Worcestershire was placed on the national stage as it promoted the very best in infrastructure and investment opportunities throughout the county to an invited audience of business leaders in London.
The World Class Worcestershire event was organised to attract developers and business investors including those from the County’s three main priority growth sectors: Agri-Tech, Cyber, Defence and IT and Advanced Manufacturing.
Speakers outlined infrastructure developments and the highly skilled workforce of the County, which boasts top performing schools and excellence in education facilities, the support available to businesses and the range of development and investment opportunities ranging from city centre developments through to the four game changer sites:
· Worcester Growth Corridor – to develop an area to the eastern fringe of the City, including Worcester Technology Park to create an attractive commercial gateway to the City. Up to approximately 60 ha immediately to the east of the M5 motorway (adjacent to Junction 6), providing initially up to 140,000 sq m with potential for up to 250,000 sq m of accommodation, developed over a 15 + year period.
· Redditch Eastern Gateway – this development which will create a high quality business park has circa 40 ha of land with potential development of 100,500 sq m of accommodation, developed over a 10 year period
· Malvern Hills Technology Park – to facilitate development of a new business park environment to complement and accommodate further phases of the existing Malvern Science Park including the supporting of existing investors through the provision of “grow on” accommodation. The park has a potential development of 210,000 sq m of accommodation, developed over a 10 year period.
· South Kidderminster Enterprise Park – to support the on-going development of an existing employment scheme in attracting new investment in this location. 75,000 sq m commercial development and 300 additional houses, a care home, a hotel, shops, restaurants, footpaths and cycle ways.
The speakers included:
· Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
· Mike Ashton, Chief Executive of Chamber of Commerce
· Clare Marchant, Chief Executive and John Hobbs, Director of Business, Environment and Community at Worcestershire County Council
· Stuart Laverick, Principal of Heart of Worcestershire College
· Jack Hegarty, Managing Director of Wychavon District Council.
Cllr Adrian Hardman, Leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: “Worcestershire is a World Class place to do business. We have the infrastructure to support national and international trade, which is recognised by the many companies who choose the county as their business base.
“We also have a range of development sites, from city centre opportunities to the large game changer sites, and will continue to work together across the County to support those who are considering a future here to ensure a prosperous Worcestershire.”
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “This exclusive event, which is part of a range of activities as we work to profile the development and investment opportunities on offer, provided the opportunity to provide further details about the many opportunities available and answer specific questions.
“We have got some excellent leads, which are now being followed up, and are now inviting the attendees to the County to see for themselves what is on offer.”
Robin Walker, MP for Worcester and a member of the Select Committee for Business, Innovation & Skills said: “As a county we are enormously proud of the skilled people and infrastructure we have in Worcestershire and we are determined to keep improving both. I would encourage any business who is thinking to relocate to Worcestershire to do so as the county really does have the best of both worlds in terms of a dynamic growing economy, combined with a great place to live and work.”
Anna Coverdale, originally from Worcester and who now lives and runs a PR and marketing agency in London, said: “This was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with all the decision makers within Worcestershire. As a growing business I am always looking for opportunity to expand my business into the Midlands and more specifically Worcestershire. The presentation and Question and Answer session was a useful exercise that allowed me to gather all the information I needed to begin the process of building a business in the county.”