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Find out what's happening at Worcestershire LEP in this month's ezine.
01905 346180 enquiries@wlep.co.uk

Worcestershire LEP Newsletter

Bulletin no: 42 - December 2014

Introduction from the WLEP Chair - Peter Pawsey

This newsletter contains a number of updates with the last few weeks of 2014 proving to be extremely busy and productive.

We continue to promote the County as a place to do business and this newsletter provides details on how all businesses can get involved in raising the profile of World Class Worcestershire. The investment event held in London at the end of November was hugely successful and we now look forward to inviting the attendees back to the County in March 2015.

Looking back over the last year, there have been a number of successes – many of which have been recognised in the Annual Report 2013/14. There are also a number of congratulations in this newsletter as excellence continues to be recognised in the County. This includes the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards, the Worcestershire Business Awards, the National Chamber Awards, Estate Agency of the Year Awards and the Startup Awards. Congratulations also to the Worcestershire companies who have been recognised as cyber suppliers to HM Government.

Last week, the Chancellor announced the Autumn Statement 2014. We will continue to deliver the Growth Deal and work with the County and District Council’s and other organisations into the New Year to strive for a share of additional funding for schemes not already included as we look towards the second part of the Growth Deal which has now been announced.

Looking forward to 2015, there are already many dates for your diary. We do hope to welcome more businesses to the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership Annual Conference which next year will take place on Friday 23 October 2015. Please do save the date and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and a very prosperous 2015.
Autumn Statement 2014
Businesses will have already seen the many reports on the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, which took place on 3 December 2014. This will have a number of implications for companies as it provides a focus on business growth, for example, with smaller businesses being able to access finance and support for exporting.

The announcement regarding the removal of National Insurance contributions for young apprentices has been welcomed by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership as this will help employers to offer further placements.

The improvements announced for the motorway Junctions 5, 6 and 7 on the M5 will improve capacity and speed up journey times along with the Smart Motorway planned between Junctions 4a and 6. These developments will particularly open up the Worcester Technology Park and further enhance Worcestershire’s connectivity. The County will also benefit from other improvements announced, such as the improvements to the A417 near the Air Balloon in Gloucestershire, which will reduce journey times to and from London and the South East.

In addition, local businesses will benefit from the investment in Worcester that will protect homes and businesses and keep the County moving during flooding, this being in addition to the road improvements included in our Growth Deal for the alleviation of flooded highways.

Worcestershire is already delivering against other key infrastructure programmes for the Growth Deal. We will continue to work with our partners to strive for a share of additional funding for schemes not already included, such as the Carrington Bridge, as we look towards the second part of the Growth Deal which the Chancellor announced during the Autumn Statement.

A helpful ‘at a glance’ summary of the Autumn Statement is available on the BBC’s website.

Worcestershire businesses celebrate success
Five Worcestershire businesses were toasting their success, as winners at the first ever Worcestershire Business Awards, last month.

The event, at the Sixways Stadium in Worcester, was a celebration of Enterprising Worcestershire, a free programme of business support provided by Worcestershire County Council in partnership with the local district councils and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Winners on the night were Deli@Pershore (Growth Business and High Street Business); Bubblicious Soaps, Droitwich (Creative Business); Greengineering Ltd, Kidderminster (Ethical Trading Business); The Sunday Girl Company Ltd, Kidderminster (Most Innovative Business) and Seven Mile Cookery & Events, Redditch (New Start Up Business).

After receiving an impressive 45 nominations, the shortlist and winners were decided by a panel of five judges and public vote, which attracted over 1,000 votes.

Over 150 guests heard a keynote speech from David Hyner (FSPA), Director of Stretch Development Ltd, and also had the opportunity to network with over 20 Worcestershire businesses exhibiting at the event’s Marketplace.

For more information and a full list of the winners, visit the County Council's website.


Pictured left: Bubblicious Soaps, pictured right: Deli@Pershore.

Awards Celebrate the County’s Top Apprentices
Over 300 employers and individuals from across the county gathered for an evening of celebration and recognition at the Worcestershire Apprentice Awards 2014.

Six apprentices, five employers and one school picked up awards at the inaugural event held at the West Midlands Safari Park on 27 November 2014.

Worcestershire’s outstanding apprentices and employers were presented with trophies by event host, BBC’s The Apprentice star, Nick Hewer. The awards had been designed by De Montfort School and created by Yamazaki Mazak.

The prestigious Worcestershire Apprentice Awards were launched this year as an initiative from Worcestershire.Business.Central. and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.

