Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet is due to adopt a comprehensive new strategy to support local enterprise and business growth over the coming years.
As one of the council’s priorities to ‘support you to contribute to a successful local economy’, the Enabling Business Growth and Enterprise strategy builds on the authority’s impressive work to date and provides a clear framework for further Council initiatives and activities to be delivered.
The strategy sets out the way the Council is working towards delivering the ReWyre vision, and through NWedR (North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration) focuses on four ambitions - entrepreneurship, business start ups, nurturing indigenous business growth and attracting inward investment.
To deliver on these ambitions, the Council is working proactively in three different ways - direct commissioning, enabling and engaging and supporting and signposting.
Through its membership of two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Worcestershire and Greater Birmingham & Solihull, the Council has already helped local businesses by participating in a number of strategic business support programmes that support business formation and local business growth.
The council has also invested its own resources in a number of local initiatives including, Space, an incubator/business centre to support fledgling businesses, the soon to be completed Hoo Brook Link Road and South Kidderminster Enterprise Park where a Local Development Order has simplified planning for businesses wishing to invest within the district’s key employment zone.
Apprenticeships have also received a boost. Since 2012/13, the council has invested £50,000 per year to help businesses to employ apprentices and since the scheme started over 50 apprentices have been supported.
Cllr Tracey Onslow, Wyre Forest District Council's Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration said
“We know the Wyre Forest economy is still recovering from the economic downturn but there is much to be celebrated with new arrivals such as auto giant Amtek and further investment from Specsavers who are extending their presence in the district with new buildings for their International Glazing Services and Lens Online on the Stourport road adjacent to the Council’s offices.
“Providing business support, mentoring and targeted financial assistance and ensuring that Wyre Forest is ‘investment ready’ are three key areas of work for the council and NWedR service.
“This will be achieved through the joined up work of the whole Council including its economic development activities, planning and housing and services such as street cleansing, parks and arts and events. The Depot, based at Green Street Kidderminster can help to save businesses money through delivery of its commercial waste and recycling service and the Council’s Green Spaces and Parks service create a more inviting environment for the area – all of which form part of the overall offer to encourage businesses to locate in the district.”
The new Enabling Business Growth and Enterprise Strategy will complement the recently adopted Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) by identifying opportunities for the Council to use its property and land assets to support the development of new starter units and grow-on space for small businesses, whilst generating new sustainable revenue streams to the Council.
Cllr Trcey Onslow concludes,
“This new strategy makes it clear that we are a forward thinking Council with clear ambitions and plans for how we plan to achieve them.”