Welcome from Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe
Hello everybody and welcome to the January edition of Warwickshire Means Business.
One of Warwickshire County Council's top priorities is to grow the county's economy so that businesses within it can continue to flourish. We want people to feel confident and secure that Warwickshire remains a good place in which to do business.
A big part of our strategy towards this objective is our Small Capital Grants scheme which has helped more than 100 businesses in the last three years. Last week I had the pleasure of visiting one of them, Lab42 in Leamington Spa, and it was wonderful to see, first hand, how their expansion into bigger premises and their continued growth has been helped by the grant.
There are many similar stories around Warwickshire and I love getting out and about, visiting businesses, because I learn so much about the really broad base of businesses that exists around the county and see the different dynamics at work. We hear a lot about the automotive sector but our gaming sector is so strong and vibrant and growing by the year with so much more opportunity ahead.
Whatever the business, in whatever sector, the county council is here to offer support in all sorts of ways through our Economy & Skills team. I can't speak highly enough of the team - they are fantastic and so proactive. They have a great range of knowledge and see many of the problems ahead before the businesses themselves. That foresight is invaluable.
Our small capital grants have enabled the creation of hundreds of jobs in recent years but our business support is about much more than funding. I know the Economy & Skills team and love how passionate they are about what they do. They want Warwickshire's businesses success to mushroom and I am very proud of their work.
In this edition of Warwickshire Means Business please also read about two excellent events coming up. Our annual Skills Conference has become a standout event in the region's business calendar so do book early for this year's event on March 6.
The excellent Care Leaver Covenant scheme will be unveiled at a meeting on February 15th. Already up and running, meanwhile, is the Digital Schoolhouse programme which is doing brilliant work around the county to give primary school pupils a head start in digital skills.
I am proud to say that Warwickshire is ahead of the game in so many ways which is why our economy remains strong even in these uncertain times. The recent news from JLR is a concern, although there are some positives with Hams Hall chosen as the location for the battery production plant for the company's new electric cars. This follows the excellent news late last year that the partnership of Warwick Manufacturing Group and JLR has chosen the University of Warwick's site in Wellesbourne for the Research and Development of its Smart City Mobility Centre.
Warwickshire County Council will continue to do everything it can to support JLR, its workforce and supply chain as the technology sector evolves. Change always bring challenge - but history shows that Warwickshire is never daunted by progress.