Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the 4th annual Festival of Business to the city centre this coming Friday taking place on the high street and in the Guildhall.

The annual one-day event is organised by Worcestershire Enterprise limited as an extension of #worcestershirehour, a twice weekly virtual networking event that provides a platform for local Worcestershire business. The festival’s main sponsor is Wealth Management firm Sanlam, along with Worcestershire Ambassadors, Worcestershire LEP, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce & Worcester City Council.

This year’s event will also feature the NatWest Boost Business bus, a converted double decker bus staffed by NatWest’s small business experts and local business advice organisations.

The Worcestershire Festival of Business will formally be opened at 9am at the Guildhall entrance by the Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Steve Mackay. “Independent businesses are the lifeblood of Worcester’s economy, and supporting them is a real priority for the City Council,” said the Mayor of Worcester, Cllr Steve Mackay.  “Come along to the Worcestershire Festival of Business and see for yourself the scale and variety of enterprise this city has to offer.”

The festival comes at a good time for Worcester with the news earlier this year that the Worcestershire economy achieved the highest productivity growth in England. Between 2010 and 2015, the county’s productivity – indicating the efficiency of economic output – grew at an average rate of 3% a year, higher than any other English county. Additionally figures from last month show that unemployment in the city has more than halved since 2013 and has seen a 61% drop since 2010. With the backdrop of new businesses investing in Worcester’s Cathedral Square, this event will be particularly exciting.

Robin said,

“I am delighted that the Festival of Business is returning for its 4th consecutive year. It is a unique opportunity to showcase Worcester’s world class businesses, inspire entrepreneurs and support them to help them go further. Scaling up business is a crucial ambition for the government and can deliver more jobs for our whole economy.”

Last year there was a real mood of optimism and celebration of the successes of local business. With the news earlier this year that Worcestershire is setting the standard for productivity growth in England as well as the exciting developments in Worcester’s Cathedral Square, I’m sure this year’s evet will be even better.

Commitments elsewhere means that I will be unable to be there in person this year though I am confident that Stuart and his team will be putting on the best ever advert for businesses in Worcester. #WorcestershireHour does such vital work bringing charities, businesses and good causes together and I am delighted to see them promote our world class city in this way.”