Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership Partnership’s (WLEP’s) Sixth Annual Conference has been hailed a great success.

The event, which consistently attracts a large business audience, took place on Friday (4 November 2016) at the Chateau Impney in Droitwich.

This year saw the largest attendance at any WLEP Conference with many others tuning in to watch the live broadcast. The Conference was hosted by the business author, journalist and ‘Outrageously Optimistic’, Guy Browning, with a keynote speech from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP, who was joined with other speakers from high-profile local businesses, futurist experts and other respected guests.

The conference was open to delegates from local businesses of all sectors and sizes and other partner organisations. The event provided attendees with an insight into recent progress against the delivery of the County’s 10-Year Strategic Economic Plan with Worcestershire being recognised in recent years as having the strongest growth in higher level workforce skills, the second highest growth in productivity and the third strongest growth in prosperity out of all LEP areas. Delegates also took away a copy of the 2016 Annual Report which provided an insight into many of the successes seen in the last year.

The Conference, however, importantly looked to the future and the priorities for Worcestershire’s economy to ensure the long-term prosperity of the County. The event also provided details of the support available to local businesses, with organisations on hand to offer advice and guidance, to enable everyone to be a part of future growth. This included the launch of the Worcestershire Development Group who are making funding and mentoring support available for local businesses to support innovation and promote business growth.

Sponsors of the event included: Hewett Recruitment, Basepoint Business Centres, Bishop Fleming LLP, RCA Regeneration, Sanctuary Group and Spa Display. A vibrant exhibition area also hosted a range of Worcestershire companies and organisations showcasing their products and services.

Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “The Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership has had a great year with £54million of investment from Government through their Growth Deal.”

“From the new Engineering Centre of Excellence at Redditch to the work about to start at Worcestershire Parkway station, this county is fulfilling its potential as a key part of the Midlands Engine.”

“I look forward to continuing my work with chair Mark Stansfeld and others to build a Worcestershire that works for everyone.”

Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We once again had an overwhelming response to the Annual Conference and it was great to bring together partner organisations across the private, public and third sectors to discuss the priorities for the future to keep up the momentum of economic growth. Worcestershire has seen some great successes, many of which can be seen in our Annual Report, however, this is no time to be complacent.”

“We are focused on fulfilling the vision for Worcestershire to build a connected, creative, dynamic economy that delivers increased prosperity for all those who choose to live, work, visit and invest in the County and the contributions of everyone across the partnership are vital to fulfil this vision.”

“A huge thank you to all our inspirational speakers, our exhibitors and sponsors for their huge support: Hewett Recruitment, Basepoint Business Centres, Bishop Fleming LLP, RCA Regeneration, Sanctuary Group and Spa Display. Also thank you to Audux UK Ltd who provided the live broadcast facility for those who were unable to attend in person through their POBIT system to make the conference as accessible as possible.”

Presentations from the event are being made available on the dedicated Annual Conference website with a link available at www.wlep.co.uk and activity on Twitter using #WLEP16. The WLEP 2016 Annual Report is also available to download at www.wlep.co.uk

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