Four Wyre Forest Councillors are driving forward the Economic Development and Regeneration priorities for the area alongside Cabinet Member Cllr John Campion.
Over the last two years, Cllr Helen Dyke has been driving forward initiatives for town centres and Cllr Fran Oborski has been championing Skills development across Wyre Forest.
They are now joined by newly elected Cllr Tony Muir who has now been appointed as Member Champion for Business and Enterprise. Cllr Tracey Onslow, Ward Member for Blakebrook and Habberley South is now Member Champion for Connectivity.
Cllr John Campion said:
“Our focus is on our ReWyre projects which are all about delivering significant, visible and sustainable improvements for the area. We are proactively taking forward our ReWyre programme which is into its sixth year with a new ReWyre Board Chairman, Neil Morris from OGL Computers.
“There are numerous initiatives underway including investment in Kidderminster town centre, skills and employment growth plans, and inward investment schemes in partnership with the two Local Enterprise Partnerships – Worcestershire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull. We are also involved with the County Council and private partners to develop our road and transport road infrastructure.
Cllr Fran Oborski, Member Champion for skills development said:
“We recognise that having a skilled, work ready workforce is key to economic prosperity and we are currently developing a skills strategy for the area which takes into account feedback from existing businesses and organisations. As well as working with existing businesses we are liaising closely with incoming businesses and Kidderminster College so that we are, as a local area are able to meet the training needs of both new and existing employers. Wyre Forest District has one of the highest numbers of young people classified as NEET (not in employment education or training) and one of the highest intakes of apprenticeships in the County. This is great progress of which we can all be proud as a highly skilled, motivated workforce is vital to our success."
Cllr Helen Dyke, Member Champion for town centres said:
“The Council led an extensive public engagement exercise to help plan the future of the traditional retail centre of Kidderminster and is now delivering on its commitment to undertake a £2m Public Realm improvement scheme for Exchange Street, High Street and Vicar Street. The Council has invested £500k of capital funding, and Worcestershire County Council a further £1.5million to support the delivery of this scheme.”
Cllr Tony Muir, Member Champion for business and enterprise said:
“Our economy is going in the right direction and we have low levels of unemployment.
This has been achieved by successfully helping new business grow and encouraging large organisations to invest in the district.”
These include businesses like the Pie Maker in Stourport through to Amtek International part of the worldwide Amtek Auto Group, which has made a significant investment to build and develop a new manufacturing plant on the former Lawrence’s Recycling site on the A451 between Kidderminster and Stourport-on-Severn.
Specsavers, the optical retail chain, is now developing a significant new manufacturing and distribution facility in Kidderminster, on the site previously occupied by Romwire.
Amounting to a £12 million investment and totalling 75,000 square feet, the new facility will combine existing Specsavers operations in the area and offer expansion potential to meet the demands of a growing order book.
Cllr Tracey Onslow Member Champion for connectivity said:
“Being able to connect to regional and national road networks is vital for our future prosperity which is why we have worked hard to bring forward the Hoo Brook Link Road. We are working alongside transport colleagues from Worcestershire County Council with funding from the LEPs to create a new transport interchange at Kidderminster Railway station. I am very keen to explore connectivity in its much wider sense, particularly re-connecting our town centres with local communities, connecting people to jobs and connecting people to each other. These are areas I’ll be championing loud and clear.”
For more information about the Council’s economic and regeneration work please visit www.nwedr.org.uk or www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk. Follow North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration on Twitter @NorthWorcsEDR.
Picture shows (L-R): Councillors John Campion, Fran Oborski, Helen Dyke, Tony Muir and Tracey Onslow.