In the last three years, the number of young people participating in apprenticeship schemes has increased to more than 10,000 and that number is still rising. Congratulations to all the young people, schools and businesses that have been recognised for their achievements at the awards.

For the full announcement, including a full list of the winners, visit our website and further information and photos can be found on Twitter using #WorcsApprentice14.

Any businesses that would like to be further involved with apprenticeships in the County can get information on employing apprenticeships on Worcestershire.Business.Central.’s website.


Pictured: Nick Hewer with the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Award Winners.

Apprenticeship Survey – have your say
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Worcestershire.Business.Central. are now asking businesses to complete a short survey before the end of January 2015 in a bid to increase the number of excellent placements available across the County.

The surveys are designed to further understand the experiences of employers, what they look for when hiring apprentices, as well as any support that could be provided to help increase the Worcestershire apprenticeship opportunities available.

There are two surveys available: one survey is for companies who currently employ apprentices so that a greater understanding of their experiences can be gained. Another survey is aimed at businesses who do not currently employ apprentices, or have previously employed apprentices, to understand what could help these businesses to offer placements.

The surveys take a few minutes to complete and are available on the Worcestershire LEP's website.



Congratulations to Driver Hire Hereford and Worcester
Congratulations to Driver Hire Hereford and Worcester who won the ‘Franchisee of the Year’ in this year’s Startups Awards.

As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, Driver Hire Hereford and Worcester was nominated in the eleventh year of the Startups Awards, which has a reputation of unearthing some of the UK’s finest businesses. Robin Walker MP urged local people and businesses to vote for Driver Hire Hereford and Worcester recognising that the owners, Vance and Sue Parsons, offered their recruitment expertise and contacts to try to identify and co-ordinate workers who were prepared to volunteer their time for free to support Worcester’s recent flood effort.

Having received hundreds of entries, the winners were selected by a judging panel of 22 business leaders and announced at the prestigious awards on 27 November at London’s Kensington Roof Gardens.

For more information on Driver Hire Hereford and Worcester’s achievement and the other Startups awards, visit their website.
 

Estate Agency of the Year Awards 2014
A huge congratulations goes to HomeXperts who received accolades in the Sunday Times Estate Agency of the Year Awards, sponsored by Zoopla.

The prestigious awards ceremony, held earlier this month on 5 December 2014 at the Lancaster London Hotel, attract the very best agents from throughout the UK gather to find out who has been judged to be the best of the best.

HomeXperts, who have an office in Worcester, scooped both the Gold - Franchise "Estate Agency of the Year 2014" and Bronze - Franchise "Lettings Agency of the Year 2014" awards.

The judges recognised the measures that the company had taken to ensure quality including strict recruitment processes and training standards, access to marketing materials as well as state of the art franchise software to benefit both customers and suppliers. They said: “The directors at HomeXperts have a clear desire to raise the standards of franchising through excellent customer service coupled with continued investment and a great infrastructure. This business is growing at an impressive rate and they are expanding the services on offer, and the hours of operation in order to further delight customers.”

HomeXperts were further praised in recently launching their lettings service in response to the changing  property market and on awarding the Bronze award, the judges commented: “The panel is pleased to see this dynamic business jump from shortlist in 2013 to the bronze award this year and there is no doubt that it will continue to shine.”

For more information on the awards, visit the Sunday Times website HomeXperts' website is available at www.homexpertsuk.com


Titania tops the charts in National Chamber Awards
Congratulations to Titania Ltd, who in addition to being recognised as a cyber security supplier to HM Government, the Worcester business has also topped the charts in the Small Business of the Year category at the prestigious national Chamber Awards ceremony held in London. This was much to the delight of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, of which Titania are a member.
 
Titania produce security and compliance auditing software for a range of customers and on 27 November 2014 received their award at the black tie event held at the historic Towers of London which was attended by over 550 people. The awards are the national centrepiece for Chambers of Commerce across the country and the culmination of local and then regional rounds of awards.
 
The team from Titania were joined by representatives from the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, who were nominated for the Member Services Award, and three other local businesses, who were also nominated for awards on the night. Pulsar Process Measurement, based in Malvern, were highly commended in the Excellence in Innovation category, whilst Kingspan Insulation, based in Leominster, were finalists in the Sustainability and Manufacturer of the Year category. In addition, Associated Spring Raymond and Hannah Haffield, were also finalists at the exclusive ceremony.
 
Congratulations to all.


Pictured left to right: Ruth Inglis from Titania with a representative of award sponsor NFU Mutual, Ian Whiting, and Ruth Whiting of Titania.  

