Welcome to Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
A message from the outgoing chair, Mark Stansfeld
It is an exciting time for the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP). In the last 18 months, we have launched our Plan for Growth, setting out an ambitious vision for the future economy of our county to 2040 and building on the strategic capabilities of our outstanding businesses, civic and learning institutions. Our thriving partnership across all sectors of the business community will be key in helping to deliver the strategy and create an investment framework with Government that will increase productivity and create higher value jobs across the county.
Ten years on from our formation, we have developed an exemplary track record of delivery which includes a 5G test bed, over £146m of capital and revenue investment in infrastructure improvements, awarding winning work in building relationships between schools and businesses and developing our own technology accelerator to support entrepreneurship and innovation, BetaDen. This investment has leveraged significant match funding from the public and private sector, pushing the total value to over £400m into the county.
However, LEPs have also been reviewed nationally in the context of the Government’s Levelling Up and devolution agenda. In Worcestershire, the partnership remains committed to a county-wide LEP model and we have also reflected on our operational arrangements, to further strengthen governance and accountability to our business base and wider communities and to ensure that we are ‘future fit’ to deliver for Worcestershire, maximising investment opportunities and our contribution to the UK economy.
Our partnership is charged with creating the best conditions possible for economic growth across Worcestershire through our work programme: supporting businesses to create higher skilled jobs and to retain and develop the skills of our people; developing our existing and future workforce; and enabling business research and development to increase the value of our economy and raise productivity. We are strengthening our transport links and opening sites for new and expanding businesses, working locally and regionally with bodies like the Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect. This regional collaboration and national engagement with government helps to raise the profile of our city, towns and county. We use these platforms to showcase our business strengths and demonstrate why we are a strong competitor in a global economy, and celebrate our high quality of life, ensuring that Worcestershire continues to be an attractive place to live, work and do business.
We are now looking for an exceptional Chair to build on our work to date. The role of Chair requires strong leadership, a strategic thinker with a collaborative approach in achieving our goals. You will have a dedicated Board of Directors who will support you in continuing the work of transforming our economy. The Board is keen to hear from business leaders who share their ambition for our area, are dedicated to improving the opportunities of our business communities and have the commitment to achieve their goals. If this is you, the Board is waiting to hear from you.
Gary Woodman, CEO, introduces some of the Worcestershire LEP partners on the role of the Chair.