Annual conference: registration now open
Bookings are flooding in for the WLEP Annual Conference, taking place at Worcester Sixways on the morning of 10 October.
This year the Conference is entitled ‘Driving Worcestershire Forward’ (#drivingworcs), and we are delighted to have secured TV presenter and champion rally driver, Penny Mallory, to chair proceedings.
The Conference promises to be a dynamic and interactive occasion with plenty of opportunity for audience involvement and feedback. Speakers from Brintons and Holywell Malvern Spring Water have confirmed their attendance, and we have presentations from Ben Humphrey (Chairman of the Worcester Festival) and Karl George (Director at the Governance Forum Ltd).
The programme will include updates from the LEP on progress to date and an outline of our future plans.
We are delighted to announce a key note speech from Emma Ward, Executive Director at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Emma is Worcestershire LEP's representative in Westminster and we are sure she will provide an enlightening and interesting presentation.
If you haven’t yet booked your place, you can register here
, where you’ll also find full details of the conference programme and speakers.
Results of Manufacturing survey published
A major survey commissioned by the LEP found that manufacturing businesses in Worcestershire were optimistic about the future. One third of those questioned expected to increase their staff levels in the next 12 months.
However, some concerns were expressed regarding the availability of skilled workers, particularly with regard to ‘hard to fill’ roles in precision engineering and machine operation.
Worcestershire has a high proportion of small businesses with 90% employing less than 50 people. Metals and fabricated products make up the largest proportion, with 29% working in this field.
The county employs more than the national average number of apprentices, with 21% of manufacturing businesses engaged compared with 18% nationally.
The survey was conducted by Worcestershire Research in June of this year. Telephone interviews with nearly 500 Worcestershire manufacturers formed the basis of the research, together with a number of follow up in-depth discussions. The aim was to gain greater understanding of the sector and to identify any major barriers to growth.
The results will provide a useful evidence base to inform the LEP’s future work and strategic objectives.
The full survey report is available to download here
Join the in-novation crowd!
The LEP is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the Festival of Innovation, taking place at the Malvern Theatre from 7-9 November.
As well as an exhibition showcasing many of the region’s leading innovators, the Festival will offer a number of symposia themed around four strands: cyber security; technology for tourism; engineering & manufacturing; sustainability & environment.
There are special events targeted at ‘next generation innovators’ – children in school years 6-9 and their families. A fringe event at Malvern College is already over-subscribed, but tickets are available for ‘ Innovative Stuff! The Materials Revolution’, a family show featuring Dr Jonathan Hare and Professor Mark Miodownik.
Apart from the family show, entrance to the Festival is free of charge. However, places are limited at the symposia and you will need to register.
Further information and full programme details can be found here
Regional Growth Fund:
Round 5 now open for bids
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, recently announced that Round 5 of the Regional Growth Fund will be open for bids from 11 October.
Round 5 will be focused entirely on private enterprise proposals and will be looking to support high quality projects that can generate significant private sector investment and create sustainable jobs. A minimum bid of £1 million is required.
Applications must be submitted by 9 December.
Further details are available here.