Strategic Economic Plan: priority projects revealed
Worcestershire LEP has revealed its top priorities for projects to be funded from the Government’s Single Growth Fund for the period 2015-16.
Among the top priorities are the four ‘Gamechanger’ employment sites: Worcester Technology Park, Malvern Hills Science Park, South Kidderminster Enterprise Park, and Redditch Eastern Gateway, together with Worcestershire Parkway Station, phased improvements to the Worcester Southern Link Road and a package of highway improvement projects across the south of the county, designed to avoid a repeat of this year’s closures due to flooding.
For further details on the other priority schemes identified, please click here
Tour of Britain – Worcestershire route to be announced
An event to launch the Worcestershire Stage of this year’s Tour of Britain will be held at the Hive in Worcester on the evening of 19 June.
This will be the first opportunity for the public to hear details of the route that the Race Stage will take around Worcester City, before moving onwards through Malvern, Upton, Evesham, Pershore and Broadway, then passing into Gloucestershire and finishing in Bristol.
Riders from the NFTO Pro Cycling team will be in attendance at the Launch, including Stockton-on-Teme resident, Sam Williams.
Stage Four of the Tour will be starting from the Hive in Worcester on Wednesday 10 September: the first time the race has returned to the county since 2008.
The Race Stage provides a great opportunity for businesses in Worcestershire to showcase themselves. If you are interested in sponsoring please contact the LEP office
ICE President’s visit
Our Executive Chair, Peter Pawsey, recently hosted a visit to the city by the Institution of Civil Engineer’s President, Geoff French.
The visit included a ‘flooding round table’ event at the Hive when the delegation discussed how Worcestershire dealt with the severe flooding it faced earlier this year.
David Throup, from the Environment Agency, and John Hobbs, Director of Business, Environment and Community at Worcestershire County Council, set the scene for discussions and talked about the practical measures that had been taken to keep key road networks open.
The President was later taken to Evesham Vale Growers to tour the firm’s innovative anaerobic digester plant at Fladbury.
Further slide in claimant count
The latest jobless figures for Worcestershire show another significant decrease in those claiming Jobseekers' allowance. The claimant count is now at its lowest level since September 2008.
The county continues to perform better than the West Midlands region and England. The claimant count for Worcestershire is now 1.9% of the 16-64 resident population, compared to 3.3% for the West Midlands and 2.5% for England.
This is half the number of claimants recorded at the peak in August 2009 and is a clear sign that the private sector jobs market has continued to grow strongly across the county.
There was also an encouraging drop of about 10% over the month in the number of 18-24 year old claimants and further reductions in those who have been claiming for over 12 months.
Further details are available here
IOD appoints new Chair
The Institute of Directors Hereford & Worcester Branch has announced its new Chairman.
Bob Brown, who is a partner at management consultants CMC Partners, succeeds Francis Christie with immediate effect. To email him, click here
Government support for training
Readers may be interested to know about the Government’s ‘Employer Ownership Fund’, a £10 million pot that seeks to support training in the automotive supply chain. Specifically, this is targeted at training in the automotive supply chain that raises workforce skills and supports wider automotive sector investment and growth.
Up to 50% of the costs of training will be available to eligible schemes, with grants from a minimum of £100,000 to £1.6 m per project over three years.
Further details are available here
Cyber Security Advice
All businesses need to take cyber security seriously – a breach could mean significant reputational damage or financial disaster.
WLEP Business Board member, Steve Borwell-Fox, has collated some advice on practical actions that can be taken to reduce the cyber risk in your business. Click here
to find out more.
Support for the Cotswold Line?
You may be aware that the Department for Transport is conducting a consultation on the future of the Great Western Railway.
Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, has asked us to encourage local businesses to add their voices to the consultation. Of particular interest is whether you would be more likely to use the Cotswold Line if the journey time to London fell below two hours.
The Consultation is open until 26 June. To add your views, click here
Congratulations to everyone involved with ‘Strictly Worcestershire’ that took place at Chateau Impney last month. What a wonderful and truly dazzling evening it was!
Mark and Caron Steele from Deer Park Hall were the eventual victors, but all eight of the dancing couples gave the national TV show a run for its money. Truly spectacular!