Worcestershire companies selected in cyber security supplier to Government scheme
Congratulations to five Worcestershire businesses that have been recognised as cyber security suppliers to HM Government having successfully applied to the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS):
 
  • Borwell Ltd
  • Deep-Secure Ltd
  • Encription Ltd
  • QinetiQ Ltd
  • Titania Ltd.
Cyber Security, defence and IT is one of the top three key sectors within the County alongside Agri-Tech and Advanced Manufacturing. BIS is administering the scheme which is intended to support UK companies in increasing and pursuing export business opportunities worldwide in cyber security.

Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Worcestershire is recognised for excellence in this field as security, defence and IT is one of the top three industries within the County. In addition the National Cyber Skills Centre is housed in Malvern.

“I am delighted that the Government has recognised these skills and chosen these companies as suppliers. I am sure these five Worcestershire businesses will do an excellent job in helping to protect the country’s digital information as well as achieving the objective of increasing exports from the UK.”
 

Growing Cyber - tailored package of business assistance, consultation advice and training
Worcestershire.Business.Central.'s Growing Cyber project can help your business to better understand your cyber risks and contribute to making Worcestershire the most secure place to do business online.

Growing Cyber has a tailored package of business assistance, consultation advice and training that helps improve the cyber security posture of SMEs in Worcestershire with up to 12 hours of free support, guidance and business grants between £1,000 - £40,000 (50% matched funded).

Contact the team on 0300 123 14 40 or email info@business-central.co.uk


Growing Cyber is a part funded European Regional Development Fund Project.

Final chance to access grants to transform redundant buildings
Time is running out to take advantage of the grants available to transform redundant and underutilised buildings.

Those interested in accessing Government-funding must apply as soon as possible for the Redundant Building Grant scheme, before the deadline of the end of January 2015. All building projects also need to be complete by June 2015.

Many businesses have already benefitted from the scheme including Indy Ltd, which specialises in mobility equipment and has a head office in Evesham and a satellite branch in Redditch. Owner, David Badham, was looking to expand the business and open a third outlet in Worcester city centre. After consideration, Mr Badham chose to move into a Grade II listed, 18th century four storey building on Broad Street, which had been closed for some time after Skipton Building Society vacated it.

After contacting Worcestershire.Business.Central. (WBC), Mr Badham received expert advice, footfall figures for Broad Street, Pump Street and High Street, as well as help with the application itself, which was successful. Indy Ltd was awarded £8,667 towards the refurbishment through the Redundant Building Grant scheme.

 “WBC were excellent and made the whole process very smooth – I’m very grateful for all their help” said Mr Badham.

“The grant was really useful; it gave us a comfort zone, a buffer, and allowed us to make sure the refurbishment was done properly. Everything has gone to plan and allowed us to open as fast as possible.”

For further details on the scheme and eligibility criteria, visit our website.  
 

Upcoming Events

WLEP Board Meetings
 
22 January 2015
2 April 2015
21 May 2015
23 July 2015
24 September 2015
19 November 2015

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

For other events, visit the events page on the Worcestershire LEP’s website

Save the date for the Annual Conference: 23 October 2015
As mentioned in the last newsletter, the electronic voting at the 2014 Annual Conference revealed that the best ways to engage with businesses was via e-publications, such as this newsletter, and face-to-face.

We will therefore be holding the Annual Conference once again next year and the date has now been provisionally set for 23 October 2015. Following the excellent feedback on the venue, we are pleased to also announce that once again this will be held at the Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich Spa.

Further details will follow in due course. This year's conference attracted more than 300 attendees and so please do save the date as we look forward to welcoming more businesses next year.
 
Business Expo – save the date and secure your stand
The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce will be holding their Spring Business Expo on Wednesday 4 March 2015 at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern.

The event will be a great opportunity for businesses to network, gain crucial business contacts and promote and raise their company profile within the community, with over 800 visitors expected to attend.

The Chamber of Commerce is offering a 10% discount on the price of a stand for businesses who book before 31 December 2014.

These exhibitors will join the 19 stands which have already confirmed: ABC Print Group, Barclays Bank, Clarity Solutions, Clearview Systems Limited, Edward Motors, Gravity Credit Control, Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Henley Business Group, HSBC, Integratech, Kendall Wadley, Mercia Digital, Midshire Communications, Pepperneck, The Promotional Mix, Truelight, Ventutec, WaterCooler World and Worcestershire.Business.Central., who is sponsoring a business start-up zone showcasing  the support available and some of the businesses who have benefitted.

