productivity of our local businesses.

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 strength of our local economy. More information on our recent economic successes can be found on this website.

Local businesses are continuing to benefit from Worcestershire Innovation Wednesday events. Earlier this week businesses attended the innovation event to discuss Catapult centres, a network of world-leading facilities designed to transform national innovation and help drive future economic growth. Catapult centres will bring together the very best of the UK’s businesses, scientists and engineers to work side by side on research and development – transforming high potential ideas into new products and services to generate economic growth. The sensors market is a significant component of Worcestershire’s economy and the Smart Sensor Catapult centre is being developed locally in partnership with a number of organisations.

The Worcestershire LEP is committed to developing the local business infrastructure to allow innovation to thrive. I have recently seen how the Superfast Worcestershire programme is on target to roll out high-speed fibre broadband to 90 per cent of the county’s businesses by Spring. Local businesses told me how access to superfast broadband is vital in competing on a global scale and we are now working to extend access to more businesses and homes across Worcestershire. I would urge you to visit www.superfastworcestershire.com today so you can find out when faster broadband is coming to your area and sign up.