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Council backs vision to improve city’s economy
A NEW economic strategy which aims to help Worcester compete on a national stage for investment, jobs, education and retail has been backed by council chiefs.
Worcester City Council’s Economic Prosperity Strategy is aimed at realising a vision by investing in key areas such as better shopping, skills for youngsters and promoting Worcester as a place to invest.
The blueprint, which was revealed in your Worcester News on Saturday, was put together after consultations with more than 50 city organisations.
Speaking at a meeting of the Conservative cabinet, Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader, said: “This is a very ambitious strategy but one we are determined to back up with resources. The city has to be the ‘powerhouse’ in terms of the economic centre of the county, there’s no doubt about that.
“We’ve had a lot of consultation on it and engaged a lot of people, and the key now is to drive the city forward.”
The document spells out the vision for Worcester in 2020, insisting sites such as Angel Place, Cathedral Square and the Cornmarket hold the key to improving retail. The strategy will seek a root-and-branch review of the shopping and hotel availability in the city to see where gaps can be exploited.
It will ensure high quality business advice is available to new firms looking to either start-up or relocate to the city. It also wants to set up a regular forum where education providers can look at gaps in the skill-sets of young people and determine new ways of tackling the issue.
Coun Marc Bayliss, deputy leader and the cabinet member responsible for economic prosperity, said: “This is the first time the city council has had a strategy like this for a number of years. It’s about helping people achieve their aspirations, creating jobs and wealth, and realising a vision.
“Working with businesses on it is absolutely vital and the strategy has been broadly endorsed.”