About Worcestershire

Broadway Tower resized for webWorcestershire is a varied and diverse county that blends industrial and economic strength with awe-inspiring scenery and sites of key historic significance.

At the heart of England and close to motorway and rail networks and international airports at Birmingham and Bristol, the county stretches from Bromsgrove, Kidderminster and Redditch in the north, through to the Vale of Evesham in the east and the Malvern Hills in the south.  At its heart is the beautiful and historic city of Worcester.

The county has a well motivated, highly skilled and healthy workforce who benefit from fantastic schools and colleges and one of the fastest growing universities in the country.

We’ve got great businesses too – internationally recognised names such as Worcester Bosch, Yamazaki Mazak, Vax, Halfords, Brinton’s Carpets, GKN, Morgan Motor Cars, QinetiQ and Joy Mining alongside growing businesses and entrepreneurial enterprises.

Particular strengths are in manufacturing, cyber security and defence, and agri-foods.  The County is also the destination for thousands of tourists every year.

We can offer your business room to set up and grow in Worcestershire.  Investment sites are available and conveniently located next to major road and rail arteries.  We offer a package of support to help you, making sure you choose the site that will be most appropriate for your needs.

Explore this site to find out more about Worcestershire and all that it has to offer.  You can also download our ”World Class Worcestershire’ investment brochure and visit our Invest in Worcestershire website to find out more about opportunities in the County.

Business Base

Worcestershire has a solid industrial history and heritage with many international and diverse businesses operating in the County.

Major companies with HQs located here include: Yamazaki Mazak, Halfords Group, Worcester Bosch Thermotechnology, Vax, Morgan Motor Company, QinetiQ, Brintons, GKN, and Harris Brush and WLEP continue to actively promote the County to attract other companies and their supply chains to Worcestershire.

Businesses Located in Worcestershire

 

Employment & Skills

Apprenticeship Awards 2015 WinnerThe county has an established, skilled workforce and compares well with national averages in terms of educational attainment.  It is blessed with top performing schools and colleges, both private and publicly funded.

Worcestershire LEP works closely with partners to ensure the future skills required by employers are available in the county.  Apprenticeships are supported widely in the county, especially at level 3 and 4 and in engineering.  NEW College in the north of the county provides training for Harley-Davidson franchise dealers and technicians – the only such facility in Europe.

The National Cyber Skills Centre is located at Malvern Hills Science Park and offers a wide variety of training programmes, suitable for all levels.

The University of Worcester is a significant asset, being one of the fastest growing universities in the country with education and health as the dominant courses but also seeing rapid expansion in sciences, particularly biological sciences.  The county is also ideally placed for the Universities of Warwick and Birmingham.

The Worcestershire LEP also works with Worcestershire County Council on skills initiatives for the county such as the Careers and Enterprise Company Adviser network and the Worcestershire Careers Hub. Along with these schemes the WLEP is involved with key employment and skills events such as the Worcestershire Skills Show and Worcestershire Apprenticeships Show and Awards night.

More information on these schemes can be found in the Current Projects section of the website here.


Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards 2015 Pictured left to right:
TV Broadcaster and Awards Host Steph McGovern, Worcestershire Apprentice of the Year 2015 Victoria Rawlings, Worcestershire Apprentice of the Year 2014 Ryan Shemwell and CEO of Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd. Carl Arntzen.

Arts & Culture

1110B.02 AsparagusWorcestershire is the birthplace of Edward Elgar, renowned composer famed for works such as the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance Marches.  Music is central to many of the county’s cultural events, including the Three Choirs Festival, Worcester Music Festival and Upton Jazz Festival.

Theatres are also found in each district of the County, including the Malvern Theatres which often hosts first run shows before they travel to the West End in London.

Other festivals throughout the year have their origins in the county’s agricultural roots.   Annual celebrations include the British Asparagus Festival, Pershore Plum Festival and Tenbury Mistletoe Festival.

History & Heritage

Battle of Worcester imageThe city of Worcester sits on the River Severn and claims to be the ‘birthplace of democracy’, responsible for many major events that led to the formation of the USA.  It is home to a beautiful 11th century cathedral – the last resting place of King John, famous for agreeing the Magna Carta (a major milestone in British legal history).

The county  is the site of the historic Battle of Worcester – the final battle of the English Civil War, the outcome of which changed the social, political, and historical landscape not just of this country but the entire western world.

