Introduction from the WLEP Chair - Mark Stansfeld
This is my first newsletter as Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP). I was delighted to take up this position at the beginning of March and look forward to meeting with more of you over the coming weeks and months. In my first few weeks I have already seen some of the fantastic work that is taking place and we now plan to build on these successes.
Thank you to everyone that provided feedback towards the creation of the WLEP Business Plan and it was fantastic to see all those who attended the consultation event last month. We have acted on the feedback received and will provide more details in next month’s e-newsletter. The ambitious targets for the years ahead will provide a clear focus for delivery to benefit the County’s long-term prosperity.
I am passionate about continuing to raise the profile of World Class Worcestershire
and believe that it has so much to offer – as a visitor destination, as a place to live and work and as a place to do business. Building on the inward investment events that have already been held in London, Birmingham and Liverpool, on the 28 April we will be bringing potential investors, developers and employers to Worcestershire to see first-hand the many opportunities available and receive personalised tours. Relationships have been built over several months and I am sure this visit will prove fruitful.
With my background in technology, our priority growth sectors
are close to my heart: IT, Cyber and Defence, Agri-tech and Advanced Manufacturing and I am looking forward to helping the County to continue to excel in these areas. Nominations are now open for this year’s Cotswold Life Engineering, Manufacturing & Innovation Awards
and I would encourage companies in this sector to enter by the deadline of 25 May 2015. We hope to be celebrating the successes of Worcestershire’s Advanced Manufacturing sector and details on how to enter are available here
. All local businesses are also encouraged to enter the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards
as the deadline for entries has now been extended to 3pm on Monday 20 April. You can find more information on the Chamber of Commerce's website
Last month’s launch of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)
Growth programme will continue to bolster Worcestershire’s strong Agri-tech sector with Worcestershire-based horticulture owners and business now able to bid for up to £100,000 in European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) grants. Find out more on our website
and calls for funding will be open until 19 June.
Following the success of the Worcestershire Expansion Programme
, I am pleased to say that we are also able to offer a final round of funding for businesses that are looking to grow in the County. The funding is available for a limited period, subject to availability with details available from Worcestershire.Business.Central. at www.business-central.co.uk/wep.
You may also like to read about some of the companies who have previously benefitted including IQHQ, Beakbane Ltd., Grinnall Specialist Cars
and Bamboo Marketing Limited.
Pictured: Left, Bamboo Marketing, right, IQHQ.
The County has a wealth of sport on offer over the coming months and evidence shows that sport is vital in boosting the economy. The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships,
which the Worcestershire LEP and other partners are supporting, runs from 28 August - 6 September and will put the media spotlight firmly on Worcestershire regionally, nationally and internationally - look out for tickets going on sale.
The Worcestershire LEP is also hosting the Friends Life Tour Ride
(4 October 2015) which will present many commercial opportunities. Registrations have opened and businesses may see this as a team building and PR opportunity - you may also choose to enter teams whilst raising some money for worthy causes. Sponsorship opportunities are also available at St Richard’s Hospice's upcoming motorsport charity event on 20
June at the reputable Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb
Last year we saw the incredible achievements of Worcestershire’s Apprentices celebrated at the first Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards
which attracted an audience of over 360 people. This year the awards will take place on 12 November and are expected to draw an even larger crowd. Please take the opportunity to place your nominations
before 31 May 2015 as this is an excellent way to publically recognise excellence in this area. There are also a limited number of sponsorship opportunities available
with more details available on our website
Pictured: Last year's Worcestershire Apprenticeship Award winners with BBC's The Apprentice's, Nick Hewer.
Thank you to everyone who has made me so welcome in my new position. Next month we have a slightly new look to the e-newsletter and we would welcome feedback on format and content via email@example.com
. I will be meeting with many more businesses and partner organisations over the coming weeks and months and please also save the slightly revised date for the Worcestershire LEP’s Annual Conference
of Friday 13 November. This will again take place at the Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa and we look forward to seeing many of you at this event.
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership