Worcestershire businesses will attend a ‘send-off’ event at Worcester Arena on Monday (31 March) to mark the despatch of the county’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) to Government.
The SEP marks the culmination of an intensive consultation period undertaken by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Hundreds of businesses and social enterprises have been involved and the LEP has worked closely with the County Council and the six District Councils to compile the document that must be with Central Government by Monday. England’s other 38 LEPs have also been undergoing a similar exercise which will now move into a three or four month period of scrutiny and negotiation before the outcomes are known, probably in August.
Central to Worcestershire’s SEP is the aspiration to be ‘World Class Worcestershire’. Covering a 10 year period, the SEP sets out the county’s plans to create 25,000 jobs and bring an extra £2.9 billion into the economy by 2025.
In order to do this, specific ‘asks’ of Government have been made under three headings:
· Place: creating a world class business location, including the development of suitable sites and premises for expansion and the necessary transport and infrastructure to support them.
· People: providing individuals with world class skills, including the creation of a new Centre for Rural Innovation and a Centre of Excellence in Technology and initiatives to support skills development.
· Businesses: developing world class competitive and innovative businesses, including finance and business support and support for innovation.
The full SEP covers more than 180 pages. Attendees at Monday’s ‘send-off’ will be given a 12 page summary brochure and urged to use their spheres of influence to encourage widespread support of the SEP and its aspirations to be ‘World Class Worcestershire’.
Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair at Worcestershire LEP comments: “The past several months have been incredibly intense for all of the team at Worcestershire LEP and for our partners at Worcestershire County Council and the District Councils as we’ve worked together to develop the Strategic Economic Plan. I thank them all for their hard work and long hours spent on the Plan’s drafting and production.”
He continues: “ I cannot over-emphasise the importance of the document for Worcestershire’s economic future and would urge all Worcestershire businesses to support its aspirations for the county to be a truly world class business location.”