World Class Worcestershire, Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards and latest GDP figures - read all about it in WLEP's latest news bulletin
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Worcestershire LEP Newsletter

Bulletin no: 38 - August 2014

Introduction from the WLEP Chair - Peter Pawsey

Worcestershire LEP, like all the other 38 LEPs, now enters a new and different phase in its relatively short life – one in which we become a delivery agent as well as retaining all of our other responsibilities.
The Local Growth Deal that emerged from the Strategic Economic Plan is now a reality and the one thing that we must ensure is the delivery of the projects we are being sponsored for and the full spending of the financial support.  Much planning is therefore in hand and very specific project plans and programmes are being prepared to ensure delivery.  We have received considerable support from Government and we will ensure that we respond.
Such responsibility will require even stronger executive support and we are currently recruiting accordingly.  More news in our next edition.  At the same time we are refreshing both the LEP Board and the Business Board, together with strengthening our key strategic sub groups and sector committees.  Those Boards were first established in spring 2011 and most of their Members were appointed for an initial three year period with an option to extend for a further three years.  Some changes have taken place over the past three years but due to the pressure on time during the SEP process, we are a little behind schedule in terms of Board renewal.  We advertised in June and received nearly 50 applications, which is brilliant and a real endorsement of support for the Worcestershire LEP.  We are well through the interview process as I write but still have key decisions to make.  By the time of the next Bulletin, I hope and expect to advise you of the full structure of the LEP for the year ahead and beyond.

It is most gratifying to be chairing a LEP where the enthusiasm and support from all public, business and third sector partners is so consistent, co-ordinated and positive.  I understand that not all LEPs are lucky enough to say the same and thank you for your commitment.

We have moved!

The LEP office has now moved.  Our new address is 5 The Triangle, Wildwood Drive, Worcester WR5 2QX.  All other details remain the same.
We are grateful to obsolescence management experts, CMCA, who have, since the LEP’s inception and until now, provided us with space at their Brindley Court offices.   We very much appreciate their help and support - and we thank all those companies who have provided in-kind support to the LEP team. 

Report from SEP breakfast briefing

A capacity audience attended our recent breakfast briefing to hear more about the outcome of Worcestershire’s Strategic Economic Planning process and what the resultant ‘Growth Deal’ with Government means for the county and for its businesses. 

As previously reported, the Government has confirmed an indicative sum of £47million over the next five years  from the Growth Deal, with £13 million available for 2015/6.  However, the total sum coming Worcestershire’s way will be over £150 million during the first five years, when other funding sources are taken into account.
For more information, click here.

Invest in Worcestershire 

We used the occasion of the recent breakfast briefing to launch our new ‘World Class Worcestershire’ inward investment brochure and film.

The new marketing materials are aimed at foreign and UK-based businesses who are investigating opportunities to locate in the UK.  We’re also hoping to attract businesses that are currently based elsewhere in Britain but are planning to expand or relocate.  

Worcestershire recorded a total of 11 successful Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in 2013/14, resulting in 677 new or safeguarded jobs in the county.  This was a significant improvement in comparison with 2012/13 both in terms of the number of projects attracted and the number of jobs either created or safeguarded - but there’s plenty of room for improvement.  

The LEP is working with UKTI to develop its inward investment proposition.  These two new tools are only part of that strategy. 

A pdf copy of the new brochure is available here.  To view the film click here or for further information, please contact the LEP Office.  

WLEP Annual Conference
Registration now open! 

Registration is now open for this year’s Worcestershire LEP Annual Conference, to be held at Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa on the morning of Friday 10 October.
This year our theme is ‘World Class Worcestershire’.  The aim is to raise the profile of the county as an inward investment destination and to encourage local businesses to think big in terms of their export potential.  
Featuring presentations from businesses and commentators who understand international markets, the conference will be relevant to all Worcestershire based businesses who are interested in growing Worcestershire’s place in the world.
The conference will be hosted by BBC Midlands Today's main presenter, Mary Rhodes.
To register, click here.  

Tour of Britain on its way!

 There’s less than five weeks to go before the Tour of Britain comes to Worcestershire.
The start point will be below the Hive in Worcester on Wednesday 10 September at 10.30 am.  There will be lots going on at the site and in the city centre before and after the riders head off – so do come down to  join in the fun and take in the atmosphere.
The riders will be passing through St John’s, Upton, Malvern, Pershore, Evesham and Broadway before heading over the border to Gloucestershire and the final Stage finish point in Bristol.
Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils, and a number of other community groups are busily organising many events in their towns, so please support them.  Particular focal points are the ‘King of the Mountain’ climbs at Wyche Cutting, Malvern and Snowshill near Broadway.  There are also two ‘Sprint’ points - one in Evesham High Street and the other in Leamington Road, Broadway.
For full route information, click here

Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards 

Tickets are now available to attend Worcestershire’s inaugural Apprenticeship Awards, being held on Thursday 27 November at Tree Tops Pavilion in the West Midlands Safari Park. 
Twelve Awards are up for grabs, including Worcestershire Apprentice of the Year, Worcestershire Apprentice Employer of the Year, School of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement gong.
The proceedings will be hosted by Nick Hewer, of BBC TV series The Apprentice
Click here to book your individual tickets at £85 each or a table of ten for £750.    The price includes cocktails and canapes on arrival, a three course meal with wine and after dinner coffee. 

New cyber apprenticeship launched 

The National Cyber Skills Centre in Malvern has advised us that a new cyber apprenticeship, to be delivered from the Centre, has been awarded Tech Industry Gold accreditation by cyber security employers through e-skills UK.
The programme covers technical, business and interpersonal areas, designed to ensure apprentices have an appropriate set of skills to operate in today’s Information Security job roles. 
For more information,  click hereemail or call 0333 10 100 68.

Essential Cyber Forum 

The National Cyber Skills Centre,  in association with the Federation of Small Businesses, has announced its inaugural cyber event, ‘Phish and Chips’, to be held on 17 September at Morgan Motor Company’s visitor centre  in Malvern.
To register, or for further information, click here.


Upcoming Events

Women’s History Network
Annual Conference

5-7 September
University of Worcester

The Tour of Britain - Stage 4
10 September – 10.30am
Starting from The Hive

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
WW1 Commemorative Concert

10 September
University of Worcester Arena

Essential Cyber Forum
17 September
Morgan Motor Company, Malvern
Proof of Concept info breakfast
25 September
St Andrew’s Hotel, Droitwich Spa

WLEP Annual Conference
10 October
Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa

The Skills Show
13-15 November
Birmingham NEC

Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards
27 November
West Midlands Safari Park

WLEP Board Meetings:
25 September (Away Day)
20 November
22 January 2015
2 April
23 July
24 September
19 November

WLEP Business Board Meetings
3 September
3 December
14 January 2015
25 February
22 April
17 June
9 September
14 October

Good news on GDP

We were pleased to note the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures that show a rise by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2014, taking the economy back to pre-financial crisis levels.  Nationally, most of the growth was driven by the service sector but all main sectors of the economy showed significant increase when compared with the same quarter a year ago. 
The figures indicate that the UK will be the fastest growing major advanced economy in 2014.
For the West Midlands region, figures show that the number of people aged 16+ who are in employment has grown by 94,663 since 2010.  In the same period, the number of unemployed people has fallen by 39,000.  More than 8,000 people have gained employment through the Regional Growth Fund in the West Midlands – the second highest regional tally nationally.

Headline figures for Worcestershire

 A significant improvement was also reported in Worcestershire County’s latest Economic Summary.
For example, the number of Job Seekers’ Allowance claimants for the month of June decreased by 485 to 6,074 – the lowest level since July 2008. Claimant count for the 16-64 resident population is now 1.7% compared to 3.1% in the West Midlands as a whole and 2.4% for England.
Also heartening was the fact that the number of 18-24 year old claimants fell by 200 in the month as well as a significant drop in the number of people claiming JSA for more than 12 months.  Both figures show that Worcestershire is performing ahead of its West Midlands region and the UK as a whole. 
Full details can be found here.
Copyright © 2014
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.

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Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
Unit 50-51
Malvern Hills Science Park, Geraldine Road
Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3SZ
United Kingdom

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