An update from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership
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Growth Deal infrastructure projects under way 

Work is progressing on three projects which will see more than £60m invested in infrastructure programmes in the Marches. The projects are supported by funding from the LEP via the £83m Growth Deal it has negotiated with the Government.

This month saw Shropshire Council unveil plans for the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package (SITP), which is designed to improve the transport system in the town, supporting the delivery of long-term economic benefits and sustainable growth for Shrewsbury and the surrounding area.

The public is currently being consulted on the project, which is supported with £6m of Growth Deal funding via the Marches LEP, with work to due to start next year. 

Also under way is the Telford Growth Point Package, which will see work carried out on a series of junctions located along the strategic highway network in Telford. This project will open up additional housing and employment sites at Muxton, Shawbirch and Hortonwood. The investment is expected to help deliver approximately 5,400 jobs and 2,800 houses.

The Hereford City Centre Transport Package (link available when HC have provided latest  details)  is also progressing with a new link road being developed to enable a major mixed-use development, integrated with the city centre.

It will assist in delivering retail, leisure, tourism, employment, housing, and other development. For more information on the Marches Growth Deal, click here

Your views matter....

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is currently reviewing the evidence base which will support a refresh of the Strategic Economic Plan for the Marches area which covers Herefordshire, Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire.

The LEP is also developing a new Skills Plan for the sub-region.
As part of this process we are inviting businesses to provide their views on current barriers to growth and prospects for growth.
The first stage of consultation is through a survey of business views. Closing date for this is February 23rd 2016. The information gathered will inform the evidence base report and the development of the draft Skills Plan and will be used to inform the case for intervention to support local economic growth.

To complete the survey, click here

Shropshire Council leader joins MLEP Board

Councillor Malcolm Pate, the newly appointed Leader of Shropshire Council, has officially joined the Marches LEP board sitting alongside the leaders of both Herefordshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council as well as those representing the private sector.

Councillor Pate, who has a long history within local government, has held the Albrighton seat in the east of the county since 2009. Prior to this he was Leader, for four years, of the former Shropshire County Council before its transformation to a unitary authority. More...

The Marches LEP is supporting National Apprenticeship Week 2016 with a series of partner events and the development of a short film aimed at encouraging employers to consider the benefits of apprenticeships.

The LEP's local authority partners, Shropshire Council, Herefordshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council will be holding events in Hereford, Shrewsbury and Telford and employers are also invited to the West Midlands Employer Breakfast Conference in Birmingham on March 17.  

Skills gaps revealed by Marches LEP survey

Almost three-quarters of all manufacturing businesses are reporting hard-to-fill vacancies with engineering being the most common gap in workforce skills, according to a survey by The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

The issues facing the sector were highlighted in the research commissioned by the Marches LEP to assess the skills challenges being experienced by the area’s advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. For more, click here

Surge in enquiries to new Marches Growth Hub

A virtual business support hub that has revolutionised the way businesses in The Marches can access information and advice is being hailed a success with a surge in new enquiries.

The Marches Growth Hub is a business friendly website that provides a gateway to information on finance and funding, networking and events, advice and support, employment and skills in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

It has been receiving between 1,200 and 1,900 page views per week with more than 21,000 of its business support pages browsed by users since it launched at the end of October. And since the start of the year, the business support helpline at 0345 6000 727 has also seen a surge in enquiries, with callers looking to access information on a variety of issues from export to financing.

The virtual hub has been developed by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and operates alongside three physical hubs in Hereford and Telford, with a third due to open in Shrewsbury in March.

A special networking event in Herefordshire has been hailed a success after 40 businesses turned up at the inaugural session.
Organised by the Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire, the event gave attendees the chance to introduce their business and identify business opportunities during one-to-one meetings. Read more...
A new centre offering a host of services for businesses is to open in Shrewsbury as part of a major national initiative revolutionising the way that businesses access support.
The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire, at the Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury, is due to open its doors next month.  Read more...
Nearly 100 business support products and services are available on our Support Finder at

From funding grants and loans to help on international trade and a packed calendar of business events, the hub offers a central point of access to business support information across the Marches. 
The Marches Growth Hub Telford and Wrekin offers co-working space for businesses, intermediaries and start-ups.

The Membership Package offers access to the co-working hot-desking space in the newly refurbished Growth Hub. Those with a membership package are able to take advantage of the state of the art facilities on site.
Thanks for reading! We hope you've found this update from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership useful. We send regular (but not overwhelming!) bulletins by email to anyone who is interested in what the LEP is working on and achieving.

Without the support of both business and the wider community, the work of the Marches LEP would not be possible. If you don't want our updates, please feel free to unsubscribe at any time using the links at the bottom of every message.

If you do that though, we'd would always be grateful for your feedback on why you no longer wanted to hear from us, as it helps to tailor our communications. 
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