Andrew Manning Cox, Chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone Board, and thus a co-opted member of the Marches Local Enterprise Board (LEP) (as well as many other non-executive directorships), with Mark Pearce, Managing Director of Skylon Park, kindly gave up considerable time to update on progress on the Enterprise Zone (EZ).
The EZ is filling up and now has a feeling of vibrancy that comes with lots of activity with many companies operating there. Here is a link to its web-site. Companies looking for a great place to be, look no further.
This EZ and the other developments particularly in the other Herefordshire market towns are vital drivers of economic growth. There are some who argue against such growth but one suspects that they are already comfortably off. Herefordshire average income is way below the national average even though unemployment is low. This is because so many of the jobs are low skill, low wage. We need to attract people into the County, not lose them as is the case at present. We need to train those already here for these higher skilled jobs. We need the new NMITE university. We need to provide attractive space that companies that will provide employment, the infrastructure to service them and to make the County an attractive place to live and move around. We need more housing to grow the population of the County to provide the tax that the County needs to look after those who need help from Society. Otherwise, the County will not be able to remain an independent authority and for those who love this County that would be bad news indeed.
The Shrieval focus this year is on Social Care. It struggles for lack of money. To find more money, we need more tax revenue from new companies and individuals. Skylon makes this possible.