Worcestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership’s annual conference, which like so many similar events, has gone virtual this year, continues throughout the week.
Covering five topics over five days, the 500-600 people who normally pack out the conference centre, are watching from the comfort of their own homes and offices.
Monday saw a focus on skills, employment and training, wrapping up with the launch of Worcestershire LEP’s Employment into Excellence Charter.
On Tuesday, the discussion was all on infrastructure, including looking at Worcestershire Parkway and the wider Worcestershire Rail, the huge amount of road investment the county has achieved over the past five years, and a focus on how Worcestershire’s 5G is contributing productivity and new technology.
Since 2017, an additional nearly £22 million has been allocated to schemes to reduce congestion across the county. Worcestershire County Council pledged an additional £5m in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and secured funding of £6.7m from the Department for Transport (DfT).
The day also covered an overview of new technology, including discussion of key sites like the Malvern Hills Science Park.
The debates then turned to the future economy, of which technology is a fundamental part. Linda Smith from BetaDen spoke about the difference that programme is making to the reputation of Worcestershire as a place where you can start and grow a technology business, and two major Worcester companies, Worcester Bosch and, Faun Zoeller, based in Redditch, introduced how they are both looking at how hydrogen as an energy source can change heat and powertrain.
Friday (today), the final day of the Worcestershire LEP Virtual Conference will look closely at the overall achievements for the last 12 months across Worcestershire.