From QinetiQ to Gtech and GKN, Worcestershire is home to internationally-recognised innovative businesses that have chosen to locate their business headquarters in the county

Worcestershire's growing workforce skills is just one of the key factors that is enabling local businesses to innovate. Joseph Rowntree Foundation's 2017 report shows that Worcestershire has once again achieved the strongest growth nationally in higher level workforce skills, between 2010-15. The county has talent on its doorstep thanks to the combination of an existing local pool of talent, top performing schools and colleges as well as a number of nearby world class universities, 10 within an hour's drive. In fact, there are 172,350 students that attend these ten universities, which includes one of the UK's fastest growing universities, the University of Worcester.

High-value technology employment is particularly strong in the county with proportionately more employees in Worcestershire than in the West Midlands or England. Not only is Worcestershire's workforce highly skilled, it is also incredibly productive. ONS figures show that the county achieved the highest growth in productivity in England, between 2010 and 2015. The quality of Worcestershire's workforce is what makes the county stand out to investors, and with more than 911,000 people living in Worcester's recruitment catchment area, there is a highly accessible talent pool available for businesses that are looking to grow.

With excellent development and employment sites, as well as professional business support and expertise, Worcestershire companies have the opportunity to scale up their business and achieve their ambitions. Technation's 2017 report found that cyber businesses' second most valued advantage of working in Worcestershire is the fantastic sector growth potential that is available to them. With so many growing businesses already located in the county, Worcestershire boasts large commercial development ‘gamechanger' sites that are the focus of investment and development activity for business expansion - these include the £90m Redditch Eastern Gateway; £120m Worcester Six and Growth Corridor; South Kidderminster Enterprise Park and Malvern Hills Science Park. 

The county also offers businesses high quality transport connectivity thanks to ease of motorway access via both M5 and M42 between the Midlands and the South West. Better road and rail connections mean faster access to more customers and easier commutes for workforces and Birmingham Airport, which is on the county's doorstep, offers flights to more than 100 international locations. Worcestershire also has a fantastic digital infrastructure with over 92% of business and residential premises in the county able to access high-speed fibre Broadband. Steve Borwell-Fox, Managing Director of local cyber security business borwell, highlighted some of Worcestershire's strengths: "Worcestershire's exceptional local skills base and ideal central location makes the area a world class location for expanding businesses. We have been able to start up and grow a highly successful cyber security company in Worcestershire, thanks to the county's fantastic digital infrastructure and accessible business support."

The Invest in Worcestershire team has recently launched a Soft Landing Programme to promote exclusive offers to expanding and new investors within the county. This bespoke red-carpet service consists of discounted professional services from local Worcestershire based businesses, together with related grant funding support. The programme provides investors with discounted access to industry and market research, commercial property search, hosted site visits, links to academia, recruitment support, planning, regulatory services, supply chains and networks. Investors will also receive access to a portfolio of advisory services, discounted consultancy and financial review, discounted desk space and one year of free membership to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

With the support of the Invest in Worcestershire team and the wide variety of services included in the Soft Landing Programme, investors will have the perfect opportunity to grow the innovative businesses of the future, in Worcestershire.

For more information on the support available to investors and to Invest in Worcestershire, contact the Invest in Worcestershire team by or phoning: 01905 676658.