Because of its significance in American history, the county was visited by the second and third Presidents of the USA: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Worcestershire is the birthplace of many historical figures, including the composer Edward Elgar and inter-war Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin,  The poet and playwright William Shakespeare is also known to have married Anne Hathaway in Worcester in 1582.

More recently, the county is proud to be a favourite of Sir Mervyn King, ex Governor of the Bank of England.  Sir Mervyn is Patron of Worcestershire County Cricket Club. He said: “Worcestershire is a second home to me.  There is always a spring in my step as I cross the bridge over the Severn at Worcester to arrive at New Road, the most beautiful cricket ground in the world.  As Patron of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, I am impressed by the new development which will be a huge asset for the Club, City and County for many years to come”.

Transport Networks

Heathrow Airport for WebsiteWorcestershire is at the heart of the UK with excellent connections via road (M5, M42 and M50 motorways), rail (including, eventually, access to HS2) and air (particularly Birmingham International and good connections to Heathrow) – view map.

The county has benefited from recent infrastructure investment, for example ‘Pinch Point’ funding to alleviate congestion black spots including motorway interchanges.

In addition, plans are afoot to develop a ‘Managed Motorway’ system on the M5 between Junction 4A (M42 Bromsgrove) and J6 (Sixways).

Sport & Leisure

Sprint High Street EveshamWorcestershire offers a wide variety of attractions for sporting enthusiasts.  It is home to Worcester Warriors Rugby Union Club, Worcester Racecourse and to Worcestershire County Cricket Club – reputed to be one of the most picturesque grounds in the world.  There’s premier league basketball and state of the art Paralympian sport located at the University of Worcester’s Arena.  One of Britain’s oldest horse-racing courses can also be found in the County as well as Europe’s oldest motor-sports venue: Shelsey Walsh.

The Worcestershire LEP recognises the importance of sport for the local economy. In 2014, Worcestershire LEP hosted Stage Four of the 2014 Tour of Britain which saw tens of thousands of supporters turn up at the Start point and along the route and brought nearly £1m to the local economy. Worcestershire welcomed world class riders and 20 teams to the county, including cycling champion, Sir Bradley Wiggins, and Mark Cavendish and the event highlighted the county’s strength as a tourist destination

Building on this success, in 2015, the LEP helped to promote the #60DaysOfSport campaign with a number of events attracting national and international attention. As well as excellent fixtures at the County’s sporting grounds, this included: the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships, which were the qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Paralympics, the Worcester 10k Run, Bike, Run with Jo Pavey the 10,000m European Champion taking part as well as the official sportive of the Tour of Britain, the Aviva Tour Ride, which saw four times World Champion and Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Hugh Porter MBE participating.

Worcestershire offers a wonderful array of events throughout the year. The Malvern Theatre presents a first-class programme of arts and drama, whilst Upton upon Severn is the venue for the Upton Folk Festival in April, The Jazz Festival in June and the Worcester Festival in August and the hugely popular Worcester Victorian Fayre in November.  The Three Counties Showground stages two major gardening events in spring and autumn, and the Three Counties Show in June attracts visitors from far and wide.

Worcestershire is a gardener’s paradise with a wide variety of award-winning attractions from walled cottage gardens to specialist’s collections of Spetchley Park, or the beautiful walled gardens of Stonehouse cottage garden. Visitors can explore a magnificent Arboretum near Wolverley or admire the landscapes sculptured by “Capability” Brown at Croome Park. The largest garden centre in the Midlands is to be found at Webbs of Wychbold just off junction 5 on the M5.

Rivers and canals have helped shape the beautiful Worcestershire landscape and played an important role in the life styles of many towns and villages. Britain’s longest river, the river Severn flows through the county and the attractive Georgian towns of Bewdley and Stourport on Severn are well worth exploring. Riverboat trips during the summer offer a tranquil journey along this delightful river.

The river Avon also meanders the county passing the lively market town of Evesham and Pershore with its famous Abbey. Both rivers are popular for boating and fishing and are the setting for numerous events throughout the year.

For those who enjoy walking, strenuous day walks or more leisurely countryside strolls, Worcestershire has many miles of way-marked footpaths for visitors to explore and some lovely country parks, nature trails and forest trails.

Major attractions in the county include Britain’s premier steam railway, the Severn Valley Railway, Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, the once magnificent stately home Witley Court, now a fire ravaged ruin and its’ splendid Baroque church, Hanbury Hall and Harvington Hall.

For further information on sport and leisure activities in the county, visit the Visit Worcestershire website.