Welcome from WCC Strategic Director for Communities Mark Ryder...
Hello and welcome to the June edition of Warwickshire Means Business.
In this edition, we welcome Cllr Kam Kaur who has been appointed Warwickshire County Council's portfolio holder for Economy and Place. As you will read from our interview with her, Kam brings plenty of experience and knowledge, both as a councillor and from the business world.
We look forward to working with Kam as we all enter the next phase of pandemic recovery. Of course, it was disappointing that the full reopening of restrictions was delayed from June 21, but it is perhaps a reminder that, though so much excellent work has been done to try to combat Covid-19, we must remain diligent.
The vaccination programme has achieved so much in such a short time, and that is great credit to everyone involved, but let's not take our eye off the ball now. Let's all stay alert in terms of social distancing, sanitising and testing and hopefully things can fully open up on July 19.
In the meantime, it is good to read in this edition of WMB that many businesses in the hardest-hit sectors have received vital support from our Adapt & Diversify grant scheme. Atherstone Gallery is a great example of a longstanding family business of the sort that is the lifeblood of our high streets, so I'm delighted that they received the funding they needed to prepare for the future. Similarly, it is good to read that Bonds Lifestyle have secured the jobs of their team after obtaining grant support.
Much more council support and investment in the local economy is coming down the track, including the Warwickshire Recovery and Investment Fund, which is due to launch next month.
Also in this edition of WMB, please read about an anticipated influx of engineering jobs into Warwickshire; about the 500 apprenticeship vacancies that exist around the county; and about some exciting developments at the Royal Shakespeare Company which will only further enhance the tourist appeal, and therefore the economy, of our wonderful county.
I hope you enjoy this edition of Warwickshire Means Business. Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, to keep yourselves and others safe in these testing times.