European funding update
EU structural and investment funds exist to promote growth. Each Local Enterprise Partnership will lead the development of its local strategy, which will form part of partnerships' wider strategic economic plans.
Delivery of the existing Worcestershire LEP Business Plan is already under way with a range of businesses, third sector and public partners and interests focused on delivery. WLEP are preparing for the Government's Growth Deal by preparing a wider strategic economic plan and European Strategy for 2014 - 2020.
Over the summer WLEP held working discussions and various collaborations continue to be explored where Worcestershire can expand its ambitions further using these newly available funds.
The WLEP have produced a draft strategy to Government in order to inform negotiations at a European level, this is available on our website
If you wish to know more, contact the office or watch this space for future announcements.
We were pleased to welcome more than 300 delegates to our Annual Conference, held at Worcester Sixways on 10 October.
The objective of the conference was for us to provide an update on LEP activities, including progress against targets, and to give an overview of our plans for the future. We also wanted to give delegates the opportunity to hear from Government and successful local businesses.
A full report from the event can be found here
Our thanks to all those who attended. We are currently collating feedback from delegates, but the overwhelming response seems to be that it was a fantastically informative, enjoyable and valuable occasion.
Here’s to next year!
WLEP Annual Report now available
We used the Annual Conference as an opportunity to launch the new WLEP Annual Report. Covering the period from 2012-13, you can download a pdf version of the Report from our website.
Alternatively if you would like to receive a hard copy, please contact us.
New funding available for West Midlands’ manufactuers
MANUFACTURERS in the West Midlands are set to receive a major boost after new funding was released to the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS). £2.2m has been assigned to MAS from the West Midlands European Regional Development Fund to help growth and create new jobs for the region.
For the first time, MAS will be able to provide ‘transformational’ support worth up to £10,000 to help companies looking to significantly grow by entering new markets, developing products or implementing strategic change projects.
Under the additional ERDF funding, manufacturers will receive an in-depth business review from a specialist MAS adviser, who will help them to develop an action plan that can be used to determine eligibility for financial support.
The emphasis will be on major strategic change projects that result in significant process improvement, supply chain development, diversification and, ultimately, result in job creation.
A week of activities is planned for 25 November to include the launch of the next MAS ‘Barometer’, a series of debates and events covering topics such as innovation, skills, international trade and access to finance.
For further information, call 0845 658 9600 or click here
New Workforce Skills for Worcestershire Businesses!
National reorganisation of the Armed Forces means that 18,000 skilled personnel will be leaving their military posts during the next few months with a wide range of transferable individual and team skills to offer potential employers.
A Living and Working Fair is being held on Thursday 5 December in Worcester to showcase all that the county has on offer to attract exiting personnel, spouses and families. Worcestershire offers housing, schools, leisure activities, quality of life and new career opportunities and is one of a handful of national locations selected by the Armed Forces to host this face to face exchange.
Businesses of all sizes will be able to meet people skilled in strategic management, advanced technologies, engineering, HGV driving, logistics and security.
The Fair is being held in the new Army Reserve Centre at Dancox House, Pheasant Street, Worcester WR1 2EE. Businesses are invited to attend and network with potential employees, set up exhibition stands and/or provide short presentations on their career opportunities throughout the day. The event is free, light refreshments will be available and there is no charge to exhibitors.
To secure a place, contact the WLEP Office for a booking form or email firstname.lastname@example.org
before 21 November 2013
. Detailed instructions will then follow.
Importance of Tourism for Worcestershire
A recent report commissioned by the LEP found that 1/10th
of the county’s workforce – equating to more than 25,000 jobs – is employed in tourism related industries. Tourism related businesses account for 5.7% of all Worcestershire firms.
According to the latest available statistics, total visitor expenditure amounts to £538 million, the majority coming from ‘domestic day visitors’.
There are wide variations within Worcestershire’s districts. Wychavon, Worcester City and Malvern Hills are the most popular destinations. The West Midlands Safari Park in Kidderminster is among the most important individual attractions in terms of number of visitors, together with the Severn Valley Railway, the Malvern Hills, events at the Three Counties Showground and the annual Worcester City Centre Victorian Christmas Fayre.
Tourism has been identified by the LEP as one of its key strategic business and employment sectors. This report helps to understand the value of the sector to the county and provides a benchmark for future development. To view the report, click here
Securing the next generation
Leaders from Worcestershire’s businesses, voluntary, community and public sector organisations, collaborating together as the Shenstone Group, have pledged to cooperate as part of a new project aimed at creating a better long term future for Worcestershire.
Worcestershire Next Generation
launched on 1 October and outlines 25 commitments that focus on three linked priorities - prosperity, community and environment - and is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the quality of life for the county's residents by 2040 and beyond.
The project is seeking to stimulate cross-sector participation in shaping a prosperous, vibrant and inclusive county into the future on the basis that by working together far more can be achieved than if things are done separately.
Visit the dedicated website
to find out more.
Chamber of Commerce Business Expo
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce will be holding its next Business Expo on 13 November from 8am-3pm at the Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa.
This year’s event takes place as part of national Export Week and there will be plenty of opportunities for businesses to hear from industry experts and trade advisers. The Chamber will have dedicated international trade advisers on hand to support businesses that are currently exporting or thinking of expanding into new markets. A programme of seminars will also be on offer to provide insight into areas in which your business can innovate and expand.
With over 70 exhibitors in attendance, the expo will be the perfect opportunity for you to meet new suppliers and to network with other businesses from the two counties.
Further information is available here