Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: 5 June 2015

First published in the Worcester News on 5 June 2015

Sport has a hugely beneficial impact on the economy and congratulations again to Worcester Warriors who have secured a well-deserved future in the Premiership. This year also marks the 150th year of Worcestershire County Cricket Club – look out for iconic Worcester landmarks in their new Worcestershire Rapids TV advert which is currently airing on ITV as well as #WorldClassWorcs featuring on their shirts.

In addition to the excellent fixtures at New Road, the Racecourse, the Arena and Sixways there are some extraordinary events taking place this year including the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships (August/September), the 10k and run-bike-run (September) and the Tour Ride cycling sportive (October). These events will shine a spotlight on the County and provide commercial and possible publicity opportunities for local businesses. For example, consider entering a team in The Tour Ride on 4 October 2015 to complete for a team prize which is great for team building and work-life balance for a healthy and happy workforce. It is also an opportunity to raise money for charity fulfilling your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and some great local businesses can help brand jerseys with your logo for your team. Further details and a link to sign up is available at www.wlep.co.uk

In a previous column, I mentioned the Connecting Schools and Business scheme which seeks to give meaningful work experience and careers advice to young people. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all businesses that have already signed up and if you haven’t, why not sign up today at www.worcesterhireskillscentral.gov.uk – it would be great if all local businesses get behind this fantastic programme.  

Also, a final reminder to Worcestershire’s horticultural owners and businesses that you have until 19 June to apply for a share of £300,000 of European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) funding. Full details are available on the Worcestershire LEP’s website and I would urge interested parties to ensure that they do not miss this opportunity. We are also expecting an imminent announcement from the Big Lottery Fund and so please check the WLEP’s website for details or the Big Lottery at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf

Mark Stansfeld

Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership