£125 Million Access to Finance Programme on its way
Worcestershire LEP has joined forces with the other five West Midlands LEPs to create a major investment fund, worth at least £125 million.
The ‘Regional Investment Fund’ will support growing businesses in Worcestershire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, and Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP areas. The Fund will provide access to a range of finance programmes and will be available from 2015.
By pooling resources in this way, we will be able to help businesses of all sizes by targeting appropriate support and finance.
There is still significant work to be done to set up the mechanisms to deliver the funds, but we have taken a huge step forward by reaching this agreement with the other West Midlands LEPs.
Worcestershire LEP welcomes new Heathrow rail link news
Recent news from Thames Valley Berkshire LEP that Network Rail had backed their preferred route for improved rail access from the west into Heathrow is good news for Worcestershire businesses.
The preferred ‘Western Rail Access to Heathrow’ was originally proposed six years ago and will connect the airport to the Great Western mainline, slashing journey times and bringing significant environmental benefits. The project now enters a consultation phase.
New ‘Centre of Excellence’ for Stourport
Morgan Advanced Materials has chosen Stourport as the location for its new ‘Global Materials Centre of Excellence’, initially creating ten new jobs with the potential for more in the future.
Stourport was selected from a shortlist that included locations in China, North America and Germany and as a result of strong support from the Chancellor, George Osborne, and local Wyre Forest MP, Mark Garnier.
The Centre of Excellence is expected to become operational later this year.
LEP’s Investment Strategy recognised
Worcestershire LEP has been ranked as one of England’s top ten Local Enterprise Partnerships in terms of its Foreign Direct Investment Strategy.
Extensive research conducted by the fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times collected the data as part of its ‘European Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/15’ report. Worcestershire was ranked 9th
, just ahead of the Black Country LEP. The top ranking LEP was Sheffield City Region whilst Stoke & Staffordshire LEP was placed third.
Further details about the survey can be found here
Worcestershire leads the way in flood alleviation technology
One of the country’s market leaders in flood alleviation schemes, UK Flood Barriers, is hosting a reception in Westminster to showcase Britain’s capability to design flood resilient infrastructure.
Sponsored by Sir Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire, the reception will be attended by Parliamentarians, consulting engineers, contractors and representatives from the construction, transport infrastructure and utilities sectors and will take place on 11 March.
As world climate systems change and extreme weather conditions become more common, it is important for technology to keep pace. We are delighted that Droitwich Spa based UK Flood Barriers is leading the way.
Take part in the Quarterly Economic Survey
County businesses are encouraged to complete the Quarterly Economic Survey. Results will then feed into the British Chamber of Commerce national survey, the largest and most representative independent business survey of its kind in the UK.
Results will influence business policy at the highest levels. To ensure that your voice is heard, click here
Closing date for entries is Wednesday 19 March.
WLEP pledge to National Apprenticeship Week
The week commencing 3 March is National Apprenticeship Week. The Employment and Skills Board has a target of delivering 10,000 starts by August 2017 under its apprenticeship plan and is well on track having delivered an 118% increase on its numbers in the last two years.
Worcestershire LEP is committed to increasing numbers of employers offering high quality apprenticeships for young people and is working with providers to continuously improve success rates and performance. In this National Apprenticeship Week, the LEP has pledged to increase the number of apprenticeships in Worcestershire from 5,600 to 6,100 by March 2015.