Mark Stansfeld to be the new Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
Earlier this month, it was announced that Mark Stansfeld will be the Worcestershire Local Enterprise’s new Chair as Peter Pawsey, will be stepping down at the end of his term.
Peter has held the voluntary position since the Worcestershire LEP was formed in 2011 and has seen many successes during this time.
Mark Stansfeld, who has extensive experience in the digital sector and helping companies make the transition, will take up the role on 1 March 2015. A transition period with the outgoing Chair, Peter Pawsey, will take place during March and a formal handover will take place at the LEP Board Meeting on 2 April 2015.
Mark’s career started in the food industry at Cadbury Schweppes and then Kraft Foods, but quickly moved into technology with positions at BT, T-mobile and as Commercial Director for O2, where he was part of the board team who brought the brand to market leadership.
Alongside his Executive Director roles, Mark held Non Executive roles on a number of boards spanning technology, finance and health. These included The Link Retail, West Bromwich Building Society, NHS West Midlands Strategic Health Authority, Ovo energy, and at O2 UK.
In addition to being Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Mark will continue with his roles as Chairman of Giffgaff, the fastest growing mobile network in the UK and as a digital consultant to major consumer brands and start-ups.
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Pawsey for his dedication over the past four years. During that time, we have seen many successes which have benefitted Worcestershire’s economy.
“I am pleased to announce today that following a rigorous interview process, Mark Stansfeld will take up the position as Chair in March 2015. Mark’s extensive experience particularly in the technology field and working with start-up businesses makes him the perfect person to take up the position. I have every confidence that Mark will be a success in this important role and look forward to working together with him.”
Mark Stansfeld, the incoming Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to this position and look forward to working with the team and partner organisations to continue to build the County’s long-term prosperity.
“I want to extend my thanks to Peter Pawsey for all his hard work and the many achievements under his leadership and I look forward to taking up this position in March 2015.”
To read the full announcement, visit the Worcestershire LEP website
Pictured: Mark Stansfeld
Devolution debate gets county businesses thinking about future priorities
Earlier this month, over 70 delegates attended the Devolution Debate at the Artrix Arts Centre in Bromsgrove to discuss the ways in which the decentralisation of government powers could impact business conditions in Worcestershire.
Mary Rhodes, BBC journalist and Midlands Today presenter, chaired the event, using her extensive knowledge of the devolution discussion in the Midlands to help steer the panel through the six succinct topics.
The debate took on a multifaceted approach to the devolution question, firstly examining Worcestershire's potential in gaining devolved powers and funds into a governance structure. The debate looked at the potential to build on the partnerships in the county and how having decisions made locally could improve skills provision, transport, infrastructure and business support - all these issues could be impacted by adopting a devolved structure.
The approach explored some of the uncertainties surrounding devolution and meant the local business community could have their say on what they see as priorities for Worcestershire moving forward. To ensure this could happen, attendees and non-attendees were invited to tweet queries and questions to #WorcsDevoDebate – the specific twitter hashtag for the event – which were then put to the panel by Mary Rhodes.
The panel were all agreed that Worcestershire is a county of economic strength, with certain sectors leading the way on a national scale, but, in certain circumstances, must look to further supplement this by co-operation with local and regional partners.
Pictured Left to Right: Bob Brown, Branch Chairman at Institute of Directors, Mike Ashton, Chief Executive at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Judi Brazkiewicz, Worcestershire Chairman at Federation of Small Businesses, Mary Rhodes, BBC Broadcast Journalist, Gary Woodman, Executive Director at Worcestershire LEP and Stuart Laverick, Principal and Chief Executive and Principal at Heart of Worcestershire College.
Further information is available on the our website here.
The "Artrix", which is where the Worcestershire Devolution Business Debate took place, is Bromsgrove's Theatre, Cinema, Comedy and Live Music Venue. The venue is available for staging events and conferences, having a 301 Seater Auditorium, a 60 seater studio space, both with comprehensive audio/visual facilities, four other meeting rooms and access to an extensive car park. Enquiries to hire Artrix should be made to the Director, Ros Robins, on 01527-572739 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worcestershire Wednesday launch – 18 February 2015
The 18 February 2015 will see the launch of the first Worcestershire Innovation Wednesday event which is being held by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, QinetiQ and Worcestershire.Business.Central.
The event will be held at QinetiQ in Malvern, from 5.30pm – 8pm, and will showcase innovation for the County, present new developments and opportunities and provide an excellent networking opportunity.
The event will begin with a networking session and light buffet, followed by talks from Mike Ashton of the Chamber of Commerce, Chris Walker of QinetiQ, Gary Woodman of the Worcestershire LEP and Linda Smith of UKTI, followed by a further networking session.
Those interested in attending the event are also advised to hold 18 March for a future Worcestershire Innovation Wednesday event.
To register for the February event please email Deborah Crowther at email@example.com by 16 February 2015.
Worcestershire's Growth Deal now stands at £54.2m
In January it was announced that the County has received an additional £7.2million from the Government for Worcestershire's Growth Deal.
This brings the total allocation to £54.2m as this new sum is on top of the £47million announced in July 2014.
The additional £7.2million will be available from 2016/17 and will fund:
- Business Growth Grants building on the successes of schemes such as the Worcestershire Expansion Programme and redundant building grants
- Skills Capital Fund to invest in college capital programmes, new buildings and refurbishments
- Commercial and Housing Infrastructure Fund to invest in opening up commercial and housing developments, as appropriate, with a particular focus on sites such as Vale Park, Evesham.