Also save the date for the Autumn Business Expo which is being held next year on 8 October 2015.

For more information and to book, visit the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce website.

World Class Worcestershire investment event in London
Worcestershire was placed on the National stage as it promoted the very best in infrastructure and investment opportunities throughout the County to an invited audience of business leaders in London.

The World Class Worcestershire event attracted developers, business investors and employers including those from Worcestershire's three main priority growth sectors: Agri-Tech, Cyber, Defence and IT and Advanced Manufacturing.

Speakers from Worcestershire organisations outlined infrastructure developments and the highly skilled workforce of the County, which boasts top performing schools and excellence in education facilities, the support available to businesses and the range of development and investment opportunities ranging from city centre developments through to the four key Gamechanger sites.

All organisations are now following up excellent leads and attendees are being invited to the County in March 2015 to see for themselves what is on offer.

For more information on the event, the four Gamechanger sites and the speakers, visit our website.

For details on investment opportunities, visit the www.investinworcestershire.com

Pictured: The panel of speakers at the World Class Worcestershire event held in London on 24 November 2014.

World Class Worcestershire materials
Organisations across Worcestershire continue to work to raise the profile regionally, nationally and internationally. The Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership believes that everyone in the County has a part to play and so do tell your supply chains and contacts about Worcestershire being a World Class place to do business.

As well as joining the conversation via Twitter #WorldClassWorcs, there are now a wide variety of World Class Worcestershire materials available online which you can access and share. These include:
 

  • The World Class Worcestershire investment brochure in English and Chinese and paper copies are available on request.
  • The 'Invest in Worcestershire' video is available in English and Chinese. The ‘Why Worcestershire?’ video also provides the perspective of some Worcestershire businesses.
There are other materials available for those who would like to back the campaign further for example, pull up banners can be borrowed for events and an email signature/website banner is available as well as some further promotional materials.

If you are aware of opportunities to profile the County and would like to borrow items or request brochures, please contact the team via enquiries@investinworcestershire.com


 
Launch of the Business Growth Service - get tailored advice and support for your business
The Business Growth Service, which has recently been launched, helps those businesses who have the right level of ambition, capability and capacity to improve and grow. It brings together a broad range of expertise, so that you can get the right advice and support to fulfil your growth potential as a personal account manager will agree a package of support tailored to your needs.

 For further information and to find out the types of support available, visit the Business is Great website.

Kick start your export sales with Passport to Export programme of support
If exports accounts for less than 25% of your turnover, you are eligible for the UKTI flagship service, Passport to Export.

This is a 12 month programme of support that will help you identify, understand and make the most of your international business opportunities.

A dedicated International Trade Advisor (ITA) will work closely with you to develop an action plan based on your objectives and resources. UKTI will then provide practical support and some financial assistance for you to implement this plan and unlock your international trade potential.

The Passport to Export programme provides you with:
 
  • Advice from a local International Trade Advisor to identify your business needs and develop your company's export strategy
  • Export Development Seminar to develop your export skills and cultural awareness
  • Up to £2000 towards international activity agreed with an ITA (50% funding for eligible costs)
  • Attendance at up to 3 Export Masterclasses (normal price £200 + VAT per session)
  • Advice on improving your export marketing, documentation, cultural awareness and skills to increase profitability
  • Advice on how to research demand for your product or service before visiting a potential overseas market, saving you time and money
  • Assistance in selecting routes to market
  • Links to UKTI services, schemes and external signposting.
Cost: £250 + VAT

For further information on exporting and to register, visit the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce's website.

TradeSafe - TradeGlobal
Boost your business with a free to attend event in Worcester delivered jointly by UK Trade & Investment and Worcestershire’s Growing Cyber Project.

Bringing together a celebration of export success and an important discussion on the real risks of cyber security for exporters, this event will connect you with international specialists.

There are many reasons to attend:
 

  • Celebrate the export successes of many of our local companies
  • Gain knowledge on the advantages of good cyber security in export
  • Receive tips and advice on how to export including the exchange of information and funds, safely and legally in a global context
  • Discover how you can access grant funding that will help to improve your systems, workforce and products.

Date: 26 February 2015
Time: 9:30am – 15:30pm
Location: Sixways Stadium, Worcester, WR3 8ZE.
Register today to secure your place and for more information please contact 01905 346107.

The Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP) is on Twitter
Follow @worcsLEP to be kept updated on news from the Worcestershire LEP and stay up to date with the latest developments, events and news for businesses. 

You can also join the conversation about the County using #WorldClassWorcs.

Copyright © 2014
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.

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

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