Worcestershire is leading the way with 5G technology
PUBLISHED: 11:48 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:03 17 July 2018
New colleges, a world-first 5G Testbed and a £22m Parkway station is in the pipeline for Worcestershire. Lucy Parford finds out more
Work on a £1.2million scheme to reduce the impact of flooding in Worcester city centre is now complete.
The severe floods in Worcester in 2007 and 2014 caused huge disruption to residents and businesses.
The improvements have raised almost 200m of New Road and its footpaths outside the Cricket Club by nearly 1.25ft and improved the traffic lights island at the city end. The project will improve the resilience of the area to flood events by allowing New Road to be converted to take two-way traffic, while surrounding roads and land continue to flood.
The majority of the funding for the project came from Government Local Growth funding via Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire LEP, said: “We are well aware of the financial impact that flooding has had for many businesses across the county in previous years.
“Flooding has hit Worcester and the wider county particularly hard in terms of restricting tourism, resident and business movement. The New Road scheme improvements are further helping to build flood resistance so that the city and county can continue to flourish in times of flooding, allowing local businesses to continue to prosper.”
A state-of-the-art engineering centre has launched in Evesham to tackle a shortage of engineering skills in the area.
The faculty at Evesham College is a joint venture by the college and the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and will provide a real life engineering environment for trainees. The project represents a joint investment of over £430,000.
Facilities include a metrology and mechanical science laboratory, CAD suite including 3D printer, as well as a refurbished workshop area including CNC units, bench fitting, turning and milling machinery.
The centre will offer a variety of new engineering courses from September and will focus on training mechanical engineers at levels 1, 2 and 3.
Centre of Vocational Excellence
Herefordshire & Worcestershire Group Training Association (HWGTA) officially opened its training facility late last year.
The new Centre of Vocational Excellence, at Great Western Business Park in Worcester will help to provide training for several hundred learners each year at all levels.
The new Centre provides a state-of-the-art facility for engineering skills development for the manufacturing, processing, finance, legal and service sectors across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The development was completed following £950,000 investment from the Worcestershire LEP and £70,000 of New Homes Bonus funding from Worcester City Council, as well as match funding from HWGTA.
A £22m Parkway Station is under construction to the east of J7 of the M5, part of a wider £50m investment in the Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy.
A 500-space car park is being built at the station, aimed to connect the county with the UK’s economic hubs. It is due for completion in September.
Worcestershire LEP has confirmed that the county has been successful in its bid for funding to test and explore 5G connectivity, in order to revolutionise the way future business operate in the UK and globally.
When 5G becomes available in the UK in the next three years, it is expected to have a profound impact on the global economy.
The Worcestershire 5G Consortium working on the project at Malvern Science Park includes Worcestershire County Council, 5GIC at University of Surrey, AWTG, Huawei, O2 and BT. The 5G Testbed will provide a revolutionary platform for local and national businesses to develop next-generation technology focused on improving the UK’s industrial productivity. Worcester Bosch and Yamazaki Mazak have already been selected to experiment with preventative and assisted maintenance using robotics, big data analytics and augmented reality. QinetiQ, the multinational defence technology company, will use the Testbed to advance cyber security application. And the project is supporting new courses at the University of Worcester and Heart of Worcestershire College for would-be entrepreneurs.
Mark Stansfeld, Chair of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and 5G lead for Midlands Engine, said: “This highlights the huge ambition of Worcestershire’s innovative public and private sector.”
To find out more, visit the Worcestershire LEP website here.