The additional £7.2m of funding alone will further promote business growth, create and safeguard an estimated 400-500 jobs and leverage £15-25m from the public and private sectors as well as further improve skills by 2020.
A quick reference table of the schemes that were already being funded by the Growth Deal, which was announced last year (£47m), is available on our website
and the Worcestershire LEP is currently very much focused on delivery of these schemes:
The full announcement made by the Government in January 2015 is available on our website
Worcestershire LEP celebrates successes
Earlier this month, we announced that we are on track or exceeding the long-term goals for the County’s economy as outlined in the 2012/3 Business Plan.
Ambitious targets had been set at that time but we were able to announce that Worcestershire has either already exceeded these targets or is on track to achieve them ahead of the target deadline.
Progress against these targets is outlined below:
- Increase jobs by 5% by 2015: From June 2011 to September 2014, Worcestershire has seen an increase of over 8% in employment levels which compares favourably with a 4.7% increase in the West Midlands generally and 4.8% across England.
- 10,000 apprenticeship places by 2015: During 2013/14 more than 10,000 people actively participated in an apprenticeship programme which is more than four times the number in 2011. Last year (2013/14) the number of engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships in Worcestershire also grew by almost 12%. The WLEP and partner organisations continue to work to increase opportunities to develop skills for young people.
- £750m private sector investment by 2017: Between 2012 and the end of 2014, at least £600m of private sector investment has been made through a number of schemes, for example: the new development adjacent to Worcestershire County Cricket Club by Premier Inn, the new UK distribution centre for Vax at Droitwich, investment by Thorlux, Redditch in a new warehouse and distribution centre, and Evesham Vale Growers’ two anaerobic digester plants and a solar park at its sites in Fladbury and Throckmorton. In addition, Worcester Bosch has recently completed its new warehousing and distribution centre at Warndon, Robert Wiseman has built its milk processing and distribution centre also in Droitwich and Amtek are developing their new forge which could provide up to 500 jobs in Kidderminster. At least a further £200m is already committed to be invested before December 2017 on major projects including Worcester Technology Park and Redditch Eastern Gateway. Further work continues to take place to encourage additional investment in Worcestershire as the County is promoted regionally, nationally and internationally as a world class place to do business.
- Grow Gross Value Added (GVA) by £2.9bn by 2025: GVA is a measure of the productive power of the county in terms of the value and quality of products and services. The GVA is showing improvement with the latest statistics released by the Office of National Statistics (2013) showing an increase of £1.2bn (12.1%) from £9.4bn in 2010 to stand at £10.6bn in 2013. This compares to an increase of 10% across the West Midlands and 9.3% across England during the same period.
The full announcement is available on the Worcestershire LEP's website
Consultation event for 2015/16 Worcestershire LEP Business Plan
Following the successes
from the delivery of the previous Business Plan, we are currently in the process of developing the Business Plan for 2015/6 and will be hosting a Business Plan Consultation workshop.
The consultation workshop will take place on:
11 March 2015
8am – 10:30am
Worcestershire Cricket Club, New Road, Worcester, WR2 4QQ.
Worcestershire businesses are encouraged to attend, with members of the LEP Board and Business Board also in attendance.
Please advise if you are able to attend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
by 27 February 2015.
Worcestershire ESIF Committee meets for the first time
The Worcestershire European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Committee met for the first time on 27 January 2015.
The ESIF Committee has been formed following guidance from Government that all Local Enterprise Partnership areas establish a specifically European focused committee.
Worcestershire’s ESIF Committee provides a strategic oversight of local programme and project investments funded through a combination of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and EAFRD (Rural Development). The Worcestershire ESIF Committee is also responsible for overseeing the operational development and delivery of an appropriate pipeline of proposals and monitoring performance.
The committee was formed through a rigorous recruitment process and includes representatives from voluntary, business and public sectors. The membership of the ESIF Committee can be seen here.
The next meeting will take place on 25 February and further updates will be provided in future newsletters.
Our Whitehall Sponsor Visits Worcestershire
Graham Pendlebury, who is Central Government’s ‘sponsor’ for the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership visited the County on 22 January.
Mr Pendlebury met with Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair of WLEP, members of the WLEP executive team and David Crook, from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). During the visit, Mr Pendlebury was able to see first-hand the progress being made against the County’s ten year Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).
The visit included the locations of the proposed Worcester Technology Park, Worcestershire Parkway Station and the recently commenced expansion of Malvern Hills Science Park, each of which will progress with monies secured from Central Government by WLEP under its Growth Deal for Worcestershire. Current construction works on the Worcester Southern Link Road were observed together with an explanation relating to further phases of the proposed improvements including the aspiration to duplicate Carrington Bridge across the River Severn flood plain.
As the County’s major growth sectors include Agri-Tech, the visit also included the cutting edge technologies being employed by Evesham Vale Growers at their Anaerobic Digester Plant in Fladbury. He witnessed first-hand their innovation in biotechnology and the production of green energy (gas and electricity).
Mr Pendlebury was also shown the major redevelopment and extensions to Pershore College which will further enhance and support business and training connections with the fruit and vegetable growing industries of the county, and some of the recent developments in Worcester City including The Hive and the University Arena.
Graham Pendlebury, Director for Local Transport at the Department for Transport, said: “This was my first visit to WLEP, and I was impressed that business leaders, local authorities and the LEP staff were working together with a clear vision, realistic priorities, and a great brand. I’m looking forward to regular return visits to see progress on the ground, and helping the LEP to develop its relationship with Central Government.”
The full story is available on our website.
Pictured left to right: Alan White, Malvern Hills Science Park, Graham Pendlebury, Department for Transport and Peter Pawsey, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.