An update from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership
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£720,000 LEP boost will help create 240 jobs    

A project to transform a dilapidated four-hectare site in Telford into a state of the art industrial facility could provide up to 240 jobs, starting with those in construction – thanks to £720,000 of financing from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

In the first deal of its kind in the region, the LEP’s pioneering Marches Investment Fund (MIF) has provided the loan to Mold-based developer, Dicentra, so that the former Brintons carpet factory on Halesfield, can be brought back into productive economic use.

Paul Hinkins, Deputy Chair of the Marches LEP and Chair of the Telford Business Board (pictured above with Gerry Jewson, Dicentra director), said the loan was the first to be made to the private sector from the fund, which has more than £4 million available to support projects. Full story

£2.81m contracts awarded to support manufacturing sector  

The Marches LEP has awarded three contracts worth £2.81m to develop Advanced Manufacturing Hubs in the region which will create nearly 2,700 apprenticeships.

As part of the private sector-led LEP’s plans for tackling the skills gap, the project will see regional training centres, in Bridgnorth, Shrewsbury and Hereford, set up to support employers in areas where there is limited access to workforce training.

Detailed plans for the first training hub were unveiled for the first time this month, when more than 100 local businesses and stakeholders attended the £3m Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) launch event in Bridgnorth to find out how they can play their role in helping it reverse the region’s skills and competency gaps. Read more...

Partnerships to build closer relationship

Transport links, cross-border supply chains and the skills gap were among some of the key issues debated at a meeting aimed at building closer working relationships between the Marches and Mid Wales.

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Growing Mid Wales Partnership, both public and private sector organisations aiming to build their regional economies, met for talks at Ludlow Racecourse.

Around 50 delegates, including representatives from councils including Powys, Ceredigion, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin, as well as private sector business leaders, university, UK and Welsh Government representatives, heard about the current economic challenges facing each region. More...

Defence & security focus at event

Hereford is set to welcome one of the biggest gatherings of defence and security experts in the UK at the first ever Defence and Security Expo next year.

Supported by Skylon Park, Hereford’s Enterprise Zone, the event at the Courtyard Theatre on February 1, will feature speakers from national defence and security bodies, including the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Department for International Trade (DIT). For more information and to book, visit the HSDE website

LEP recognised in national report

The Marches LEP's “hands-on” approach to working with the business community has been highlighted in an independent report. The Leading the Way report says  partnerships across England are making a “significant impact”, operating extremely efficiently and thinking and acting  strategically to support their specific local economies. More...
High speed network boost for EZ

Companies at the Enterprise Zone in Hereford will be able to access ultrafast broadband speeds after a contract was signed to install a high-speed fibre network on Skylon Park. Businesses will benefit from the best data upload and download speeds available as Rotherwas becomes the region's first high technology-enabled business park. More... 

Don't forget to sign-up for the Marches Growth Hub newsletter to to be the first to hear about new grants and funding support available for businesses as schemes go live!  

More than 150 business support products, schemes and programmes are now available to search on the Marches Growth Hub directory. The Marches Growth Hub is your single point of access to business support information across Hereofordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. 
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.

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